Next-Ish Gen: Watch_Dogs PC Trailer Definitely Not Pug Ugly

By Nathan Grayson on April 11th, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

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Remember when Watch_Dogs was first announced back at E3 2012? That sure was something, huh? It was all shiny and “next-gen” and rain-spattered, like a soaked-to-the-bone canine shaking off in perfect slow motion. Subsequent trailers, however, have looked… less great. Not terrible by any means, but just a little plain. Why? I can’t say for sure, but I do know that this bells-and-whistles-enabled PC trailer is barking up the right tree. Many textures look more detailed, lighting’s taken a definite step up, and I want to go bounce up and down in those puddles like an obnoxious school child. It’s still not the best-looking game ever, but I can’t complain too much.

As per usual in the never-ending graphical format war, this trailer sees Ubisoft trumpeting its partnership with Nvidia to the high heavens, but hopefully AMD users (read: me) won’t end up staring into a puddle of mud.

Watch_Dogs will be out next month - with Ubisoft’s irritating Uplay service in tow, unfortunately. Now that it’s finally almost here, how are you feeling about this one?

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49 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge Lexx87 says:

    Nvidia Nvidia Nvidia Nvidia Nvidia

    That’s what I learned from that.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Don’t buy the game is what I learn from branding being pushed at me.

      Don’t get me wrong, I actually have an NVidia card at the moment. But I’m less likely to be impressed by a game if it’s just there to push sales of things. I saw the cloth and particle effects added to most games as pointless and problematic. I’d prefer if they concentrated on the game as a total (gameplay and graphics), and not “put this doohicky in because we want to sell the latest card!!!”

  2. Deston says:

    Watch_Dogs will be out next month – with Ubisoft’s irritating Uplay service in tow, unfortunately. Now that it’s finally almost here, how are you feeling about this one?

    I sat in on the developer demo at EG last year and it looked pretty interesting to me… Though if you’re asking about uPlay, that just makes me slightly nauseous. :(

  3. MattMk1 says:

    Maybe they’re trying to keep expectations somewhat grounded to avoid backlash from disappointed PS4 and One console owners, because no matter what, a game that’s been this long in development and that will run on the 360 and PS3 is not going to fully take advantage of new console or PC capabilities.

    And then there’s optimization – even if those PC bells and whistles actually look as good in the real game a they do in a video staged to make them look perfect, I doubt the average gaming PC will be able to run it with that amount of detail.

  4. Kaeoschassis says:

    So wait… What is the best looking game ever?

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I quite honestly don’t know how people even distinguish, let alone care enough to complain. Yeah ok I can notice stuff like dynamic shadows from the trees, but as far as I’m concerned nearly every AAA game from the past five years looks great.

      As long as there are no glaring flaws, we’ve reached a point where the illusion is good enough, thanks. Until you can give me the holodeck, I literally do not even notice the incremental advances. Now is the game actually interesting, like Dark Souls 2?

      • Niko says:

        And you stop noticing the details of unimportant stuff like tree shadows after some time anyway actually.

      • DanMan says:

        It disturbs me a lot when I see characters not cast any shadows, for example. Especially in 2014.

      • 2late2die says:

        There’s definitely more to games than graphics, but for a game like this, a game that’s trying not to just sell you on the story and the gameplay, but on the whole world (city in this case) as it were, graphics are an important part of immersion. Perhaps not quite as important as good AI and freedom of interaction, but close third. Obviously this is just Ubisoft trying to pull shiny wool over our eyes so that we just buying the game without necessarily considering any of its other aspects, but as long as you’re aware of that you’re good and in the meantime take the graphics for what they are – another way to immerse in what is hopefully going to be a rich and deep world that we’ll be able to explore to our heart’s content.

    • Low Life says:

      Mine Storm for the Vectrex.

    • Horg says:

      Pong. Everything since has just added bloat.

    • Fenix says:

      Ōkami is.

      • myelbow says:

        Logged in just to back this opinion up. I’m finally playing Okami HD right now and I do believe it’s one of the best looking games I’ve ever had the pleasure of staring at. It’s truly beautiful.

    • ethicks says:

      Journey

  5. Zekiel says:

    I kept feeling like the music was about to become “Sorrow” by Pink Floyd.

    Other than that I learned the Watch Dogs looks very pretty. But it still won’t run on my PC because its too old. And has an AMD card. Sniff.

  6. Orija says:

    What about us hapless AMD users, are our eyes condemned to plenteously bleed from all the jaggies that shall fall into our lap?

    • Premium User Badge DarkLiberator says:

      Probably have other standard anti-aliasing options like MSAA or FXAA if AC4 is anything to go by.

      • Deadly Sinner says:

        I’m using TXAA with basically no performance loss in AC4 with an AMD card.

    • Contrafibularity says:

      Basically, no. But perhaps ambient occlusion looks a few percentage points less good and slows framerates by a few percentage points more in comparison. Who cares.

      It’s an advert. Almost everyone living in the 21st century knows what to with those (avoid if possible, if not take with a grain of salt). I doubt that even if you spent a lot on graphics in the past 24 months it’ll look anywhere near as good as it does in these videos, at least not at steady 60+ FPS.

  7. Gravy100 says:

    It looks nice yeah but just kind of like GTA 4 in way, I guess I was hoping for something a tiny bit more sci-fi like a setting 20 years in the future, I want to see inventive crazy nearly possible future tech/architecture/cars etc!

    Now I want an Omikron remake…

    • grodit says:

      An Omnikron remake is really something to look forward to :-)

  8. LazyAssMF says:

    Well, i don’t think it looks as amazing as some people think it does.
    I just hope they optimize it enough so it doesn’t run like shit, like Ass 4 Black Flag. :)
    Now Witcher 3… that game looks really f’kin amazing. :)

  9. Premium User Badge tumbleworld says:

    Eh. Still looks like GTA, but I guess at least ultra-spec PCs can get it looking like GTA V rather than GTA IV.

  10. Tiberius says:

    Watch_Dogs will be out next month – with Ubisoft’s irritating Uplay service in tow, unfortunately.

    They did release a followup statement that uPlay would only be used once, to authenticate the game on installation. After that they’re claiming it will never connect to their servers again. We’ll see how that actually works (multipler, etc.) when the game launches though.

    • Emeraude says:

      That’s one time too many.

    • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

      If it’s anything like Rayman: Legends, it’s not terribly onerous – once you get it set up, uplay autolaunches once you run it from steam and starts the game immediately. It’s still unnecessary bloat, and you have to remember to close it afterwards, but it’s not the utter worst.

    • schizopol says:

      At least we don’t have to use uplay’s patching services or cloud save system!

  11. fish99 says:

    That looks more like the initial trailers and less like the recent poor looking ones, but it still seems like they’ve had to cut back dramatically on the number of pedestrians and cars. Hopefully there’s sliders for those.

    • grimdanfango says:

      The shading and lighting seems massively scaled back. In pure poly-count terms, I don’t really get the feeling much has changed, but there was seriously impressive shader and lighting work in those earlier videos that appears to have been dropped in favour of thoroughly last-gen techniques. As they claim in the video, at least the ambient occlusion appears to be implemented with subtlety, rather than the usual ominous-dark-halos look that it gives in most games that overcrank it, but otherwise there doesn’t really look to be much here that wouldn’t be possible with 360/PS3 era shading/lighting.

  12. PsychoWedge says:

    Well, sounds more like a nvidia commercial made by nvidia than a trailer made by ubisoft…

  13. Phantom_Renegade says:

    I need this guy to sound less like an Nvidia commercial, and more like a Watch Dogs commercial. Is he trying to sell me a video card or a game?

  14. edwardoka says:

    Pugs aren’t ugly. How dare you.

  15. pepperfez says:

    The screenshot seems to show a man with impossibly thick stubble and a comedy underbite.

  16. Tams80 says:

    Considering this is going to be/is a huge console game; I can only think that Nvidia must be offering quite a lot of help with the PC version.

  17. Paul says:

    Just preordered it this morning on Origin for 28 dollars. Even if it sucks (as I half-expect), it will be nice to just walk around virtual Chicago on my 55″ plasma powered by 280X. HBAO+ is available on AMDs anyway, and for AA, SMAA will suffice.

  18. Stevostin says:

    Thing is: it doesn’t look great. I blame art direction. It’s ok but Rockstar just does it better. Actually I’ve just seen a video of GTA IV + mod that looks way better than this.

  19. Freaky says:

    Is it a good sign my AMD drivers crashed at the end of the video?

  20. SuicideKing says:

    At 0:44, notice how the sun reflects on the ground, all the way to the horizon, which is THROUGH THE BUILDING.

    I think this is a problem with HBAO, because Far Cry 3 had the same problem (the sun or moon wasn’t in the scene but you could see their reflection extending to the horizon).

  21. sirdavies says:

    I don’t like the look of this game at all. I don’t know what engine it’s running on, but it has the same thing that CryEngine 3 has where the shadows look way too dark and all sources of light seem to come from giant fluorescent lamps. It’s okay for night time, but day time looks like a low budget sci fi movie set.

  22. suibhne says:

    It looks lovely, but c’mon – yet another game where the devs really nailed some parts of the setting and got other parts ridiculously wrong. E.g., there’s a shot from a more rural spot with a wooden church and the Sears – er, Willis – Tower in the background, and the screen is filled with trees that don’t grow within a few hundred miles of Chicago. And at that distance from the Willis Tower, anyway, all you’d have is strip malls and parking lots – not New England wooden churches.

    • Darth Grabass says:

      I don’t even know why they called it “Chicago” if they’re going to make it look like a cross between Seattle and rural West Virgina. There’s a mountain range in the background!? Even the identifiable landmarks are relocated or altered in some way. And their last trailer was called “Welcome to Chicago.” They didn’t even get the atmosphere right, let alone the geography.