Ubisoft’s original Watch Dogs held a lot of promise, and with luck the sequel will deliver. Ubisoft are going to be pushing the visual boat out on Watch Dogs 2, and have confirmed that the title will fully support DirectX 12.
Interestingly, AMD’s Roy Taylor tweeted an article from The Country Caller, which hints that the new title will be “Highly Optimized For AMD”.
It’s possible this will mean that the title has high levels of Asynchronous Compute usage, something we know that Nvidia’s current Maxwell architecture has been struggling with, and early reports on Maxwell’s successor, Pascal, hints that it too might have a similar flaw.
The beauty of Asynchronous Compute is it takes full advantage of ‘bubbles’ in a GPU’s rendering pipeline, and during this time ‘inserts’ compute workload (physics, AI, lighting calculations…) inside these bubbles to improve the performance of the games. AMD’s hardware (thanks to their custom Asynchronous Compute Engines aka ACE) have excelled in this and early DirectX 12 performance as a whole.
A growing number of titles is taking advantage of Async. Compute, particularly on consoles, including Infamous Second Son. For more information on how Asynchronous Compute works, please checkout this article.
Of course Watch Dogs 2 is far from finished, but we do know that it will be set in San Francisco, and supposedly tackle the flaws found in the original.
It will be interesting how this all plays out, as during AMD’s Capsaicin event Polaris 10 was demoed using Hitman 2016, running DirectX 12 at a resolution of 1440P. Supposedly the demo didn’t have any frame rate drops, and held a rock steady 60fps throughout (reports tell that the GPU was being locked to that frame rate, and not allowed to go above).
It will be interesting how the next several months plays out.