Buried in a bigger feature about hacky happy escapade Watch Dogs, publisher Ubisoft has confirmed that the game will run at 30 frames-per-second in 900p – a far cry from the 60FPS in 1080p specifications that Sony originally posted on its website. While this represents a significant downgrade from that statement – and even comments made by the French firm earlier in the year – it’s still better than the Xbox One, which will power the game at 30FPS in 792p.
“Resolution is a number, just like framerate is a number,” creative director Jonathan Morin explained. “All of those numbers are valid aspects of making games. But you make choices about the experience that you want to deliver. In our case, dynamism is everything. Exploration and expression are everything. You want to have a steady framerate, but you want to have dynamism at the core of the experience. The same goes with resolution.”
He continued: “People tend to look at corridor shooters, for example, where there’s a corridor and all of the effects are on and it’s unbelievable, and they forget that if you apply those same global effects to an open city with people around and potential car crashes and guys in multiplayer showing up without warning, the same effect is applied to a lot of dynamic elements that are happening in every frame. So it becomes magnified in cost.”
It’s a fair response, but given the game’s recent delay, many may be pondering why the team didn’t employ the additional time to optimise the title’s performance. “The effort was split on continuing dynamism and making sure players can express themselves through hacking without ever being disappointed in how the game responds to them, whether it’s visually or through gameplay,” Morin emphasised. “Resolution has nothing to do with that.”
The developer concluded that it never wanted to compromise the “soul” of its impending sandbox escapade, and that’s why it’s opted for the specifications outlined above. Alas, that doesn’t mean that it’s any less of a next-gen game. “From a gameplay standpoint and an experience standpoint, the player is living something brand new,” the candid developer concluded. “That’s how we proceeded with Watch Dogs.” The question is: will you be proceeding with your purchase? Find a signal in the comments section below.