Watch Dogs Legion Benchmark Test & Performance Analysis - 30 Graphics Cards Tested 63

Watch Dogs Legion Benchmark Test & Performance Analysis - 30 Graphics Cards Tested



Watch Dogs Legion is the latest installment to Ubisoft's smash-hit urban open-world action-RPG franchise. The underpinnings aren't unlike GTA, except that the street criminal is replaced with a hacktivist (a subculture popularized in the mass-media, with TV shows such as Mr. Robot).

While the original Watch Dogs was set in Chicago, and Watch Dogs 2 took the scene to the San Francisco Bay area, Legion introduces the first European location—the enormous cultural and social cauldron that is near-future London, the latest city to deploy ctOS, an all-encompassing smart-city AI.

The London branch of DedSec is framed for attacks on the Houses of Parliament by a rogue hacker group who is then hunted down by private contractor Albion hired by the British Government. Just before the game plot starts, Albion is contracted to turn London into a police state, replacing the function of police and government. The game revolves around DedSec recruiting and regrouping by liberating boroughs of London from Albion's clutches in a bid to unravel who's really behind the attacks they were framed for and clear their name. Much like GTA, most of Watch Dogs' gameplay involves third-person on-foot action, including parkour moves through the crowded London cityscape. Some mission segments involve vehicles. The vast Underground network handles fast travel.

Unlike past Watch Dogs titles which were based on the Disrupt game engine by Ubisoft Montreal, Legion appears to be using the latest version of Ubisoft's Dunia engine, which will likely also power the upcoming Far Cry 6. The game takes advantage of not just DirectX 12, but also NVIDIA RTX real-time raytracing and DLSS performance enhancement. It's also one of the first few games NVIDIA is showcasing its DLSS 8K feature with. RTX brings London to light, particularly in its neon-lit, rainy nights, where RTX powers real-time raytraced reflections. Given these, we expect Legion to push the envelope with performance demands and bring you this mini-review to show how the game performs across our now 30-strong selection of graphics cards, at four resolutions.


All screenshots were taken at the highest settings profile. The gallery can be navigated with the cursor keys.

Graphics Settings

  • The first screen deals with the typical monitor settings.
  • Watch Dogs Legions Squadrons supports "windowed," "fullscreen," and "borderless."
  • Non-16:9 resolutions are supported, too, like our 16:10 2560x1600. Ultra-wide is supported, too.
  • Note the two bottom-most options; they let you control where to place the HUD and menu on a multi-monitor configuration
  • There is no artificial FPS limits, V-Sync can be disabled
  • Field of view selection ranges from 70° to 110°. I found the default to be slightly too narrow and increased FOV to 85° for my playthrough.
  • You may choose between DX11 and DX12—we used DX12 in all our testing.
  • For Graphics quality there's "Low," "Medium," "High," "Very High," "Ultra," and "Custom."
  • You may disable post-processing effects like motion blur, depth of field, and bloom.
  • Available anti-aliasing methods are "off," "FXAA," "SMAA," and "TAA"
  • Raytraced reflections can be toggled between "Off," "Medium," "High," and "Ultra."
  • DLSS can be set to "Off," "Performance," "Quality," "Balanced," "Ultra Performance."
  • Extra details lets you adjust the LOD (level of detail) setting of the engine to increase the geometry detail of objects that are further away
  • Using Temporal Upscaling, you can adjust the render resolution for the game; the HUD will always be rendered at native, so it'll stay crisp and sharp. Values range from 25% to 100%.
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