Watch Dogs Visual Downgrade Was Because of PS4 and Xbox One

Watch Dogs 2 Coming Before April 2017 - Watch Dogs Aiden Pearce hacking

Watch Dogs senior producer Dominic Guay reveals that the original Watch Dogs' visual downgrade was because the developer didn't know enough about the PS4 and Xbox One.

When Ubisoft’s open world hacking game Watch Dogs was released on PC and consoles in 2014, one of the biggest controversies to surround the game was that its visuals had been downgraded from the game’s impressive E3 2012 reveal. As charted in this video on Ubisoft’s history of visual downgrades, although the E3 demo of the sandbox title wowed viewers with its lighting and animations, along with crowded settings, the actual retail version of the game wasn’t nearly as good-looking or realistic. PC players even put together a Watch Dogs graphics mod aiming to make the game look as good as the original E3 reveal.

In a new interview with the Evening Standard, Watch Dogs senior producer Dominic Guay reminds people that "the first showing of Watch Dogs came in summer 2012, before anyone knew what the Next Gen of consoles and hardware would be." The producer explains that he and Ubisoft "did our best at the time to predict what that would be and always were forward that this first showing was running on a very powerful PC." Essentially, the lack of information that the development team had on the PS4 and the Xbox One meant that they perhaps overestimated how good the final release would look on those consoles.


What is positive, however, is that Ubisoft is unlikely to make the same misstep with upcoming sequel Watch Dogs 2. For the new game, which will be released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One later this year, Guay says that the team has "been developing the game on our target platforms from the beginning."

Guay also adds that "Watch Dogs 2 uses an evolved version of the first opus technology" and that "the lighting and effects are more realistic and the world much more detailed and dynamic" this time around. Plus, the graphics aren’t the only thing that fans can expect the sequel to improve upon.

For starters, the new game ditches divisive protagonist Aiden Pearce, with Watch Dogs 2 introducing Marcus Holloway who is described as a charming and funny member of (hacktivist group) DedSec. Moreover, Watch Dogs 2 won’t feature the tower climbing mechanic that has been present in so many other Ubisoft games. While the mechanic has been used in other Ubisoft tiles as a way of getting players to explore, the fact that it is so overused has been an area of criticism from some players and they will be glad to see it go.

Watch Dogs' sequel Watch Dogs 2 is planned for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 15 later this year.

Source: Evening Standard

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