Well… Sheisse. We’re not especially happy to be writing this one but it’s a necessary evil: Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs 2 has a serious problem with its frame rate and it essentially spoils what’s otherwise a solid game.
[We’ve since posted our review of Watch Dogs 2 on PS4. Despite the horrible bug, it’s still a top game.]
We’ve had our hands on Watch Dogs 2 for a couple of days now and while the game is mostly really good – a definite improvement over the underwhelming Watch Dogs – the technical issues with the game have us shaking our heads.
You can expect a few dropped frames during the normal run of play – as is somewhat standard these days – but there are seemingly random moments that causes Watch Dogs 2 to fall head-over-arse and turn into something resembling a slide show. We’ve not pegged the exact cause of the problem just yet as it appears to be completely random, though saying that, on more than a couple of occasions we did have instant slowdown after fiddling with the game’s online settings, however, the game also dragged itself down to the low 20’s/high teens after walking in and out a building, ditching a car in the sea, and punching a random lady in the face. Don’t worry, she deserved it; her profile suggested she was not the perfect citizen.
The video up above shows Marcus driving a nice looking (stolen) car and the screen being torn to shreds with screen-tearing all over the shop, as well as the game straight up freezing towards the end. It should be noted that during the actual gameplay the screen-tearing wasn’t that obvious, whereas in the video the frame-rate doesn’t look as bad as it actually was during play.
Though Ubisoft has provided early copies of the game to select streamers and media outlets, we’ve not heard of any other site reporting these issues. It could be that they simply aren’t experiencing the problems we’ve had, though that’s got to be highly unlikely, or they’ve been forbidden by Ubisoft to give any negative impressions before the review embargo drops on Monday. As we got our copy of Watch Dogs 2 from our own source (legally, mind) we’re not bound by any gagging orders, so we’re happy to share what we know.
As usual, we’ve also gone through the usual processes when a game is being uncooperative: restart the system afresh, uninstall and re-install the game, etc., etc., yet we’re still being forced to watch Marcus’ life unfold at poopy frame rates. We even started a new game in the hopes of banishing away the nasty bugs, though even with the first hour or two of the game it reared its ugly head again.
There’s a video up above as well as a couple down below and they both show the game running at, shall we say, less than ideal conditions. Hopefully Ubisoft is aware of the issue and will push out a fix in time for release day. We can’t imagine the poo-storm that’d be thrown up if eager players all over the world booted up their copy of Watch Dogs 2 to find it running like a Power Point presentation.
We’re still slogging through towards the latter stages of the game’s narrative, so we’ll probably have our review up sometime on Sunday. Check back in with Pure PlayStation then to see what we make of this hipster-driven hack-a-thon.
[Update: It should also be noted that at the game’s main menu, Ubisoft has plastered a message stating that there are issues with the game’s seamless multiplayer which causes lag and that the feature is offline until the developers can fix the issue. We’ve also tried the game completely offline and the framerate still bums out.]