The very first Watch Dogs was a bit of a mess, with a weak protagonist, wet towel of a story and some under baked mechanics. It was even worse playing on PC, with the port infamously taking weeks to reach barely stable performance and never quite reaching the standards expected or a high-profile release. Watch Dogs 2 has already addressed the more game centric issues with the franchise, but its PC release yesterday was really about answering one question: does it run well?
According to a few early impressions pieces and technical analysis, it’s not too bad. Firstly Watch Dogs 2 offers up a host of options to tinker with, which thankfully has come more commonplace in PC ports over just a handful or sliders and binary options. The settings menu allows you to tweak nearly every facet of the visuals, with a neat VRAM counting keeping you in check with your hardware. You can see all of the settings below.
Reports indicate that the auto-settings functionality aims to run the game at 1080p and 30FPS, so don’t be too shocked if your system immediately maxes everything out on your first boot up. Getting that frame rate up to a solid 60FPS takes some tinkering on some older hardware (such as the GTX 970). PCInvasion tested the title briefly with their own GTX 970, and found that the game ran admirably with a mix of high to very high settings at around 60FPS at 1080p. A little tweak here and there and that was locked down.
If you’re packing something a little more powerful though, Watch Dogs 2 scales relatively well. The game is still out of reach at 4K with a single card (the GTX 1080 reportedly still doesn’t manage 30FPS), but in the 1440p range the game still runs smoothly. There’s also an additional 6GB texture pack up for download, which replaces some of the default muddy textures with sharper details. There’s still some reports of infrequent frame rate drops across the board (even with new Nvidia and AMD drivers), and those running on red cards are likely to find worse performance than their green counterparts.
But for the most part it seems agreeable that this port is leaps and bounds ahead of the mess that the first one was, and is a very solid foundation for Ubisoft to hopefully improve on in the coming weeks. Get out there and start hacking.
Last Updated: November 30, 2016