Who wasn’t just a little excited when Watch Dogs 2 was actually announced? The first game had a lot of potential given the wild new premise that Ubisoft was taking. The severely downgraded graphics and uninspired story and mechanics were a letdown, but they were on to something. And now we have Watch Dogs 2 with both a much better story and much better graphics. They didn’t initially upsell this by too much, so the potential is even greater. But what about performance?
Watch Dogs was sort of an abomination. They missed the mark early on by severely overselling their idea to the public. That, combined with the usual hype that follows set them up for failure. This time around they took the smart(er) route and were more cautious with what they showed everyone. Including scenes from the game.
The game engine is an evolution of the same that was used for the first game. Disrupt 2.0 adds quite a bit on the physics front so that things are more dynamic in game. This adds a more lifelike feel to things. Water will move realistically, with waves that follow the laws of physics. Wind will affect the environment in more realistic ways and nearly everything in-game will respond to interactions of some kind from other parts of the game. That was a key part of what Ubisoft wanted when creating Watch Dogs, and thus Watch Dogs 2. They wanted to make everything connected in new ways that hasn’t really been done before. This means AI as well. That carried over to Watch Dogs 2 and is even more advanced. They’ve included better, more efficient shaders, a more advanced implementation of PhysX and higher poly-count models throughout. Overall it’s a slight upgrade in visuals with performance that nearly stays the same.