Watch Dogs Fan Mod That Improves Graphics Gets Final Release

The final version of modder TheWorse's project can now be downloaded.

Move the slider to compare Watch Dogs with (left) and without TheWorse's mod

The fan mod that dramatically improves the graphics in Watch Dogs on PC has been updated yet again, with this most recent release being its final one, according to its creator.

In a post on his blog, modder Frederico "TheWorse" Rojas released version 1.0 of his mod, which introduces several new changes, including tweaking rain, the bloom effect during storms, and the game's camera. He explains, "This is the last release of my modification. I did my best to improve graphics and performance as much as I could without degrading the quality."

You can download two different versions of the mod: one featuring a texture pack from another modder, Maldo, that can help reduce stuttering; and one that doesn't include these textures.

The mod was originally released early last month on the Guru3D forums and claimed to, among other things, activate effects that were still contained in the game's code but were rendered inaccessible to players. Ubisoft later confirmed there were indeed such options buried in the code, explaining that they had been intentionally kept away from gamers because of their effect on performance and gameplay.

"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," Ubisoft said following the mod's initial release. "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."

Ubisoft went on to describe the problems that could arise from using the mod, saying, it "subjectively enhances the game's visual fidelity in certain situations but also can 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."

Watch Dogs was released on May 27 and became Ubisoft's fastest-selling game ever. In just one week, it sold over four million copies, and has gone on to ship over 8 million copies. It was also the top-selling game at retail in the US during May and June.

If you have the PC version of Watch Dogs, have you given TheWorse's mod a try? Let us know what your experience has been like in the comments.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

142 comments
couly
couly

THEY HAD TO BE KNOCKED DOWN

ritamray32
ritamray32

I first played Watch Dogs on a low end pc running at 17-19 fps at Max and low settings and still enjoyed every minute of gameplay.

But some of you are still raging on Ubi for a perfectly good game because of its graphics (which I felt was good for a low setting level)

This is exactly the kind of thing which makes console gamers think we are graphics whores

skrypa
skrypa

The article says it wrong..

The left image is actually the vannila.

The image on the right is with the mod.


The modded version look more washed out because it has bloom effect and depth od field enabled, which in my opnion make the game looks worse. 

But, you can actually disable both of the features in the mod, and the game really look much better with the mod. The textures look soo sharp, and the car headlights and rain are even more realistic!

zedetach
zedetach

I still can't believe that this game sold 8 million copies. What is the world coming to?

ctlaltbatman
ctlaltbatman

Do all these comments below mean that PC Elitists are all graphics whores?

dladz
dladz

From the screen shots i don't believe it looks any better, the faded detail in the distance is actually more realistic on the untouched game, the mod shows more of the city from a distance and things close up appear to have more detail. I have had this game since release and when I got it i maxxed out all of the settings as high as they'd go, game runs butter smooth all of the time, to appreciate a game like this you need to spend a few quid to get the hardware, something which the original crysis taught me a long time ago. 


I'll be giving this mod a whirl when I get home, it does look interesting.


As for the developers, I know for a fact that they don't show as much due care and attention to the PC version as they do the console, which is a shame as the people who have a PC capable of really appreciating the developers work and how they intended it to play are the guys who lose out here, for what though? Some sort of console righteousness ? That consoles are not to be ignored? Simply because the vast majority of people on this planet would rather opt for a piece of sub standard hardware simply to drive down initial cost. 

mxgod
mxgod

Seems like all that was done is a boost in contrast and saturation, both easily done by your own monitor. O.o

gorillazzero
gorillazzero

it's 770Mb the patch TheWorse's mod  + maldo

natsm
natsm

It look worse than vannila if you don't use sweetfx(try realistic preset)

mohoc2000
mohoc2000

EA taught me a long time not to buy their games. They are crap when they are released, wait for them to be free on Origin, like BF3.

Ubisoft is working to be on the same list. I guess EA was getting lonely.

straightcur
straightcur

Why is it that modders can do a better job than the so called professionals? Devs need to up their talent pool and hire better people.

endorbr
endorbr

I'm not seeing "better" with this mod.  Sharper sure but it makes everything look washed out.  The colors are much more vibrant in the vanilla version.  I'm not saying this game is perfect or a masterpiece by any means but it gets way too much hate from people who bought into the hype and thought a cross-gen game was going to look like real life.  Too many people like thinking they're cool by being on the Internet bandwagon and this game is just one of the latest targets of mainstream whining. 

Ahiru-San
Ahiru-San

maybe it's just me, but I like the vanilla better. the modded version looks way too washed out, dark areas are too bright (like those cheaters monitors that have altered gamma/color curves)… and I'm colorblind, I just like the colors better on vanilla…


I do like the new POV though...

Hollowdimension
Hollowdimension

Wait till the modders get a hold of GTA V. I'm expecting great things.

everson_rm
everson_rm

They don't optmize the game, because of the pirates! Blame on them!

cboye18
cboye18

Improved graphics won't matter much, as it never will. I stopped playing this game halfway the campaign because I wasn't entertained while playing it; it felt more like a repetitive chore.....

blackothh
blackothh

Leave it up to modders to make up for publisher incompetence. Didn't they have like 15 studios working on this game?

brandonmacleodE
brandonmacleodE

@ritamray32 Ubisoft lied to us. Even after the mod was released, ubisoft told people not to use the mod because they didn't want to look like lying pricks but people used it and ubisoft looked like huge lying pricks especially after they released a video explaining how the PC version would be the superior version with stunning graphics and the actual version needed a mod to look like that.

xboxisawesomer
xboxisawesomer

@ritamray32 Because we don't like being lied to? Sold something on a false premise and then being lied to again? If the console cretins want to think we are graphics whores because we don't like being lied to, then that's fine. All it shows is that PC gamers have a spine and those particular console gamers are idiotic cretins.

brandonmacleodE
brandonmacleodE

@skrypa How? There's no config tool, there's only two files. While we're on the topic, is there any way to put the character in the center of the screen instead of on the left because I don't really like it when characters are on the left.

Keitha313
Keitha313

@zedetach I can't believe gamers are buying games and supporting the developers... sheeesh what is the world coming to!!

xboxisawesomer
xboxisawesomer

@ctlaltbatman Right, because console gamers don't care at all about graphics. No. That is why there are all those protests about $400 new consoles, because people just want new games for the Atari 2600 and the NES...right?

Enforcer246
Enforcer246

@dladz It's actually because ubisoft doesn't want to put much effort into games that will most likely be pirated on pc.

Ali_Asif
Ali_Asif

@straightcur You call this improved?? I get the same stuff of the mod on my PC. You people have made no valid reason to bash Watch Dogs as all. If pretty graphics are all you're looking for, then you might as well just play Call of Duty, Battlefield or Crysis.

adam0598
adam0598

@straightcur Agreed. It seems the modding community out performs the development team time and time again. It is pretty bad when the gaming community has to pick up and clean up the trash code that Ubisoft leaves behind. Kudos to the modder.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@straightcur  He was turning on stuff in the code!  The real question is why Ubisoft thinks that PC gamers can't change their graphics settings to get acceptable performance.  I think it's more likely that they just didn't want lots of screenshots showing better PC visuals to people who just paid for a next gen console.

ChiefReaver
ChiefReaver

@endorbr The picture with the mod enabled is the more colorful picture on the left. Vanilla Watch Dogs is what looks washed out.

motopramaus
motopramaus

@endorbr You know the left side is "with" the mod and right side without. The left side of the slider is much more vibrant, better colours, contrasts etc. If you watch this mod in movement it does looks spectacular.

brandonmshanks
brandonmshanks

@endorbr I dont hate it because it didnt live up to the hype, I hate it because the version they released on PC was an unfinished stuttering piece of crap. Then they wait like 2 months before a patch is released, and the patch only fixed a game save issue. We had to wait for the modding community to fix the game and make it payable. Whats wrong with ubisoft? Why are a couple of modders able to fix their game faster than the large teams of people paid by ubisoft to do the same thing?

sephirothsfan02
sephirothsfan02

@endorbr the game looked a lot better when they first showed it, so I guess people had a reason.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@Ahiru-San  The left side is the modded one, the right side is vanilla.  Also notice that you can see a lot further down the street in the modded version.

SoulScribe
SoulScribe

@Ahiru-San  I find it realistic. I don't know if you study light and color but the mod adds a atmoshperic perspective by changing the intensity of the vomlumetric fog. Atmospheric perspective is natural as things farther away become more washed out as fog and mosture is more visible at a distance (google search to see what I'm talking about). Also the contrast of the sun in the first picture is unrealistic. During daytime contrast is determined by how close you are to a light source and how much surrounding lights is being reflected from the side that isn't facing the sun. The picture is clearly day, but the saturation and contrast looks as if it's noon when there's a less light as it transitions to dark. You don't get that kind of intensity unless you are near a very strong spotlight. Go outside place an apple in the sun between 1-2pm (The brightest hours of the day) and study how much contrast you find between the apples shadow and cast shadow compared to the side facing the light. It's a lot less as the sun functions like an omni-light as the abundance light particles bounces off surfaces and onto other objects. I can see why people find the first one appealing as lighting is intense and bringing out a higher saturation of color. Its definitely more stylized than the second though.

uvanguliashki
uvanguliashki

@everson_rm How in any way could you prove such a stupid statement? Please, I BEG YOU, argument yourself. I'd love to read it.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@blackothh  15 studios... and one management person who insisted on "platform parity."

bookfiend
bookfiend

@blackothh   that's the case in any market. You'd be surprised what game codes hide.

mkeezay22
mkeezay22

@blackothh  Indeed, I actually had to go through a modded XML file and manually lower dozens of values slightly to make it playable, it worked like a charm but it was a hassle when they could have easily done the same (it looks almost identical) , horrible optimization on that game, I really hope AC Unity isn't the same, but with Ubi apparently wanting platform parity and not caring about PC optimization I expect a game that doesn't take advantage of powerful PC hardware, and is optimized like sh1t, who knows though maybe after the bad reaction from the PC launch of WD they have learned something.

I think another big problem with the PC version of WD was extremely compressed textures, the PC version sports higher resolution textures yet is much smaller than the current gen console version, Ubi really needs to step it up or I won't be buying their games to often, and they used to be one of my favorite developers and publishers not all that long ago.

ritamray32
ritamray32

Yes, but they actually uploaded a lot of gameplay videos after E3 2012 which showed how the graphics would be. Its not like everyone was "suddenly" deceived

Anyways my point is PC gamers always have mods to improve graphics. I don't see any point whinning about it.

And speaking of E3 2012 they actually made a lot of gameplay improvements on the final product which according to me is more important.

skrypa
skrypa

@brandonmacleodE @skrypa On the file of TheWorse mod there is an arquive named WDtooL.exe, that is where you can choose to turn off depth of field and bloom effect. But I dont know if it is possible to change the characters position!

Feenspear
Feenspear

Hahahaha you're right! what's the world coming to when you buy games that are fun. And very small minority of people don't like the good games like you so they feel that games are bad.. Lol funny guy you are

Ali_Asif
Ali_Asif

@sephirothsfan02 @endorbr No it didn't! It was still the same if not better. The original only had blurry affects that made the dept-of field more distorted. It showed no car physics, it did have decent lighting and smoke, but the final is better, if you've overclocked the settings. Everything else, is just the same.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@uvanguliashki  I think he's being sarcastic, trying to imply that we blame everything on pirates.  (Though he's still being stupid - because a lot of problems ARE caused by pirates.)

blackothh
blackothh

@mkeezay22 @blackothh EA Activision and Ubisoft have to come up with something of incredible perfection for me to even have interest.  The last 5 years or so have seen these companys cut so many of these small corners that individually dont seem all that bad, but when you look at the whole picture, they just end up with garbage in the end. Its sickening how far and fast they bow down to the stock market.

brandonmshanks
brandonmshanks

@mkeezay22 @blackothh I dont know about AC unity for sure, but ubisoft already destroyed all hope for far cry 4:


"Alex Hutchinson, the creative director of Ubisoft Montreal, said in an interview with Major Nelson, that the ultra-high graphics setting of the Far Cry 4 on the PC will look exactly the same as the game will look on the new-generation consoles." 


Meaning they are capping the PCs graphics at the console level. It really seems like ubisoft is not even going to try on PC anymore. 

mi_hung_lo
mi_hung_lo

@mkeezay22 @blackothh AC:Unity is actually made with next gen in mind. They are touting it as a true next gen experience and from what I see, I agree


brandonmacleodE
brandonmacleodE

@skrypa @brandonmacleodE Where? I found the link to download "watch dogs version 1.0" and there were literally two files named patch which you can't edit. I think there was a tool in the previous versions but we're talking about the newest version (1.0).

xboxisawesomer
xboxisawesomer

@Ali_Asif @sephirothsfan02 @endorbr You don't have a single clue what you are talking about, do you Ali? Anyone who actually owns the game, and saw the E3 footage, hell, even the footage form a month before release, knows that they dropped entire textures from the game, not to mention the full dynamic lighting system, fog, wind and physics systems. If you want to lie, Ali, at least make sure the proof of your lies isn't immediately accessible to anyone with internet access and a rudimentary grasp of the English language.