By Sam Coles:
The original Watch Dogs is a game that garnered a lot of controversy due to the fact that Ubisoft lied about the presentation all the way back in 2012 when they announced the game at E3. They continued to show us gameplay it look more and more beautiful with an interesting Orwell 1984 dystopian city where you’re constantly being watched. When the game finally arrived in the summer of 2014 the game was downgraded in the visual department and that was what everyone was focusing on damning the game. However to be fair the game isn’t bad and I don’t think it deserves all the hate that it gets as it has some great moments not to say that there are not any underwhelming moments but that’s all they are underwhelming not bad. The whole graphics situation is over blown too as you have to remember that the game was made for six systems The Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PC and Wii U so you have to take that into consideration.
Watch Dogs takes place in the not too distant future where Chicago have complete control over their citizens where they can monitor everything they do with an operating system called CTOS. This operating system controls everything from traffic lights to the more baffling things such as steam pipes. You play as Aiden Pearce a hacker who steals money from the rich without them knowing about it. Him and his associate end up robbing the wrong people where assassins are sent after Aiden but unfortunately his niece is gun down in the event and he swears revenge on those who caused her death. The story has a lot of interesting aspects despite it being a standard revenge tale, but Aiden does come across as a bit bland and the voice actor’s delivery can be a bit flat.
The game is another GTA clone where you’re given an open world to explore with a vast array of motorised vehicles from cars, motorbikes and boats. The gimmick of this game is that you can hack certain devices in the city to cause chaos, to tip a car chase to your advantage or just mess with people by hacking their phones or making enemies hand grenades explode on their belt which never stops being funny as they panic. The game does encourage stealth and the of use your hacking tools but the problem with that is they give you a huge arsenal of firearms where you can just shoot your way through and not bother with hacking and stealth.
You can upgrade your character which can improve what you can hack etc. and the hacking tree is probably the one you’ll invest in the most because it is the most useful especially in gunfights and car chases. You’ll probably invest in some of the shooting skills to help you improve your aim etc. but the rest of the skills feel a bit arbitrary.
The only real problem I have with the gameplay is that the driving is not great which they improved greatly in Watch Dogs 2, it feels extremely floaty and corning is awful with some cars, the motorbikes tend to handle better than the cars.
Let’s address the elephant in the room the graphics. Are they that bad? No they are not, however they are downgraded but not terrible as some people would want you to believe I have this on the PS4 and this game looks great. The water flowing through Chicago looks great, car models like fantastic and the animations from the characters during cutscenes look excellent. The graphics aren’t bad they are just not what you saw during E3.
Watch Dogs is not an amazing game or a terrible game it’s decent and honestly I don’t understand the hate maybe I’m missing something but I enjoyed playing it again after a couple of years since I’ve played it last. Pick it up if you can it’s super cheap and if you have Xbox Live Gold it is free on the 16th of June on Xbox One.