WATCH_DOGES: DAY ONE

I don’t even know what to say about this fucking game.  So far, I have tested it on low, medium and high settings at 1080p.  Every single time was a let down.
QUALITY: LOW (PRESET)
MY BUDGET FPS: 18-40 @ 1080P
PS4 FPS: 30 @ 900P

XB1 FPS: 30 @ 792P
During the more scripted indoor opening, the frame rate on “low” was jumping between 40 and 50 FPS in less crowded areas.  When I reached a more crowded area of the opening, the frame rate dropped to the mid to low 30’s and slowly made it’s way back to the low 40’s. Hiding in the shadows and dodging cops, the frame rate stayed at about 40.  I witnessed the first true “stutter” as my Asian crime partner called my cellphone – dropping my FPS to a measly 18.  It quick recovered, but the damage was done.  For the rest of the indoor sequence, my frame rate remained at 30 until I got outside for the first time.  It actually started to rise to 40 FPS as I ran through pedestrians in search of my getaway car.  I felt my second stutter as I was running through a small alley (without and people on screen) about to reach my car.  Driving was…pretty bad.  Not awful, but not something I would want to do because it was all over the place.  I saw a rate of 30-40 until my first stutter of 20 FPS.  I figured it was because there were a few cop cars on screen.  Sadly, it kept happening – even when I was the only car on screen.  Other than the large stutters, I observed little stutters every few seconds – kind of like hiccups and coughs.  Both suck, but one is less painful.

QUALITY: MEDIUM (PRESET)
MY BUDGET FPS: 5-40 @ 1080P
PS4 FPS: 30 @ 900P

XB1 FPS: 30 @ 792P
On “medium”, I had similar frame rates between 40 and 50 during the first opening scene.  During the first indoor crowded bar area, my rate dropped to the low 30’s (low to mid 30’s on “low”) and slowly recovered.  Ducking from cops in the darkness, my rate hovered in the upper 30’s (40 on “low”) until I made it to the phone call scene.  When the phone rang, I dropped from about 45 FPS to 25 FPS and suffered a similar stutter at the same time as my test on “low” settings.  Like the “low” quality test, my frame rate stayed at 30 as I made my way through the bar to the outside world.  My rate stayed near 30 as I ran to my getaway vehicle.  While behind the wheel, I suffered similar large stutters – but not as often (to me) as I did on “low” settings.  Most of these stutters dropped me down from a semi steady 30-40 FPS to 15-20 FPS.  Somehow, most of the tiny “hiccup” stutters were not there on this preset…weird.

QUALITY: HIGH (PRESET)
MY BUDGET FPS: 12-40 @ 1080P
PS4 FPS: 30 @ 900P

XB1 FPS: 30 @ 792P
On the “high” preset, I saw a frame rate in the mid to upper 30’s during the very first opening scene.  My “low” and “medium” tests ran this portion at 40-50 FPS.  As I used my ninja skills to bypass a bunch of guards and cops, my rate stayed in the mid 30’s until I got to the first crowded bar scene where it hovered at 30.  It stayed there until the blackout when it slowly rose to the mid 30’s as I sneaked by some more guards in the pitch black.  Again, phone stutter brought me to about 18 FPS but recovered to 30 as I walked towards the outdoors.  As I walked by people, my frame rate took a dive to the upper 20’s as it hovered just below 30.  When I got away from the crowds, it jumped to the upper 30’s again.  Behind the wheel, some stutters brought me down to the teens while the average rate seemed to stay in the upper 20’s.  It is weird, but I felt less small stutters than I did on the “low” settings or even the “medium” settings.  Christ.

WATCH_DOGS…FINAL…THOUGHTS…?
I honestly don’t get how this game made it into Steam.  It doesn’t even feel like its a finished product.  On any preset I selected, it ran like shit.  I tried it on my i7/GTX 770 machine – ran like shit.  Tried it on a i7/780ti machine – ran like shit.  I think the only thing I feel good about is the fact that it runs like shit for everyone and not just me.  Though the frame rate seemed to be a little higher during some parts of my test on “low”, it stuttered just as much if not more than it did on “high”.  It just doesn’t make sense.  Why would a “high” preset run better than a “low” preset?  Why does dropping the resolution to that of the PS4 make it run worse than keeping it at 1080p?  I wish I still pirated games sometimes.  I will wait until it gets patched to bother trying it again.  I don’t mind waiting if it means I can get a steady 30-40 frames at 1080p on a budget machine…

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