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Monday, Jun 14, 2021
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Gaming Archive

Watch Dogs Review

 
 
 

I guess this is the new way of doing things.

After working at my second job, I rushed to Best Buy to pick up my pre-ordered copy of Watch Dogs. I also spent an additional $20 for the Season Pass. When I asked for it the cashier had no idea what I was talking about.

That didn’t bode well.

I went home and had dinner with my wife and watched a little TV. I spent more time watching her because I was waiting for her to go to sleep.

Finally, she decided to get up and go to bed, leaving me an hour to play before I had to do the same.

I decided I’m going to take my time and get the game set up and instead of just diving in. Because I have the PS4 version it comes with extra content. I also have a pre-order bonus as well as the season pass.

I put the disc into the slot. Immediately, it started to install. While that was going on, I decided to get all my codes redeemed.  I looked in the case and noticed there was a code for the extra PS4 content.

I entered the code. There was a download.

I entered my pre-order bonus code. Another download.

I entered the season pass code. Two more downloads.

Finally, those were done and I returned to the game. It was still installing.

However, I also had to set up my UPlay account. So I went through that process.

When all was said and done, I was left with 20 minutes to game.

I guess this is the price we pay for all of the social connectivity that we strive for.
 
 
 

So how is the game?

In my 20 minutes of playing I found myself already hooked on the story, and intrigued by the control scheme. I also engaged in a high speed chase with the police and was arrested twice.
 

Let me explain.

You play as Aiden Pierce a former hacker who has paid dearly for his crimes. In the opening cut scene, you find out exactly what Aiden was doing that led to him his downfall.  And during the opening credits, you see flashes of exactly what was lost because of these crimes. It’s very quick, but it works

Once the credits end, the game opens almost a year later, with you suddenly getting back into hacking as your avenue to revenge.

Immediately, the controls struck me as different.  In most games, your character seems to perpetually be in a hurry. You walk quickly, or run, from place to place.  Not so with Watch Dogs. Aiden moves slowly and deliberately.  He walks and sneaks.  I may not have reached a point yet where a sprint button is available to me, so I may revise this thought later.

You can interact with objects, picking them up or hacking your way through camera systems to find a path.  You can spy on everyone in a crowd and see what type of criminal record they may have, or what their yearly salary is. I’m assuming all of these things will come into play later.

The one issue I have (very slight spoilers) is why, when I am so carefully sneaking around, and staying out of sight, the cops are able to find me so easily once I have left the scene.  This makes no sense to me.  If you are ever spotted on camera, you’ll see yourself as a pixilated box when looking through the camera.  The police have no idea what you look like if you are able leave the area successfully.  Yet, even walking nonchalantly down the street, or driving in a car, any cop that passes you somehow magically knows that you are the guy they’re looking for. I found that frustrating. But it’s a minor gripe as far as I’m concerned. I’ll just stay away from the police, like I do in real life.

The graphics are very good.  I know this is an early generation game, and that we can expect much better in the future, but I was definitely impressed with the looks of this game. Unlike many open world games, there seems to be a lot of activity, people walking along the streets, heavy traffic.  As of yet, there has been no slow down that I’ve noticed. I was happy to see, upon hitting the wall of a random garage as I careened down an alley, that I left the building heavily damaged.  I’m not sure how extensive this destruction mechanic is, but, as with everything else in the game, I will investigate further.

I hope to have a longer play session tonight. I also plan on checking out the multiplayer and the companion app on Android (and iOS) to wreak havoc in another person’s game.

Stay tuned!

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