Video: GTA 4′s engine beats Watch Dogs at shadows, damage, more

Tuesday, 27th May 2014 10:43 GMT By Dave Cook

Watch Dogs is a technically impressive game, but 2008′s GTA 4 still manages to do some things better, as seen in this new video comparison.

The clip was put together by Eduard Mackarchew, and shows how Grand Theft Auto 4 on PC will display real-time shadows behind car headlights and feedback with surface damage in the environment. Watch Dogs, by comparison, does not.

This isn’t to say Ubisoft’s latest isn’t good. Far from it in fact. Check out our Watch Dogs review and score round-up for all the details.

What do you think of the clip?



  1. FabioPal

    “technically impressive”: debatable.

    #1 7 months ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @FabioPal Got it yet? Looks superb on my PS4.

    #2 7 months ago
  3. Erthazus

    Physics in Watch dogs re pathetic. They don’t exist.

    #3 7 months ago
  4. Erthazus

    But I will defend Watch dogs a bit.

    Rockstar games always makes games with great detail but GTA has almost ZERO Sandbox gameplay while Watch dogs have. That is important. This is what Watch dogs is about. It’s not about “Details”. It’s about emergent gameplay .

    #4 7 months ago
  5. Moonwalker1982

    Some of the things in that video are shocking. GTA IV already had a very lifelike city and V even more so. This just shows once again that Rockstar is the king of details. Ubi has to learn a whole lot about sandbox games still.

    Erthazus…how is GTA not sandbox gameplay?

    #5 7 months ago
  6. MidlifeAxe

    In my opinion, most of these are just details (which we all know Rockstar for) apart from maybe the reflections and water waves. That was probably a tech issue.

    #6 7 months ago
  7. FabioPal

    @Dave Cook No, but from what I can see in the various videos there’s nothing “technically impressive” in there.

    It’s a quite dated game in terms of visuals.

    #7 7 months ago
  8. silkvg247

    FF14′s shadows blow them both away.

    #8 7 months ago
  9. Dog4life

    Still, as soon my ps4 booted up, i loved the high res textures of Watchdogs and crisp clear high resolution :)

    Watchdogs doesn’t want to be another better GTA…
    its another IP and quite different, more focused on stealth gameplay and hacking aspect.

    But sure true, the attention to detail in GTA is insane, especially GTA 5

    #9 7 months ago
  10. Reddpayn

    Gtav is the epitome of sandbox. I guess i just dont understand what you mean by saying that it hasnt got “sandbox gameplay”. Could you explain your argument more precisely?

    #10 7 months ago
  11. KesMonkey

    @Reddpayn: GTA and Watch Dogs are NOT Sandbox games. They are open world games.

    “In a true “sandbox”, the player has tools to modify the world themselves”

    #11 7 months ago
  12. Talkar

    To answer the question, i think both the video and this article only exists to agitate and generate traffic. Which is working x)

    #12 7 months ago
  13. TheWulf


    That lack of distinction frequently bothers me, too. It’s a box. There is no sand. There are objects which are all very similar and appear to be computer generated, and you have some control over a small number of those objects. Definitely not a sandbox. Just a box. An “open world,” to give it a fancier title. But to me, it’s a box without the sand.

    #13 7 months ago
  14. Reddpayn

    Ok, my bad.

    #14 7 months ago
  15. YoungZer0

    I’d say that the wind engine is quite impressive.

    #15 7 months ago
  16. gameoholic007

    How pointless.

    #16 7 months ago
  17. marporte

    Just because your in a City with cars its suddenly trying to be GTA. Are we going to have a discussion about how Arkham Knight isn’t as lively as GTA because it takes place in a city and you drive a Batmobile. By comarison this so more infamous, Prototype, Crackdown, and Arkham than GTA. Your not really trying to run around and cause mayhem and go on killing sprees it is two different games and play styles. GTA is about getting an empire and going from Rags to Bitches but Watchdogs is more about being a Vigilante and dispensing justice/vengeance as you see fit. Two different concepts. Even if the lighting and fog were up to par its still two different games.

    #17 7 months ago
  18. Panthro


    I dont think I have heard anyone call it a GTA clone yet, but they are both still open world games with a lot of similarities regardless of what the main character does and how the story plays out.

    In my opinion I think all of the comparisons in the video were fair and valid to show how broken and unpolished Watch Dogs is in comparison to another open wold game.

    #18 7 months ago

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