This will likely be my last game review for a while, and not because I’m flat broke. I have a huge stack of old games I could trade in for something new. The problem is, I haven’t seen anything new or used that I want to play. This last review is for a game I was tepid on to begin with, but decided to get it because it was steeply discounted.
Watch Dogs got a bad rap right after release because Ubisoft gave it a graphical downgrade from the demo shown at E3. Personally, I feel like bullshotting is so common among the big publishers that it’s not worth my anger. HOWEVER, there is something that pissed me off about this game, and that was the fact that it doesn’t work with the rest mode on the PS4. On all my other games, I could put the console to sleep and come back the next day at the same spot I left. But no, this game would shut down and drop whatever mission I was in. More infuriating was the intrusive U-play sign up. I actually have a U-play account, but I didn’t want to use it. I had to skip the setup on every. Single. Startup. UGH.
So, with that out of the way, Watch Dogs is a wannabe Grand Theft Auto with some phone “hacking” puzzles thrown in. This is hacking in the same vein as that 90s movie was, but I actually liked the puzzles, even the ones on a timer, and you know how I feel about timed missions. (If you don’t know…I hate them with the burning passion of a thousand supernovas.) The driving is mostly decent with some caveats that I’ll get to later, and despite the graphical downgrade, the world looks pretty damned good.
It’s a pity I can’t praise the story, because the story is pure shite. A lot of the blame is on main character Aiden Pearce, who is a tool in many different ways. He’s a tool in the sense that it’s impossible to like him, and he’s a tool in that everybody uses him so easily. The writers want me to believe this guy is so smart and capable, but in the story he is so stupid that he deserves everything that’s happened to him. But he can’t take all the blame for this. The other characters around him all hail from the book of action movie cliches, and every time the story went, “Ah ha, here’s a twist,” I sighed and thought, “Yep, saw that coming from the intro.” This is a clumsy string of delaying tactics, and as the story progresses, they just get more and more stupid as they go along. Continue reading