This was one of those games that when I first laid eyes on it during the E3 reveal, I immediately knew I needed to have it. Then the delays hit, but I was still okay with that because I’d rather a game get delayed if that means bugs will be worked out, glitches fixed and general game experience will be polished. Sometimes you just need a delay. It happens. Then the sneak peeks started coming out and the internet rumor mill went to work. Graphics were downgraded.
Now I started getting worried.
From the videos that game didn’t look as exciting as I remembered from the E3 reveal. The game was looking more and more like GTA with hacking and I do not like GTA. At all.
Watch_Dogs arrived on my doorstep from Amazon and with a trepidation and a sigh, I put the game in me PS4 and settled back to start some hacking…and car thieving. The story for Watch_Dogs is rather thin. You’re Aiden Pearce a hacker/vigilante, who’s past dealing have caught up with him culminating in the death of his niece. Thus spurring him on to track down those responsible.
The story itself is a bit thin and very very predictable. With the betrayal of his former hacker partner, the capture of Aiden’s sister with the obligatory blackmail. You’ve seen, heard and read this story countless times before which pretty much renders it uninteresting.
Gameplay is pretty much the same as GTA except you have hacking, and by hacking I mean holding square to hack. The heavy duty intrusion hacks amounts to you turning virtual “switches” sometimes with a countdown. There were more complex hacks in Ratchet & Clank using the Decrypter. The big push of the game was the hacking—which, as I said, amounts to holding the square button. When you’re actually playing the game there’s just so many “Take down” missions, escort missions, pretty much all the missions you have in GTA.
The problem with Watch_Dogs is that it tried to do so many things and mastered none. The game is just simply “okay” there’s nothing to write home about and honestly after completing it, there is nothing that would make me want to play it again. There are just so annoyances in the game that it just drags the fun factory way down. From things like even with no one in the direct line of sight, the cops will be called while you’re trying to take out a gang lord or some other similar side mission.
I will say off the bat that I turned off the online intrusion feature. I had absolutely zero interest in having my game invaded nor did I care to invade someone else’s. Bumping up notoriety points just didn’t interest me. There’s also “karma” points like you have in the inFAMOUS series except in Watch_Dogs it seems to be entirely ancillary. Like the dev team was like, “Oh yeah—throw some of that karma point system in there”. There are more things that bothered me such as, you’re just as vulnerable in a car as you are one foot, so if you’re being shot at and you need to exit the car you enter this goofy bullet time briefly which is really not helping since Aiden has pretty much no pep in his step as it is. There’s just no need for it. At one point while I was hacking through the camera system instead of my “body” staying where it was, it wandered off till I was spotted by the guards—when I jumped back I was no where near where I had left myself. The biggest thing that disappointed me was the lack of checkpoints so when you die you tend to do the same thing over and over.
My final thoughts on Watch_Dogs would be it’s a rental. There are some fun moments but those seem to get ruined by the massive amounts of “unfun” moments. However, if you absolutely love the GTA series, you may very well love this game since it’s pretty much the same. All I can say is if this is what we get after the delays it was hardly worth the weight. Watch_Dogs is a very middle of the road game. Again, rent, don’t buy.
A decent looking game, Performance on the PS4 was smooth, A lot of content to play
Borrows too much from other open-world games, Too easy to die or fail missions, Civilians calling 911 ruins missions
May 27, 2014