Game Review: Watch Dogs
Platform Reviewed: Playstation 4
The city………is your weapon!
Watch Dogs was released last year by UbiSoft for the PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC.
You take control of a vigilante named Aiden Pearce, who was targeted for a hit by a mob boss, but when the gunman tried to take him out, he ended up killing his niece instead. Now Aiden is on a mission to find out who targeted him and killed his niece, and get his revenge on them. An arsenal of weapons is at your disposal, found throughout the game in increasing abundance, but the main focus on this game is hacking – something Aiden Pearce knows a lot about.
This game admittedly looks much better on the next-gen consoles (PS4/Xbox One), than it does on any other console platform. The PC version was downgraded until people found out there was a way to unlock the graphics settings, which then allowed people to bump them up to what they expected at the E3 demonstration when it was first unveiled. The graphics really shine during atmospheric times, such as sunset/sunrise, rainstorms, and when dealing with large explosions. The voice acting for the most part is well-done, although many were hoping Aiden Pearce would have a little bit more……….personality for someone who lost a family member. The map is large enough to where it’ll take time for people to traverse the area from one end to the other. You have the whole of Chicago to roam around in and around, as well as Pawnee – a rural area a little drive away from the city, but definitely has it’s own character. An open world for to see, roam around in, and soak in the sights while taking out your enemies – ranging from fixers, to cops, to street thugs.
Juries on this front have mixed things to say about this game. The driving sections are a bit loose, and the control of the vehicle does depend on what type of vehicle you are driving. You won’t get the same control from an SUV as you will a motorcycle, so choose your vehicles with care and get the ones that won’t let you down. The moving about on foot feels right at home. You can run at a good clip, or just casually stroll so you can blend in with the locals. Hacking is really easy, thanks to the simple interface used to activate the cameras, puzzles, and so forth. Surfing the cameras can really let you survey a large area quickly, which is helpful in some of the online modes. You can also use the free ctOS app for IOS & Android to hack players games as they battle you while you are in control of ctOS itself!
You have a large toybox of side-missions and “digital trips” that you can play, as well as the main story missions. The trips take on a life of their own, whether it’s a Mario-style coin grab romp while avoiding purple skulls, to VR alien raids, or “Alone”, where you have to power up generators while avoiding the single-eye gaze of the robotic citizens who roam around the area. “Madness” must not be missed. This is kind of like Death Race 2000, where you make points by running down the people in the levels – the more you get, the higher the score – as well as the Epic Spider Tank (who doesn’t love scaling buildings in a robotic tank while blowing stuff up?). The Season Pass is well worth the cost of this game, as it adds more add-on content PLUS you get the full on “Bad Blood” storyline, where you get to play as T-Bone! If you like him in the main game, you’re gonna love him in this DLC pack. If you play everything this game has to offer, you’ll be calling Chicago your playground for quite a while.
Online – It’s All Connected
Online modes are another part that really makes this game stand out. Players can hack into other people’s games, and likewise they can hack into yours. Sadly, the hacking does not go cross-network, so people on Xbox Live can’t hack PSN accounts, and vice-versa. You have Online Hacking and Online Tailing for all-around fun, but PS4/Xbox One also have Online Free-Roam and Online Decryption for even more fun. You never know when the online hacking is going to happen, so this will keep you on your toes!
Some Better Than Others
Depending on the platform you have, the experience may not be the same. You will get the most content out of PS4, Xbox One, or PC. PS3, and Xbox 360 are missing some of the online missions, and the Wii U version does not have the DLC that the other platforms have OR ANY Online Mode. If you only have one console, then you get what comes with that version, but if you have the next-gen systems, you will have a more complete experience.
Overall, I found this to be a very fun, and satisfying game – well worth the time and money spent. It’ll keep you busy for quite some time, unless you just play the main story and that’s it. Take some time, enjoy the hacking, and this game will keep you active for quite a while. Also, the online modes are adrenaline-filled fun, playing cat and mouse with random people, seeing who is the better hacker! This is a game that is sure to bring a lot of fun to fans of open-world environments with lots of stuff to do.
FINAL SCORE: 9/10