Watch Dogs will not, as suspected, run at 1080p or 60 frames a second on any console, next gen or otherwise - it ticks along at 792p and 30 frames a second on Xbox One. Should you care? Not according to creative director Jonathan Morin. "Resolution is a number, just like framerate is a number," he argued in an Ubisoft blog post, published yesterday evening. "All those numbers are valid aspects of making games. But you make choices about the experience 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."
It's much harder to deliver higher resolutions and frame rates in an open world game like Watch Dogs, Morin went on. "People tend to look at corridor shooters, for example, where there's a corridor and all 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."
We spoke to Crytek's game design director PJ Estevez last year about the pros and cons of amping up resolution - as you're probably aware, this is a controversial topic among Xbox One owners in particular. "Every project has their own cross to bear, and you've got to figure out what you want to do and what's the best way to use the tech," Estevez told us.
Watch Dogs was originally slated to release in November last year, but was pushed back at the last minute - it'll now release worldwide on 27th May. As discussed in a recent interview, Ubisoft Montreal spent the extra time fine-tuning the game's open world systems and squashing bugs. Might it have taken the opportunity to bump up the resolution, too? Perhaps, but this wasn't a priority.
"The effort was split on continuing dynamism and making sure players can express themselves through hack1ng without ever being disappointed in how the game responds to them, whether it's visually or through gameplay," Morin continued in the blog post. "That's important. Resolution has nothing to do with that. That's why stuff like resolution can scale a bit down so that we never compromise the soul of Watch Dogs."
Some slightly high-falutin' language aside, I'm minded to agree with all this - what you can do in Watch Dogs is more important than how it looks. Your thoughts?
[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]