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Old 05-30-2014, 04:34 PM   #1
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Post Rate this Review: Watch Dogs (PC)

Watch Dogs (PC) Review

HIGH: Controlling the entire city with my high tech smart-phone!

LOW: Unforgiving bugs, crashes and horrible PC optimization.

WTF: Random Character Profiler “HIV Postive, Occupation: Blood Donor”

Watch Dogs being one of the most (if not the most) hyped games of 2014 so far, we have to wonder if it lives up to the hype train behind it, so hop on and lets find out! Chu-chu!
You play as a character named Aiden Pearce, a highly skilled criminal hacker in a futuristic day Chigaco which is hyper-connected to a centralized system called CtOS. After his niece is killed in an attempt to shut Aiden Pearce down for good, Aiden seeks to bring his own form of justice to the ones who caused it making him a vigilante.
From the start of the game you are thrown into a short (and I mean short) tutorial mission, afterwords being given a huge city to run around and explore. You can tell Ubisoft put lots of effort into this games environment because it feels alive. From citizens taking on random actions such as forgetting coffee on the roof of their car which they go back to retrieve or a police chase soaring past you while you're using your phone to manipulate the world in your favour. This leads to many interesting game mechanics, the obvious one being a highly skilled hacker with the entire city at your fingertips.

Hacking traffic lights to cause major crashes, stopping and starting trains, and blacking out the city with your smart-phone to help escape or pursue left me feeling extremely powerful. Who thought such a tiny concept could leave such a huge impact to both the player and the in-game world. Now, an in-game progression wheel does limit your hacking abilities until you can level up to gain skill points which can then be allocated into a skill tree but a really neat thing that Ubisoft did is that once you beat a couple of missions in the game, you unlock ALL the skills. This means it doesn't require you to become a certain level or beat a certain side task. All you need are the appropriate skill points and you can choose what your strengths are. The system isn't extremely in depth but you can tell effort was put in to try and balance it.
Another system that was brought into Watch Dogs open-world game was a morality system. Stopping petty crimes and saving peoples lives grants you vigilante status, meaning citizens will often come to you and take pictures. While killing citizens and causing chaos leaves you to be a villain, causing citizens to be fearful and more likely to call the police on you.

This game is definitely huge, Ubisoft was right about that. The sad thing is, the game looks heavily downgraded from their E3 demos which seems to follow their recent bait and switch advertising techniques. Along with a PC port that causes fps lag even on high end computers and a bunch of bugs/crashed even after first day patches really makes it hard to recommend the PC version. I haven't played the console versions of the game and after having my save file become corrupted due to a known game breaking bug, I don't think I want to go out and purchase a console copy, no matter the hours of entertainment the game gave me.

One thing I never got to try was the unique multiplayer, pitting hackers versus hackers sounds amazing. Definitely something I might watch online but playing through the game again to get my save back isn't appealing enough.

I would rate Watch Dogs for the PC a 7/10, boosting it up to an 8 if the bugs/optimization are fixed.

Disclosures: This game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the PC. Approximately 6 hours of play was devoted to single-player modes and 0 hours of play to multiplayer modes.

Parents: According to the ESRB, this game contains: Blood, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol. There's no question that this game is absolutely intended for adults and no children should play or watch. Some scenes reference sexual and violent manners, even walking down the street with the profiler on can reveals possible offensive material. I still would consider the GTA series to be far worse.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Subtitles are available for all of the dialogue—and there's a lot. Multiple languages are supported as well. I have not personally tested them however so things may very from language to language.

Note: This is my first review, let me know what you think and how I can improve, thanks!
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