With nearly a month past release, it's safe to say the internet rage surrounding Watch Dogs' visual fidelity has largely passed. Still, fans have found ways to mod the PC version to look better, and not with the usual assortment of fan-made texture packs.
After digging around in the PC version's code, as PC gamers tend to do, players discovered files containing the original effects. Some lines of code even contain markers such as "E3_Theatre" where the weather and lighting effects are mentioned. There's even a rather humorous line reading, "This is PC only, who cares." In any case, players have already found ways to use the hidden code to improve explosions, shadows, lighting, rain, and other effects.
This all begs the question as to why the final release didn't look as good on PC as it did back in 2012. Without an official answer from Ubisoft, it's impossible to say. Shot in the dark though, I would guess getting five versions of the game, two being previous gen, ready for release made it too tempting to ignore adding the extra polish on PC. Remember when Visceral neglected to make the PC version of Dead Space 3 anything more than a straight port? Don't worry though, there's always a next time, especially when you sell over four million.
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