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Watch Dogs – Latest Build versus E3 2012 & June 2013 - Driver Madness

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Because video games are fun.
#53385
After releasing its latest trailer for Watch Dogs, Ubisoft was ‘criticized’ for dumbing down the visuals of its open-world title. Well, time to see how this latest build stands compared to the initial E3 2012 and the June 2013 builds. For what is worth, the latest ‘story’ trailer was based on the next-gen version of the game (or at least that’s what the official Playstation Twitter account claimed), meaning that this is what you’ll be getting on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Let’s start with some good news. Ubisoft has implemented some new smoke particles that will remind you those of The Division. Truth be told, this is an upgrade from the old version in which there weren’t any ‘in_your_face’ smoke effects. There is no doubt that the updated smoke effects are better than those featured in the previous versions of the game.



Moreover, the faces seem to be just as good as those featured in both the E3 2012 and the June 2013 builds when you are pretty close – if not identical – to them.




Unfortunately, the latest builds seem to be lacking a lot of physics effects that were previously demonstrated. For example, in the E3 2012 build the environment was more ‘real’. Trees and umbrellas were swaying, something that cannot be noticed in both the June 2013 and the latest build. While there are some objects flying around in the June 2013 build, we can easily see that trees are not affected by the wind.



What’s also discouraging is the fact that the explosions have been severely dumbed down (in both visual and physics terms). In the initial E3 2012 there were a lot of debris from the explosions. Not only that, but in the E3 2012 build we could clearly notice the vehicles (environmental objects) being affected by the explosion. Compared to the E3 2012 build, the explosions in the latest builds feel rather weak and unimpressive.





Furthermore, the city feels lifeless in the latest trailer. We don’t know whether Ubisoft decided to reduce the pedestrian count or whether the company chose ‘bad’ timezones. The point is that the city feels empty.



As if that wasn’t enough, it seems that Ubisoft has completely removed the anamorphic lens flares from the game. We don’t know whether there will be an option to enable them but they were surely not present in the latest trailer.



Last but not least, there was an interesting Bokeh ‘bloom bleeding’ filter while entering bullet time mode in the E3 2012 build that affected the game’s overall lighting while firing. Unfortunately, that filter was replaced with a simpler one in the June 2013 build.



Before closing, Gamespot played the PS4 version of the game and streamed it online. And here is a comparison between the current PS4 version of Watch Dogs and the E3 2012 build.



All in all, this latest trailer for Watch Dogs looks definitely worse than its initial E3 2012 reveal. Due to the nature of those trailers (different weather plus different timezones) we can’t really comment on the lighting system, though we have to say that the latest build features reflections similar to those of the initial E3 2012 build (there are some scenes in which you can notice the reflections).

We are really looking forward to Watch Dogs and we’ll be sure to put it to the test on it gets out.

Enjoy all three in-engine trailers of Watch Dogs below!

[youtube]7JcujYbctPk[/youtube]
[youtube]VAYcFBfWnBg[/youtube]
[youtube]BHcdgbzZe_A[/youtube]

#53396
Seriously? Game companies have done this forever. Look at early screens of Driv3r and Stuntman. See how high quality all the textures are? How there's no jaggies whatsoever? Does the final game look that good on PS2 or Xbox? Nope.
For one thing, that early build was being ran on a beefy-ass PC....which is the same case for most games in the beta stage.
#53400
Exactly why im disappointed, when i 1st saw Watch Dogs i was over the moon, i thought Next-Gen was going to be amazing....its just i thought things like dulling down graphics was a thing of the past when next-gen consoles and all the new game trailers (with 15-30min game plays) came out
#53409
That looks horrible. The textures seem okay on buildings, however, timesyc is way too bright (sky, car reflection) and the reflections on the cars are going apeshit. It's like they're covered in jelly or something. The trees also seem tad bit off.

Other than that, yeah. Looks cool, but I wouldn't go saying the whole game looked better at that point.
#53415
To avoid that confusion i think that the devs must put before any gameplay vid "this is being played in X console or PC". In my opinion those latest trailer with lower quality are PS3 and not next gen.
#53416
"Here's what I think happened:

Microsoft gave a dev kit to Ubisoft's Watch Dogs studio which was likely an i7 box with 16gigs of ddr3 (8 for machine & 8 for debug environment) and a 7970.

Said "here are target specs, make a game for it while we finalize the hardware."

So they make the game, around comes E3 & they show it off. It looks absolutely phenomenal. Ubisoft all this time is still working under the assumption that the XB1 will be similar to the Xbox 360, very powerful for its time. They know Microsoft has a lot of money & would not put out a entry level machine.

Around this time, executive meddling happens over at Microsoft. They want to shift the target audience for the xbox away from gamers to media consumers, which is what the 360 became a platform for towards the end of its life. Games played a big role, but they took backseat to media promotion & accessibility.

Executives up top decided based on casual gaming success that the xbox doesn't need to be all powerful to make money, so they told engineers "gut it, make it half as powerful & focus more on the kinect so we can market it star-trek voice recog like."

One thing to make note here is that Microsoft stated that they made over 30 different prototypes of the Xbox One & its controllers. My guess is that the current XB1 was one of the prototypes that they had discarded early in favor of whatever was working at the time.

So with this new order from the top, they had to go with the weaker box in order to save money & beefed up the kinect in return for that. Hence the "we believe the kinect is integral to the system & worth half the system" statement made at the AMA on reddit a while back.

Come E3 2013 and Microsoft drops the news of the new XB1 with official specs and Ubisoft is horrified. So the game gets delayed as they massively downgrade the game to run it on the XB1 at acceptable fps & resolution.

Come today, & we have the difference now."
tl;dr-console specs eat penis
#54120
Driv3r was also mainly optimized for Nvidia cards for PC, which was a pain in the ass for ATI users as me back in the days. But i heard that now Driv3r works smooth on modern ATI cards, although i can't confirm that since i don't have ATI now.

As for Watch Dogs i was astonished by the beauty of the rain. Amazing work indeed but we don't know which specs had that demo vid.

I hope that they tone down the arcady driving to something more balanced like Driver SF. Although I can't judge that just by watching videos until I play myself the game.
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