Watch Dogs Review

Ubisoft steps into the realm of hacker culture with Watch Dogs, a new IP set in a Chicago connected to a computer network. ctOS is its name, and it controls everything from bridges, traffic lights, public transportation, and even pop machines. The vigilante hacker Aiden Pierce has tapped into ctOS and bends it to his will to serve his own brand of justice. Watch Dogs is a very convincing open-world title. The graphics are clean, crisp, and the visuals are still impressive despite not matching the E3 2012 gameplay demo. Chicago feels organic with people walking the streets and living their lives under the watchful eye of ctOS. As a shooter at heart, Watch Dog’s action is very smooth and responsive. It isn’t a thing to get into a gunfight and hack a nearby camera while ducking behind cover from flying bullets. Hacking into your environment and using it against your enemies is key to survival in Watch Dogs. If you need to slow things down a bit the Focus feature lets you do just that. While slow motion has become a normal feature in action games as of late, this feature is essential in a game such as Watch Dogs because of the many options presented to you during a skirmish. There is plenty to do in the connected streets of Watch Dog’s Chicago. As a vigilante Aiden can stop street crimes before they happen, attack a vehicle convoy of bad guys, investigate human trafficking and gun running, track down a serial killer, and much more. There is so much to do that it can become overwhelming at times, and it’s very easy to be taken off course by the new information that constantly shows up in your HUD. When it comes to content Watch Dogs has high replay value, but isn’t for the easily distracted. Driving has much to be desired in Watch Dogs. The camera tends to rotate around the car during turns making it hard to see in front of your ride. It isn’t a real chore to drive in Watch Dogs, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself fighting against the camera to get your bearings, or hitting street lights when you didn’t mean too. Or you could bypass driving all together and take the L-Train, which acts as fast travel. The personal information obtained in hacking the people around you in Watch Dogs is entertaining in itself. Some of the conversations and other weird things you learn about people are very comical and at times contradictory. The denizens of Chicago also test how PC or socially conscious you are in real life. When you come across a person with a background in science, makes over $100,000 a year, and is hanging out on the corner in the slums, you can obviously tell the game is using a random character profile generator. But who is to say this person wasn’t visiting their friend who makes considerably less and has a fetish for torture porn. See what I mean? watch_dogs_ss5_99858 I was attracted to Watch Dogs because of the offered online features, like being able to hack another player’s game and the Online Decryption mode, a competitive four against four match as both teams fight over decrypting a file located somewhere in the city. Being hacked can quickly become annoying, and Free Roam was surprisingly bland experience with no real entertainment except causing mayhem and attracting cops just like in Grand Theft Auto. I liked the idea behind Watch Dog’s online features but they lost their luster after a time, which is a real shame since they were the major selling points of the game. Aiden Pierce is a brilliant hacker with a shady past which lead to the death in his family. As much as I liked the character, Aiden does fall on the verge of being a cliche anti-hero with a gruff voice. There are times where he shows personality behind his stone cold face, but other times where it seems as if he is impersonating Batman. However, I did enjoy Aiden’s exploits and would continue his adventures in an obvious sequel as long as Jordi, his wise cracking and amoral Fixer “friend”, is there too.

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