Nvidia is going all-in with Watch Dogs, releasing new GeForce 337.88 WHQL drivers that claim to increase frame-rates by “up to” 75%. The graphics card manufacturer has also put up a lengthy PC performance guide. Some of it is PR bluster of course, but even a filthy AMD user like me can find some value in the explanations and comparisons between different types of anti-aliasing (which, to be honest, has always confused me a bit.)
There’s a fair bit of text on the subject of super-special Nvidia only options like HBAO+, plus a decent number of comparison shots so you can see what it’s like against other Ambient Occlusion options and at various levels of detail (low to high.) It also has an FPS performance chart (albeit on a beefy PC) so you can judge what kind of impact it might have on your own system.
After that, it’s the big FXAA, MSAA, TXAA royal rumble as the anti-aliasing options go head to head. Following that, there’s stuff to read about Depth of Field effects, Reflections and all manner of other little graphical flourishes. Textures, shaders, water effects: it’s all very PC gaming.
The guide then goes even further, offering some file-related tweaks that can improve visuals or performance. A while bunch of settings found in GamerProfile.xml in the folder “C:UsersUSERNAMEDocumentsMy GamesWatch_Dogs” look like they’ll provide even more options for messing about with how Watch Dogs looks and runs. Nvidia provides helpful little descriptions for what each setting does, which is awfully helpful of them.
I now know that if you set “RenderRain” to 0, it’ll switch off the rain in the game. Sunny Chicago skies forever.
Right at the bottom of the piece there’s an “optimal performance” chart which will show you what kinds of graphical options you can boost (or lower) on various PC set-ups to try to maintain at least 35fps.
IncGamers’ Tim McDonald has been watching as many dogs as possible over the weekend, so expect our Watch Dogs review this week. The game is released worldwide on 27 May.
Update: Read our full PC review.