Making Watch Dogs look the way it did at E3 2012 could have “various negative impacts”

Friday, 20th June 2014 01:41 GMT By Brenna Hillier

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.

Thanks, GameInformer.



  1. AMGizzle

    For a game y’all don’t like, you sure do stay bitchin about it. I personally love it. It’s like meetin a broad on the internet, you see the pic she’s a dime, get on the date she’s a…..7.3-7.5. That s still fuckable

    #1 6 months ago
  2. TheWulf

    It’s like I said — ineptitude. Ubisoft Montreal can’t optimise for shit, they’ve never been able to, not since the first Assassin’s Creed, not once, not ever. The games that get closest to possibly being optimised are the Far Cry series, but that’s still a far cry from many other releases. :P

    I always figured that the reason they had to disable them was because they recognised that they were so, so, so awful at optimisation and programming in general that they had to bust Watch_Dogs down to console level just to get it to run in a way that they’d consider satisfactory. And this is despite how some of the settings seem to IMPROVE frame rate and stability.

    I never, never, ever want to see Ubisoft’s code. I imagine it’s a nightmare. This is what happens when you make entirely games for stupid people — the intelligent ones have no desire to work for you because they’re not inspired by it, and they can always find work elsewhere. So Ubisoft has to scrape the bottom of the coder barrel to find someone to continue making really bad engines for them.

    Really, I can only imagine how much of a nightmare their code is.

    #2 6 months ago
  3. TheWulf


    Because maybe the shit the mainstream is churning out just isn’t acceptable any more? Maybe people are finally getting bored of it? A site like VG24/7 is in a unique position to actually say something like that.

    #3 6 months ago
  4. Yogosan

    They don’t even sound sure. “possible impacts on visual fidelity”, “Those could range from performance issues”, “potentially making the game less enjoyable”.

    Possible, could, potentially…….Whoever released that statement hasn’t got a clue.

    #4 6 months ago
  5. BrokenSpline


    Sadly it is true. I have played with both mods from The Worse and another one that does the same thing and it made the game practically unplayable or when it played it had inconsistent frame rate.

    This just comes down to Ubisoft showing off a vertical slice that was cut graphical fidelity for whatever reason. Ubisoft and other devs should be showing games as they are close to release and not these super spruced up prototypes.

    Sadly the gameplay is boring and feels like it has no soul. They just took elements from various other Ubisoft games and mashed them together. The hacking gets old quick.

    The only redeeming quality this game has is the seamless multiplayer.

    #5 6 months ago
  6. The_Red

    So the video that TotalBiscuit posted the other day showing the updated / E3 2012 running BETTER than normal retail version was magic? Or how about the people with weaker rigs that can now play the game with BETTER frame-rate AND visuals?

    They all must be lying / using tricks to tarnish the good name of Ubi whose devs said there was NO DOWGRADE whatsoever…

    #6 6 months ago
  7. YoungZer0

    “Those could range from performance issues”, “potentially making the game less enjoyable”

    Right and we wouldn’t that, would we? I’m so glad they found a way to make the game run fluid. Can’t imagine what it would be like if it would stutter every damn second once you get inside a car.

    #7 6 months ago
  8. AlchemyFire

    Ubisoft – French slang for incompetent

    #8 6 months ago
  9. CPC_RedDawn


    I have been using TheWorse’ mod from G3D since its release and also have it fully working with the latest patch of the game.


    It look amazing, performs MUCH better, so Ubisioft are LYING yet again!!!

    Why?? Ubi? You make very good games yet you treat ur consumers like they are idiots!!

    #9 6 months ago
  10. thunderrun

    Hope it doesn’t repeat with Unity

    #10 6 months ago
  11. Winged Nazgul

    I don’t know of anything that could make a game potentially less enjoyable or even unstable like corrupted saves but Ubisoft kept those in, didn’t they?

    #11 6 months ago
  12. FabioPal

    What a bunch of bullshit!

    #12 6 months ago
  13. TapTwo

    Right because the code shown here that shows that the settings where specifically for the E3 presentation doesnt contradict ubisofts statements at all…Right?

    #13 6 months ago
  14. lubu

    what a buch of horseshit. @ubishit

    #14 6 months ago
  15. CMaxo

    To be honest, most of the hate from the players who think Ubisoft bullshit them are from ignorance. People call it “Downgrading”, but that’s actually something called “Optimizing”.
    Optimizing is not the the act of reducing the amount of memory (both RAM and VRAM) used to render the game, but also cutting out assets and effects that are subject to imprecision.

    Ubisoft didn’t lied when they said that the full rendering effects which are locked could “include possible impacts on visual fidelity, stability, performance and overall gameplay quality”. There are hundreds of layers in the production of a sandbox game with as much details. They determined that the game was not enough stable with some setting and cut them out. The fact that the settings works on YOUR rigs doesn’t mean it will run on every rigs. And you have to understand that they tested the game on rigs for many YEARS. Meaning that, each year, they get new testing rigs and test recent game as to make sure they run correctly. (Their Q&A team don’t have any freaking lives. They don’t have the time to get one.) Sure, the full settings might still work on some high-end custom rigs without issues. There’s isn’t a single game development company in the WORLD who can test for every rigs.
    They test the rigs on common rigs you can get in every day’s shops. (Those unimproved pieces of crap you buy for 2x-4x its performance value)
    Why? Simply because this is still what is bought by over 80% of the gamers. (For example, the machine I’m using right now was bought in a shop and I upgraded it piece by piece whenever I needed it to perform better.)
    There is another part to why they locked it up. They found some issues with the settings which they weren’t able to fix in time. So they locked the sources of the graphical issues down. (For example, Sleeping Dogs by Square Enix had the EXACT same issues and they took 8 months after the release to upload a patch that allowed better results with the graphics of the game.)

    There are many factors which aren’t know to the public. You (users/gamers) never know the shit that hit the fan in the development of a video game. Since every start to see some “inside” as many indie game group are successful (and they are more transparent then big corps), you think that everything run the same way as the little bit of information you successfully gather. The reality is much more deeper and shittier.

    I always say and will always say : If you don’t like how a company works, then build a better one or shut the fuck up. You might end up successful or even worse than it.

    #15 5 months ago

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