More than 18 fresh minutes of dynamic gameplay is on display in the new video for Watch Dogs, running at the 'Ultra' settings for PC.
For everyone who has become tired of the graphics debate, you don't have to worry about comparisons or screen-grabs or little red marks highlighting differences from pictures snapped from back-alley compression dealers. The reality is that the video gives you all the expected graphics from the PC version of the game, but the entire focus is on the game's play mechanics and interactivity.
We get to see how stealth works within enclosed environments, as well as how escape routes can be utilized and even how much freedom users get in some of the mission structures.
Graphically, the game on the 'Ultra' settings doesn't far off from what was promised at E3 2012, other than the obvious removal of bokeh depth of field and the downgrade of the explosion effects (the latter of which was done to accommodate the limitations of the geriatric twins, and making the workload easier on Ubisoft to avoid completely redoing and programming completely separate effects for each set of platforms).
We get to see a lot of the driving on display in the video, as we as some of the lesser promoted areas of Chicago in the previous Watch Dogs marketing videos, such as the industrial section.
The only thing that I think truly bothers me is the lack of proper damage models for the cars. It just seems like such a step back from when Rockstar introduced soft-body deformation in GTA IV way back in 2008.
While the actual physical reactions of the vehicles are on-point and look quite dynamic during collisions, the actual car damage is limited to just some minor cosmetic dents and scraps. Eventually the cars get broken windows and smoke emitting from the engine, almost similar to Sleeping Dogs.
Nevertheless, if Watch Dogs manages to sell anywhere near as many units as there is interest in the game's graphics, then Ubisoft might have another milkable franchise on their hands.
For the most part, the gameplay looks pretty solid and anyone who didn't already pirate the game on home consoles only need to wait until this Tuesday to grab a legitimate digital or physical copy of the game from the local retailers.
I'm curious how well this game will help move the two new-gen consoles as we head ever-so-close into the summer software drought, and the NPD figures for April and May will be real eye-openers, that's for sure.
You can learn more about Watch Dogs by paying a kind visit to the official website. Also, beware of all the game's pre-order shenanigans, as outlined by Jim Sterling in a recent Jimquisition.
If you're not into paying full price for cut, hacked and diced content, Watch Dogs may not be the game for you.