CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 620, 2.6 GHz or Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300, 2.5 GHz
RAM: 4 GB
HDD: 15 GB
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 4870 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 with 512 MB of VRAM
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 940, 3.0 GHz or Intel Core i5 750, 2.66 GHz
RAM: 8 GB
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6870 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 with 1024 MB of VRAM
The minimum system requirements are nothing to be afraid of, required CPU's are five years old and GPU's even more so the game should run on majority of today's hardware without any problems. Similar with recommended hardware specs, CPU's are also five years old, but newer architecture with higher clocks. Recommended GPU's are two generations newer then minimum and even those are in the mainstream range.
All the tests have been done on system with Core i7-2700k clocked to 4.5GHz, 32 GB RAM and HD 6870 with 1GB of VRAM. The testing was done in 2560x1600 resolution to eliminate 60 FPS limiter. Benchmark consisted of driving one lap in test drive mode in New York car dealer during the day.
The game is running on the Babel engine developed in-house by Ivory Tower and offers few tweaks in the graphics options menu. Every common wide-screen resolution is supported and that includes 4k and ultra wide-screen resolutions. 4:3 aspect ratio resolutions are not supported at all and even if you force it by editing configuration files or by using borderless windowed mode, the picture will be stretched from wide-screen resolution.
There is field of view slider, but for some strange reason this slider is not enabled for single screen setups. There is a cvar in the configuration file and editing it moves the slider in the menu, but it has no impact on the game. It should work for multi-monitor setups with AMD Eyefinity or Nvidia Surround technologies, but I was unable to confirm it on my system.
Another issue is forced framerate limiter. It can be set to 30 or 60 frames per second, but higher framerate is not available. Other options in this menu are common effects that can be tweaked or turned off completely.
Overall performance and image quality
The Crew has four quality presets - Low, Medium, High and Ultra. On the Low setting not every option was turned off so be sure to check them if you have performance problems. Also Ultra preset is not setting anti-aliasing to maximum and keeps it to MSAA 4x instead of MSAA 8x.
At the Low preset the game performs very good on my aging GPU considering it has to run at 4Mpix resolution. And even on Low the game doesn't looks half bad. Medium preset offers better shadows and higher resolution of environment mapping and costs around 12% of performance.
[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_14849.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_116535.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg]
Performance drop of High preset is above 18% and further enhances shadows and mirroring on the car. Overall level of detail is better as cutoff for objects to disappear is further. Ultra preset means almost 32% performance drop from Low but I haven't noticed much difference from High. The testing was done with only FXAA instead of presets default anti-aliasing, because I was unable to get consistent results. More about that later.
I've experienced stuttering on some skill races. The game runs on stable framerate, but it stutters a bit when I reach specific point in a few skill races. Other than that, the game runs very nicely. Full resolution screenshots: Scene 1 Low, Medium, High, Ultra; Scene 2 Low, Medium, High, Ultra.
[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_20301.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_49343.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg]
The Crew is racing game and as such it offers variety of control options. You can drive with keyboard, controller or a steering wheel and each can be separately configured. Even controller buttons can be remapped. Unfortunately I don't own steering wheel so I cannot comment on that, but controller and keyboard controls seemed pretty well done. Button prompts on the screen are changing on the fly and depends on the last input from controller or keyboard.
Plugging the controller in the middle of the game can cause problems though. The game crashed once when I turned controller (wireless 360) on and commonly D-pad was not responding after the controller was connected after the game loads.
Audio settings menu has several sliders to adjust volume of different aspects of the game's audio. The Crew is also supporting 7.1 surround sound, however surround sound is utilized only for few effects such as bypassing cars, roadwork etc. Radio, voices and car engine sounds only from front speakers. When driving, you can choose from a few radio stations and skip the songs on the fly.
In this section we are going to look at how each effect impacts framerate and how does each setting looks on screenshots. Be sure to check full resolution uncompressed PNGs linked in each section. Or visit gallery for list of all screenshots for this article.
I've got a few issues with anti-aliasing in The Crew. The main problem is very unstable performance regardless of resolution. MSAA 4x was running fairly OK with expected framerate drop when my car was stationary. When the car moved, the framerate plummeted to unplayable levels. Same with MSAA 8x but much more unstable. This is the reason, why there is no benchmark for each AA method. The FXAA had only small FPS drop as it is just a post process filter. I wasn't able to select TXAA on my AMD card.
As expected the game is heavily aliased and running lines are very much visible on the car without any AA applied (middle section of the comparison above). FXAA offers much better image quality and the textures are almost not affected, however there is slight moire around shard edges on the textures. MSAA preserves texture quality, but the edge blurring is not that strong and I've noticed light glow on some edges (same issue I've encountered in Far Cry 4). Full resolution screenshots: Off, FXAA, MSAA 4x, MSAA 8x.
The Crew features only two ambient occlusion methods: SSAO, SSAO plus or you can turn AO completely off. SSAO is much stronger than SSAO plus, but not as precise. Performance drop is only 8% for SSAO, but almost 30% for SSAO plus. Full resolution screenshots: Off, SSAO, SSAO plus.
[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_191958.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_121120.jpg|864|540|Ambient Occlusion Off|Ambient Occlusion SSAO plus[/compimg]
Dynamic shadows can be turned off or set to one of four level. Each level is increasing shadows resolution and Contact hardening Soft Shadows should blur some of the hard edges, but I haven't noticed any major difference from High setting. Performance drop noticeable from Off to Low (around 10%), but negligible for additional levels (around 2%). Soft shadows option is exception with performance drop of 21% from no shadows. Full resolution screenshots: Off, Low, Medium, High, Contact Hardening Soft Shadows.
[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_59339.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_1322.jpg|864|540|Shadows Off|Contact Hardening Soft Shadows[/compimg]
This setting is managing polygon resolution of the game's assets and object's cutoff distance from camera. Performance impact is not very substantial and from Low to Ultra the FPS drop is only around 6%, image quality is much better though. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Ultra.
[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_181349.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_192114.jpg|864|540|Geometry Low|Geometry Ultra[/compimg]
Textures is the only setting, that requires resetting the game (that is why the car in the screenshots has different color). Impact on the game is rather questionable. From the screenshot the roadway on the right side of car has little bit more details on Low setting and I haven't found any difference on other textures. But that could be affected by weather or the bump map could be generated every time the game is loaded. Nevertheless other textures stayed pretty much the same regardless of texture setting and average framerate also stayed at the same level. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Ultra.
[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_60975.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_72985.jpg|864|540|Textures Low|Textures Ultra[/compimg]
This setting affects resolution of real time reflections on player's car. The game looks much better when the effects is set to Ultra as the reflections are very sharp and almost at the same resolution as the rest of the world. Performance impact is around 10% for Ultra setting, 8% for High and 2% for Low. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Ultra.
[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_175457.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_158793.jpg|864|540|Environment Mapping Low|Environment Mapping Ultra[/compimg]
Depth of Field
I haven't noticed this effect during gameplay but it is heavily used during cutscenes and in the garages. Performance impact is around 5% for Low and 10% for Ultra. Full resolution screenshots:Off, Low, Medium, High.
[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_23488.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_107328.jpg|864|540|Depth of Field Off|Depth of Field High[/compimg]
Grass setting controls amount of grass billboards in the world. Performance impact of Medium setting is almost none, High setting will cause 5% framerate drop. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High.
[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_30832.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_56/gallery_13_56_108046.jpg|864|540|Grass Low|Grass High[/compimg]
PC version of The Crew is running very well and offers some graphics tweaking. Controls can be heavily adjusted and the game supports controllers and steering wheels apart from standard keyboard and mouse combo (which is more than capable).
There are some issues though. Anti-aliasing was bugged on my system, field of view slider is not enabled for single screen setups and the game stutters occasionally (not as badly as in Far Cry 4, but it is there). Then there is the whole always online thing. The game will not start at all when the servers are offline. This is not good, because every race can be played in single-player and what happens, when Ubisoft decides to pull the plug?
Overall The Crew is an average port without game-breaking issues. Which sadly is success after Ubisoft's disastrous this year season.
The game key has been provided by the publisher and contained the game, several cars and the season pass.
â€¢ CPU: Intel Core i5 2400s @ 2.5 GHz or AMD FX 6120 @ 3.5 GHz
â€¢ RAM: 6 GB
â€¢ HDD: 50 GB
â€¢ GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 with 2 GB VRAM or AMD Radeon HD 7870 (2 GB of VRAM)
OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-Bit)
â€¢ CPU: Intel Core i5 3470 @ 3.2 GHz or AMD FX 8120 @ 3.9 GHz
â€¢ RAM: 8 GB
â€¢ HDD: 50 GB
â€¢ GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 290 (3 GB of VRAM)
OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-Bit)
â€¢ CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K (Haswell)
â€¢ RAM: 16 GB DDR3-2400 (G.Skill Ares)
â€¢ SSD: 500 GB (Samsung 850 EVO)
â€¢ GPU: Sapphire R9 390 8 GB
â€¢ OS: Windows 10 (64-Bit)
Watch Dogs 2's system requirements are not abnormal by today's standards, a 2 GB graphics card with a decent CPU. The game performed well with a smooth frame rate. On my system the low preset gets around 70-80 fps inside and 60-70 outside while the ultra preset (with ultra textures) gets around 45-55 fps inside and 35-45 outside.
Display settings are pretty good, window modes include: Windowed, Borderless Window, Fullscreen Borderless, Multimonitor Borderless, Fullscreen. One downside is the lack of Resolution Scaling beyond 125%.
Graphics settings give the user a good deal of customization when trying to adjust to their computers need.
Color settings are brightness, or gamma, and sharpness, which if too high can make the image look very strange.
Field of View
Despite being a 3rd person game Watch Dogs 2 gives the option to change the FoV from the minimum value of 70, also the default, to the maximum of 110.
This setting controls how many times the resolution the game is rendered at. Watch Dogs 2 gives the option of 25% to 125% of normal resolution. This means that using resolution scaling instead of antialiasing on higher end machines will not be as possible as that typically requires around 150% to 200% resolution scaling.
Motion Blur only has 2 options, on and off. It also doesn't have much of an effect on framerate, but your gameplay may look better at high framerates if you turn it off.
Texture Resolution seems to be nearly the same between Low and Ultra, despite the Ultra textures that were several gigabytes in size. The only difference I could notice is guns are largely affected by texture resolution.
Texture Filtering increases the visual quality of textures at steep angles to the camera.
Shadows are not bad in Watch Dogs 2 at the lowest setting and ultra shadows are very crisp. Watch Dogs 2 also provides PCSS which allows for progressive shadow resolution.
Water has modes, low and high, the only visible difference is the reflections it has.
Headlight Shadows are very demanding and has a cap of being enabled on 4 cars at one time.
Reflections affect reflective surfaces and their reflection of the sky box and other objects. Low only reflects the sky box and High reflects environmental features.
Anti-Alasing is one of the only setting in the game to have a massive hit on the games performance. It can affect the framerate by up to 10fps. The avaiable AA options are TXAA (only available on Nvidia graphic cards), MSAAx2, MSAAx4, MSAAx6, FXAA, and SMAA. FXAA and SMAA cause the game to lose sharpness and just overall blur the screen.
The game preformed very well with out many frame drops, there are some issues though. Pop in is a major issue with objects appearing with in a very visible distance while driving. The game has an unlocked framerate so high refresh rate monitors do not have to worry. Load times are very low on my SSD with wait times being at max 10 seconds and typical under 5.
The game offers a large amount of control customization from changing many items such as sprint and aiming from Hold to Toggle. The game also enables changing mouse and controller sensitivity as well as X and Y axis inverting. The whole game works with mouse controls and no menu can not be navigated smoothly with it unlike the original watch dogs.
Audio settings are lacking, there is only one volume slider for the master volume. Music can be toggled on and off and subtitles can be enabled. The in game audio is very nicely mixed though with no sound overpowering the rest.
Watch Dogs 2 is a massive step up in a port from the original game, it offers large number of customization. The PC Port doesn't suffer from meany of the issues other PC ports do such as bad Keyboard and mouse control and bad optimization like its predecessor. The only issue I have had with Watch Dogs 2 is how demanding the game can be, I typically can get in 60+ fps in games with high or ultra setting but Watch Dogs 2 pushes my computer past that and it is well deserved as it has beautiful graphics on PC.
PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor grant0417. For an up to date account of Watch Dogs 2 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.
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