Review: Watch Dogs (PS4)

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action Adventure
ESRB: M
Price: $29.99

Content Warning:

Violence. Blood. Nudity. Sexual Acts. Offensive Language. Criminal Activity. Drugs and Alcohol.

Story:

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Aiden Pearce is a hacker. He took a job to rob people at the Merlaut Hotel. Your hacker teammate Damien Brenks gets a little greedy and tries to steal information. This act gets both of them on a hit list. Damien gets his leg broken and permanently damaged. Aiden does not fair as well. The person hired to scare Aiden runs Aiden’s car off the road. But Aiden’s niece was in the car with him and dies in the car crash. This sets Aiden off on a revenge trip to find out who killed his niece and make them pay. The story of Watch Dogs is the run of the mill revenge story. There is a lot of betrayal by those Aiden surrounds himself with. Aiden is played a little flat but the supporting cast is great. Especially Jordi Chin. Too bad he is not in the game more.

9 out of 10

Gameplay:

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There is so much to this game. I am sure I will miss telling you about something about this game as it is so big. You play as a hacker and you can literally hack the world. As soon as you hack each ctOS terminal for a region you can hack everything. You can hack phones to get money and information and find crime. You can hack cameras (you will do this a lot). You can piggy back from camera to camera to surveil an area. You can hack things from the view of a camera. This can be to open gates that you can’t see from Aiden’s point of view, distract guards, disable guards communications, activate explosives on guards, explode pipes and explosives and hack computers. In a lot of situations you can hack into a secure facility without having to step foot into it. Of course you can also go in guns blazing and kill all the guards to clear a path for Aiden to personally hack the facility.

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Car driving is another thing you will be doing a lot in Watch Dogs. Whether it be diving to get to a contract or to the next story mission. You can fast travel to places you have been before. The cars handle differently from car to car. Overall the cars handle ok. They don’t handle bad but don’t expect Gran Torismo or Forza. The car chases are the worst part of the game. They require you to run another car off the road. The trouble is once you run the car off the road the game wants you to kill the person that gets out of that car. Best part of the chases are that you can hack lights, man holes, gates, spike strips and blockers. These all help to disable cars you are chasing and cars that are chasing you. There are a lot of cars in this game. You can steal all of them (either GTA style by pulling out the driver or by hacking a car on the side of the road by hacking them). You can also order cars from Jordi so you don’t have to steal them.

Police will chase you a lot in this game. You must evade them. For the most part this is a fun part of the game. That is until you do it for the hundredth time. It gets even worse at the end of the game. The cop vehicles are just too strong and the cops are just too smart. Also there are chase helicopters that shoot at you. Getting away takes forever at the end of the game. They would just need to dial back the AI a bit here and it wouldn’t be that bad.

This game is also a third person, cover-based shooter. Here is where the game is great. Aiming works great. If you pop out of cover the game will auto aim on the enemy closest to your reticule. There is a wide variety of guns a devices to use in this game. You can build the devices with parts you find around. These devices range from explosives to a blackout trigger. All this devices will either help you evade enemies or engage them. Using the cameras you can tag enemies and see them on the mini map and through the walls.

The game does fall into some boss battle tropes. Enemies that pop out of nowhere. Over powered enemies that take a tonne of firepower to overcome (unless you get a special ability in the upgrade wheel).

There is a lot of other activities in Watch Dogs. You can take part in digital trips. This is a kind of drug that sees Aiden collapse on the ground and experience weird trips that let you play as things like a mechanical spider. Or bounce on a flower obstacle course. You can also can also play augmented reality games like a coin run. This game displays digital coins over the real world for you to run and collect on a timed course. There are also gang hideouts to clear, crimes to stop, car races, ctOS towers to hack and games (like poker) to play.

There is also the highly touted online portion to Watch Dogs. You can invade others games and online players can invade your game. What happens is you get a notification that someone is hacking you and then you have to use your phone to find the person hacking you and eliminate them before they get away with the information. This has nothing to do with the single player game and there is a different xp system in place for this. The problem this is these multiplayer hacking things invade your single player game. You might think this as a problem but in my whole time playing this 30-40 hour game, I only got hacked 5 times.

9 out of 10

Presentation:

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Watch Dogs is a fully fleshed out world. It is a smaller version of the city of Chicago. I have never been to Chicago but the world looks really cool. Now I know the graphics is the biggest point of contention for this game. I know this game does not look as good as it did a E3 a year ago. I guarantee that it was running on a high end PC at that conference. That being said, Watch Dogs looks really good. I wouldn’t say that it is the best looking game on PS4 but it still looks great. NPCs are talking all around you at all times. The only thing is that the language is almost always offensive. When you hack people in the world, you will see things about that person. They are never central to the story but help flesh out the world.

9 out of 10

Conclusion:

I got lost in the world of Watch Dogs. I would be on the way to the next story mission when I would get told that someone is hacking me. I would then dispatch the hacker. Only to be alerted of a crime that will be happening. After stopping the crime, I would decide to hack people to steal their money. Someone would catch me and call the police and I would have an epic police chase. Once the I evade the police, I would then head off to the main mission. This is the first game of the new generation that I got lost in. I will continue playing this game until the next big title comes out.

Final Rating:

9 out of 10

Notes:

– reviewed on PS4 copy of game

– screenshots provided by Ubisoft

The Bottom Line

 

I got lost in the world of Watch Dogs. I would be on the way to the next story mission when I would get told that someone is hacking me. I would then dispatch the hacker. Only to be alerted of a crime that will be happening. After stopping the crime, I would decide to hack people to steal their money. Someone would catch me and call the police and I would have an epic police chase. Once the I evade the police, I would then head off to the main mission. This is the first game of the new generation that I got lost in. I will continue playing this game until the next big title comes out.

 

9

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Jonathan Klassen

Just a small city, Christian boy from the province of Saskatchewan in Canada. Go Riders Go! I have a wife (Andrea), a son (Ethan) and another one on the way.

5 Comments

  1. WarGate on July 6, 2014 at 5:44 am

    (Important: I’m currently at the Bedbug private party list mission)

    So far, the gameplay has been kept innovative, you can almost always expect a new challenge or game in your next mission and not end up dissapointed. Also, they did a very good job with the secondary characters, Jordi was one of my favourite ones but I wish he made more appeareances. Clara was also a good character and his relationship with Aiden seems to have been handled appropiately.

    The problem with Watch Dogs is the number of chases you have to go through and how easily it is to get flanked or shot from behind. The grenade launcher can 1 shot enemy cars so I would recommend it if you are being chased and you want to get rid of your pursuers quickly.

    Also, I think I could have been happy without a certain sex scene that appeared on the Randomizer. I was alone in my room with my speakers at 1/3 of their capacity (which is a lot, it was at 32 and 21 is already loud) and that video came up on the screen from the Randomizer. The sound started playing, it took me a few seconds to realize what was happening since I didn’t quite understand at that time if the videos were part of the story or not and I was expecting some plot development and the video was blurry with those computer pixel things that give the ‘hacking effect’ so I initially didn’t understand what I was lookking at.
    But the sex scene wasn’t the problem, the problem was that my directional buttons decided to stop working right at that moment and I couldn’t skip it. I don’t think my relatives noticed but I had to hear the whole thing. That was so unnecessary… >_> also, that could have gotten me in serious trouble.

    On another note… I hate the number of walls you can’t climb in the game, some gates and fences made me walk a lot before I could even pick a car.

    • Drew Koehler on July 7, 2014 at 3:55 am

      I am at the same mission. 🙂

  2. Jase on July 6, 2014 at 4:18 am

    What the developers did was go for a more realistic to what the world is like kind of game. Kind of like how last of us held nothing back. It adds authenticity, and nudity on a video game is ok if used in the right setting. Plus, in this game you’re the crime fighting vigilante. It’s not like your goals are the same as grand theft auto.

  3. ClassicsRising on July 6, 2014 at 1:19 am

    I just don’t see how it’s Christian to have something with Nudity in it when lusting is against what the Bible preaches.

    • Drew Koehler on July 7, 2014 at 3:55 am

      Did anyone say specifically that it’s Christian to have the nudity in it?

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