Watch Dogs is currently under major scrutiny for misleading gamers in the graphics department, much like the disappointing case of Aliens: Colonial Marines. There’s a convincing video floating around on YouTube that shows graphic differences between recent footage of Watch Dogs and footage shown during the game’s reveal at E3 2012.
After reviewing thefor myself, I came up with two possible conclusions. This could mean that Ubisoft is in fact downgrading the graphics for next-gen consoles to meet the new release date. Or they just tricked us in the past by showing gameplay footage rendered from a high-end PC with the detail levels maxed out. If you watch the video for yourself, you will clearly see that the visual differences are there. However, Ubisoft claims there’s no downgrade whatsoever, but if this is true, then why are they releasing crappy gameplay footage now? I’m left clueless on that and I find this situation frustrating since I have high expectations for Watch Dogs.
Aside from the graphics point of view, another aspect of the game that is much more comforting at the moment is the amount of hours you can spend playing the single player campaign mode. According to Ubisoft, the average Joe can finish the game within 35 to 40 hours, but the hardcore gamer that wants to complete everything could hit the 100 hours mark. Said Creative Jonathan Morin via Twitter:
I would say the average player, which does free roam a bit, tend to reach the end within 35 to 40 hours. But doing everything is close 100 hours, and these don’t really consider online stuff in the mix…
This is great news for me since campaign hours means a lot in terms of dollar value, and in the end let’s me determine whether I buy or rent. I’m not a huge fan of online mode, but Ubisoft has revealed an 8-player free-roaming online mode, and a head-to-head multiplayer mode.
In the end, if the graphics don’t turn out to be next-gen, I personally still think you will be getting good gameplay value out of Watch Dogs. Keep in mind, it is a Ubisoft title, and they make fantastic games, like the Assassin’s Creed series. Ubisoft is known for open-world gaming and blood, but don’t expect Watch Dogs looking like the developer’s other upcoming title, The Division, which looks like a masterpiece.
Watch Dogs is due out on May 27 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC.