Let the conspiracy theories begin! A modder on the Guru3D forums, who goes by the alias “TheWorse,” is working on a PC mod that will greatly improve the graphics and lighting capabilities for the recently-released hacker action-adventure title, Watch Dogs. A screenshot from the mod is seen above, one taken from an early, incomplete build.
What started as an investigation into looking at what makes the PC version of the game suffer from stuttering issues became the discovery of file remnants of the E3 2012 reveal version of Watch Dogs, complete with the original bokeh depth of field, bloom, lens flare, shadows and reflections, among a plethora of other improvements. Right now, the modifications are still being worked on, but a test “0.6” file has been released in that initial thread, with a file size of an ultra-meager 52 kB. Not megabytes, kilobytes.
Until we get confirmation or word from the developers at Ubisoft Montreal or from Ubisoft proper, we can’t know for sure why remnants of a more visually-stunning Watch Dogs are hidden within the game’s files on PC. Right now, the debate over why exists between two main camps. The more logical camp is that Ubisoft couldn’t manage to stabilize PC performance on their initial reveal throughout the entirety of the game, therefore scrapping it for a more optimized version (ha) at a lesser visual fidelity. The other camp ventures into conspiracy theories, saying that the beautiful version of the game was scrapped as to appease PS4 and Xbox One owners by narrowing the parity gap.
It’s the kind of thinking that, when expanded upon, could very well lead gaming fans down a path of looking foolish, but Watch Dogs is a game that is central to themes about paranoia and technological enhancement. This modder may have accidentally set us up for a grand instance of poetic irony! We’ll have to wait to hear word from those responsible for the game’s creation before all is said and done.
Watch Dogs is now available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360, with a Wii U version expected to be released in the future.
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