Watch Dogs

7 Overall Score
story: 7/10
gamplay: 8/10
graphics: 7/10

hacking works well

graphics, repetitive missions

Game Info

GAME NAME: Watch Dogs

DEVELOPER(S): Ubisoft Montreal


PLATFORM(S): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U

GENRE(S): action-adventure

RELEASE DATE(S): May 27, 2014

Open world games have been more popular than ever. Roaming the streets, stealing cars, and killing innocent bystanders is a typical thing nowadays. But what if you had the ability to hack your environment? Controlling and manipulating your current surroundings could be a powerful tool. In Watch Dogs, players have the ability to do just that. From cameras, to traffic lights, to enemy weapons, the city of Chicago is in your hands. While Watch Dogs does bring a new gameplay concept, the game does feel sub-par to other titles in the open world genre. For a game that had a six-month delay, many aspects could be tweaked.

The game focuses on Aiden Pierce, a vigilante hacker who is out for revenge after the death of a loved one. Surprisingly, the plot is not the main focus. As the game moves forward, the plot becomes confusing due to side missions and sub-plots. This confusion is not helped by the Watch Dogs’ weak protagonist.

Early trailers of Watch Dogs made Pierce out to be a mysterious but interesting character. In reality, Pierce is anything but. His interactions between characters are stiff. Even around his sister and nephew, Pierce lacks any emotional connection. (Rescuing his nephew from a train) Pierce’s response to situations seems  unrealistic. As a player watching these interactions, I  was  not convinced

If it wasn’t for the gameplay, Watch Dogs would be a complete disaster. As advertised, this game is all about hacking, the city of Chicago being  one massive playground. One of the most interesting aspects of the city are  the NPC’s. Not only can players steal from NPC’s, but he or she can also see their personal information. Name, age, and occupation are displayed on almost every person.

Hacking in combat is not just useful, it’s a necessity. Almost all missions have the player enter a building and eliminate the surrounding enemies. Players have the option to blast  through each section or use stealth. Going in guns blazing is fast paced and difficult. Fortunately, a well-designed cover system is put in place, and makes chaotic situations much more bearable. The game also has a slowdown option which can be helpful in a crucial situation. This feature also makes it easier to execute headshots. This feels rewarding but the stealth mode is where Watch Dogs really shines

To use stealth properly (This is where the hacking becomes useful), players will stand outside and hack a nearby camera.  From there, players can observe the entire area from above. Ground plates and enemy grenades can be hacked at any time as well as car alarms and enemy radios. While it can be a slow process, eliminating enemies just by hacking is satisfying.

The weak point of this aspect is the lack of variety in the missions. Going from building to building becomes a monotonous routine. The game does throw in a driving mission once in a while but does not happen often.

Driving missions are enjoyable. These missions will have players fleeing from a mob of enemies or chasing one down. Traffic lights, road barriers, or steam pipes are essential for either task. This is due to the fact that the cars lose control easily. The game is equipped with a decent vehicle selection, but nothing new is brought to the table.  This was not necessarily a bad thing, as the driving makes up for some of the generic missions.

When developer Ubisoft unveiled Watch Dogs back in 2012, the game had a much different look than its release. The Chicago streets were dark and gritty. Aiden Pierce moved swiftly and the tail of his coat flowed due to the weather conditions. Compared to two years ago, Watch Dogs is mediocre when it comes to graphics. The environments are flat and bland. Facial expressions are lifeless and rigid. As far as this department, Watch Dogs is second-rate. The graphics lack flavor and handle detail poorly. (What Happened?)

Watch Dogs is not a terrible experience. Expectations were high when it was unveiled two years ago. The game has some good aspects but poor ones as well. Plagued by generic missions and inferior graphics, Watch Dogs overall, does not live up to the hype. It’s unfortunate that the game had a six month delay and one would think that a vast amount of improvements would have been  made in that time. Compared to other titles in the open world genre, Watch Dogs is lackluster.

For more on Watch Dogs, check out our sucks video.


Author: Nick Kairit View all posts by

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