While PC gaming is generally more expensive than console gaming, it does throw up things like this that make it worth every penny. The secret graphics files found on the PC version of Watch Dogs have been explained by Ubisoft.


These files, which improved the game’s visuals, but did damage overall performance, were discovered by modders earlier on this week. The unused options affect things depth of field, dynamic lighting, shadows and more. And now, the game’s makers have issued a statement to address their decisions. 

"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 wrote on the game's official site. "We test and optimise 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."

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They added: "Modders are usually creative and passionate players, and while we appreciate their enthusiasm, the mod in question (which uses those old settings) 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. Thanks for playing Watch Dogs and stay safe on the mean streets of Chicago."

Rumours had abounded that an upcoming patch would unlock these graphical features without the need for modding, but Ubisoft’s assertion that those same features could have an adverse effect on gameplay and performance seems to have quashed those. Still, if you’ve built or bought a rig capable of playing Watch Dogs, then you’re probably not scared of installing a mod or two.