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Watch_Dogs - Suffering the same issue as Aliens: Colonial Marines?

RCoon

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#1
I noticed there was a bit of grumbling on the internet over the weekend about this. The demo for Watch_Dogs at E3 last year looked quite amazing, and many people had some great feedback for the game. But recently there was a gameplay trailer, and everybody noticed the graphical fidelity of the game has greatly reduced when you compared both pieces of game footage.

Ubersoft released a statement blatantly admitting they had misrepresented the game with their E3 demo, but that gameplay should be more important to people. I wholeheartedly agree that gameplay > graphics, but when you advertise a game for being cutting edge graphically, you can't then turn around and claim they then don't matter.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/vid...h-Dogs-A-Vertical-Slice-Of-Steaming-Bullshots

EDIT: After watching that video yesterday, I've now noticed this morning that Ubi are saying the graphics weren't downgraded? Original statement in the video I linked says otherwise. Slightly confused.
 
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#2
I noticed there was a bit of grumbling on the internet over the weekend about this. The demo for Watch_Dogs at E3 last year looked quite amazing, and many people had some great feedback for the game. But recently there was a gameplay trailer, and everybody noticed the graphical fidelity of the game has greatly reduced when you compared both pieces of game footage.

Ubersoft released a statement blatantly admitting they had misrepresented the game with their E3 demo, but that gameplay should be more important to people. I wholeheartedly agree that gameplay > graphics, but when you advertise a game for being cutting edge graphically, you can't then turn around and claim they then don't matter.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/vid...h-Dogs-A-Vertical-Slice-Of-Steaming-Bullshots

EDIT: After watching that video yesterday, I've now noticed this morning that Ubi are saying the graphics weren't downgraded? Original statement in the video I linked says otherwise. Slightly confused.
They did the same thing with Far Cry 3. Guess if Watch_Dogs does truly not live up to the fidelity of the E3 demo it will become a bargain buy for me.
 
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#3
UbiSoft comes across with attitude when it comes to PC gamers. One month they will be claiming that 90% of us PC gamers are pirates and then come out a month later and say they want to work closer with PC gamers to give us what we want but usually we get attitude from UbiSoft. It seems like they're unaware about the millions of sales they make to PC gamers. I still play most of their games though but they're an odd bunch.
 

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#4
Well, Jim Stirling even said that the graphics are not "bad", that there is nothing wrong with them. They just aren't as good as the E3 demo. This is all fine with me, because it was the game concept and gameplay that I am looking for, as I'm sure a lot of you are. With the release date pushed back, it was my understanding that it was to give us that gameplay, not graphics.
 

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#5
Jim Stirling even said that the graphics are not "bad", that there is nothing wrong with them
He also says it is wrong to advertise a game based on it's next gen graphics, and then slim them down. It's like having your cake and eating it. If Timegate studios can't get away with it, then nobody should, no matter how good the gameplay is. According to that old chestnut, false advertising is false advertising.

I'm all for gameplay, that's why I still prefer Diablo 2 over Diablo 3. But abusing the hype at E3 by providing a less than actual representation of your game is simply poor conduct.
 
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#6
Well of course, they were showing Watch Dogs gameplay on a 6core intel with 2 or 3 GTX680 working. Now you want them to release the same on a cheap amd cpu and mid-range gpu from 2-3 years ago?

On another note, I don't understand why they would remove the top graphics quality from the game's options as they did on PC with Far Cry 3...

Marketing is the strong hand of PS4 and Xbone, so I expect only tricks everywhere.
 
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#7
Well of course, they were showing Watch Dogs gameplay on a 6core intel with 2 or 3 GTX680 working. Now you want them to release the same on a cheap amd cpu and mid-range gpu from 2-3 years ago?

On another note, I don't understand why they would remove the top graphics quality from the game's options as they did on PC with Far Cry 3...

Marketing is the strong hand of PS4 and Xbone, so I expect only tricks everywhere.
It's called graphics scaling. Those that can run it should be able to. If you can't run it that way, you turn the settings down.

Maybe the gameplay trailer was running on a console?
 
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#8
It's called graphics scaling. Those that can run it should be able to. If you can't run it that way, you turn the settings down.

Maybe the gameplay trailer was running on a console?
yes, that's my point, but during last E3 they were showing this gameplay footage with l33t graphics, certainly NOT running on console hardware (the quality was too high for it to be on consoles) and the main selling point of this game at that E3 was "omg ze graphicz" on "next gen" console exactly as described in the video that RCoon linked.

Also, thx RCoon I had forgotten this guy exists gonna watch few more of his recent videos :D
 
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#9
Behold the power of hype machine. Now when we have x86 consoles with dx11 GPUs it's ridiculously easy to crank everything up on pc dev kits with quad crossfire just for the E3 show to collect the rewards ...
 
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#10
not sure removing graphic options is in the same boat as showing a game on one engine looking nice and then selling the game built on another engine tbh.
 
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#11
Colonial Marines' problem is its mind numbing gameplay. If that matters to you guys. It actually looks pretty good these days after all the patches since they added/restored a number of effects.
 
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#12
Yeah..

E3 2012 video was apparently PC, and even this isnt so wow anymore, Snow-Drop engine looks more next gen to me.

E3 2013 next-gen consoles.


I hope they'll stick with this statement otherwise they're just another joke :p
 
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#13
...I will parrot the points that Jim Sterling made. The graphics aren't bad, but aren't spectacular. This wouldn't be a problem, assuming that the game wasn't sold on bleeding edge graphics.

Personally, I don't care. Watchdogs can have all the eye candy in the world, and it'd never be pretty enough. It's basically been sold well beyond its means, as "the justification for purchasing a next gen (now current gen) console." That kind of hype is hyperbolic, and moronic. It leads to consumers expecting a game with a two year development cycle and huge amounts of resources plowed into it. Watch Dogs isn't the singular engine that Ubisoft will be using for the current generation. It isn't a tech demonstration that only has to last 10 minutes. It's doomed to failure by hype machine before it even hits the store shelves.

If you don't believe me, then ask yourselves why the game was delayed. The marketing team at Ubisoft did a great job painting an amazing picture, but the actual game is delivering far less. Nobody wants to be the next Sega (I'm looking at you Aliens: Colonial Marines), so Ubisoft has started the PR smoke screen and delayed release.


To be fair, the gameplay might be some sublime and amazing experience. That doesn't excuse it from being ludicrously overshadowed by graphical fidelity promises. Looking back, you've got something similar to Crysis here. Was the gameplay unique; no. Was the story something new or special; no. Why did people buy it then; the graphics. Crysis brought systems to their knees, because of graphical technologies (and less than optimal dx10 components). That is what Ubisoft promised, and now they're back pedaling and promising us Timesplitters. Nothing great or new, but competent mechanics and a decent story. I love Timesplitters and I still boot Crysis; for some reason Ubisoft can't see that promising one, and delivering the other, might not be received by consumers as a good thing. Their PR people should be fired out of a cannon into the sea, set adrift to find new jobs selling salt water in Utah. They might just be able to do it.
 
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#14
I was assuming, and hope by "misrepresented", they mean the first trailers shown were PC footage, and those thereafter last gen console footage. If that's the case, I'm fine with it.

There was a LOT of not just misrepresentation, but deceit and corruption with A:CM. Gearbox didn't even develop it, and even took the majority of funding that was supposed to be spent on it and put it into Borderlands 2 instead, without even overseeing the team that it was given to. It was literally a blatant ripoff.

Given the graphic quality of some of Ubi's work, like the AC series, I seriously doubt this will end up being another disaster of the scale of A:CM. Even Liberation HD got pretty good graphics, esp considering it was ported from a made for Vita title. On PC you can also edit an ini file to make Lib HD look better than max settings, quite a bit better.
 
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#15
There was LOT of not just misrepresentation, but deceit and corruption with A:CM. Gearbox didn't even develop it, and even took the majority of funding that was supposed to be spent on it and put it into Borderlands 2 instead, without even overseeing the team that it was given to. It was literally a blatant ripoff.
Hmm, thanks for that, I didn't know the full story :shadedshu:

I was assuming, and hope by "misrepresented", they mean the first trailers shown were PC footage, and those thereafter last gen console footage. If that's the case, I'm fine with it.
If that was the case, there would be nothing to write about ... for PC those are only the default settings, for consoles where settings are minimal - it's an issue.
On PC it should be tweakable to the max at least through config files.
I mean, they would have to spend extra resources now to restrict the config options of the engine for pc build.
They would have to spend more money to shoot themselves in another foot.
 

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#16
I'll wait and see the PC version. Biggest difference seems to be lighting and reflections.
 
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#17
Here's where I'm having the problem.

A demonstration is putting your best foot forward. If this was a demonstration of a previous generation console, I'd immediately make that clear. All you'd have to do is denote that the video was a demonstration on previous generation hardware. That way you'd be able to say "we've got current generation graphics on current generation machines." That requires about one brain cell of effort, and could be retroactively added once the error was detected. I have yet to see them make this move. Doing so only has one potential negative outcome, if you are lying.

Assuming that this isn't a previous generation display, it's hard to see how the graphics have degraded so far. If this is a PC version running minimum required specs, it's not unreasonable to see this kind of a drop from a quad-sli setup. Again, I'd be making note of this if it were my demo. No such luck, this sucker is provided as is.

So we're left with the assumption that we're being screwed by another developer, and the developer is being extremely evasive in answering questions. It's sad to say, but if I were a betting man this is where I'd place my money. You need only see the public relations drivel coming from Ubisoft to know that there's something wrong going on there. They aren't promising better performance from higher specification systems. They aren't highlighting what the demo was played on. Ubisoft isn't even touting the delay as a chance to "polish" features prior to release. Consider me a cynic, but this reeks of a hype machine performing far better than the actual product does. It isn't an unreasonable conclusion, which is kind of depressing.
 
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#18
Looking back, you've got something similar to Crysis here. Was the gameplay unique; no. Was the story something new or special; no. Why did people buy it then; the graphics. Crysis brought systems to their knees, because of graphical technologies (and less than optimal dx10 components).
Crysis had astonishing visuals but the first half of the game also had some of the best "sandbox" shooter gameplay I've played. I'm not sure there is anything else quite like it and Crysis Warhead, with the ballistics simulation, vehicles, environmental aspects, interesting AI, etc. Maybe ARMA does something similar? I dunno.
 
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#19
crysis also lied about visuals before release



eventually you can sorta tweak it to look like that, but you need a custom level for it
 
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#20
Dark Souls 2 for the consoles also had its graphics downgraded. Still waiting for for the PC release if it was the same as it was from the early trailers.
 
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#21

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#22
E3 has more in common with animated movie production (think Shrek, Monster's Inc, Dispicable Me, etc.) than game making. They take scripted actors, scripted scenes, and scripted events and make them play out in a very limited way. This makes it easy to test which translates to making it easy to make look pretty. Once you enter an unscripted player into the same environment (actual game development), the player will quickly discover that there is nothing around a lot of the corners you see in the movie, that you can't run it at acceptable frame rates without a beast of a computer, and that the further you deviate from the movie's intended path, the more likely it is to crash.

My point of all of this is that no one should ever assume anything shown at E3 is remotely playable unless there's a system sitting there where anyone can play it. Ubisoft showed a movie production at E3-2012; they showed a game production at E3-2013. If they showed an unpolished movie at E3-2012, there probably wouldn't be half the interest there was in it at E3-2012. E3 is intended to showcase products, not show what early development stages of games look like.
 
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#23
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#23
For me its not the fact that they "downgraded" the quality of the graphics but more so their evasiveness in revealing why they did that. The graphics look okay and if the game is any good then that's alright, but there is this Ubisoft bullshit.

I remember that one of the Killzone games used prerendered footage at E3 and everyone was up in arms about that. E3 is more for showcasing or revealing a game, not really the development process.

Its the same with Dark Souls 2, the games good but whats the reason why they changed the graphics? Is it really that the systems can't run it at a decent frame rate? I mean come on treat your customers with respect rather than assume something about us.
 
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#24
Its the same with Dark Souls 2
Damn you are right, Dark Souls 2 has whole levels completely redesigned and there are no dark rooms ... in dark souls o_O

 
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#25
E3 has more in common with animated movie production (think Shrek, Monster's Inc, Dispicable Me, etc.) than game making. They take scripted actors, scripted scenes, and scripted events and make them play out in a very limited way. This makes it easy to test which translates to making it easy to make look pretty. Once you enter an unscripted player into the same environment (actual game development), the player will quickly discover that there is nothing around a lot of the corners you see in the movie, that you can't run it at acceptable frame rates without a beast of a computer, and that the further you deviate from the movie's intended path, the more likely it is to crash.

My point of all of this is that no one should ever assume anything shown at E3 is remotely playable unless there's a system sitting there where anyone can play it. Ubisoft showed a movie production at E3-2012; they showed a game production at E3-2013. If they showed an unpolished movie at E3-2012, there probably wouldn't be half the interest there was in it at E3-2012. E3 is intended to showcase products, not show what early development stages of games look like.
I can see where you come from, and the metaphor is apt. At the same time, I cannot buy into the logic.

This is like going to a car dealership, putting money down on a Corvette, and discovering that the car you actually put money down on was an Audi A3. If the car demoed on the show floor was a Corvette, I'd be disappointed when I got my A3. There is no excuse that would allow the A3 to be acceptable once the dealer had my money. The A3 isn't a bad car, but it wasn't what I put money down to purchase. The real problem here is that Ubisoft demonstrated a Veyron here, started to back-pedal and call it a Corvette, but based upon current language are actually delivering the A3.

This cuts back to the whole pre-order culture and how much people are willing to invest into a game sight-unseen. We run into problems again and again, in which a complete lack of demonstration would have been better for a product. Actual demonstrations of what a product "could" be are taken as demonstrations of what a project is, something that should be a foregone conclusion. Consumers start buying pre-orders for the things they saw, and are delivered something else. Consumers raise their ire, developers say too bad, the next games developers make have smaller pre-order numbers, publishers say developers are a liability (after they pumped pre-orders by requiring non-representative demos), publishers kill developers or force them to work on formula games, and games become risk-averse generic clones of whatever is popular at the time. It seems odd to link lying to degredation of an industry, but the video games industry is caught in a vicious circle of lying and back pedaling in order to meet unreasonable sales goals.



To answer your metaphor, I offer you an anecdote. I went to see the "comedy" Bad Teacher. About 45 minutes into the movie's running time I got up, walked out of the theater, and demanded my money back. The movie hadn't made me laugh once, and I couldn't sit through the second half of the movie. That comedy did not live up to expectations, so I demanded my money be refunded. The movie theater did so gladly, and I was back the next week to watch a different movie. If I were to have pre-ordered Watch Dogs, I could not get my money back after booting it up and discovering that advertisements did not match reality. I couldn't even get store credit from most brick and mortar stores. I will have paid 10 times the price of a discount movie ticket, for an item that was sold to me via lies.

As much as I hate to admit it, a movie can be walked out of. Gaming has removed the ability for consumers to return products, while pushing people to buy the same products without any background. Those rare instances where something is known are eclipsed by PR teams pumping out demos that don't really represent the final game. Lather, rinse, and repeat. With the inclusion of pre-order bonuses, more people are tempted into buying games with no method of responding to ones that wind-up being of poor quality. It will take either a concerted effort by the masses not to throw money down on pre-orders (unlikely), or a collapse of the gaming industry (sounding more likely almost daily) for publishers to realize that these practices are toxic.


*Please note that I chose the references to publishers and developers in the above statement carefully. Developers are largely under the yolk of publishers when it comes to some of these practices, though they are not without blame. It's, in my opinion, Publishers that are cutting off their noses to spite their faces.