Watch Dogs 2 Video Card Image Quality Review - Part 3

In Part 3 of our Watch Dog 2 series we focus on the image quality aspects of this game. We will compare high resolution textures, shadows, ambient occlusion, extra details slider and AA. If you are curious what those features look like, how they compare between quality levels, this article will give you an idea what to expect.


We began our journey of exploring and evaluating the brand new game Watch Dogs 2 shortly after its release with our Performance Review Part 1 on December 2nd. That was the start of an ongoing analysis into the realms of performance and image quality of this new, and very GPU demanding, game.

In our Watch Dogs 2 Video Card Performance Review Part 1 we took several current generation video cards and evaluated performance in apples-to-apples and highest playable settings. We found out just what it took to make the game playable at 1080p, 1440p, and even 4K. That was only the beginning though.

Following up to that we published our Watch Dogs 2 Video Card Performance Review Part 2 where we dove in-depth into the most prominent and graphically demanding features in the game. Our goal was to find out the graphics demand and how you can improve upon performance if you need to. We also experienced what it would be like to completely maximize the game’s settings in terms of performance.

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Image Quality

Now, only a week and a half of the game being released on the PC we have our final look into this game. In our Watch Dogs 2 Video Card Image Quality Review Part 3 we are now going to look at what those specific 3D quality features look like when toggling the options.

This game is loaded with graphics settings on the PC, we literally cannot show you every single graphics feature. Such a feat would take a month to put together, or a very large team. Instead, we are going to focus on the same graphics features we explored performance with in Part 2. We will use both slider comparison images and cropped comparison images to compare features. At the top of each page we will explain how we went about extracting the screenshots.

Keep in mind that the nature of this game is a dynamic game, things are always changing, the time of day is constantly changing and cannot be stopped. When you re-load the game models change and objects change. While we endeavored to make the screenshots match up as close as possible there will be some that are angled differently or possibly have different lighting. We made sure these did not impact the quality feature we were exploring.

Also keep in mind while what we are showing you are some of the differences in image quality there are a whole lot more in the game, this is but a small sampling. The game is incredibly massive in scale, it would again take a very large team, or a lot of time to try and encompass the entire game. If you have this game, feel free to take the time to explore these options on your own in the game. You will find they make a big impact on image quality all over the game.

Test Setup

Our test setup remains the same through all three parts of this series. The only difference made here for this image quality comparison article is we installed the latest NVIDIA driver, GeForce 376.19 WHQL. It however is no different than the previous driver we tested performance in for this game. The video card we are using for all image quality comparisons is a GeForce GTX 1080. This was necessary to show some features, like HFTS shadows. The game version remains the same from Part 2. The game version is 1.06.