Watch Dogs E3 2012 graphics could have left it “less enjoyable or even unstable”

Watch Dogs, under the influence of WorseMod. Cor.

Nine minutes of in-dev footage fueled two years of expectation ahead of Watch Dogs’ release – but that gave way to slow-burn fumes of outrage in some quarters upon its release last month. You can read our Watch Dogs review to see our verdict.

Even on Ultra settings, the finished game didn’t match the luscious lighting and dramatic depth of field seen in the E3 demo – and modders soon discovered those effects had been hidden in Watch Dogs’ files.

Why? That’s the question Ubisoft have sought to answer today.

“The dev team is completely dedicated to getting the most out of each platform,” began the Watch Dogs devs. “So the notion that we would actively downgrade quality is contrary to everything we’ve set out to achieve.”

The developers said that the old render settings found in Watch Dogs’ PC version were deactivated “for a variety of reasons” – including costs to visual fidelity, performance, stability, and the player’s ability to see their hand in front of their face.

“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,” they wrote.

“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.”

None of which, we’re sure, will stop modders from rebuilding the future Chicago they had in their heads. Have any of you lot played around with the WorseMod?