Summertime is normally reserved for big budget action films and TV reruns. That being said every now and again a triple A game hits the market.
This time it’s Ubisoft’s newest game franchise.
Watch Dogs is a new game from Ubisoft Montreal and puts you in the role of Aiden Pearce, a hacker that is awesome at everything. Shooting, running, and pressing buttons on his phone. After a hack goes bad, he’s made a target which leads to his niece getting killed in the resulting assassination attempt.
He then aims to track down the man who targeted him, and all other people who get in his way. He does this with a gritty voice and his smart phone that acts like a virtual Moses, parting the seas wherever he goes.
Watch Dogs was announced at some game convention a while ago (editors note: E3 2012) and made a splash by looking great and showing off its digital profiler mechanic and city control. Now that’s it’s out and I’ve played it on PS4 I gotta say it’s, solid. It’s been out shined by recent open world games like Grand Theft Auto 5. But the element that stands out the most is the interconnected city wide operation system ctOS. This allows players to take control over the city and it’s citizens.
Alright let’s talk about each delightful part of the game.
The Pweatty Gwaficks
Since I played it on the PS4 I saw the most technically powerful version of the game outside of the PC. The game looks great, the lighting is especially nice, although I found that the characters weren’t that well animated. Games like GTA5 and the Last of Us present such animated and fully formed characters and Watchdogs just doesn’t present characters to the quality.
Stuff you use the controller for.
Gameplay wise, Watch_Dogs brings something to the table that separates it from the bunch. ctOS is the city wide operating system that you can get into as a hacker. The feeling of connection to the city is amplified by this interaction. This helps in car chases, sneaking missions and other situations by allowing you to hack into a building from outside it, and profiling citizens of Chicago. Profiling is particularly fun as it allows you to not only learn more about people’s interesting lives, but it can help you prevent crimes. Like Tom Cruse in..Cocktail (editor’s note: I think you mean Minority Report). The only annoying part of the game was the driving mechanic, it was almost unbearable at times to play it. It’s works very much like Sleeping Dogs ironically and since your driving quite a bit it can piss you right off.
In most open world games the thing that stands out the most in open world games is it’s in game soundtrack. While how this soundtrack is utilized is awesome including things like stealing music of peoples phones in the game world, and even simply playing music as your walking around the city. It’s simple but effective. That said, the music choice isn’t something that hit me as great. I found myself seeking out around three or so songs over and over. Since all the music stems from someones phone, their seems like such a rich opportunity to include things like downloadable podcasts into the game. I imagine hacking someones phone where they have a personal and unreleased podcast that you can then listen on your phone. The audio all around sounds good, but I can’t help thinking it could be amazing.
Hackers: a modern romance tale
The story of Watch Dogs is fine. You play a protagonist and meet side characters that are more interesting. Your main characters voice changes from time to time and it sounds like two separate voice actors. Also why does every damn game movie or whatever have to have a grisly voiced make as the lead. Does that mean their complex? Does a heavy smoker have more character than most? Ultimately the story plays with relationships that don’t really feel all that natural or great. You “love interest” isn’t really a love interest until near the end, and even then it doesn’t make work that well. The story plays out predictably and benefits from a few fun characters.
It’s time to end this.
As I finished Watch Dogs all I could think of was Assassins Creed 1, it was an ambitious game that aimed high and failed to deliver on its promise until the far better sequel. Now Watch Dogs isn’t terrible. In fact I think it’s a great buy with plenty of hours worth of fun content. Throught my playthrough I just kept thinking of ideas on how to use this concept and add little details that would breath so much life into the world that their selling. That actually leaves me kinda excited for what’s possibly next for Watch Dogs. I honestly don’t think it’s something that you need to get, but if its world interests you and you like the idea of manipulating a city then perhaps you should get a copy for yourself. Now go outside an play in the moody rain, we got some dang computers to hack bro!
Watch Dogs was largely developed by Ubisoft Montreal with work from other studios. The game was published by Ubisoft and is available for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. A WII U version developed by Ubisoft Romania is expected to arrive later this year.