Let me preface this by saying that Watch_Dogs is NOT FOR CHILDREN IN ANY WAY. It is highly inappropriate for kids and should only be played by those who are mature enough to handle the content without having it leave an impression on them. With that being said, Watch_Dogs is a fun game, and it was definitely worth my time. It’s far from the best game I’ve ever played, and it does have its problems, but at the end of the day, it still provides memorable moments that I will remember for years to come.
Watch_Dogs is about a man named Aiden Pearce, a hacker living in Chicago. When a mission goes wrong, he is targeted in a drive-by shooting. His niece is killed instead, and he heads out to find those involved and kill them. While this is not a full review of the game (because that would take many more words than you would like to read) it does provide a quick pros-and-cons list for you to see if it would be worth you playing. To start, let’s hit the pros.
-Solid gunplay; guns control and handle well, and the gunplay controls are tight
-Intense shootouts and high speed chases; there are a lot of adrenaline pumping moments in Watch_Dogs, so stay alert
-Emotional storyline; although I’ll explain more about the story later, it did have surprising depth near the end
-Amazing ending; this is one of the best endings I’ve experienced in a game
-Smoothness and fluidity; nearly everything about the game is smooth, from matchmaking to hacking the world as you drive by
-Replayability; between online play and the hundreds of side objectives, there is a lot to do, especially if you’re a completionist
Now, the pros were pretty easy to explain in few words. The cons need a little explanation, so this section is a bit lengthier, not because the cons outweigh the pros, but because they’re less straightforward. You’ll see.
-Endless pockets; Aiden apparently has the biggest pockets in the world, because he can store everything in his inventory at once, including all weapons he picks up during the course of the game. I’ve reached the end, and I’m carrying 2 snipers, a grenade launcher. almost a dozen pistols, nearly the same number of rifles, and a handful of shotguns. I’m carrying nearly 2 dozen weapons, so reloading is sometimes not necessary. For example, I have over 5 shotguns. If one runs out of ammo, rather than waiting for it to reload, I can just switch to my next one, then the next one… giving me over 50 bullets without reloading. That kills the vibe.
-Terrible driving controls; this is my biggest complaint of the game. Aside from the tight handling motorcycles, everything slides like worn tires on a slick road. Even the sports cars slide; nearly everything is too difficult to handle. Oh, and there’s no speedometer…
-Lack of realism; going along with my endless pockets, there are some points that make me scratch my head. If I throw a guy out of his car and drive away with it, it seems like there’s about a 10% chance or less that he’ll call the cops on me, even on Realistic difficulty (the hardest). This is futuristic Chicago; everyone has a cell phone… USE IT! Furthermore, cars take way too much damage before exploding. There’s no way I should be able to run into a half dozen vehicles at top speed before finally wrecking a flimsy sports bike.
-Convoluted storyline; the story can come off like a TV crime drama, but less understandable. The Watch_Dogs story starts by me finding the guy who shot at me, but to find answers, I’m led to somebody else, who leads me to somebody else, who has me do this for him, which finds me somebody else, blah, blah, blah. Next thing you know, I don’t know who I’m working for, who’s working for me, or who’s betraying me. It gets really confusing.
-Occasional glitches and bugs; this isn’t a huge complaint, but it’s valid. I had a mission that I had to quit and restart from a checkpoint a couple times because my partner refused to advance. Another time, I was on a high speed chase to catch a criminal. I T-boned his car, which somehow caused his body to freeze onto the hood of my car so that he was standing on the hood…stuck there. After I drove around for a bit, he magically disappeared and died. Oh well.
Long story short, I would rate Watch_Dogs a 7.25 out of 10. It’s a solid game, and the ideas are there, but they certainly need refining for a sequel. Nonetheless, it is a fun game to play, and my purchase was a good one, I think. Hopefully this helps you decide whether or not Watch_Dogs is right for you.