So I finally finished Watch Dogs
I say “finally” because I must admit, it did turn into a grind where I really just wanted to finish damn game. I didn’t worry much about the seemingly endless amount of useless side missions that popped up over and over again. It just got too much. In the end, my primary focus was finishing the game.
My First Impressions of the game haven’t changed much and that’s not really a good thing.
Rather than repeat myself, check out my Watch Dogs First Impressions. Even after finishing the game, I can’t say that it was worth it. The characters were all kind of boring, including the main character, Aiden Pierce. You just don’t care much about him or his problems. I think Ubisoft wanted you to feel the pain that Aiden feels with the loss of his niece and the desire to help your sister but it falls flat.
The game play just doesn’t stick
Overall, the game play is decent but nothing spectacular. It doesn’t help that the graphics aren’t what we saw from E3 a year ago. The gun play isn’t too bad but I found there’s no need to buy weapons at the store as the ones you pick up off dead enemies are more than enough.
The side missions don’t get better and I found myself only doing the Gang Hideouts (locate individuals in a guarded location) as it rewarded you with skill points that you can allocate toward various abilities. The other missions include fixer contracts (aka time trial racing), crime prevention and others which get repetitive and boring.
Granted the hacking was pretty cool and implemented in such a way that it’s intuitive to use, but there’s almost too much of it. I’d like to see this refined some more but I do appreciate the stealth aspects where you do have to plan out how to approach a situation using a combination of hacking and taking down enemies silently. However, some of the missions can get frustrating where you immediately fail if you are discovered and sometimes takes a number of attempts to pass.
So let’s talk about the driving. The driving is perhaps one of the worst aspects of the game. It’s hard to describe it but the driving feels very clunky and unresponsive. It just plain sucks. It doesn’t help that you have to spend a lot of time driving to avoid the police who are constantly chasing you. It gets almost ridiculous the sheer amount of cop cars that come out of the wood works to try to hunt you down. Again, this can take a number of painful tries to pass these sequences.
The online component where you can hack or be hacked by random players does add an interesting element to the game. I really didn’t spend much time in it but was annoyed once or twice while trying to finish the game with some random dude trying to hack my game! I am not going to lie though, it’s very satisfying killing the hacker.
The Old Guy in Me Says
There’s tons of potential here and I still think that the hacking is pretty cool. The problem is that there’s too many things that are annoying to truly recommend Watch Dogs. From the poor driving mechanics and the repetitive and useless side missions, Watch Dogs just doesn’t hold your interest like Sleeping Dogs or Grand Theft Auto. It tries and it can be great at certain times. It doesn’t help that the main character is a douche and as my fellow GVets says, tries to hard to sound like Batman. Overall Ubisoft made an interesting attempt that just falls a bit flat. Just like Assassins Creed I, I think there’s enough here to refine and work on to expect the sequel to address many of these issue. We’ll see.