Watch Dogs Graphical Analysis: Stock vs Mod

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Rebel_X

I find the stock better than the modded! The modded only adds a layer of darkness. Meh.

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tetris42

It's not the mod, it's because MPC decided to add SweetFX on TOP of the mod, making this comparison pointless. This is such a rookie mistake, it kind of hurts their credibility posting something like this.

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Waynoooo

Now try to run it on an AMD card. I wasted $60 on this darn thing. Being "optimized" for NVidia is one thing...being unplayable on anything EXCEPT NVidia is something else. I cannot get this POS to run, even on the lowest setting on my card. Granted, I do not have the hottest rig naround, but I am pretty sure I meet the minimum specs. Core I5, 8GB 1600, HD 7970, 250GB SSD, Win7 64bit.

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BrainFlush

If you haven't, just try the mod with .97c minus the texture pack. Tons of people have seen a noticeable improvement in FPS. Can't hurt to try. The game itself is fun if repetitive but the city feels quite alive compared to some other games. I like it.

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The Mac

Its not very playable on nvidia either

lol

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wuzelwazel

Congratulations! You've discovered how to adjust the gamma!

Seriously though, looks to me like the primary difference is just a gamma adjustment or some other simple global color correction. Maybe a subtle bleach bypass or s-curve.

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Rebel_X

Agree.

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btdog

"We captured our screenshots and video with a modest gaming rig, sporting an Intel Core i7-4770K CPU, 8GB of 1600MHz G.Skill RAM, and a GTX 780 video card."

Modest?! I don't consider any gaming rig with a $300 CPU and $500 GPU "modest." 750 Ti: that's modest. 760 GTX or 270X...? I would pause but probably say yes. 770 or 280X...? You would have to be very persuasive to convince me that's modest. 780? Uh, no.

Still, I really like the analysis. Personally, I think the mod does provide a more "cinematic" feel (not certain I would say it's realistic). But I agree with some of the other comments - the dark areas are too dark. Considering games often hide rewards in corners and hard to find places already, I would probably miss more of them than I already do. My gut instinct tells me long term I would probably prefer playing with stock settings.

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BrainFlush

I say play with the mod alone. Once you do that going back to stock/vanilla is impossible. If you add SweetFX, adjust to your liking but I myself found the mod was sufficient.

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davidm71

Hi,
I carried out the SweetFX and Worst mod a couple days ago and yes it does seem darker but more atmospheric that's for sure compared to the vanilla which looks blown out and too bright. However there are about a dozen watchdog profiles online to pick from, some brighter than others, so just pick one you like and your all set. Visually I think this game is a step up than the usual port. Too bad they tried to cripple it. What a shame.

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BrainFlush

Great job showing how modders can improve the game but showing it with SweetFX makes it hard to discern what effect the actual MOD has on the game in terms of visuals.

You should have just done vanilla versus mod without SweetFX.

Also I don't know if this article was in the magazine or not(normally it says originally appeared), but the MOD is now at .97c with Maldo's improved textures included. It is about 1.2gb in size. And epic.

Maybe update this article to be current.

As to the MOD, it is impressive. I was getting 20fps without it and now I am getting 30. Sounds ridiculous but it's true. Also he increased the amount of rain and times it rains. Pretty incredible mod, I could never go back to vanilla. I don't even need SweetFX.

But hey Ubisoft keep dropping the ball, it's not the first time a game looked one way only to come out another.

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chriszele

Hi BrainFlush,

I wanted to show the game fully modded, as I wanted to try to make Watch Dogs look its best. 

On this Guru 3D page it says that SweetFX can enhance TheWorse 0.7 and make it look better, so that's why I decided to use them together. 

"With TheWorse's mod in the vanilla game it does look a lot better but with SweetFX, it can look even better still."

http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=390114

Thanks for the comment,

-Chris Zele

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tetris42

Chris, the lesson here is don't let what you read on the internet contradict what you are seeing with your own eyes. Maximum PC is normally the last place I expect this sort of thing, since you guys can run very comprehensive tests in the past, but this particular one was conducted in a way that I feel like it misinformed a lot of people.

Watch Dogs was already in controversy on the PC because of Ubisoft turning off effects. Your video has caused less informed people to think this was all over nothing and all the mod was doing was making the game dark, thus PC users have been complaining over nothing. I don't mean this disrespectfully, but I really feel like you did a disservice here.

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BrainFlush

Chris that's fine but you see that all of us think using SweetFX clouds the vanilla comparison to the actual MOD.

Had you done a triple comparison it would have turned out better. And yes I know what the mods page says, I am using it also minus the SweetFX.

But I am still curious why you used such an old version? Was it because this was in the magazine?

Check out the newest version if you get time, it's pretty amazing and the 1.0 is right around the corner. So.

Thanks for responding, take care.

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trgz

In agreement with the comments about the darkness of some of these - the downtown Street scene would never look that dark even if wearing shades. You do know you can use SweetFX without making it look so dim? I've been replaying Far Cry 2 with it and simply use it to adjust the colours not make it look like I'm wearing a balaclava backwards

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Enigmatistical

It's still a "polished" turd. Gaming as a whole in the year 2014 is extremely disappointing and has been declining in quality since about 2005. Test my (opinionated) observations for yourselves by viewing games from the 90's followed by the 2000's paying particular attention to the progression of technical improvements. I believe you'll find the slowdown right about the '05 - '06 period and comparing '06 with today it's amazingly clear just how lazy (or paid off) developers have become. We should have Hollywood-esque graphics today and since gamers aren't demanding it companies aren't delivering them. I acknowledge that many indie games are a huge step in the right direction but the industry won't be far off from a collapse a la the early 80's if we don't become more proactive.
That said Watch Dogs can look however it wants to, it's not even entertaining to play.

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vrmlbasic

They're giving us the best that the 360/PS3 can. Until game devs fully switch over to the PS4/Xbone I believe it to be a sure bet that this will remain the case.

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Enigmatistical

That's a joke right? We have to sit and wait for possibly another year and a half before developers have fully understood how to best utilize consoles that were at best mid-range PC's in 2013? I feel better now...

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vrmlbasic

That might be too optimistic as the consoles have 8 very underpowered cores and getting game devs, who have been crutching on the "2 thread" development model for so long, to adapt to that isn't something that I see happening in 18 months.

If console devs do adapt by using the console's HSA (I don't see how such a weak GPU would have the power for this and its normal graphical duties) then I would be concerned that PC ports would underperform. :(

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LatiosXT

>"thread"

You keep using that word. I do not think you know what it means.

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devin3627

i have to warn you that things are getting better with the xbox one. playstation 3 was going to release with 4gb of ram until they switched to 8gb because of xbox one. for the xbox 360, microsoft realized that 1gb of ram would of helped the videogame developers a ton but instead decided 512mb was good enough and level density sucks on consoles because of it. but the xbox one has esram and has talked about giving more ram to the videogame developers. now gaming ram usable is 5gb of the 8gb.

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LatiosXT

Why?

The PS4 has better specs overall and various comparisons on multiplatform games show that the PS4 can deliver better quality outputs and framerates than the XBox One. In practically every way (except for the still useless Kinect), the PS4 is better than the Xbox One.

Besides that, the 8GB switch wasn't because of the Xbox One, it was because Sony found out that 8GB was finally feasible from a cost perspective. And if anything, I have more reason to believe Microsoft is just riding on Sony's shoulders. They basically piggy backed on the Cell processor for the Xbox 360's processor.

Also even with that amount of RAM available for game developers, it still has to share it with the GPU, and the GPU eats up a lot of that memory (typically 3-4GB).

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Enigmatistical

"Playstation 3 was going to release with 4gb of ram until they switched to 8gb because of xbox one". Assuming you meant PS4 that still means Sony only increased RAM to be competitive, not to appease developers to create better content for the consumer. As far as the 360 is concerned, Microsoft was initially going to ship the console with 256MB until Bethesda convinced them to use 512. They literally threw a party when they had heard Microsoft had caved to their recommendations.

In any case, Titanfall was created with a 10 year old engine and looks exactly that, 10 years old. Mid-range PC's easily cranked out 60 fps for a game that was supposed to be better than Tomb Raider.

We've had mediocrity for so long now that people not only don't expect anything better but somehow are amazed at the beauty of mediocrity because they've forgotten what beautiful actually is.

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jgottberg

What gets me about these convos that ultimately turn into PC vs Console gaming is that PC gamers think their platform is the superior platform and look down the slope of their nose at console gamers.

Fact is, PC gamers should be grateful consoles exist. If not for consoles, PC gamers wouldn't enjoy half of the big-budget titles they play as a result of a console port.

PC gamers don't spend money on software. It's a known fact (notice all the articles dedicated on MPC about Freeware). They will spend big on hardware but when it comes to dropping $60 on a game, they cringe. Console gamers drop money like crazy on games which gives the devs the huge budgets they have to create games.

I game on both so I don't have the stepson or elitist syndrome of a pure PG gamer or the fanboi drool of a console gamer. It's just games to me and I'll play them on the platform best suited to the genre of game I'm playing.

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devin3627

bioshock infinite did what everyone else should do. but now videogame making has been about making the cheapest game like selling the cheapest bar of soap. i cant even play gears of war because its such a mediocre experience. Dark Souls is an amazing game. Resenence of Fate was good because of the gameplay learning curve. innovating but frustrating, like learning to drive a stickshift vehical but a fun game once you get it. im sick of games where they dont have a universal difficult and nothing but..

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Arthur Dent

While I don't think the settings should have been removed, from what I've heard the game was so badly optimized that most people wouldn't have been able to use the higher settings. While I am a fan of both assassins Creed and far Cry, I'm starting that Ubisoft might become the new EA.

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aarcane

Having never played the game and not owning it, I must say that my first and main impression is that the game looks overtly darker in the modded version. While the detail seems to be higher and just more spectacularly rendered, there seems to be an overt deficit of lighting to make the detail more difficult to observe.

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LatiosXT

Is it just me or does it feel like the modded one has the brightness turned down too much and the contrast bumped up too much?

I don't get these "realistic lighting" mods that do that. The "Realistic lights" mod for Skyrim made it impossible for me to see anything indoors.

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tetris42

Yeah, I think by enabling SweetFX you've muddied the comparison by making every modded shot darker. You're no longer isolating the variable then, you're just mucking around.

What the hell, guys.

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The Mac

i really wish you had left out the sweetfx mod and compared only the texture mod.

It impossible to tell the quality differences with both enabled.

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John Pombrio

Nicely done. One of the big tradeoffs that other sites have pointed out is that draw distances have been greatly affected by the mod. Look at the open street scene and you can clearly see that far away objects like people and cars disappear with the mod and that it becomes blurry much closer as the distance increases. I would rather get the greater clarity for outdoors in trade for the more detailed interior views.

You can see how with careful editing, the modded version would draw oohhs and aahhhs at a game show while the released version is more practical for the player.

Skyrim had the same ability to decrease draw distances to boost closer details without affecting frame rates.

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TheMissingPiece

Well, the good news is that you can have both. The reason the draw distances are limited is because the mod implements heavy depth of field, so if you disable that and keep everything else, you're fine.