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Was Watch Dogs PC downgraded on purpose? Total Biscuit mulls the matter

Wednesday, 18 June 2014 09:35 GMT By Dave Cook

Watch Dogs PC has been given a visual upgrade by a modder who has unearthed files within the game’s code that – when fiddled with – can bring the game up to the standard of its original E3 2012 demo. Did Ubisoft downgrade the game on purpose? Allow Total Biscuit to address the subject.

The upgrade was first exposed by its discoverer TheWorse, who posted some blistering screens that showed the impact of his changes.

Now, YouTuber Total Biscuit has offered his two cents on the matter, going so far as to suggest that the game should run better on higher rigs. he also calls out the leak of performance patches from Ubisoft, and theories regarding the downgrade. He also runs the game at its full potential with no tech issues.

Look:

Thanks Total Biscuit.

What do you think? Is Ubisoft playing us for chumps, or did it just bite off more than it could chew?

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17 Comments

  1. grizzlycake

    How else would the new shiny consoles look good?

    Fuck Ubisoft seriously, they’ve done a lot of work to become more shitty than EA, etc.

    #1 7 months ago
  2. Llewelyn_MT

    I don’t get it. Why create the assets, then include them in both disk and download versions of the game and never actually use it? It’s beyond stupid. It might even be beyond insane…

    Then again, it’s Ubisoft with their awful PC port policies.

    #2 7 months ago
  3. GameStunts

    Oh you called him TotalBiscuit, he’ll not be happy :)

    I was so happy TB weighed in on this topic. It’s really not good that Ubisoft has been so quiet on the matter, or has flat out said there wasn’t a downgrade.

    #3 7 months ago
  4. GameStunts

    OK I accidently typed code in my comment, I meant Total Space Biscuit, as in there’s a space in his name. Doh.

    #4 7 months ago
  5. Cool P

    I can’t stand Ubisoft’s attitude towards games and gamers anymore. Shitty Uplay, only creating new IP if they can make a franchise out of it and run it to the ground and now this. I was looking forward to The Division and the new Rainbow Six, but no, thank you very much i’ll be skipping Ubi’s titles for a while now…

    #5 7 months ago
  6. monkeygourmet

    At least they had a ‘real’ gamer on stage at E3 though.

    Aisha Taylor doesn’t worry about silly things like playability, gimped ports, false advertising, delays, bugs etc…

    People some take a leaf out of her book. Stop complaining and blindly buy any old shit that gets pumped out.

    #6 7 months ago
  7. Rosseu

    And Ubisoft says it wasn’t downgraded. Lying pieces of shit.

    #7 7 months ago
  8. thunderrun

    @grizzlycake It’s not all with new consoles. The game is a cross-gen. It’s available on 360 and PS3 as well. That’s the main reason they downgraded it. Look at AC Unity, and try to be less of a hater my friend.

    #8 7 months ago
  9. grizzlycake

    @thunderrun So it’s okay for Ubisoft to have their actual game like they promised (graphicswise) available on PC BUT lock it out because the cross-gen ports would look bad?

    Stop being so apologetic, this stuff is undefendable.

    #9 7 months ago
  10. The_Red

    “Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?” Of course you did. It’s called UBISOFT.

    #10 7 months ago
  11. Luciferous

    So, the mod makes for brilliant screenshots, but as for gameplay? It detracts from it, even toned down the DOF hinders more than it helps, increased NPCs seems to spawn them in off places and then tweaked lighting can make night time a chore rather than a pleasure.

    Is it at all possible that these features were deactivated because they negatively effect the gameplay? Sure it looks nice under certain circumstances ( A la vertical slices for conventions) but for the over all game it doesn’t add to the experience.

    #11 7 months ago
  12. thunderrun

    @grizzlycake I’m not defending anyone here, I was furious when I saw how they downgraded the game. And it was a total insult when they said “No Downgrade” !
    It happened with FarCry 3 and many other games in Ubi’s history.
    But pointing the finger at consoles, Sony and Microsoft as the main reasons behind this downgrade doesn’t fit neither.

    #12 7 months ago
  13. TheWulf

    I’m iffy about the conspiracy theories. I think it’s more that Ubisoft is unable to make a good game, generally. Their stuff is obviously, obviously geared towards the dude-bro audience that’ll lap up just about anything with guns and violence, and that’s why the hacking and general intelligence of Watch_Dogs was watered down to suit them. It’s designed to make them feel ‘smart,’ I guess, but it leaves my brain feeling suicidal because I know better.

    Sir. The evil mafia’s elite hackin’ & crackin’ cyber warrior ninjas have stolen our primary, secondary, and tertiary Internet boxes. That’s our entire Internet! Along with its backups!! And replaced it with a porn box!!! Now, whenever an innocent, patriotic, god fearing mother or son goes to Facebook, they’ll see… PORNBOOK. God have mercy on their souls. Sir… someone has to do something. Call in… the Professionals. We need our very best, most elite IT super soldiers to take up the task and save us all!!!!!

    *much twitching*

    The thing is is that I could laugh at that, but these tend to be serious plots written by people who expect individuals such as myself to take them seriously, even though it’s clear that the scriptwriter didn’t have the faintest whiff of a clue. So, you know, I’m the one laughing in the theatre, and no on else is. Everyone is on the edge of their seats because… the mafia has our Internet boxes!

    I wish swathes of humanity weren’t this dumb. (And I really do attribute it to extroversion, especially after a new article I read the other day that — once again — connects introversion to a higher IQ.)

    And that brings me back to the point — stupid games, developed by stupid people, for stupid people. Is it really a surprise that gross and inept incompetence meant that they couldn’t properly polish up the PC version for it to function properly on release, despite the six month delay? They have to hire thickos, too, because no self-respecting nerd would work on something quite so awful.

    This is a major issue in the industry right now. Their best minds are leaving to begin indie startups, or joining developers (like Double Fine) who always create interesting things (to hell with the market). They’re doing things like that. And the people left over just aren’t the ones who’re good at their jobs, so the end result is decidedly… lacking. Of course there’s no imagination, because it was designed for people without imagination, so there wouldn’t be. But if you do that, you lose the people who have imagination who wouldn’t want to work on this rot.

    So it was just stupidity, ineptitude, incompetence… the thing is is that the conspiracy theories need me to suspend my disbelief enough to buy that Ubisoft is actually intelligent enough to make such a deal.

    I can’t.

    Ubisoft is thick. Ubisoft is exceedingly thick. And they’ve compounded their thickness ten-thousandfold lately with how they’ve proven that their multicultural and minority support is very faux, very much there as a token effort to help sell games to markets who’d otherwise ignore them. Trying to give their games an air of intellectuality, I guess, but it’s very fake intellectuality.

    And their response to women in their games…

    Yeaaaah.

    This isn’t malign.

    This is just Ubisoft. They’re just that thick. I mean, sure, there’s one studio there making some interesting things, but that’s where ALL of their creative people are. They’re making stuff like Valiant Hearts, Rayman, and so on. Montpellier, to be exact, in France. The rest of their studios are churning out absolute rot, like Watch_Dogs, Assassin’s Creed, et cetera, et cetera.

    And you think the people working on these aren’t idiots? Well, here’s reality, proving me right. Again. Because if anyone finds any evidence of an actual conspiracy… I’ll listen. But as it stands, the only intellect at Ubisoft is at Montpellier, which is as far detached from the rest of Ubisoft as it can be. Even they try to distance themselves from the rest of Ubisoft, and I can’t blame them.

    This should be a no-brainer for everyone. Ubisoft Montreal dropped the ball. Of course they did, since that’s Ubisoft Stupid. I feel pity for anyone who hasn’t figured this out, yet. Just compare the games developed by the two. The only thing that worries me is that Montpellier is making the next Assassin’s Creed game, which makes me wonder just how many of their creative people will actually jump ship. (Bad decision, Montpellier. Bad decision.)

    But yes. This is just… gross stupidity. No malign influences. Just stupidity.

    #13 7 months ago
  14. sh4dow

    I find it funny when people argue “that would mean a bad business decision” in order to dismiss an argument as if big companies generally make good business decisions. Hello? This isn’t the 1960s or something… Companies these days are run by drunk monkeys.

    #14 7 months ago
  15. sebastien rivas

    anything in video games that is downgraded is ON purpose.

    There is no evil polygon psychopath as far as I know.

    Now the reason is simple, if watch dogs goes on Xbox and Ps4 then yes, no choice but to kill the game so little blondies can say wowww it looks so good on my console; therefore did not purchase it on PC.

    As Cool P mentioned it, I am also disappointed the fact they do not come out with The division for PC just because of those FUCKING WEAK CONSOLES….but hey I am happier, guess what. My wallet remains full :P

    #15 7 months ago
  16. budoshi

    Dont need to be a genius to see that they couldn’t make the game running with good fps with the first intended graphics .On both the pc and consoles, simply because the engine s poorly done/optimized/pile ofcrap.
    So downgrading the graphics was a quick and simple solution.And at E3 developers need to flex their muscle for the show and showing games with amazing graphics and content that most of the time its lies and never made it into the actual games, seems to be the norm these days,alien colonial ,rome 2 and ..so on im sure we all know the rest these titles so no need to name them all. Watchdogs was so over hyped and it was just that, i found in that game nothing special,in fact i already returned my copy.

    #16 7 months ago
  17. DuckOfDestiny

    @budoshi
    “Dont need to be a genius to see that they couldn’t make the game running with good fps with
    the first intended graphics .”

    That’s why our lord and savior Gaben blessed us with graphic settings.

    #17 7 months ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Dragon Age: Inquisition tunes can be yours for the bargain price of zero cashmoney. The tavern songs from Dragon Age: Inquisition will be made available for purchase from various digital distributors sometime after February 9. Until then, though, you can have them for free – including their sheet music. To take advantage of this generous […]

  • Even the Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 teaser is frightening

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is probably going to be just as tense and uncomfortable as its two prequels. This teaser for Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is the first we’ve heard of the project since creator Scott Cawthon confirmed it is in the works. The third entry in the series is now up on […]

  • 6.6 million Xbox consoles shipped last quarter

    Xbox One and Xbox 360 console sales were strong last quarter, although Microsoft isn’t talking hard numbers yet. Microsoft shipped 6.6 million Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles to retailers in the quarter ending December 31, the company revealed in its latest financial briefing. This figure wasn’t broken down by platform, and Microsoft didn’t supply […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection: five minutes of b-roll footage

    We may not have proper, uncut gameplay footage of the Homeworld Remastered Collection, but we have the next best thing. Homeworld Remastered Collection was confirmed to release on February 25. Gearbox has only showed a trailer, but no extended gameplay demos. There was however a b-roll video showing at PAX South, and we’ve embedded it […]

  • Grim Fandango Remastered looks sharp in these new screens

    Grim Fandango will come back from the dead with the Remastered edition, and it’s looking great. Grim Fandango Remastered has a few new screens available to prove that even old games can look stunning with the right remaster, especially ones with an already well-defined art style. Have a look at them below and get excited. […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: beta weapons, maps, modes, progression system and more

    The Battlefield Hardline beta will include a third new map and a new game mode, on top of what’s already announced. You may remember last week DICE started a community mission for all Battlefield 4 players. The goal was to reach 2 billion points playing Rush mode. That goal has been achieved and as a […]

  • Dying Light launch trailer is one last display of its forte

    The launch trailer for Dying Light is here one day ahead of the game’s release. Techland and Warner Bros. have put out the launch trailer for Dying Light. The trailer is a short reminder of the game’s main selling points: free-running, weapon crafting, drop-kicking zombies. Reviews should start to come out tomorrow for the game […]

  • Watch The Witcher 3 developers stream new gameplay on Twitch

    The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt RED is hosting a Twitch live-stream to show off brand new gameplay footage and answer some fan questions. The live-stream will start at 7:00pm GMT, 2:00pm EST, 11:00am PST. It will show off plenty of new footage, some of which was shown only to the press so far. The […]

  • Finally, some screens for Final Fantasy 15

    Patience is a virtue and we finally have our hands on a few gameplay screens from Final Fantasy 15. There’s not a lot of them, but they show the impressive lighting and they’re all gameplay as far as I can tell, so take a look. There is no release date for Final Fantasy 15 as […]

  • Here’s 15 minutes of gameplay from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 1080p

    The Witcher 3 has a new direct-feed, 1080p video available that’s 100% gameplay. Would you like some gameplay of The Witcher 3 in beautiful 1080p? Why, of course you would! The gameplay below shows combat, conversations, travelling. In short, it’s a small sample of everything the game will offer. If you’re looking to learn much […]

  • Two Mortal Kombat X characters to be revealed this week

    Mortal Kombat X will get not one, but two character reveals this week. Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon has been at again on Twitter, teasing all kinds of reveals over the past few days. Firstly, Boon tweeted this image, which at first glance appears to show a character holding a bow. However, further examination by […]

  • Planetside 2 successfully claims the Guinness World Record for biggest FPS battle

    The Planetside 2 community has successfully organised an online battle involving over 1000 players, breaking the previous Guinness World Record. The event, which was organised by Planetside Battles was pitched to the community last week. 1,158 players have answered the call, smashing the record for “Most Players Online in an FPS Battle.” The previous 999 […]

  • Microsoft aiming for Xbox One-to-PC streaming to function while you watch TV

    Streaming Xbox One games to PC while you watch TV on the console through the HDMI pass-through is something Microsoft is hoping to achieve when the service launches with Windows 10. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has been on Twitter answering fan questions following last week’s Windows 10 event. One interesting bit that came out of those […]

  • Everything we know about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is sure to be one of the biggest RPGs of the year, due for release in May on PC, Xbox One and PS4. Delayed since its target release of 2015, CD Projekt Red’s latest game takes the series to a true open world environment, and charges the player with tracking […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beta date leaked – rumour

    According to an email sent to some YouTubers, the upcoming beta for Battlefield Hardline is scheduled for February 3. The date for the Battlefield Hardline beta is believed to be February 3. It comes from an email that’s been sent by Ronku to various YouTubers reminding them of the starting date, February 3. Ronku is […]

  • The history of The Witcher: beyond the Road With No Return

    We take a look at The Witcher franchise, from the original short stories to its blockbuster video games. The world was first introduced to Geralt through a set of short stories called The Witcher (English translation) written by author Andrzej Sapkowski. The first short story was published in the Polish fantasy and science fiction magazine […]

  • Bringing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to life

    In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, CD Projekt RED takes a whopping enormous map and fills it with stuff you actually want to see and do. Do you remember back before Oblivion came out there was a lot of chat about how much more lifelike and realistic the NPCs would be? Rather than just hanging […]

  • The big Witcher 3 questions answered: delays, playing as Ciri, and why enemies don’t scale

    Spending some time with The Witcher 3 level designer Miles Tost we were able to put some of our immediate questions to him after playing the game for over 4 hours. “That sense of improvement doesn’t happen if the monsters around you remain the same strength, there’s no sense of achievement.” Tost is a relaxed […]

  • The Witcher 3 sets a new generational standard for graphics

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the new standard in outrageously pretty. “The Witcher 3 is more than just eye-candy. Destiny, once the loveliest thing I had ever looked upon, has been outclassed.” The Witcher 3 is even better looking than the screenshots would have you believe, and until you see it in motion, running […]

  • The Witcher 3: hands-on with the RPG of the year

    Getting to know a bawdy hero; Geralt of Rivia’s third outing is accessible, untamed, and dripping with story. Warning: some spoilers are inevitable. “The Witcher 3 is horror and violence. It’s charming, witty and cheeky. Like Geralt, it knows what it wants and it’s going to grab it with both hands.” The Witcher 3: Wild […]

  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel gets Lady Hammerlock DLC tomorrow

    The Lady Hammerlock DLC for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be released on PS3 and Xbox 360 tomorrow, January 27. The new playable character comes with three skill trees and the action skill Cold As Ice. If you haven’t bought the season pass for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel you can download the DLC for $9.99, you lucky […]

  • A limited edition 20th Anniversary PS4 just sold for $128,000

    Sony has just auctioned one of its limited edition 20th Anniversary PS4 consoles for over $128,000. The model had the serial number 00001, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We appreciate all who participated in the auction and are surprised at the highest bid price, which was higher than our expectations,” said a rep for […]

  • Here’s Killer Instinct’s new Omen and Golem fighters in action

    Microsoft has revealed Killer Instinct Season 2′s fighter Omen in a new trailer. Stick around for the end of the video and you’ll also get a peek at another new fighter, Golem. Omen is a bonus character and as such isn’t available as part of the main season roster. He’s available for free to Ultra […]

  • Digital copies of Far Cry 4 are being deleted from Uplay

    Ubisoft appears to be deleting copies of Far Cry 4 bought through digital third-party retailers. According to the Ubisoft support forums, copies of the game acquired via G2Play and G2A are being removed from Uplay. Users had not been given any warning by publisher Ubisoft that the game will be removed, although it is now […]

  • Gearbox wants “badass” talent for the next Borderlands

    Borderlands 3 may not have been announced at PAX this weekend, but studio boss Randy Pitchford is currently recruiting for the next game in the series. We are recruiting for next Borderlands. This is the big one. Industry badass? E-mail me: heyrandy@gearboxsoftware.com pic.twitter.com/ZG9dLytX1B — Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) January 26, 2015 A recruitment push would suggest […]

  • Destiny: less grind, fairer economy in House of Wolves DLC

    Destiny developer Bungie has said it aims to lessen the grind in House of Wolves, and it won’t repeat mistakes it made with rewards in The Dark Below. Gear rewards will be fairer, according to lead designer Luke Smith in a Neogaf thread. For example, buying from a vendor should not invalidate gear rewarded for […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Disaster

    Over two months since release and Xbox One’s big Christmas game is still a turkey, says Rich Stanton. “The game has now been available for two-and-a-half months, including the blockbuster Christmas season, and by any reasonable standard it doesn’t work.” Halo: The Master Chief Collection launched worldwide on November 11, 2014. Intended as something of […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection dated, first gameplay footage released

    Homeworld Remastered Collection has a release date, and as promised, the gameplay footage of Gearbox Software’s remake has been released along with the news that Homeworld Shipbreaker development continues. The video was shown during the Inside Gearbox Software panel earlier this morning at PAX South. Last year, Gearbox had said hoped to release the title […]

  • Clock Tower spiritual successor Night Cry has landed on Kickstarter

    The Kickstarter for Clock Tower spiritual successor, Project Scissors, recently announced as Night Cry, has launched. A teaser directed by The Grudge director Takashi Shimizu was released for the game earlier this month, and the full short film can be viewed below. Shimizu is also creative director on the project and Silent Hill creative and environment […]

  • Toukiden Kiwami mission trailer released, pre-order bonuses detailed

    Pre-order bonuses for Toukiden Kiwami have been announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita. Here’s the pre-order bonus list for each participating retailer: North America GameStop – Armor inspired by new slayers Reki and Soma’s costumes and classic armor from Toukiden‘s six original NPC slayers. Amazon – 2 exclusive pieces of armor: a set of Tenko […]

  • More Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Final Fantasy 15 info doled out by Tabata

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD director Hajime Tabata took part in a Reddit AMA yesterday, and answered a variety of questions pertaining to the game and Final Fantasy 15. According to Tabata, the first playthrough of the game will last around 40 hours, but “the real fun” starts from the second playthrough which contains new events. […]

  • This video gives you an idea of what Borderlands Online is like

    A video for Borderlands Online, the China-exclusive title from 2K, Shanda Games and Gearbox, has been released. Posted on MMO Culture, the video was released to announce the “technical test” which started today. Borderlands Online is an instance-based online shooter, and will probably never reach western shores. Still, you can have a look anyway.

  • Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is the MMO’s first expansion

    The first expansion for Guild Wars 2, Heart of Thorns, was announced today during PAX South, and ArenNet has posted a few content details for it on the official webiste. Heart of Thorns contains a reimagined progression with the new Mastery system, which provides new training opportunities for characters beyond level 80. Players will be […]

  • Turn-based action platformer Ronin has been polished up, nets a publisher

    Tomasz Waclawek has polished up his freeware title Ronin and will be releasing it through publisher Devolver Digital later this year. The turn-based action platformer stars a vengeful ninja who is determined to kill important memebers of a powerful corporation. Weapons at your disposal include razor wire and a katana, or you avoid combat by […]

  • Footage of cancelled Justice League brawler surfaces

    Footage of the cancelled Double Helix-developed Justice League brawler has surfaced online. The game was supposed to be a tie-in title for the also cancelled Justice League film directed by George Miller, according to leaked images and information from 2012. Jon Gwyn, the game’s artist and now Rockstar San Diego staffer, said at the time […]

  • Free Icona Vulcano DLC for DriveClub releases next week

    Sony has posted a video of the Icona Vulcano, which will be released as DLC next week for DriveClub. The video was posted on Facebook and we’ve embedded the video below courtesy of GamesHQMeida. It was announced earlier this week the Icona Vulcano would be released on the PS Store as a free download.

  • The Bard’s Tale 4 announced by inXile Entertainment at PAX South

    The Bard’s Tale 4 was announced today by inXile Entertainment CEO Brian Fargo during a panel at PAX South. inXile hinted around back in December that a sequel was in the works. Granted, The Bard’s Tale wasn’t mentioned. Still, everyone figured this was the game when Wasteland 2 project lead Chris Keenan stated the team […]

  • Here’s another Majora’s Mask 3DS vs N64 comparison video

    Last week, YouTube user Master0fHyrule uploaded a Majora’s Mask 3DS vs N64 comparison video, and we’ve embedded it for you below. The video shows 4.5 minutes of footage which appears before hitting the start button and the first meeting between Link and the Skull Kid. Another comparison video was released by another user back in […]

  • The Game Awards 2015 already in the planning stages

    The Game Awards 2015 are already in the planning stages, according to Geoff Keighley. The inaugural show took place on December 6, 2014. Keighley announced the 2015 show during his Storytime with Geoff Keighley panel at PAX South this weekend and through Twitter. He said more details will be announced in the spring. You can […]

  • Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered listed for January release

    It looks like Quantic Dream’s Indigo Prophecy is returning in remastered form next week, if an Amazon listing is any indication. According to the listing posted on NeoGAF, the uncut version of the game contains Steam DRM and will release January 29 at 12pm PST/3pm EST for a Linux, Mac and PC download. Titled Fahrenheit: […]