Video: Watch_Dogs Graphics Mod Revives E3 2012 Effects

By Graham Smith on June 16th, 2014 at 8:00 pm.

Mr underscore Magoo.

Watch underscore Dogs took a pre-release beating for the differences in visual fidelity between its early trailers, such as the original E3 reveal, and its later videos and final release. Now a mod creator called ‘TheWorse’ has released a tweak that aims to bring Watch_Dogs in line with how people originally hoped it would look. I’ve had a quick play with it, and there’s some comparative before/after screenshots and a video below.

As outlined in the Guru3D thread for the mod, the two files including in the download introduce a number of graphical changes, including fog, bokeh depth of field, stuttering improvements, the bloom lighting effects from the E3 2012 demo, shadows on car headlights, illuminated raindrops and more. Unlike the likes of the ENB Series, which revamps games like Grand Theft Auto IV and Skyrim with new visual effects, it seems at least some of these Watch_Dogs settings were already present in Watch_Dogs but were disabled during development presumably for stability and performance reasons.

Here’s the best screenshot from the mods forum thread, and it’s undoubtedly attractive.

(Click to embiggen, as per all screenshots on this page).

There are more, similarly impressive screenshots through on the mod’s forum thread. Most mods of this sort only work under very particular conditions though, so I wanted to try it for myself to see what it looks like in action. First, I took a before shot at a spot down near the waterfront of Watch_Dogs’ re-created Chicago. This is with all settings turned to their maximum and everything possible switched on.

Then I installed the mod (which took only a few minutes) and re-visited the location. This is what it looks like with all the added tweaks turned on.

For moments, it does look better, I think. The bokeh depth of field effect hides some of the level of detail scaling and lower resolution textures on distant buildings. The screenshots were both taken at approximately the same in-game time, but the lighting in this tweaked version is definitely nicer, too. As I spin the camera round, the distant sun flares dramatically.

But here’s what it looks like in another part of the city.

It turns out that the bokeh depth of field of effect – which games have been able to do for a while now – is kind of insane. This is admittedly just a couple seconds after I’ve stopped jogging, but the angle of the camera makes the game think that the player, that phone booth and bin are the most important thing on screen. If something across the road was shooting at me at this point, I wouldn’t be able to see them. I’m Mr. Magoo.

Which is pretty much what happens in parts of this video, in which I travel around the city for a while with the mod enabled, before someone hacks into my game and tries to steal data from me as per the game’s ambient multiplayer mode:

Look at you, hacker. You shouldn’t have disabled that helicopter. Also: sorry civilians!

Much like the bokeh field of effect, the bloom lighting is dramatic but also more obtrusive than Watch_Dogs’ standard settings. Plus Aiden’s coat seems strangely damp at all times. If you set those aside, there are still moments when it looks astonishing; lighting and camera focus mingling in just the right way, at just the right levels, at just the right moment to create a graphical Goldilocks.

If you want to try the mod for yourself, you can download version 0.6 from MediaFire. Make sure to read the readme.txt for instructions on how to get it working; it’s straightforward, but you’ll have to do slightly more than just copy the files into place. Future updates should make that process easier, while also introducing further visual changes. For now, what’s here is an interesting curiosity that’s useful if you want to pose some nice screenshots – and I almost certainly do – but I wouldn’t recommend playing the game with it switched on. Yes, it makes it look more like that original trailer, Watch underscore Dogs is already extremely underscore pretty and a couple of these tweaks make it harder to play.

What’s Watch_Dogs like beyond its looks? Read my review.

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100 Comments »

  1. Emeraude says:

    My understanding is that this is not a MOD per see but options still present in the game code that have been turned off by default and are being reinstated.

    This is closer to the edit of an .ini file than anything.

    The big question for some seems to be: why was it turned off ?

    Personally, I love that the “E3_theater” header is more proof of how conscious and widely accepted the practice of so called bullshots is in the industry.

    • Donjo says:

      People are also claiming the ‘mod’ stabilises the games performance too, which is pretty interesting. There is a faint whiff of fish.

      • Emeraude says:

        It’s one of those cases where it’s interesting to see how a news-like piece of information gets disseminated.

        Some people that had actual contact first hand with the code are spouting me non-sense about a media conspiracy to downplay the fact that Ubisoft voluntarily borked the PC release of the game (friends are defined by their capacity to disappoint you; no one will disappoint you like a true friend will). More likely those sites advertising the thing as a full-fledged MOD rather than code necromancy are just reposting something they had no first hand contact with yet.

      • Danarchist says:

        The blow back from this over last night has been hilarious. Just visit the steam community page for the game, or pretty much any reddit gaming page, and you will see conspiracy theories to rival the JFK assassination. The two most hilarious being:
        “Ubisoft was planning to enable this later as paid DLC!”
        “Sony forced Ubisoft to downgrade the PC graphics so their gaming system wouldn’t look less capable!”

        Of course if either of these prove to be true I am going to be eating some words later.

        Enabled it myself and it does look great! The view distance thing I had to disable as it was making driving a real PITA, but seeing the water pool on the hood of my car and the raindrops literally bouncing off…..that was epic. It also got rid of occasional stalling I would get when driving really fast . The really weird thing is the game started using more of the 4gb of vram I have and is using allot less of my system RAM and CPU. Considering what it changed in the .ini I have no clue how this is happening.

        • Baines says:

          TotalBiscuit did a video that included various conspiracy theories. He gave at least some possibility to the idea that Sony was responsible, mentioning that Sony already had invested in getting console exclusive content.

          Perhaps adding more weight to the idea (not mentioned by TB) are allegations that Sony is the reason the PC version of Dynasty Warriors 8, though based on the PS4 port, used PS3 quality textures.

          • Darth Grabass says:

            TotalBiscuit mentioned that conspiracy theory, yes–but only to discount it as silly and improbable.

    • marach says:

      At a guess it’s because of this https://developer.nvidia.com/content/introducing-nvidia-gameworks
      That little bunch of closed source evi^H^H^H code probably has problems on the new consoles and if rumours are believed most AMD GPU’s…

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        That’s mostly AMD crying though, it’s not like they can really do much better even when there are AMD logos plastered all over some games, unless it’s for something like TressFX that later still got sorted by Nvidia drivers regardless.

        BF4 combined with Mantle is AMD’s killer application, and even then a 290x on Mantle is still slower than a 780ti on D3D, provided there’s no CPU bottleneck, which you shouldn’t have anyway when you’re buying such cards.

        This before even mentioning all the “but”s and “if”s in various games, like Elite having an “AMD crashfix” checklist in the graphics options, or the crappy OpenGL support and unexistent Linux presence.

        Look, i have nothing wrong with AMD and i had some of their cards too ( well, ATI mostly ), the only problem i have with those who can’t admit their good prices comes from cutting corners everywhere, rather than Nvidia being too pricey ( Titans and onwards not withstanding, at least for pure gaming ). It was funny when they got cornered by the new frame time benchmarking techniques and tried to claim it was mostly only a problem of their newer cards.

        Ever wondered why Crossfire tends to scale better than SLI? Yep, conventional benchmarking techniques don’t account for microstuttering, taking no measures against it helps getting some extra numbers. Can’t fool the human eye though.

        • Cinek says:

          It’s not as simple as it appears at the first glance. Problems with AMD cards are very limited, and for many people, including myself, Watch Dogs run perfectly fine (I got 7970).

    • mr.ioes says:

      People argued on reddit that it might have been downgraded as to not release a clearly superior version; to make all versions look alike for the most part. Sounds a lot more reasonable to me compared to the rumor it was downgraded to improve the performance.

      • pilouuuu says:

        That’s really worrisome. I wonder how often developers are doing it.

        • WiggumEsquilax says:

          It’s definitely not the first time.

          Bethesda pulled the much touted Radiant A.I. from Oblivion. Despite that PCs could run it. Because consoles couldn’t.

          Quantifiably superior PC versions of games cannot be allowed.

      • darkChozo says:

        My idle uninformed speculation is that the E3 effects were designed to look good in a demo but didn’t necessarily play well throughout the game and/or work well enough for a complete product. Aiden apparently looking permanently wet seems especially like it might be this — looks good in the rainy nighttime of that demo, looks silly pretty much anywhere else.

        That, and/or they didn’t put much time and effort into the PC port. Given the myriad technical issues, this also seems likely.

        • mr.ioes says:

          There’s so much that points away from the “performance-claim”. Just look at this: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=838538, especially this: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=116778749&postcount=19

          Comparison Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bwd55NvmHW8

        • Kadayi says:

          Indeed. I think a lot of this stuff will be great for screenshots, less useful for play.

          • Cinek says:

            It works perfectly fine in a game running this alternative configuration (I refuse to call it a mod).

        • nearly says:

          Great many pitchforks out on Reddit (but really what’s new there). I’m not sure I buy that they borked the PC version so that the console versions wouldn’t look that much worse in comparison. What’s there really to gain? Is Ubisoft still that nonsensically obsessed with piracy? Are they that invested in the new consoles’ success?

          • WinTurkey says:

            They are, Watch_Dogs was brought to public attention right when next gen hysteria started as a true next-gen title that would blow everything out of the water, if on release it was shown that 6 months into their lifecycle the consoles were already visibly obsolete to the PC there would be quite a lot of faith lost in the systems.

          • aepervius says:

            What do they have to gain ? My understanding is that they earn more money per console version sold , than per PC version sold. If my understanding is correct , then they earn less by having people convert from console to PC due to the graphic fidelity.

          • Cinek says:

            “What’s there really to gain?” – Sony and Microsoft gain a lot but it also benefits Ubisoft.

            Imagine the scandal that would explode if Ubisoft released awesome-quality game for PC and hugely inferior on the consoles. First people would be furious for being scammed by corps into thinking they got some ultimate gaming machine, then MS and Sony would assure everyone that it’s ubisoft own fault that they couldn’t optimize the game for consoles (when in fact it’s a hardware problem and no amount of optimizations will make inferior hardware superior) what would put tons of flames towards Ubisoft and possibly – class-action lawsuit in USA. If everyone get more-or-less the same quality – noone complains, and if someone would – Ubi can throw some simple excuse like “we’ve changed an art direction” or “elements from the demo weren’t suitable for a real-time gameplay, but they did look nice on a screenshots” (look at the comments above – similar, pathetic excuses) and noone can oppose that in court of law.

            PC version dumbed-down to the level of consoles is a win-win situation for the corporations.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            The truth will have to surface sooner or later though, it’s not like last gen in which a freshly launched 360 was comparable to a really high end system. Those were the days in which consoles were sold at a serious loss for the first few years, hoping to recoup on software.

            This time around the profit is immediate and serious compromises have been made. If several people needed sometimes even 5 years to finally wake up from the realization that consoles were tailing behind, now they’ll need far less time.

          • Darth Grabass says:

            The biggest problem with this theory is that, generally speaking, it runs like shit on pc. If they couldn’t even get it to run without stuttering, crashing and massive frame drops on their released settings, then what makes anyone think that they could’ve made it run better on the “E3 settings”?

            Well, apart from the fact that one lone modder was able to do it in a few weeks?

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Yeah the reports seem to be that these improved graphics may drop the game a few frames lower but nothing drastic. If this is the case then there is no reason not to include them. There have always been games on PC that made machines struggle. Virtually nobody could run the first Crysis on full settings when it first came out, it did not matter, lots still enjoyed it on whatever settings they could manage.
          Either Ubisoft are being idiots/ignorant/both by not realising that PC gamers are used to and happy with tweaking their settings when they first go into a game and that we don’t get mardy when we can’t run all games at full settings, or they deliberately hid these settings in order for the console versions to appear as good as the PC version (well relatively “as good”, lots of console gamers don’t seem to give a shit about resolutions and framerates as long as the graphics look flashy).

  2. Malarious says:

    Fixes stuttering issues? I’m in.

  3. ZIGS says:

    Jesus Christ, that depth of field. It baffles me that there are people who actually like this effect (and others like bokeh, blur, etc)

    • Emeraude says:

      Nice option for pictures, not that great for most games (though I bet someone could make some real creative us of it), is what I get from those.

      • darkChozo says:

        DoF would be cool if some sort of crazy eye tracking thing would give you fine grain control over focal length beyond focusing on whatever happens to be in the center of your screen.. It’s a nice effect, but it fails when a tiny close thing turns 90% of your screen to blur.

    • feffrey says:

      DOF is the first thing I turn off in any game. My vision is blurry enough, I don’t need any help with that!

    • FriendlyFire says:

      Maybe, just maybe, that’s why they’ve not actually put that effect in the options?

      • Emeraude says:

        More precisely I think, the fact that they didn’t want to have to spend the resources to make it work would be, and relocate those elsewhere. Because from what we’ve seen it looks more like a matter of blunt execution where finesse would have been needed.

        Maybe they were right to make the call too. I tend not to give Ubisoft the benefit of much doubt though. They’ve earned that little.

        • Darth Grabass says:

          It looks like an artistic decision to me, because the shallow depth of field is still in the game. It’s just used exclusively in certain transitional sequences for effect.

    • ThTa says:

      It can add a lot more depth to otherwise flat images, it also serves to block out imperfections without taking away from the actual focus. (Even drawing your attention towards what they want you to see.) But that’s assuming it’s executed well, which most post-processing isn’t; things like weighted motion blur, actual depth of field bokeh and the effects of incident light are far more processor-intensive than “just slap a filter on it”. (Which is almost exclusively based on contrast and shape detection, rather than actual depth and light information.) There’s also the problem that heavy use of these effects only works out with artistic direction, which is kind of impossible when the player can move the camera by themself, instead resulting in images that suggest the character really needs corrective lenses.

      However, the point is to get an as pleasing as possible artistic approximation of life, not as close a simulation as we can manage. The latter is simply impossible at the moment, so in most cases, it does pay to play with “effects” like that over presenting a pure image.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Watch Dogs uses real, proper bokeh, but the E3 option was an overdone alternative that was probably simply tuned to make that demo look good, not to play the whole game. What we get out of the box is just some ultra high quality DoF on cutscenes ( more accurate than next gen consoles, which might aswell be post processed as you suggested ), which is welcome if you ask me.

        It might also appear occasionally on normal gameplay if i recall correctly, in rare occasions when it’s not a burden and anyway in a subtle enough fashion.

        To be honest, this game has one of the finest DoF effect ever implemented, alongside extremely high quality god rays and global illumination and water shaders. The problem is that, while technically amazing, artistically speaking this stuff is tuned in a boring way especially when it comes to mid day times, sunset and night are pretty nice.

        Real time headlights shadows are more or less what the game lacked, and one of the few things that i like about this mod. Most of the rest is just mindless enabling of features that didn’t get tuned before hand.

        • Cinek says:

          Watch Dogs uses real, proper bokeh, but the E3 option was an overdone alternative” – you ever used a full frame camera with a bright lens? Or medium format? Yet alone: Large format? Sorry, but “E3 option” is far from being overdone.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            I’m actually a photographer and a narrow DoF is not something that is being forced upon me.

            Depending on focal length and your aperture settings, you can control just how much DoF you want for each single shot. Sometimes i want an unholy overblown bokeh, sometimes i don’t. It depends on what you’re doing.

            Oh, and it’s also a full frame camera so it’s even more vital to control DoF, and controlling it is exactly what you can do provided you don’t shot in full automatic.

            Now that we’re clear, let’s go back to my issue: usually games are not that clever when it comes to judge what you’re really looking at, which makes wild DoF implementation sometimes problematic.

            I’ll try it myself, the video wasn’t enough for me to answer this little problem.

    • fish99 says:

      One example of DoF used well : when you reload your gun in Stalker – Clear Sky (and presumably Call of Pripyat too). It’s simulating you focusing on your gun briefly as you change clips and it looks really nice.

    • iainl says:

      Depth of Field is a gorgeous effect for making things look pretty, and also wonderfully filmic. But it works in photography and film because there’s a human being deciding what they want to draw your eye to in the frame, and setting the focus accordingly. Video games (as a generalisation, at least) don’t know that, and so it ends up just frustrating by hiding valuable gameplay info in a blurry confusion.

    • Cinek says:

      You can change it in the configuration while leaving rest of the unlocked features intact.

  4. zerosociety says:

    Now if only there was a mod that let you look up.

    And gave Aiden a personality other than “tool”.

    And gave you female characters who have agency.

    And made the portrayal of race less squicky.

    But I’d be happy to start with looking up.

    • reggiep says:

      I can’t believe this game was delayed however many months and none of the playtesters brought up how annoying it is to have to get out of your car to start missions or look up. It’s really not a good game.

    • Horg says:

      ”Now if only there was a mod that let you look up.”

      Everyone knows watch_dogs can’t look up. Big Al said so.

    • Harlander says:

      And gave Aiden a personality other than “tool”.

      Of course Aiden doesn’t have a personality.

      He’s a construct created by the AI that emerged from ctOS, forced onto some poor schlub by the Bellwether mind control mechanism.

      That’s why he seems to die and just come back – the construct moves to a different brainwashed individual. It’s also what allows his vision to get hacked later on.

      Can’t explain the shoddy portrayals of race and gender, though.

      • RedViv says:

        Ah. I didn’t think they’d also take from better open world games from OTHER developers, but there you go.

        • Harlander says:

          Which open-world game has that premise? I’m pre-emptively interested

          • ThTa says:

            Prototype has a largely identical premise. (Except instead of AI, it’s “weird virus thing”.)

            Driver: SF has a somewhat similar premise, in that it allows the player character to take over other people’s bodies. (In order to get their cars.)

          • Harlander says:

            Interesting analysis…

            (That said, the thing about Aiden being an AI isn’t actually in the game as far as I’ve got (pretty near the end of the storyline)… ;) )

  5. reggiep says:

    Oooh, I hate it. That effect of focusing the image just makes me sick. The effect makes great screenshots, but I would never play the game like this. I think I’m now getting a migraine from watching that video.

  6. aperson4321 says:

    Dear RPS max without aa is not max, its a world apart, unless you got 4k then aa is a must for watch dogs, it needs aa just as much a TF2 does for its special art style.

    Having played Watch dogs on a calibrated 1280×800 led projector in very low light with a nvidia 780 and with everything on actually max I must say WD is the best looking game this year.

    As for this silly mod I really get annoyed at people making a storm in a teacup over the fact that ubisoft let WD have changing Day and Night sycles and dynamic weather! Of course the game looks different at the same spot with different weather and different time of day, locking the game at the golden hour (6:00/18:00) and adding permanent fog with gameplay damaging hipster depth of field is going to get you nice stills and 5 min videoes, but it will make the game visually repetitive after a hour of play time. Day/Night cycles and changing weather is good, even if it dosent give you the perfect still photo pretties all the time. Its a game not a screen shot simulator, the graphics have to be functional and serve a function beyone simplistic pretties.

    WD is a game that relies on its art style not to feel as Saints Row 3, all the mundane in WD is there to stop the silliness to break the immersion.

    I must say that ubisofts lack of interest in making its Anvil engine run well on Ati cards is a disgrace, AC3, AC4 and WD have all been essentially unplayable on Ati cards. But still after the hipster gamers have gotten bored with complaining about WD on the basis of internet roumours, stupid peoples opinions about the youtube videoes they watched and did not like, then WD is probably going into the mental category of being a classic for mainstream gamers who actually played the game.

    PS: The 360 controller sucks for watch dogs compared to the Xbox One controller (it got win drivers some weeks ago). I was happy to discover that the Xbox One controller got full support for watch dogs, the left and right roumble triggers as it does on the Xbone, and is damn nice.

    • Emeraude says:

      all the mundane in WD is there to stop the silliness

      I haven’t played the game, for obvious reasons, but if what you say is true, we kind of have a problem: most of the pictures I’ve seen of the game are seriously lacking in mundane and at times saturated with silliness (the main character by himself is enough to trigger most silliness-o-meter I’d wager).

    • Mman says:

      “adding permanent fog with gameplay damaging hipster depth of field is going to get you nice stills and 5 min videoes, but it will make the game visually repetitive after a hour of play time. Day/Night cycles and changing weather is good, even if it dosent give you the perfect still photo pretties all the time. Its a game not a screen shot simulator, the graphics have to be functional and serve a function beyone simplistic pretties.”

      Except it does more than that and this is an early version of the tweaks that is still being worked on.

      Also these changes are literally listed under “E3″ in the game files.

  7. midhras says:

    To give credit where credit is due (something ‘TheWorse’ didn’t think applied to him): the shot the author here likes best is taken by NeoGAF’s neoenigma, otherwise known as James Snook, or jim2point0. Here’s the original shot he took on Flickr, together with a bunch more.

    He’s also busy at work authoring a free camera and timestop Cheat Engine table, for those interested.

  8. FurryLippedSquid says:

    So many negative comments. I think it looks great and will be trying it out tomorrow.

  9. Muzman says:

    What’s the distinction between depth of field and bokeh in video game post processing? Can you switch between simulated lens types?

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      To me it too often becomes like Tilt Shift photography, and eveything looks tiny. The human eye never applies that amount of focal difference to a normal everyday scene – only to scenes you have your eye right up to. Its a good effect for simulating depth but its got some real limitations. Things looking all mini is one.

      EDIT: EHH sorry replied in wrong place :(

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Bokeh is a photographical term, coming from the japanese word “Boke”, which more or less means blur.

      In gaming it’s a misused term, and it started popping up when depth of field techniques got a little more complex and intelligent.

      In photography, when you put some light sources out of focus, you have that effects of hexagonal etc. lights, which depend on the number of blades on your shutter, whereas they’re circular ( or oval, or not so smooth depending on your lens ) if you’re shooting at full aperture.

      This was complex for games, especially doing it with proper computing rather than brute post processing, so depth of field effects usually were just about blurring the whole scene without taking light sources into account.

      But yeah, to sum it up, the term “Bokeh” got popularized first in photography when it came to judge the “quality”, smoothness etc of out of focus blur ( the best and not over “corrected” lenses tend to have the best looking one ), and then later in gaming when blurring techniques finally managed to properly simulate the photographical effect.

      • Muzman says:

        This doesn’t quite answer my question.
        So it’s possible to have DoF in a game without bokeh at the same time? I’m sure you can divide up and name effects however you like. But does it just use a simple gaussian blur for distances then? What does the bokeh effect actually do if they are not inextricably linked? Shape the blur perhaps?

        I suppose one question I have is If they are using decent traced DoF, or even just crude “blur everything further than X”, weighted to brightness like real lens blurring then you’ve effectively created bokeh already.
        If it’s a separate thing I’m wondering what it does.

        • Cinek says:

          “So it’s possible to have DoF in a game without bokeh at the same time?” – No.

          “But does it just use a simple gaussian blur for distances then?” – no game uses Gaussian blur. It’s very, very expensive on hardware (Run a gaussian blur in a photoshop and see how long it takes to render it on an image 1920×1080 – and that’s just one frame). They use very optimized algorithm that tries to simulate gaussian based on a simple bitmap with radial gradient – for a lens-alike bokeh they use sample of real bokeh from a lens instead of a radial blur, but still: it got nothing to deal with proper gaussian blur.

          • Muzman says:

            So the distinction between the two in Watch Dogs is which? Are they separate effects or not?

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            It only uses one model, which looks like photographic bokeh, and so is called that way. The E3 preset simply applies it more often and sometimes heavily, while the “normal” game mostly ( or only? ) uses it in cutscenes.

            Eitherway it’s important to stress it’s not post processed like gaussian blur in PS, it’s properly computed before and it’s part of DX11 similar to the one you can play with in Unigine Heaven Benchmark, just like ambient occlusion no longer needs to be sampled AFTER, which was the reason it used to run horribly on older games.

            Part of the optimization and the fastness of such features comes from the fact that the relevant information is already fed to the GPU before rendering the actual frame, like distance, aperture and so on DoF, or Ambient occlusion already knowing the geometry and various conditions in which it needs to work rather than having to sample the scene multiple times just to know what it should do.

            Another reason why some people still ignore DX11 is way faster than DX9. If it’s slower it’s just because games are designed to be heavier in the first place, with tessellation being a heavy hitter.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Maybe i just wasn’t clear enough, older games used rather crude DoF effects which didn’t take light sources into account. They simply blurred stuff.

          The circular highlights you get from real blurred images happen for a reason that is simulated in proper “Bokeh DoF” effects. But if they decided to call it that way it’s because they felt like there needed to be a distinction between the newer and better DoF effects and the random blur of yore.

          Also, PR speak. People don’t even know what Bokeh is but it sounds technical, so it must be better.

          To sum it up: Stop thinking about distinctions between terms that are misused and inflated by different industries, or using A without B or B without A, just know that the gaming market has adopted a new term from photography now that DoF effects have evolved.

          TL;DR If a game has “Bokeh DoF” it means it has better DoF effects than random blur, and it probably will have only that model as there are little reason to code other alternatives now that the tech allows decent optimization.

    • USER47 says:

      Simply said, bokeh is a character of the blurred part of the DoF. Depending on the lens it can have quite a lot of variations…

  10. Captain Joyless says:

    Graham, that’s not Chicago’s “waterfront.” It’s the river. From that spot on the river, the “waterfront” (the Lake) is like a mile away from there.

    • Graham Smith says:

      As I wrote that sentence, this same thought occurred to me. But then I thought, “It’s the land in front of some water, this is fine.”

      Then I went to eat dinner.

  11. SkittleDiddler says:

    Still looks like Dog_Shit to my eyes.

  12. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Before, we were stuck with just modding Previous Gen console titles to get Current Gen PC graphics. NOW we’re modding Next Gen bleeding edge console titles to get… Current Gen PC graphics.

    Who needs the Hoverboard? The future is here.

    • tnzk says:

      Watch_Dogs is far from being the best of current console technology. It looks like a cross-gen game. It barely looks better than GTA V on the 360/PS3.

      The bleeding edge of PS4/Xbox One tech actually looks amazing. I got a PS4 recently with Killzone: Shadowfall. Looks almost as good as Crysis 3 on PC, except for the capped resolution/pitiful AA. Crytek’s own Ryse on the Xbone is also a graphical monster. Would have made a bigger splash if it actually played as good as it looked.

      If Uncharted 4 looks a good as that trailer suggests too…. that’s true envy right there.

  13. Michael Fogg says:

    Bokeh? Is that a kind of Turkish cake?

  14. Zwebbie says:

    Finally a game that lets me play as a near sighted man. I’ve been waiting for this ever since Half-life and its false marketing disappointed me, promising I could play as a visually handicapped person, only to have 20/20 vision in game.

  15. bill says:

    Do this basically enables the demo/cutscene mode at all times?

  16. Tarvis says:

    Note: He didn’t ‘re-create’ the effects so much as re-enable them. They were already in the game. The mod just turns them on.

  17. Fenriff says:

    To be fair, the awful depth of field that you see in these pics has been adjusted in the 0.7 version that’s now available. Definitely give it a try if you’re playing on a PC.

    • Zyrusticae says:

      This really needs to be emphasized more. That, and the fact that you can just straight-up disable DoF entirely in the options menu.

      Here’s a shot without that crazy DoF enabled (and some extra stuff from SweetFX).

      • iainl says:

        Eurgh. Is the chromatic aberration added by SweetFX, or another of these in-game effects that’s been turned on. I don’t mind sticking in effects that make the image look more like it’s been shot with a camera (so moderate DoF is just fine, as long as it doesn’t stop me seeing people shooting at me), but making the image look more like it’s shot with a cheap and nasty lens is going a bit far.

  18. Smoky_the_Bear says:

    This is as good an example as there has been of, stop pre-ordering video games, stop buying them day one for full price, just wait. Get a better looking, better optimised game for half the price. The only thing required is a little patience. This will in all likely hood be half price in the steam sale and you get a better experience to boot. Seems like a good deal to me.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      Pretend every game is delayed for six months. Wait. Pre-order by clicking the Buy button and get it immediately. The exclusive Six Month Premium Waiting Edition bonuses are mods, tweaks and six months notice if the “beta testers” found it to be crap. Plus 50% off in a sale.

      I do it with all my game purchases. Except the pretending part, because I’m a poor ass student with limited slots of extended game time. It sucks when it comes to actually good multiplayer releases but I don’t mind the rest.

  19. HadToLogin says:

    You guys don’t get it. This is real “next-gen hacking” game: You need to hack game to be able to play better game.

  20. Halk says:

    // This is PC only, who cares.

  21. Solidstate89 says:

    I’d be happy enough with a mod that just changed the draw distance so there’s no more pop-in.

  22. MkMax says:

    i can imagine the bokeh depth of field of effect being as nausea inducing as low FOV, at least my brain doesnt like when something else is controlling the focus, it tries to focus on the unfocused part and goes “WTF, here is a headache for you”

    what i missed the most from the 2012 demo was the wind blowing trash around, its funny how a little overlooked detail brings so much life to the scene

  23. TurdBurglar says:

    Don’t mind me, just posting this video about the “mod”.

  24. Rozza says:

    Of course, strictly speaking: “your data ARE being stolen”

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