While it's tempting to start off with a refresher course on the myriad PC performance issues suffered by the original Watch Dogs, its seems like no one remembers the open-world, hacker-inspired third-person game for anything else. As if blatantly downgrading the graphics quality wasn't enough, Watch Dogs also went the first two months of its PC lifespan without a viable way to play the game.
With Dishonored 2 still working through that shaky phase and Watch Dogs 2 seeing a paranoia-inducing, two-week delay for its PC version, everyone, myself included, prepared for the worst.
Fortunately, though, it seems Watch Dogs 2's PC has released without a hitch, taking a positive step forward in PC gaming. Early indications are that the game runs sweet as a nut on PC, with graphics quality at its advertised level and the freedom to increase that quality without hindering performance. On Steam and Reddit, you'll find lots of comments like the one below:
At least for the moment, Watch Dogs 2 is atop Steam's Top Seller list, despite not being on sale like the other games near it. This is an inspiring sign, as we consumers should recognize and reward when a game does right by us.
In the mean time, Dishonored 2 is steadily bettering its performance, as is indicated by its now 68 percent positive review rating on Steam (up from the high 50s), but the good will surrounding the game pre-launch might never be recaptured.
Watch Dogs 2 won't have that problem, and it's an optimistic development in the landscape of PC gaming that would routinely releases AAA games without regard for how those games perform, and that trend has been especially bad in a notoriously crappy 2016.
The only question remaining concerns whether or not Watch Dogs 2 is a trend-setter or a blip. It could kick down the door on PC optimization or it could be undermined by a string of disappointments. Only time will tell.