Watch Dogs 2 PC-O-Rama: A Delay, But Fancy Features

As is customary with their all-singing, all-dancing, all-icon-collecting megagames, Ubisoft have delayed the PC version of Watch Dogs 2 [official site]. While the Hackers reboot’s console launch will go ahead on November 15th, the Windows release is now due on November 29th. Ubi want to polish it up so it doesn’t suck on PC at launch, see. On the bright side, it does sound like they’re paying attention to the bells, whistles, and sliders some demand – an uncapped framerate, field of view options, 2160p resolution support, an optional high-res texture pack, and so on.

“With this extra time, we’ll be able to ensure that Watch Dogs 2 runs smoothly across a broad range of hardware, as well as add that extra polish to those features which matter the most to our community,” Ubi said in today’s announcement.

That’s a decent goal but I’m always tickled by Ubi’s apparent last-minute realisations that their PC versions aren’t up to scratch. Either Ubisoft are really bad at planning or they’re really sneaky about holding back bad news to keep a tidy marketing message.

Maybe they have two Daves and when someone says “Dave is on top of the PC version” each Dave assumes it’s the other Dave then refuses to check in case they get landed with a whole heap of work then four weeks before launch everyone realises the two Daves have screwed it again and must scramble to make up for lost time but the Daves can’t be fired because they have some serious dirt on Ubi executives? Maybe.

Anyway! As for those fancy PC features, Ubi do paint a pretty picture. Check the announcement for the full list but here are some highlights:

  • Stuttering/lag framerate optimization – We made all controls much more responsive and less framerate-related. We’ve optimized resource creation, GPU VRAM upload and required VRAM for the game.
  • No FPS cap
  • Full SLI/Crossfire support at launch
  • Extra Details Options – Increases the level of detail for all objects in the game, and adds more details to objects in the distance.
  • FOV sliders
  • Ultra Textures pack available at launch
  • We’re using raw mouse input to reduce latency and use the Windows hardware cursor throughout the game without any additional signal filtering to smooth or accelerate mouse movement by default
  • Advanced keyboard support – Keyboard hotkeys for every menu and app for faster access. Additionally, all hotkeys can be remapped.
  • Mouse-centric UI – any UI screen, menus or smartphone app supports full mouse interaction, so the player can finish any UI task with the mouse only. Everything is clickable and has appropriate button states.
  • Driving has been adapted to suit the keyboard controls, with adjustable steering sensitivity. Same goes for driving camera sensitivity and auto-centering camera behavior.

That all sounds dandy in theory, though the PC version could still be wonky in other ways. We’ll see! The announcement also details system requirements, by the way.

I am still hugely enthusiastic for the ha-ha-hilarious over-the-top goofyness of Watch Dogs 2. It looks like the Hackers sequel I’ve always wanted. It definitely is not intended to be even remotely serious – don’t you dare shatter my illusion. But I’m gutted that, by the time I get to play, console players will already have spoiled the big twist that the fella in the emoticon mask is actually Aiden Pearce.

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25 Comments

  1. Blastaz says:

    I guess they took one look at the Mafia 3 launch and decided it needed more time in the oven. Not a bad idea really.

  2. Thule says:

    Ah, yes the customary PC delay, because they want to make sure it runs well. Ofcourse, ofcourse.

  3. Phantom_Renegade says:

    Unless one of the fixes adds a trenchcoat I’m still not interested. And given that every single ubisoft pc game have seen delays, is anyone still believing their excuses?

    • jonahcutter says:

      Yeah I’m with you on that. I like the angsty, trenchcoaty, vigilante hacker, serious vibe of the original far more than what I’ve seen of the sequel.

      • eqzitara says:

        Tbh, the original didnt know what it was. Aiden was convinced he was a hero and tbh he was probably the biggest villian of any sand box game I’ve played.

        You could go down the route where you run down everyone and anyone. The dialog/story doesnt change besides a few radio lines. Your boundless to run down a few people and he says nothing. Kills a few people during mission. Says nothing.
        Talks about how he is good for the city. Right.

        The more this game ignores the original. The better.

        • skyturnedred says:

          I refused to kill cops (if at all possible) and played all missions as stealthily as I could avoiding casualties, and found myself thoroughly enjoying the game. But avoiding pedestrians during the car chases is nigh impossible.

        • Laurentius says:

          Even without sandbox killing, Aiden was a massive jerk throught whole game. And the ending? SPOILER He ends up as an egoistic asshole, not a vigilante.

        • jonahcutter says:

          I agree in that he could be a villain. That’s kind of the nature of vigilantes.

          I mentally rp’d him as having had a psychotic break and having built up a “whatever means necessary” rationale to achieve his goals. Including murdering innocents and police officers in his way.

          It would of been great if the game had a system in place to reflect this more though.

      • Distec says:

        I’m surprised that I feel the same way, given that I thought the protagonist and tone of the first game was so generic, pedestrian, and boring. It was deservedly mocked.

        But the character designs and vibe I’ve picked up from the sequel seem like a panicked overreaction to that criticism; an attempt to be “hip” that game developers (let alone Ubisoft) never manage to pull off without making everybody annoying. If I had any interest in a Watch Dogs 2 – which I don’t – I’d almost be yearning for a return to boilerplate moodiness and gruff.

        • Geebs says:

          The question currently baking my noodle is this: which member of this tragically cyber-hip group of l33t young cyber-hackers (cyber) is responsible for ensuring that the cyber-den’s napkin dispenser is perfectly filled at all times?

          Also, who actually owns a napkin dispenser?

          • A Wanderer says:

            The real problem is that Aiden Pearce’s design made sense. Trenchcoat, a cap, a pair of jeans. The average pedestrian. He was blending in the crowd, and it went very well with the whole “anonymous hacker” vibe.
            Here…I mean, come on. Not only is that guy the absolute stereotype of the hacker, but…I’m the only to think that in an over-protected city full of cops and surveillance cameras, this guy would be the very first one to be arrested when something goes wrong and includes computers ?

  4. liquidsoap89 says:

    Does SLI/Crossfire support nowadays also include that DX12 feature where you can mix and match different video cards? Also, thank god for proper mouse support. I gave up on the first WatchunderscoreDogs the other day, and one of the reasons for that was because of the horrible mouse controls.

    • Premium User Badge

      AutonomyLost says:

      Nope, not yet. They have to be identical models of card, though you can ostensibly mix and match cards from different brands, i.e. an EVGA 1080 with an MSI 1080.

      I am so glad they announced full SLI support at launch. It should absolutely be a given nowadays, but it hasn’t been. This is good news.

    • typographie says:

      No. DX12 explicit multiadapter is separate tech from AMD Crossfire and Nvidia SLI. If they don’t specifically say it’s supported, assume it’s not. It’s not a terrible omission, as I think Ashes of the Singularity is the only game available that supports it.

  5. geldonyetich says:

    A tale of two Daves is the best explanation I’ve seen for shoddy ports from AAA companies.

  6. ran93r says:

    It will take more than some fancy PR speak to disarm my barge pole.
    Fool me once Ubi!

  7. engion3 says:

    So excited to pick this up in 3 years at lowered price with all the dlc and proper patches!

    • April March says:

      Likewise! I bet that by that time I’ll have a PC that’ll run it smoothly, and that GTAV still won’t have been discounted enough that I consider buying it.

  8. Chaoslord AJ says:

    The original Watch Dogs was pretty bad so nevermind this broken port.

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