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

Wednesday, 18th 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.


Thanks Total Biscuit.

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



  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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 months ago
  7. Rosseu

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

    #7 6 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 6 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 6 months ago
  10. The_Red

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

    #10 6 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 6 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 6 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…


    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 6 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 6 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 6 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 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 6 months ago
  17. DuckOfDestiny

    “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 6 months ago

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