Well this seems fitting, we just had our mind blown and our rage intensifying all at once with E3 2015, a lot of games to be released this year and next year, everyone getting hyped up for the games and I’ll post a blog about it and what games I’m looking forward to. But my issue with E3, and this has become a pattern, is that we have some very hyped games, remember Destiny, many said that this was going to be the best game ever made and change the face of the gaming industry.
Upon release, EVERYONE WAS DISAPPOINTED, it brought nothing new to the market, it was very flawed and anything that was kind of unique got dull real fast. Travel back in time to E3 2012, Ubisoft, creators of Assassin’s Creed and Rayman, unveiled Watch_Dogs, an open-world game set in Chicago where you can hack everything and use it to your advantage in combat. This was going to be the legend of gaming, great gameplay and a brand new feature to help you in battle. It got delayed however but when it was unveiled again, it had some of the best looking graphics ever seen, this was the future, and seeing as the PS4 and Xbox One was coming out, this was going to be the true next gen game to revolutionise gaming forever.
Watch_Dogs, developed and published by Ubisoft, it was released in May 2014, it was the biggest launch for an original IP in the United Kingdom…probably until Grand Theft Auto V came along and the rest is history. So, what were most of the gamer’s reaction to this? Meh! and AAAAAAAAAAARGH! And here’s why.
You play as Batman wannabe, Aiden Pearce, a computer hacker in the streets of Chicago who is taking revenge on the people responsible for the death of his niece Lena after a hacking job gone wrong, all while protecting his sister and her son. You see, the city Aiden lives in is connected to ctOS (CenTral Operating System), meaning that everything is connected, from personal information, to security cameras, to traffic lights and many more, it’s like the NSA but everyone’s aware of it. And of course you can exploit the heck out of the system, with the help of your trusty smartphone (probably an Android phone) you can hack into these systems and more.
Now I’m going to talk about the hacking since this is the gimmick of the entire game. This can be used to your advantage and then some, you can hack into information…and I mean everyone’s information and check up on their text messages and current phone calls, sometimes they can be used as a means that something isn’t right like going PreCrime Officer and stopping a crime before it is commited. Remember that Batman joke I made (up there), well I’m not half wrong as he’s a vigilante trying to clean up the streets with his trusty stick and a huge variety of guns. When driving there will be a variety of systems for you to use on the road, which are essential if you’re being chased by enemies.
The hacking is very fun at first, especially when using it in combat, exploding enemies with exploadable systems on the floor and on walls, killing anyone who goes near it, even some enemies can be hacked, my favourite is hacking explosives on them, hoping that they can’t find the explosive and throw it, and if the odds are at your favour, a number of enemies will die. But the problem is, like any other gimmick, it gets old real fast, the hacking overall becomes stale and you honestly don’t feel special when using them after a longplay of the game and that’s not a good thing when it’s your major feature of the game, it’s not bad, it’s a great feature, but after a while, you’ll have hacked everything you would want to hack.
The story is of a mediocre standard, it has no moment that surprised me or interested me, it feels like a story that has taken pieces from a number of movies and doesn’t do anything special, especially when it links with the missions. The characters are very interesting, you got Jordi Chin, a very fun and cool character whom you can get a chuckle at, he’s Aiden’s fixer and possibly friend, there’s Clara Lille, who is a very interesting and likable character who assists in Aiden’s quest. Later in the game there is Raymond “T-Bone” Kenney, what a memorable character too, a lot of attitude and has a great personality. In fact a lot of characters are memorable, have interesting story arcs and improves the story just a little.
However, the only uninteresting, most boring paper-thin, broody, absolute dull character is the MAIN BLOODY CHARACTER, THE MAN YOU HAVE TO PLAY AS IN THIS ADEQUATE STORY. YOU WANT TO GO TO SLEEP, LISTEN TO HIS GOD FORSAKEN, STEREOTYPICAL DIALOGUE FROM A VIGILANTE THAT WOULD FIT RIGHT IN WITH THE DC MOVIE HEROES, EVEN TRANSPARENCY IS MORE VISIBLE THAN THIS GUY WHO TRIES TO BE BATMAN BUT ENDS UP KILLING GOD KNOWS HOW MUCH PEOPLE, IN FACT, MORE THAN ALL THE VILLIANS CONBINED. BLAND AS DAY, BLAND AS NIGHT, NO CHARISMA, NO RELATABLE PERSONALITY RIDDEN DOUCHEBAG WHO DOES MORE HARM AND MORE DAMAGE TO HIS FRIENDS AND FAMILY THAN THE VILLIANS AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, IS RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS IN THE STORY, PRAISE BE THE NEW KING OF DULLNESS AND HIS NAME IS AIDEN PEARCE!!!
Apologies! But true.
The main problem with this game that kind of deteriates the replay value is repetition. The main missions consist of the stealth missions, though you can also go guns blazing, but 90% of the main missions consist of this. The gun combat is great, the weapons are great to use, though you’re mostly going to use the pistol and headshot everyone because it’s easier to take down enemies at long range. You can also take down enemies at short range, but you can’t melee combat manually, keep in mind that this is an open world game and one of the ten commandments of an open world game with a city is ‘Thou shall use fist and feet to take down thy enemy’ and Ubisoft broke it, why put restrictions on something that is meant to be open, as in do whatever you want, the world is yours and the amount of important restrictions are always kept to a minimum. Aiden also possesses parkour, but is completely limited to just climbing and rolling when jumping from a reasonable height, which is weird considering that Ubisoft made Assassins Creed and parkour is their bread and butter; I don’t expect Aiden to climb up on buildings but some unique parkour features could have been added to make it more fun…though Aiden climbing very tall buildings would be stomach-churning.
You do get XP for main missions and side missions and what-not, you fill the XP bar you can get skill points and you can unlock new abilities; to be fair, most of them are useful and sometimes you might need to save some skill points to unlock the best abilities. I just realised that there is an ability you can use from the beginning called Focus, where you can slowdown time and easily kill your enemies, but I never used it at all, maybe only once but it was automatic; I think it was because I forgot it was there, it maybe me but it’s kind of weird for me. Another issue is unlocking things, like weapons, you can buy them but when doing main missions you can kill enemies and unlock and collect new weapons FOR FREE, heck, you don’t ever need to buy bullets. You can also phone a service to order cars, though there is a car at the side of the street and you can just steal it if you don’t care.
You can also unlock some music, the radio music sucks, like one guy from Ubisoft had no taste in music and picked whatever he had in his iPod, but the game’s original soundtrack isn’t too bad. But the most interesting thing about the game is the money, you can hack people and collect money, collect money from missions, from ATM machines and other random sorts; it’s one of those problems where you have so much money but there’s barely anything to spend it on since anything you need can be found for free…maybe except for Aiden’s jackets, because that’s important, heck, it doesn’t do anything to help you in-game, it’s just a cosmetic change, night more.
There are also side missions including detecting crimes that I’ve talked about before, there’s also Gang Hangout, which is again the same stealth missions as the main missions. Criminal Convoy, where you need to stop bad guys from reaching their destination. Fixer Contracts consist of different types of missions for people, so basically you’re a Fixer, just with no personality.
I have a PS4 version and the graphics are…indifferent to the PS3. This is because Ubisoft showed us some fantastic graphics, and this was the one element that drew us in and what we ended up with was inferior graphics, we felt like we were lied to. And then a hacker (ironic I know) went and found the graphics on the PC port that was shown in the trailer and implementing them back into the game doesn’t affect the gameplay at all, to which Ubisoft PR representative responded with some BS as usual with all Ubisoft responses. The city is very nice looking, but it becomes very samey after a while but Pawnee is a more interesting mountainside town, there’s more identity to it than a big massive city.
Overall, after all the hype, after all the hate, after playing it myself, all I have to say that Watch_Dogs has no identity, it’s an overhyped game that ends up getting old, with that said, the game isn’t bad, it’s a good game and I don’t regret it, but it’s another game where you’re looking forward to it ending, the story is dull but the gameplay is great, the characters are likable but Aiden is so boring as a character, it took me two minutes to figure out he was inspired by Batman but even he had personality and was interesting, I wish they at least gave him a personality, some kind of postive charisma because he takes you out of the experience, I want to relate to the character, when playing a video game, especially a story driven one, you have to make an appealing and relatable character to ingage you into the game depending on what game it is and Aiden is not one of those characters.
Oh and the game sequelbaits, OH GOD what was cringeworthy; But we don’t know if there is going to be a sequel, if there is going to be one, I hope they set it in a more interesting city with a different character who is not brooding, not bland and not unengaging. This and Destiny are the reasons why I’m always cautious when it comes to E3 and the overhyping of the games. I mean what other game is there a certain company tried to hype up only for it to be brutally criticised even before release for whatever reason…
…No other comments needed!
You can get Watch_Dogs for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and the Wii U.