Remember when the Internet was busy raising a stink over the "downgrade" that happened to Watch Dogs? Oh, it was a mess. One side said there was a very noticeable downgrade, one side said there wasn't, and others simply didn't care if there was one or not.

Turns out that the downgrade people weren't really all that wrong in their complaints. Earlier today, it was discovered that Ubisoft actually left in old files that brings the game to look almost identical to what was shown off for it back at E3 2012. I'll say that again: Ubisoft actually left in the files that would enable better visual fidelity for PC gamers. They hid them from easy access and buried them within the game's files. Why? Nobody really knows why.

In fact, the only way they were discovered is thanks to the Watch Dogs community. Namely, it was the work of Guru3D user, The Worse, that made some of the biggest discoveries. He even went on to release the first "mod" that re-enables these hidden settings. A download link is at the end.

Included in this mod(not all features are available yet):
-Changes to the default fog values
-Enabled bokeh DOF for the main cameras
-Stuttering Improvements
-E3 2012 Bloom
-Performance Improvements
-Enabled Headlight Shadows
-LoD Changes
-Reflection changes
-Added 3 new cameras to the game(closer, normal, further)
-Rain changes(High quality rain drops, properly reacting to light, etc)
-Lighting changes(TESTING AND WIP)
-Civilians density changes

Not only do these hidden settings restore the game to the visuals it had two years ago, it also helps performance in some cases and addresses the stuttering issue most PC gamers have encountered.

In case you were wondering, that image at the top of the news? That is allegedly a real line that is still included within one of the files for a shader in Watch Dogs. If you need even more proof, you can find the entire text dump of the shader file in this github post (line 51). In context with the rest of the code, it is a rather innocent comment but in light of the other things that were discovered today, it seems to fit nicely under the headline.

I would strongly suggest you keep an eye on the Guru3D thread for this as the mod will probably be updated a number of times as the days go on. You will more than likely want to have the latest and greatest when it comes to this mod that re-enables the hidden settings and graphical features that Ubisoft hid from everyone.

I'm sure the PC community is thrilled at how Ubisoft has handled this release.