Jimquisition: Watch_Dogs: A Vertical Slice Of Steaming Bullshots

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Watch_Dogs: A Vertical Slice Of Steaming Bullshots

Amid concerns that Watch_Dogs has been visually "downgraded" after an overpromising reveal trailer, Jimquisition tackles the wider problem of publishers constantly being lying little bastards.

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Should have seen this one coming.

"There's nothing liiiiike Australiaaaaa..."

Seriously, Microsoft & Sony and nearly all the AAA publishers kept pushing the "Greater graphics is best" crap for almost the entirety of the PS3/360 generation. The fact that they're getting backlash when they're called out on bullshit graphics should show people how failed their marketing and development philosophies have become.

Amen to E3 being a waste of fucking time.

The only thing I got out of this year's was: sports, sports, sports, 4 seconds of Battlefront III, monochrome FPS.
Watch_dogs was the only game that at least looked good, what with it not running with a fucking blue/brown filter, being open world, and letting you live this hacker/espionage fantasy.

And now it doesn't look any better than, say, GTA IV. Don't get me wrong, GTA IV looks and plays great, and I still love it. It's the fact that they lied, though, that gets me.

The game, if the new trailer is anything to go by, DOES look good. But you're right: in comparison, it looks like miserable ass because the 2012 trailer set such an unrealistically high standard for what the game was going to look like visually.

Oh, but hey! At least we got dat wicked gameplay nobody's tried yet! Yeah, Steam Sale 2016 ahoy.

Considering that the story trailer footage is on the actual PS4 hardware and the E3 reveal from *two years ago* was stated to be running on a very high-end PC before anybody even knew the specs of the new generation of consoles, I have literally no problem with any graphical "downgrade." You know what probably happened? It probably ended up that they were having significant issues getting all of those effects to run on the PS4 and Xbox One. Those consoles aren't the amazing upgrades that Microsoft and Sony are claiming them to be. Not compared to current top-of-the-line or even mid-level hardware.

Yes gameplay is more important graphics, but false advertising is still unacceptable. Also wouldn't they make more money off the game if they didn't waste it making these phony trailers? The AAA industry just baffles me these days.

Jim, youre not approaching this with a rational mind. Rational venting is good, its why i watch this show. However irrational venting makes me nauseous.

Why are people are up in arms over a trailer that was made using probably an alpha build. Nobody expected changes over the past 2 years? The PS4 (which im told is the platform the new trailer footage came from) was most certainly far from having its specs confirmed at the time and it probably came out with less than Ubisoft were hoping for, so they compromised and the extreme graphical fidelity shown in the E3 trailer was the first thing to go.

The E3 footage 2 years ago was what they wanted for it, what we saw last week was what they had to settle for.

One wonders if the amount of disappointed people not going to buy the game might have been less than those persuaded to buy the game by the hype. If so...well...

gigastar:

The E3 footage 2 years ago was what they wanted for it, what we saw last week was what they had to settle for.

Except it takes YOU to say that, not Ubisoft. Who is not saying that.

And that is my problem.

drizztmainsword:
Considering that the story trailer footage is on the actual PS4 hardware and the E3 reveal from *two years ago* was stated to be running on a very high-end PC before anybody even knew the specs of the new generation of consoles, I have literally no problem with any graphical "downgrade."

That what I was assuming, it's a common trick for PR to show off the PC versions running on High-end machines with all the settings maxed out rather than the "locked at meh" console versions of the game. If I know a PC version of a game is imminent I tend to just attribute PR footage to that, which as a PC-Gamer tends to leave with a grin on my face cackling when controversy like this arises.

Jimothy Sterling:

gigastar:

The E3 footage 2 years ago was what they wanted for it, what we saw last week was what they had to settle for.

Except it takes YOU to say that, not Ubisoft. Who is not saying that.

And that is my problem.

It's not their problem though, they already got their precious preorders.

It's always astonishing to me how little there is to say after an episode, since chances are you already said it.

In defense of Killzone 2, the difference between the target and the actual game is not as severe:
http://www.gametrailers.com/videos/k6zkxe/killzone-2-target-render-vs--real-time-comparison

That doesn't excuse not being upfront that it's a CGI trailer.

Jimothy Sterling:

gigastar:
The E3 footage 2 years ago was what they wanted for it, what we saw last week was what they had to settle for.

Except it takes YOU to say that, not Ubisoft. Who is not saying that.

And that is my problem.

If thats the problem then how did the majority of the video come out as ranting over the same subjects that were covered by pretty much everyone of note with the Colonial Marines hype crash?

gigastar:
Jim, youre not approaching this with a rational mind. Rational venting is good, its why i watch this show. However irrational venting makes me nauseous.

Why are people are up in arms over a trailer that was made using probably an alpha build. Nobody expected changes over the past 2 years? The PS4 (which im told is the platform the new trailer footage came from) was most certainly far from having its specs confirmed at the time and it probably came out with less than Ubisoft were hoping for, so they compromised and the extreme graphical fidelity shown in the E3 trailer was the first thing to go.

The E3 footage 2 years ago was what they wanted for it, what we saw last week was what they had to settle for.

You answered your own question there, and reaffirmed Jim's point. In a vacuum the decision is solid enough to compromise graphics, but this isn't something that just Ubisoft has to settle for. Now, the majority of people that were stoked for the game suddenly feel like they have to 'settle for' it too. I'm sure that they'll have those graphical options on the PC, but the majority of buyers will be on console, and they don't see as big a reason to get it now, especially since GTA V is still going strong on last gen. It is also one of the only few AAA games announced for Spring release on next gen, so that adds even more disappointment. As said Watch_Dogs will still be good, but since it was being trumpeted as the herald of next gen HD graphics and lighting that it no longer is, it has lost its punch.

I'd say this is a completely rational response.

Jimothy Sterling:

gigastar:

The E3 footage 2 years ago was what they wanted for it, what we saw last week was what they had to settle for.

Except it takes YOU to say that, not Ubisoft. Who is not saying that.

And that is my problem.

So how many quid you willing to bet that a certain dark fantasy game showcased for next gen that was billed as being 'all in-game footage guys! No seriously it truly is! No cutscenes with a fake UI to be found here!' turns out to have been one long bull-shot launched straight into the consumers' upturned faces?

I think one of the most glaring problems with the story trailer isn't even how poor the graphical quality was, but how poorly they seem to be using what graphics they do have. As you and Extra Credits have said, aesthetics can be great even when graphics aren't, but they don't even seem to have a decent aesthetic.

The other major issue I have with graphical downgrade is something that has been mentioned a few times, namely that graphics are the entire fucking point of a new console generation. If, as you say, it looks like a standard current gen game, then something is very fucking wrong.

Good stuff, Jim. The "Graphics don't matter!" shit needs to stop. Games are a visual medium and they should look good.

I guess it's a good thing this game never grabbed me too much (I never figured the hacking gameplay they were showing would be as significant as they made it look). I only really got jonesing for it while listening to Digital Shadow.

Now that it is likely to be just another GTA clone, coupled with the knowledge that Ubi were lying about what they were showing, I can happily wait for a Steam sale, if even that.

I didn't look into this when it first started doing the rounds, thinking this new trailer was for a current gen version of the game rather then the next-gen version. Now... bloody hell, what happened?
I've largely stopped pre-ordering things now anyway, unless the company developing it is trust worthy. That list is depressingly short.

Jimothy Sterling:

gigastar:

The E3 footage 2 years ago was what they wanted for it, what we saw last week was what they had to settle for.

Except it takes YOU to say that, not Ubisoft. Who is not saying that.

And that is my problem.

Yea, I've worked on a number of titles that started out looking great, but as systems, gameplay, etc, were implemented they had to scale back graphics, put in roadblocks to slow streaming, whatever, to keep the framerate from falling into the toilet. So, I would have been more surprised if the graphics on Watch Dogs hadn't been scaled back on some level, and I suspect the need to alter things may have been part of why the game was delayed.

That said, the execs at Ubi don't want to admit the overreach, for whatever reason, and that's pretty damn lame. I think they were really hoping we wouldn't notice. But at least it came out like this now, well ahead of release, rather than us not finding out till the game shipped like Colonial Marines. That's a step in the right direction at least (albeit a small step).

Question: Your opening was a bit ambiguous to me, so I would like clarification: Are we getting a double dose of heavenly Jimquisition goodness this week or is this replacing the Jimquisition you had otherwise recorded?

You'd think that after around 7 years of 720p gaming, 1080p would be something that could be done, right? Knack and Killzone did it on PS4, and they were launch titles with no more than 1 year for development (considering the PS4 wasn't available for developers before 2013).

Then Watch Dogs gets delayed several months, and Titanfall is limited to 6-player teams. And yet neither are near 1080p! "Next-gen" my ass. Are we really going to be stuck with either bells and whistles on graphically superior games OR "radios" on graphically mediocre games? If it weren't for PlayStation Plus (which doesn't provide great value so far) and Kingdom Hearts 3 (which won't come out any time soon), I would give these allegedly "powerful" consoles the cold shoulder.

gigastar:

Jimothy Sterling:

gigastar:
The E3 footage 2 years ago was what they wanted for it, what we saw last week was what they had to settle for.

Except it takes YOU to say that, not Ubisoft. Who is not saying that.

And that is my problem.

If thats the problem then how did the majority of the video come out as ranting over the same subjects that were covered by pretty much everyone of note with the Colonial Marines hype crash?

Could you reword that a bit please? I didn't quite understand what you were saying there.

Ubisoft and other could probably take a lesson from how politics is supposed to be played.

When you know you have a killer product that will blow the customers out of their seats you should keep expectations below where you believe they will end up. When you want to have expectations destroy your competition in the long term you want to build up their expectations and tap down your own.

For example. Lets say you are running in a Primary, and you believe you will win in NY with 60% of the vote. However, if the news, and your opponents, convince the public that you should win by 80% then even though you win it's reprieved that your opponent might be more viable, and that the Winner is actually viewed as less viable than you thought they were originally.

You also don't want expectations running too low because no one wants to vote on a clear loser. However if expectations are at 50/50 or slightly in favor, and you win by 60% it can result in a momentum effect that benefits in the long term.

This political example applies to everything that is marketed. After all, politics is nothing more than marketing politicians to the public.

This game is played in polotics, the stock market, movies, and just about every medium. The game industry seems to be playing the game in reverse.

I honestly never had much of a problem with the Killzone 2 reveal trailer, because I would think anyone with half a brain could see that was prerendered. Everything moved too smooth and floaty for it to represent accurate controls, and every smoke and fire effect looked off. More importantly there was no HUD. Bioshock: Infinite had a similar 'No really this is in-game' prerendered reveal trailer.

Though these trailers are still cheap ways to sucker in the "casual" audience.

With Watch Dogs however everything was presented as real-time, with on-stage demos and everything. It wasn't some quick prerendered eye candy to sell you on the concept, it was the game we were going to be playing once it got released. This was the next-gen poster boy, but now it hardly looks any better than Assassin's Creed 4 on the PS4.

What was the reason they downgraded the graphics anyways?

And the last thing jim said, about the hype, what's with that? No other industry needs to hype things as hard as videogame publishers do.
Why is that? What do they hope to accomplish?

Sir Thomas Sean Connery:
I think one of the most glaring problems with the story trailer isn't even how poor the graphical quality was, but how poorly they seem to be using what graphics they do have. As you and Extra Credits have said, aesthetics can be great even when graphics aren't, but they don't even seem to have a decent aesthetic.

The other major issue I have with graphical downgrade is something that has been mentioned a few times, namely that graphics are the entire fucking point of a new console generation. If, as you say, it looks like a standard current gen game, then something is very fucking wrong.

Good stuff, Jim. The "Graphics don't matter!" shit needs to stop. Games are a visual medium and they should look good.

Agree, but at the end of the day I still want a solid framerate and unique aesthetic over graphical fidelity. With new consoles and new game engines, there is no reason we can't have both. Or, at least that's how it should be. I'm less likely to get irritated over a game that has too many sharp polygons, yet a runs smoothly, over a game that looks amazing but when shit hits the fan the frames drop.

The publishers are the problem, though. Even with my own stance of not being fussy with the graphics, shitty disingenuous advertising is garbage no matter what the topic is. But the blame doesn't go totally on the publishers, a big reason they do it is because you have these exact people frothing at the mouth over cutting edge visuals. The people shitting on everyone else because they "don't have standards" and "are console plebs." It's a multifaceted problem.

So there's this. And then there's last October when Ubisoft was marketing the game like it had already gone gold and was shipping out to stores as they spoke, only to postpone the game indefinitely three weeks before launch. I can't wait until the horror stories of this game's development start "leaking" from "inside sources."

TIL - I saved myself some outrage by not paying that much attention to graphics. Didn't know this was a thing until this video.

To be quite honest, I didn't notice any difference between the trailers until someone pointed it out. I Guess I fail as PC gamer. Don't notice textures. To be COMPLETELY honest, I still don't notice that much of a difference. Yeah, the new one looks a bit worse, but not so much that it seems something to get your panties in a twist over. Definitely not enough for Jim to do an "emergency" vid over.

Honestly... While I do think the original Killzone 2's pre-rendered trailer had some improvements... Honestly a lot of it looks pretty terrible now, from the fire, to the horrible Helghast animations. When it came to textures and such the full game imo looks a lot better.

I'm going to take an opportunity to vent a smidgen:

"This is why PCs kick console ass. All those kiddies will never know what gaming is until they get on our level. They are the reason gaming is going down hill. Developers conform to the console-tards and make 'games' that look like this garbage. PC Master Race!!!"

That is literally all I'm hearing in some places and it's ticking me off. First, let me say that, I have a good gaming PC and a hefty steam library and I have seen and experienced the difference. Yes it's staggering but put this into comparison.

1: Consoles cost 250-500 dollars per generation, or 6-8 years. About the same as a mid-mid high graphic card (high you're looking at about $550+) that lasts half that time and gets outdated in less than that. Add in the price of a case, motherboard, PSU, CPU, RAM, hard drive(s), monitor, OS, keyboard, mouse, speakers, etc.

2: Set-up, drivers, software installation, back-ups...that takes hours of work. consoles are much simpler than that. Consoles are plug in, update, and go.

Graphical difference between E3 and trailer, sure, but E3 was/is probably PC footage. For a box that costs (at least) half the money and time of a PC and requires less add ons to get it to function the way it should, I can accept what I'm seeing. It does look good and still has a lot going on. As good? No, but not to the point of raging and calling it bad or canceling a pre-order. To the tone of dropping another ~$500 just to run it? Absolutely not. The PS4 is fine in my eyes. It's still a big step forward from the PS3.

Krantos:
TIL - I saved myself some outrage by not paying that much attention to graphics. Didn't know this was a thing until this video.

To be quite honest, I didn't notice any difference between the trailers until someone pointed it out. I Guess I fail as PC gamer. Don't notice textures. To be COMPLETELY honest, I still don't notice that much of a difference. Yeah, the new one looks a bit worse, but not so much that it seems something to get your panties in a twist over. Definitely not enough for Jim to do an "emergency" vid over.

Yeah, pretty much this. This is the first time I've seen both trailers side-by-side, and... honestly, at least in the compression of the video due to the internet, I didn't realize the first clips he was showing in this episode were from the "downgraded" trailer. Looked almost exactly the same to me.

I mean, I agree with wanting publishers to stop pumping out mostly or completely fake footage to hype up their products. I didn't care about most of the games they showed at E3 because prerendered cutscenes were all over the place, and that's not enough to catch my interest. But I need to get a big PC upgrade nowadays anyway; I don't give a toss if the visuals for new games are being slightly "downgraded". Most of them are getting too big for my current hard drive anyway, because there are a bunch of older games I don't want to uninstall and now even the likes of Thief are over 20 GB.

Ubisoft is learning how much damage to gaming Aliens Colonial Marines truly did. It has made gamers paranoid about companies lying to them in trailers, and gamers are finally, FINALLY starting to get cautious about preordering.

Ubisoft showed the first trailer before the ACM debacle, and they probably wish they could go back in time and not have shown it now.

gigastar:
Why are people are up in arms over a trailer that was made using probably an alpha build. Nobody expected changes over the past 2 years?

People expect the game to get BETTER between Alpha and release, not worse.

Doctoring with screenshots has been a practice going on for decades now so this isn't a recent development and I doubt it'll go away.
The way I deal with it is not paying attention to any marketing bullshit at all because if you assume it to be a lie, you'll be right most of the time.

Let the games speak for themselves and for gods sake, don't preorder or buy into hype.
That should be a lesson peter molineux should've taught us by now.

There is no excuse for this kind of BS in the games industry. False advertising and acts of douche-baggery should NEVER be the norm of any company. No one should ever accept a piss-poor product that was over-hyped beyond expectations. Ubisoft should fucking know better. Hell, every game company should know better. This is not the 80s, people. Gordon Gekko's mantra of "Greed is good" shouldn't be the mantra of any company, let alone the games industry.

Jimothy Sterling:
snip

Jim, you could have release planned episode AND emergency one.
We wouldn't complain, you know.

Or are you trying not to spoil us?

Barbas:
Should have seen this one coming.

"There's nothing liiiiike Australiaaaaa..."

Those are some really powerful words

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