Render settings unearthed by modders that make Watch Dogs look significantly better than its official state could have negative knock-on effects for gamers, Ubisoft has warned.
Using TheWorse’s mod, which is not actually a mod but some little changes to the game’s config file to unlock disabled render settings, can make Watch Dogs look the way it did at E3 2012.
As a result of the discovery of the render settings hidden in the final built, critics including TotalBiscuit have asked why Ubisoft visually downgraded Watch Dogs.
In a statement published on the game’s website, the publisher said it didn’t deliberately downgrade the game’s graphics, and that the disabled render settings were cut for a reason.
“The dev team is completely dedicated to getting the most out of each platform, so the notion that we would actively downgrade quality is contrary to everything we’ve set out to achieve. We test and optimize our games for each platform on which they’re released, striving for the best possible quality,” Ubisoft said.
“The PC version does indeed contain some old, unused render settings that were deactivated for a variety of reasons, including possible impacts on visual fidelity, stability, performance and overall gameplay quality.”
Ubisoft acknowledged the “creative and passionate” mod community , but said that TheWorse’s mod “subjectively enhances the game’s visual fidelity in certain situations but also can also have various negative impacts”.
“Those could range from performance issues, to difficulty in reading the environment in order to appreciate the gameplay, to potentially making the game less enjoyable or even unstable,” it said.
Ubisoft itself is working hard to improve the game’s graphics, as with a patch released this week addressing a number of Watch Dogs visual issues.
To be honest, we don’t much care any more – there are multiple reasons why we’ve stopped playing Watch Dogs.