Watch Dogs Graphics And Game Play: PC vs. Xbox One

Watch Dogs in Motion: Video Comparisons

So far, we've looked at still shots.  What happens we put the games in motion? Here are clips of both games' driving engines -- Marco and I wound up capturing two different areas of the city, but they're still fair for comparison -- both are representative. Watch them, and you'll be hard-pressed to pick out which is the Xbox One and which is the PC with High Detail / High Texture settings. The only difference I can make out, even after watching both clips multiple times, is that the smoke effects are slightly better on the PC side and the level of detail shown on surrounding environments is modestly better.
We suggest watching these in HD to see the highest level of detail.

Watch Dogs:  Xbox One

Watch Dogs: PC

Notice how the Xbox One's driving video may not be quite as high on detail levels, but is smoother overall? On the PC, those occasional micro-pauses are what happens if you play the game at detail levels approaching the maximum your GPU can handle thanks to limited VRAM. 

If you keep running the sequence or adjust the detail levels even slightly upward, the game pushes back hard. Here's how performance degrades after several additional runs:

Watch Dogs: PC -- Repeated driving sequences

Both of the PC driving sequences were recorded using High Textures, High Details on a 2GB GTX 770. The only difference is that the first sequence was recorded immediately and the second video is recorded after several more race attempts. If you want to avoid these types of stutters and pauses altogether, you need to use Medium Textures or Medium Details on a 2GB card or less.

These sequences, however, are an indirect comparison -- for a more apples-to-apples look at a mission, Marco and I captured the first criminal takedown sequences in the game. Aidan leaves his fleabag motel for the first time, jogs down to a local park, picks up a potential crime in progress, and heads out to stop it.

Gameplay: Xbox One

Gameplay: PC

Marco and I played through this mission at different times of day, which accounts for the difference in ambient lighting. Outside of that, it's nearly impossible to tell which version of the game is which. The Xbox One is still using its peculiar 792p resolution and you can see the difference on jagged lines -- the PC's 1080p + FXAA combination is still significantly better -- but overall, the Xbox One version of the game is surprisingly good. If you expected the difference between the two to be night-and-day, it simply isn't. 

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