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Watch Dogs goes gold, but how are its graphics?

14 May 2014

It’s official. Two years after its announcement at E3 2012, after two years full of anticipation, delay, disappointment, and anticipation again, Watch Dogs has gone gold.

For a video game, going gold means general development is over and myriads of discs are being burned and printed, and myriads of blue and green disc cases will be labeled with Watch Dogs covers for shipping to myriads of eager gamers around the world.

The news comes via Ubisoft’s blog where lead gameplay designer Danny Belanger and creative director Jonathan Morin discuss the experience they want gamers to have with Ubisoft’s newest IP.

“It’s exciting to be gold,” said Morin, “but it’ll be more exciting when people are playing… There will be no such thing as another delay. But for us, it’s not done until they actually have it in their hands.”

Later, Morin continued, “I invite players to play it the way they want. To explore the different ways of playing. To not necessarily follow the instincts they know from other games. To find your own fun in it. That’s how Watch Dogs is meant to be played.

Belanger’s message was similar: “It supports what you want to do most of the time. And it also supports your motivation. Do you want to play a story? Do you want to drive? Do you want to shoot? Do you want to hack? Do you want to play with others? Do you want to play on a tablet? It allows players to do what they feel like, which I find really cool. There’s lots of things to explore, there’s lots of things to try. I think the greatest thing about Watch Dogs is doing what you think is fun.”

Despite any intentions Ubisoft may have for the hacking playground that is Watch Dogs, Morin is eager to see what other things gamers come up with. “I’m going to have fun hearing what the players have to say and how they might surprise us. I invite you to embrace the whole player creativity and impress us with it!”

Before its delay, Watch Dogs was one of the most anticipated upcoming games, but it has lost much of its momentum since, disappointing gamers who were eager to buy their eighth generation consoles (or boot up their gaming PCs) and give it a try. Leading up to its May 27 release date, however, there have been concerns about Watch Dogs that have somewhat tainted some of the new anticipation. Recent trailers for the game have shown graphics that were definitely unlike the absolutely gorgeous ones in the original E3 2012 trailer. The environment was beautiful, but character models and other in-game objects were noticeably less so. The hope from gamers was that this would be fixed by release date.

NeoGAF’s amstradcpc, however, points to vandal.net, which states (after a translation from Spanish) that the game “has greatly disappointed graphically” in bold text. After playing the PlayStation 4 version of the game, author Jorge Cano says says that this is not a comparison to the E3 2012 trailer, but mentions cars and pedestrians suddenly appearing, fog hiding elements on the horizon, ugly textures in tunnels, past-generation facial expressions, and other graphical problems that could seriously disappoint gamers.

Cano's article was published on April 23, a little over three weeks ago. Now that the game has gone gold, development should be done. Were those three weeks enough time to fix these graphical issues? Are you worried that the game won’t deliver the graphics you expect, especially after the recent resolution drop? Do you think that having Ubisoft pass the game means the graphics are what they should be? Do you not care either way? This is one of the most anticipated games of the new generation. Let’s talk about it below.

Again, Watch Dogs launches May 27. In the meantime, the game's Digital Shadow app is available right now.


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