Last week, PC modders found file types labeled 'E3 2012' that allowed them and other users to change the look of the game to better reflect Watch Dogs' original look from 2012's E3 reveal.
The mod makes it as simple as turning certain features "on" such as depth of field, light bloom, shadows, and more to give it the impressive look we all saw two summers ago. Don't get too upset though because you will need a pretty hefty PC to even run the game beyond 40 frames per second let alone reaching 60fps.
In an effort to put the fire out a little bit, Ubisoft has since released a comment explaining why it was not only removed as an option but also why the code was still inside the file.
The dev team is completely dedicated to getting the most out of each platform, so the notion that we would actively downgrade quality is contrary to everything we’ve set out to achieve. We test and optimize our games for each platform on which they’re released, striving for the best possible quality. The PC version does indeed contain some old, unused render settings that were deactivated for a variety of reasons, including possible impacts on visual fidelity, stability, performance and overall gameplay quality.
Modders are usually creative and passionate players, and while we appreciate their enthusiasm, the mod in question (which uses those old settings) subjectively enhances the game’s visual fidelity in certain situations but also can also have various negative impacts. Those could range from performance issues, to difficulty in reading the environment in order to appreciate the gameplay, to potentially making the game less enjoyable or even unstable.
Thanks for playing Watch Dogs and believing in our vision. Stay safe on the mean streets of Chicago.
Ubisoft won't express any further details currently as to whether the option to turn these options on and off without digging into the source will come in the future. "Stay safe on the mean streets of Chicago." Thanks. We'll try.