Anyone I know could easily tell you how anticipated I was for Watch_Dogs. It’s been in my sights since E3 2013. The game looked tremendous from the start. Even after the game was delayed the hype of course was not. However, did Watch_Dogs live up to those high expectations and hype? Or will it hack out of everyone’s memory?
The overall campaign story in Watch_Dogs was both intriguing and remarkable. Although it does start off very slow in the beginning, it develops into a jaw dropping, heart-wrenching story by the end filled with plot twists. The story follows the main protagonist, Aiden Pearce, who must hack his way into Chicago through a corrupt system to uncover the secrets of his haunted past. Pearce’s personality tends to drag and can be pretty harsh, but he very well fits the storyline. In my opinion, however, his counterparts were a little more memorable, and are very well portrayed. They keep the storyline interesting and your attention hooked on what may happen to them next.
cTOS just happens to be how Aiden can hack into Chicago. cTOS is software that has been installed into Chicago by the corrupt corporation known as Blume. This is where Aiden draws all of his “power” from. Players must hack into several parts of Chicago to gain access to various cameras and such to progress through the game. Therefore, when you first begin the game not every part of Chicago is available to the player just yet.
The basis of this game is set all around hacking, and that is how you must progress through the missions in this game. Aiden’s phone is the key to his success, and without it Aiden is basically…useless. cTOS allows players to use Chicago at their own will by hacking into traffic lights, bridges, blockers, and even electricity boxes to cause a massive blackout. The player must use all these throughout their experience to escape from fixers and police. Players can also hack civilian’s phones to ease drop on phone conversations, text messages, and even gain access to their bank accounts through ATMs. Therefore, players not only should look out for cameras to sneak around and hack, but they can literally use Aiden’s phone for anything.
Driving was a major drag throughout Watch_Dogs. Nothing really ever changed about it, and escaping from police or fixers always felt so tedious and repetitive. Even when getting into a five-star chase from the cops was rather unchallenging, and they also only had one helicopter after you. I would have loved to be challenge just a little more in that aspect. However, the handling on cars can be very difficult to say the least. It took forever to get used to and it made driving through Chicago less enjoyable (good thing it looked amazing). Also the fact that Aiden could not shoot from inside the car or on a motorcycle disappointed me.
The Campaign mode in Watch_Dogs was said to only take about 20 hours, but do not let that fool you. Getting distracted is one of the many things Watch_Dogs does so well. Players have various opportunities at several side missions and mini games while they play through the main story. Some side missions include investigations, criminal convoys, crime detections, and, my personal favorite, the gang hideout missions. Doing these side missions are very crucial in gaining skill points to level up Aiden and his phone, so players will more than likely spend a good amount of time away from the story as well.
Watch_Dogs doesn’t fall short on the beautiful category either as far as graphics go. However, it’s just ordinary; the graphics were never really anything to gawk over. I would also like to point out that the game does not look as good graphic-wise as we had seen at the previous two E3’s.
However, putting all that aside Ubisoft did such an amazing job portraying the bustling city of Chicago. I was overly impressed throughout the whole experience of Watch_Dogs. To the laid back rural side of Pawnee to the lower side of The Wards, Chicago has every thing you would want in Chicago and more. Not only did Ubisoft do a terrific job of the display, but they also were very accurate with their layout of Chicago.
Now, nothing out of the ordinary sound wise. Weapons sound about the same as any other third-person shooter, so nothing special there. Cars and other transportation are about the same as well so, as stated before, nothing special there. I was never truly intrigued by any background music outside of driving around in cars. The game also lets you listen to the songs outside of driving through a media app on Aiden’s phone. From time to time, I found myself activating the media app, but overall nothing very memorable.
The Watch_Dogs Original Soundtrack, however, is a different story. I received the soundtrack upon purchasing the Limited Edition copy of the game for my Xbox 360. I did not listen to it until after I had completed the game, and it is simply perfect. The soundtrack pertains to the game so well. The music is not upbeat whatsoever. But, you get a mysteriously dark tone from it which fits Aiden “to a T”.
Overall: 8.5 (Awesome)
Although Watch_Dogs didn’t live up to my initial hype the game was still highly enjoyable. Ubisoft did a fantastic job with the presentation of Chicago, and made quite a hacker hero. By far one of my favorite Ubisoft games, and a must have on my list.