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by on Aug 2nd, 2014

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a new epic review from our website’s friend “RAM ATTAF”

Watch_Dogs Review: Hacker Cracker.

Okay, so, here we are.

Watch_Dogs. The Ubisoft game that was predicted to be the best game of 2014 is here, and in stores all around the world. Was it hyped? Definitely. But was it overhyped? Read on to find out.

Watch_Dogs is about Aiden Pearce, a Hacker/Fixer turned “Vigilante” in the city of Chicago, who can hack the city’s infrastructure- which is monitored by ctOS, the Central Operating System- using his smartphone, in order to exact vengeance upon a man who hired a fixer to kill his niece after a failed money-siphoning  job with his hacker cracker “buddy”, Damien Brenks.

Yup, that’s pretty much the premise of the game’s ridiculous plot. It’s one of the most badly written, cliché-ridden plots that I have ever experienced. Aiden as a character is bland, dull, he’s a Christian Bale wanna-be, and actually a bit of an jerk, as he doesn’t care when he puts his sister (Nicole Pearce) (who doesn’t seem to watch the news) in danger, and gets her son (Jackson Pearce) in some trouble with a few “Fixers” (Fixer is the game’s fancy name for a mercenary, a hired hitman).

The side characters though, are the plot’s saving grace, you’ve got a french hacker girl, Clara Lille who- of course – shows her cleavage all the time, and actually Aiden strangles her the first time he sees her, in typical videogame fashion. You’ve got a funny (in a dark way) character, Jordi, a Fixer, who works with/against Aiden throughout the game. He’s probably the only uniquely written character and he’s very underused. T-Bone who is a previously-glorious hacker, now in hiding.

The animations of all these characters are extremely well done. And of course, you’ve got your typical bad guys, who are very badly setup, and are just there for the sake of being there. Iraq is probably the lamest African-American solider I’ve ever seen ,and he’s treated in a very racist manner just like any other African-American NPCs in the game who are usually criminals. Lucky Quinn is an old man who runs the Chicago South Club and a damned human trafficking “auction”, which shows promise, but quickly turns out to be highly typical.

Ded_Sec is an interesting faction, but no information is mentioned about it. The information is locked behind a paywall, in the Season Pass. Even you, Ubisoft? And when the final motivations are shown, the whole game feels very stupid. It seems like the writers were stuck at the ending, so they just decided to make up a whole new cause for the game’s events to actually take place. The ending screams “SEQUEL BAIT” at you in your face, so it doesn’t feel like a complete experience.

Watch_Dogs’ story unsuccessfully tries to deal with some very thought-provoking themes So overall, the story is a steamy pile of horse shit, a 4/10. But does the game shine in other areas? Yes, in the gameplay. I’m glad to say that Watch_Dogs has one of the best open world combat systems that I’ve ever played. The stealth is great, even better than Assassin’s Creed’s stealth actually. The gameplay includes a cover-to-cover mechanic, sort of like Splinter Cell: Blacklist, another great Ubisoft title. You can also go all out Berserk mode- which reinforces that the game does superb combat choices- shooting everything, and when it comes down to shooting, the game is still incredible. It’s tight, and the Enemies’ AI is excellently done; they’re smart and they will kick your ass more than a few times. The hacking-what the game is actually about- is good, yet not what we were promised depth-wise.

It’s basically just one-button-press to destroy enemies’ vehicles. The best part of the hacking is moving from one surveillance camera to another, tagging enemies, and planning your strategy; that is where I had the best moments with Watch_Dogs. Combining stealth with hacking cameras is remarkable. Profiling citizens is a way to reveal hacking opportunities, for example you can hack citizens to steal money from them, which is actually contradictory to the main storyline, as you steal hundreds of thousands of dollars, yet you’re the “Vigilante”, and does any NPC check his/her bank account in the game?

I mean isn’t it a tiny bit suspicious that more than a few citizens’ bank accounts have been stolen? Not even with a vigilante around in the city that you blame for everything bad that happens in Chicago? Hacking puzzles are annoying, and the Follow-The-White-Line puzzles are also bad requiring no smartness. The Driving is good but not perfect, the driving physics are bad, for example, if you’re driving a sports car, you can ram (lol) an S.U.V car with comfort, and your car will just stay put.So overall, the gameplay is excellent, 9/10.

BUT, (and that’s a very big but) there are a lot of just plain weird things in the game. There are some invisible walls that you can’t get through, and the main missions are samey as hell, even lazy. Side missions, while the Gang Hideout and the Criminal Convoy missions are great and chess puzzles are very fun, are ass.

Fixer Contracts are a meaningless way to get money, because Profiling is easier, while the Crime Prediction missions are basically just boring, if you intervene a nanosecond before the ctOS system tells you to intervene, the criminal just walks away, hand-in-hand with the victim, like he wasn’t about to kill him, and it’s just very exhaustingly repetitive, just like about every other thing in the game.

The story with the additional side content is very simple: quantity over quality. NPC models repeat a lot, their profile repeats a lot, and does every single beatbox in Chicago sound the same?, the game has multiple bugs, sometimes the AI bugs out as well, textures pop in very frequently, even cars pop in, the parkour has no flow, and it’s a rough, albeit useful, way to get around Chicago quickly on foot.

Chicago’s in game areas are indifferent, and you feel like you’re driving around the same buildings and alleys all over again, it’s insane right? (lol). When the game tries to pull off a sense of humor, it ends up feeling forced, just like all the digital trips (except for The Spider Tank which is incredibly fun), as if the game is telling you: “THIS IS FUN. IT’S SUPPOSED TO FUNNY. LAUGH.” .there’s no option to disconnect from Uplay, and Ubi’s servers, because if you disconnect from the internet, the game keeps popping out this message with an annoying sound which is immersion-breaking: “WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!”, the picture that is shown when a crime is detected, has nothing to do with neither criminal, nor the victim, it’s just a random picture.

The outfits, are ass. I mean they’re just re-colorings of the original outfit, there are only a few outfits that are actually good-looking, like Nemesis, and Shadow. The soundtrack sucks balls, except for a few songs, like C.R.E.A.M and Jesus built my hot rod, they’re among the better tracks in the soundtrack, though the game’s score is excellent.

The water effects are overblown on Aiden’s jacket, and they’re only rendered on him once he jumps in the sea or when it’s raining, but when he crashes his car into the one of the emergency water stuff on the pavement, and he stands on it, nothing happens, no effect whatsoever, there are also weird occasions of frame drops. You may think that most of what I’ve said are just trivial details, but considering that the game was delayed to get polished, it has no polish at all.

The guys back at Ubisoft should’ve given WAAAAY more attention to detail, and they lied to us on so many things including the alive-ness of the citizens of Chicago and the overall world. The graphics are obviously downgraded from the demoes and the official walkthroughs from Ubisoft, even the PS4’s version should’ve looked better. The PC port, got a lot of controversy, as Ubi didn’t give a shit about PC Gamers although they said that the PC is their leading platform, and that PC Gamers will be able to mimic the infamous E3 2012 graphics, but it’s all a bunch of bullcrap.

THE VERDICT: Watch_Dogs may sound like GOTY content for 2014, but it isn’t. Watch_Dogs score: 7/10.

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Leave a Comment »1 Comment
  • Reply » Sam August 2, 2014

    nice review dude.
    very accurate and very fair. i would give it 9 out of 10
    only one thing i would like to mention.
    your personal rating for each section of the game is a bit not accurate. gameplay doesnt deserve 9/10, specially when the story is a part of the gameplay.
    the hacking thing is not hacking, its like a simple minded puzzels. so the main core of the game is BS. also this affect the gameplay.
    same goes for driving, if i were you i would give it 5 out 10.

    but regarding the info you have mentioned, i never read a review more accurate tan this…keep it up.

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