This review is based off of the PS4 version. Featured image courtesy of fragtist.com
I’m going to start off and say that “Watch Dogs” had me very underwhelmed after my time with it. There are problems that I have with the game, but there are also a lot I of things that I like about this game as well.
Even after “Watch Dogs” got set back from November 19th, 2013 to May 17th, 2014, the game still seems like it could use a bit of polishing up. The story feels very rushed, which seems like the general consensus from everyone that has openly expressed their feelings already. It lacks any sort of appeal, or drive. I quickly got bored of the story and the characters. The voice acting is above average, but I really don’t feel any connection to the characters whatsoever. Ubisoft, the developer, seems like they tried to make the main protagonist, Aiden Pearce, feel relatable. He is seeking revenge on the people that killed his niece, Lena Pearce, and her father. Unfortunately, besides feeling sorrow for a brief amount of time, it’s something that has been done in games too many times. Another gripe I have about this game is the driving. It’s not fluid at all. The controls are extremely sensitive, and it makes car chases or escaping the police last forever. It’s almost impossible to drive fast enough to escape without hitting everything in sight. Since driving is such a huge part of the game, I was hoping for something more along the lines of “Grand Theft Auto 5“‘s control in driving.
Ubisoft did a lot right, though. The first thing that popped out at me was the graphics. The game is beautiful. There is so much attention to detail in everything in the world. Another thing I was a fan of was how the game opened. They lay out all the basic commands and how to play in a very strong first mission. It’s not your basic tutorial. It throws you right into the story. This game reminds me of “Grand Theft Auto 5“, or “GTAV” for short. From the graphics to the missions of the game, it just feels like “GTAV“, but at the same time they are both completely different with widely different stories. From my experience so far, I think that “GTAV” is the superior game. However, I’m not saying you shouldn’t pick up “Watch Dogs”.
There is so much to do in this world. The gameplay is very interesting, although repetitive at times. The hacking aspect adds a whole new dimension to the standard free roam gameplay you see in other open world games. There is a large stealth element present in this game as well, given you choose that path. It seems like choosing to take down your opponents rather than kill them is the preferred option. You want to be viewed by the public as a rescuer, not a criminal. It makes the game a lot more enjoyable when just exploring the city of Chicago. There are mini games scattered around the world, like chess, that add another element to the game. It’s fun for a while, but let’s be honest; we didn’t pay $60 to play chess. There are hours upon hours of side missions, though. Like I said before, they do get a bit repetitious, but by doing them you get the full “Watch Dogs” experience. By doing these side missions, you unlock more skills and are able to fully unleash Aiden’s true power. The city of Chicago is broken up into districts. You will be unable to hack anything until you take over the ctOS command center that is stationed in the corresponding area.
I am a bit disappointed with “Watch Dogs“. It reminds me of “Titanfall“; there was so much hype, which meant that expectations going into the game were unreasonably high. Then people were bashing it because it couldn’t live up to the “hype”. It plays like any standard open world game, but the hacking ability really throws another dimension into the core mechanics. It makes the game fresh. You want to unlock all of Aiden’s abilities so you can really feel invincible. “Watch Dogs” is definitely a must-own game, regardless of what console you pick it up on. Be weary; I have heard from many sources that the game is poorly optimized for PC. People with GTX Titan graphic cards (one of the most powerful GPUs out there) are unable to run the game above High settings without the game having unstable frame rate.
“Watch Dogs” gets an 8/10. The game makes up for what it lacks in story through strong gameplay and a fresh, new experience that a lot of gamers will enjoy.
Until next time Uzers – Mike
Wanna try “Watch Dogs” out on your own? You can buy it here.