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.