Things are shaping up nicely for the game since the game released in November. There is a shift to San Francisco (over twice the size of the last game), an updated engine that improved its AI and systems, plus a fairly solid 30fps in this preview build. But does the game play better on Nvidia or AMD?
Watch Dogs 2 on Nvidia or AMD?
Watch Dogs 2’s Senior Producer, Dominic Guay, recently walked us through the NVIDIA GameWorks technologies featured in the PC version of the game. It is now bundled with select GeForce GTX 10-Series GPUs, systems, and laptops. The visual upgrades in the last few games that had Nvidia game works weren’t anything special. It’s a shame because in the past, games would get a noticeable visual upgrade on Nvidia cards, if your PC could handle it of course.
However, Nvidia appears to be taking a lead over AMD. They basically fixed all the stuttering that was caused by VRAM management. You know when you drove around and it was just chugging and hitching? That’s gone now.
On the other hand, the game is very demanding to max. And by that, we mean a 1080 GTX isn’t enough to max it at 1080p with decent AA and maintain 60 fps.
The Nvidia shadows are huge performance killers as expected, but no one is forcing you to use them. HBAO+ looks pretty nice and the performance impact is okay. 2-3 fps over the regular AO. TXAA is very demanding as well of course since it uses MSAA and that’s a killer in games with deferred rendering. TXAA works really well to get rid of shimmering and aliasing. And with the in-game sharpness setting set to 5 or 10%, the image is not too soft for most people’s taste.
Nvidia makes good use of temporal filtering
The temporal filtering method is pretty good for slower PCs. It’s what the console version uses as well. It’s basically upscaling but higher quality with checkerboard and MSAA sampling and it looks decent with some higher pixel density. Overall, we’d say it’s a better PC version than Watch Dogs 1 was. We just wish they would offer a TAA method like in The Division or other games, that’s less demanding than TXAA and more effective than temporal filtering.
And more screen space reflection settings would be welcome as well. You only have ultra and very high and off. Very high is still a good 15 fps drop over reflections off since all cars have these type of reflections. Wccftech goes into much more detail in explaining how it gives the ultimate advantage to Nvidia over AMD.