Hey all, So I have played WatchDogs about a week now and I figured video reviews are OK but I’m going to write this up to get a bit more detailed and honest in what specifically I like or dislike in this open world game from Ubisoft.
First off some backstory, I have played MANY open world games, every GTA-Red Dead Redemption-Saints Row 1-3-Assasin’s Creed-and recently Sleeping Dogs. Most are similar in having missions/side missions/ mini games/and discovery spots,besides things like safe houses,clothing options, and various weapons/abilities. I’m a GTA nut to be honest,buy them right away play and play until storymode is done. So when I first saw WatchDogs I was like “huh GTA with hacking” and it is in basic that but oh so much more as you travel down the rabbit hole. (OK so I kinda had to make a Matrix reference there..I apologize)
In WatchDogs you play a hacker who does the wrong hack and due to a hit put out his niece is killed and your trying to get revenge. The world is set in Chicago and it’s a very alive and vibrant version of an open world game. Everything is nearly hackable, people’s phones-atm accounts(your money source), security cameras, traffic lights,gates and doors,car alarms, and many other thing used to get away or slow the police.
It has many points of interest around Chi-town and mini games as well,one that’s like a virtual LSD trip or something where u can do various games for points and bonus, races of sort to help someone escape while you distract the cops(but this involves driving and I will get to that later…), typical missions and then my favorite is criminal detection tasks.
Criminal detection is usually triggered when u detect a possible crime via a persons phone conversation or texts,a spot shows up on your map and often you go and hide and wait,sometimes following a victim,sometimes the criminal. I like the unpredictability,one time a guy seemed to be planting a bomb at a gas station another time a guy roughing up a girl in an alley and another which I don’t know how I got a “success” notification dude walks up and just shoots a guy on a bench multiple times before I tackled and beat him into submission. It’s fun and can be long(LONG) foot chases but a good diversion from typical missions.
The cut scenes aren’t bad,revealing-funny at times-and not too long,quickly getting back to the action. Hacking buildings for info is sorta mini game as well,finding what circuits lead to where are challenging and worth taking the time to do. Controls in general seem alright,nothing special,aiming is decent but can be glitchy at times and then…there’s the driving.
So I have played GTA a really long time,I bought GTA 3 the week it was out and have bought every one since. I do understand every game is different,but in a game like WatchDogs where fast getaways are kinda crucial I have to say the driving is a horrible and unforgiving experience. So what’s wrong, well for one I like realism but it seems a bit slow starting or shutting cars off,then there is the steering that seems like a racer from 1985,barely moving to the right or left veers you into cars/people/objects, hand braking is OK but super touchy causing you at times to slide way away from your turn, and the physics seem floaty,like cars hitting can at times push past what should be normal.
So Do I like WatchDogs? Yes It is a fun and crazy game,has many hours of enjoyment I am sure and I will be making videos on alot of these aspects for visual enjoyment lol. Do I think this is the next step in the evolution of open world games…..eh I can’t say that to be honest. I like it, i think it’s worth checking out,and it has alot of stuff I have always asked for to be added to a GTA game. That being said the driving kills me,I run around…alot…and while it’s pretty and rich with stuff to do it’s still alot of the same in a shiny wrapper.
This is my opinion of course,one man’s issues may be another’s challenge to conquer,but I’m not conquering the driving..just no..lol..I don’t think the hacking and city control is an amazing feat in game mechanics,now a step further could be open world destruction as well,I still have no idea how this would work -cough-maybe voxels-cough- but the free reign to plant c-4 on a bridge and temp destroy it(until its rebuilt over time) or causing a cave-in in a building may be what is needed to push open world games like these one more step to full freedom. We’ll see how it goes and until then I will “run” around and hack Chicago…I wonder if I can get a good pizza while I’m there?