This is not the Watch Dogs we saw at E3
Make no mistake, if you are a gamer, you should be well aware by now that the E3 version of Watch Dogs we saw last year is not the game we are playing now. It’s evident that a lot of compromise was done to get Watch Dogs playing on current and last gen platforms. That’s a mistake in my opinion. It’s time to move on people. No more developing for last gen consoles!
Regardless, I won’t harp on this as there’s a ton of other sites and forums where you can go pixel by pixel and debate every minutia of details of what is and what could be. I really just care about one thing. Is the game fun and worth buying?
It’s a mixed bag
I’ve probably put in a few hours into the game and I am not sure what to make of it yet. At certain times, the graphics look great. Others, well not so much. In terms of controls, they are similar to Assassin’s Creed so it’s pretty familiar to me in terms of movement and actions. Just like AC, and most 3rd person style games, there’s the typical jankyness and awkward movements. This comes out especially during panic modes where you are either on a chase or running away and can get caught by some obstacle or your character ends up doing something unintended.
You are Aiden Pierce, some kind of vigilante hacker with probably the best smartphone on the planet. It enables you to hack just about everything. You’re the reason why your niece was killed as you pissed off the wrong people. Now it seems there’s people still out to get you and your family. Not only that, you have some shady friends or “business partners” who help you get things. I can’t tell if you are good or bad yet, but I am sure I’ll find out a lot more as I get deeper into the story line.
Check out the first 20 Minutes:
As you can see, driving is damn hard for me. At least so far. Maybe it’ll get better as your skills improve and you get better handling cars. Speaking of skills…
The skill tree and points allocation system is a welcome surprise. These RPG elements help to boost your character skills in things like hacking, driving and combat. This might make the game more fun as your character skill improves and have more abilities and skills. It’s a nice little addition that encourages you to level up your character as high as possible.
Hacking is cool
The core idea of hacking is pretty damn cool and pretty easy to operate. You can hack just about everything and it displays that fact on screen. Jumping from camera to camera adds some interesting elements, especially when approaching tasks and objectives from various points of view. It gives you a lot of control on what approach to take as you can view an area from different angles and plan your attack. It could be guns a blazing or more of a stealthy, tactical approach. One thing to note, there can be tons of crap on the screen at once and it’s almost visual overload at times. Those with A.D.D. might find their brain exploding at all the stuff going on. You might start out heading toward the next checkpoint of the campaign but then something will pop up on screen that will take your attention elsewhere. These distractions are hard to ignore. From hacking things, investigating random people, and investigation and preventing criminal activity, Watch Dogs keeps you busy going through the city of Chicago.
Multiplayer is pretty fun
I only played a few private maps with some friends but it was a blast. Some hilarious moments of pure chaos. I am not sure if there’s enough depth to really keep playing it though. It’s one of those fun to try with a few buddies but I doubt I’ll dedicate much time to it. Kind of like Assassin’s Creed multiplayer. I was also under the impression there was more to it and would be easy to play with your crew but I didn’t see that many options.
The Old Guy in Me Says
Maybe I had too high expectations after seen those great gameplay videos at the last E3. Or maybe blame Ubisoft for false advertising. The game is decent so far but it’s not mind blowing. I’ve heard it gets a lot better as your skills and abilities improve and you get more into the story.
It still pisses me off that Ubisoft decided to go cross gen. It’s time to look at the future folks. Focus on current tech, not old tech. Anyways, I still want to keep playing so that’s a good thing at least. If you are on the fence about getting this game, I’d hold off for a sale cause right now, not sure if it’s worth the FULL price of admission….yet.