Watch_Dogs Reviews

  • GlovesAreOffGlovesAreOff288,465
    07 Jun 2014 19 Oct 2014
    23 8 3
    Having played this great game through right to its very end and having collected all of the achievements, I feel I am in a great position to provide a review of this game. So here goes...

    Watch Dogs came out just over a week ago with a weight of expectation, much of it due to its delay, its fantastic E3 showing back in 2012 and the not so fulfilling one in 2013 - mainly due to the noticeable downgrade in graphical quality. Now it's for this reason that I feel this game is garnering a lot of negativity from review sites. But any game that showed as much ambition as this game did 2 years ago and didn't quite live up to it would be in the exact same position.

    The truth is this game is excellent. Ubisoft Montreal have created one of the most realistic open worlds to date not only from the varying ways NPCs react to you, but to other NPCs in the game as well. Also I must stress that the lighting and particle effects are some of the best I've seen in a game, particularly noticeable when they occur simultaneously i.e. raining during the night part of the cycle.

    The shooting mechanics are fine (at least I had no problem with them at all) and the hacking never got tiring; for me it was at its best during the frantic car chases all over Chicago and the satisfaction you got from neutralizing multiple cars with a nicely timed raising of some bollards! The only mechanic in the game that left me dissatisfied was the driving; it was very clunky at first and erratic but in all honesty after playing for 3-4 hours it didn't bother me too much.

    Now onto the campaign; it's your typical revenge story, nothing out of the ordinary. You control Aiden Pearce, a hacker who has lost his niece and vows to avenge her. His character does feel rather bland but thankfully the supporting cast is great with Jordi Chin, an associate of Aiden Pearce, being a highlight of the series so far. The one smart aspect I did like of the story, without going into spoiler territory, is that the relentless pursuit of a goal seeped in criminal activity can have a heavy cost attached to it.

    Aside from the main campaign there is a wealth of content in the game; Fixer contracts (relatively short driving missions sometimes involving getting from point A to point B, other times working as a decoy), Criminal Convoys (missions where you must take out an escorted target) and around 5 different types of Investigations ranging from Missing Persons to Weapons Trade.

    All-in-all I spent close to 50 hours playing this game and never felt anything less than entertained by it. I look forward to Watch Dogs 2.0 which I feel will reach the ambitious targets it's predecessor set for itself no doubt due to the fact that it will be 'next-gen only'.
    Showing all 3 comments.
    Familyguy Simongreat review pal :) Best game of the year so far smile
    Posted by Familyguy Simon on 09 Jun 14 at 11:04
    AStarfoxFab Review and a great game.
    Posted by AStarfox on 13 Jun 14 at 09:42
    IceeLady👍 Great review - kudos! Finally getting around to starting it now 😀
    Posted by IceeLady on 22 Feb at 16:26
  • Develed JrDeveled Jr184,094
    01 Jun 2014 02 Jun 2014
    31 19 6
    Watch Dogs is a fantastic, enjoyable open world game that will not easily bore you. With plenty of different activities and missions, everything is unique enough that you can find something that you enjoy doing. I’m comfortable saying that Watch Dogs has over 100 hours of gameplay, between campaign, side missions, and mini games, online, city games and collectibles. With a collectible list that gives you something to work towards, skill upgrades to build the Aiden Pearce that you want. And the ability to play either stealthily, using your hacking skills to avoid combat; Or running and gunning, taking on hordes of enemies, Watch Dogs offers something for everybody.

    Gameplay: 6/5

    Yes. 6/5. I know that I can’t really do this, but I feel like giving Watch Dogs a 5/5 on gameplay would be understating things. Every portion of this game is enjoyable, which is good because of how much time you will spend in the ctOS controlled city of Chicago. Everything from the main campaign missions, to the side missions, to the collectibles (for the most part) and even just wondering around the city learning every citizen’s deepest, darkest secrets, you will be having a blast. The collectibles are, for the most part, much more than just run around looking for things. Collectibles can lead to investigations or even give you an inside peak into other people’s homes when they think no one else is around. This may sound kind of odd, but Ubisoft did a great job in throwing in some shout outs to different areas of the internet, if you’re smart enough to catch them. The side missions add diversity to the game, so it’s much more than just running around hacking into computers. On one side mission, you may be tailing someone trying to steal information, or you could be chasing down a car; then the next time, you could infiltrate a gang hideout, or intervening in a crime about to be committed. In short, there is almost an endless amount of things you could do in Watch Dogs, all which differ enough from each other that you wouldn’t feel as if you are doing the same, repetitive missions over and over again. The game also controls really well, whether you are driving, in combat, or running around. With the exception of the controls in some cases seeming backwards; every once in a while I’d find myself climbing a barrier instead of taking cover. Furthermore, the way the implemented online play is tremendous. Being able to go into someone else world, and try and tail them without being noticed, or hack their device before being found. As well as the knowledge that someone could do the same to you at anytime.

    Summery: Everything you can do in both single player, and online is fun. This game controls well and everything from shooting, to driving just FEELS good.

    Story: 4/5

    The Campaign is much more interesting than I had expected. A lot of times with open world games, the story seems almost secondary to free roam, but in this case I’d say it’s very much neck and neck. The story starts off as a very generic revenge story. The main character, Aiden Pearce, is attempting to track down the people responsible for killing his family. So it starts off as a very cookie-cutter story, but everything quickly gets much more intense. Aiden uncovers things he’s not supposed to, stumbles upon some very interesting legends, and winds up on the wrong side of some bad people. It’s not easy to explain why this campaign is so intriguing without getting into spoiler territory, but I will say it is more than I had expected from this game. And with a great cast of “heroes” and “villains” that you will grow to love and hate, the campaign is well worth your time.

    Visuals: 3.5/5

    Watch Dogs isn’t going to blow you away with its graphics or anything, but that’s not to say the game doesn’t look good. The graphics are what you would expect from of game of this magnitude on the Xbox One; it looks good, but not great. That being said, the city itself and some of the little things make this very nice to look at. The skyline looks very similar to the real Chicago skyline, and the entire city was very well replicated. Driving through Watch Dogs looks like you’re driving through the real Chicago, the detail is fantastic. Also; the little things. The attention to detail in many aspects of Watch Dogs is great, and not just the city, but the physics and the weather. These may be strange things to notice; but one noticeable touch that adds to the realism and the immersion of the world is the weather affects. For example, after a rain storm, which are apparently super common in Chicago, once the rain stops you could still see water flowing through the streets against the curbs. Also, I mentioned the physics. The movement of clothes on both Aiden and the civilians looks very realistic. It all moves the way your brain would expect and is easy on the eyes, and not many visual glitches is also nice to see. These, plus many other little things make Watch Dogs look very pretty and realistic.

    Audio: 4/5

    Voice acting, in my opinion, is a critical part of any game that can either turn away an audience, or pull them in. And this does the latter. Not just from the main characters either, walking around the city and listening to other people gossip shows just how deep the voice talent for Watch Dogs is. There isn’t anything super special about the sound affects; driving, shooting, hacking all sounds like what we’ve come to expect in video games, which isn’t a bad thing. The cars sound powerful, the guns sound heavy; it sounds like what you want an open world game to sound like. Which is a bit ambiguous of a claim, but that’s really the best way to put it.
    Although it isn’t considered “audio” per se, I have to mention how great the writing is for every part of this game. You are able to hack into other people’s phones and hear a conversation take place, or read texts going back and forth, and the majority of the time these are good for a nice chuckle. And again, walking around the city listening to people, you’ll hear heated arguments, freestyling, and just general funny gossip.
    All in all, this game doesn’t do anything unique with audio, and doesn’t do anything wrong either. Great voice acting coupled with amazing writing leads to no complaints about the audio of the game.

    Achievements: 4.5/5

    This is NOT an easy completion. I feel the need to stress that right away, the achievements are good, but time consuming. I wouldn’t consider any of the achievements to be overly difficult, but it will take plenty of time to perfect. That being said, it will also be very fun to complete. With the exception of the 100 city hotspots, all of the achievements are fun to do and aren’t unreasonable. By that I mean, you have to collect burner phones, but there are only 8. And you have to complete a certain amount of each side mission, but none of them are too much. But as I stated earlier, these side missions are enjoyable, and make you think, and plan, and strategize. In total there is a lot of things you have to do, but without an overwhelming number of anything (except the city hotspots). Because of this, you won’t get too bored of doing one kind of mission over and over again for achievements.
    In summary, not an easy completion, but it should be an enjoyable one.

    Watch Dogs is a must buy if you enjoy open world games. With arguably more than 100 hours of gameplay before the planned DLC, you will get your money’s worth.

    EDIT: I just started doing reviews so I apologize if this isn't very well done. That being said, it's understandable if you vote negatively on it, but if you could I would appreciate you saying why it's bad so I can improve for next time. Thanks!
  • Madknight 64Madknight 64362,646
    30 Jul 2018 10 Sep 2018
    2 2 0
    Watch Dogs is a fun, open world game that has a lot going for it. The hacking aspect in the game is one of the more unique things I've seen to an open world game, and is really easy to use, along with some pretty unique interactions. There are lots of side activities to do if you find yourself enjoying the game, and lots to explore, however some of these may feel repetitive after a little while.

    The story in the game is your standard vengeance plot line, so there aren't too many surprises there in terms of the story. There aren't many twists and turns if you have played or watched the standard vengeance style story. The game is good at portraying that style of story, but there aren't many risks taken with the story telling, and you can get a feel of many of the characters actions prior to them taking them. The main character also isn't the most compelling, he's out for vengeance and that's all that really seems to drive him. He doesn't really grow much and feels like your standard strong, quiet protagonist.

    Game Play
    The game play of this game is solid, though it falls into some of the issues that spawn from open world games. There are lots of activities that you can do (from side quests to just fun activities) and some of these really stand out, the digital trips are wacky, crazy and all sorts of fun. However, some of them lack variety from what you are doing in the main story, you are just doing it on the side and not having it affect the story. There are side missions that can be unlocked, but they do take a decent chunk of time. You have to first hack many items, then find a location, rinse and repeat until you have all the intel. While in a one-off basis this may have worked, with the repetitive nature of it with every side mission, it can feel tedious or a little much. Though the best thing they did was add a progress wheel, and if you do these side missions/activities you are granted rewards in the game, so there is an incentive to do them (rather than just giving you and achievement).

    The missions in the game, while some feel unique, there are others that feel like your run of the mill side mission at times. There is also no punishment or reward for playing the game a certain way. What I mean by this, is that you can carefully plan your attack, hack your way through everything and eventually come to your goal and complete the mission..... or you can just bust in the front door and go guns blazing. Both of these are viable options, and a lot of times it felt easier to just ignore hacking and shoot your way through. This also made the main character feel too strong (he is a master hacker, master marksman, expert driver) and has no faults, which pulls you out of the immersion from the game cause he feels too strong.

    One of the more unique things about this game was the PvP aspect. During the game, you can occasionally be interrupted by other players coming in to mess with you. This can happen if you hack the wrong NPC, mess with another player or some of your other activities. They can intrude while you are doing side missions, and you immediately need to deal with the other player. This gives the game that feel of someone hacking in and intruding on what you are doing, but can be frustrating if you are close to beating something and suddenly you have become hacked.

    Last Thoughts
    Overall, this is a pretty decent game and worth a play if you enjoy the GTA-esque style open world games. Just be aware that at times there will be some things that feel repetitive, and you really don't have to be sneaky if you don't want to be. Enjoy your time hacking through things and causing some havoc in the city, but after a little while you will feel like it is limited due to hacking only affecting certain things. There's lots to do if you enjoy the game, but you can also finish the main story pretty quickly if that is what you would like to focus on.

    This review is my own opinion of the game and mine alone, and doesn't reflect the opinions of my employer.
  • VanHow10VanHow10135,913
    06 Jun 2014
    6 11 0
    Watch dogs was one of the most hyped video games of this year. I was very excited about it, I missed out on GTA5 last year and have been itching to play a modern day "Sandbox" game. Everything about this game feels fresh and original. Some reviews talk about how Watch_Dogs is just a GTA spin off, I have also heard it compared to the assassins creed series. I wouldn't do either comparison, it is a very different game than either of those. It is like comparing Need For Speed with Forza. I personally enjoy the arcade racer over the Simulation Racer. That is what this game feels like, it is an action packed sandbox original game. The story line is pretty good, it always kept you on the edge of your seat, it was a bit predictive though. It took me about 12-15 hours to complete.

    Graphics (2 of 3): The graphics in Watch_Dogs are pretty good, especially after it rains or you get out of the water. The cars look great, the people look great. They really did a good job creating chicago. It is a good game to show off graphics with, but not the greatest. You have a good deal of outfits you can purchase, as well as guns. Even while speeding down the street at top speed the graphics still look good.

    Multiplayer (3 of 3): This game is based on multiplayer, and it is fantastic. At any time while playing you can start to get "Hacked" which is a glorified version of hide and seek. Most people arent very good, and you can find them fairly well, BUT when you get that one very good player it is almost impossible. They also have game modes that you can access when you please, they have a game type that is a "keep away" your team needs to hold a briefcase while the other team attempts to obtain it and do the same, you can still get in cars and such. They also have free roam, racing, and a couple others. It is very fun, and a nice alternative to the story line.

    Replay Value (2 of 3): This is a great game to fulfill your sandbox fix. It will get old after awhile, just like every other game. You need to collect a bunch of items and go to certain points to obtain all achievements, the developers said it will take about 100 hours of play to do. I haven't bought into that number quite yet. It does have an upper hand on the AC series because of its particular type of multiplayer. I will probably put my time in, then put it away for a few months. I do see myself coming back to in the future for a quick fix though.

    Sympathy (1 of 1): This game is a must have for everyone on any console. It is fun, exciting, and wont be much of a disappointment. I enjoyed it, and will enjoy it for many more hours. Worth every penny

    I play games throughout the evening almost every night, feel free to add me on XBL, or even friend me on your Wii U. I also am fairly active on G+. My gamertag/username throughout the internet is "VanHow10". I am always willing to meet new people, over games makes it that much more fun. I do upload a few videos on youtube, and will like to do more. If you are interested in any of it, send over a PM. Thank you for reading, hope to "Hack" you soon!
  • senor scientistsenor scientist225,446
    08 Jun 2014 09 Jun 2014
    5 11 1
    As soon as I heard about Watch Dogs at E3 2013 and that it was going to be available at the launch of the Xbox One, it was one of the first games that I preordered. Two weeks before the system launched, the game’s release date was pushed. I was fine with that, because I still had Dead Rising 3 as a launch title and I did not have to manage my time between the two. It also helped me move funds over to the console itself and streamlined my digital only agenda. Did the extra time put into developing Watch Dogs help make it a better game? I do not know if it was unplayable before, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself despite the blarring technical issues.

    My current favorite videogame genre is definitely the open world style that is presented in Watch Dogs. A copious amount of things to do other than story make the game that much more enjoyable. There are slot machines, virtual reality (Inception sound effect goes here) games that have you interacting with the standard environment in addition to things that the regular AI cannot see, crime scenes to discover, puzzle games in the form of chess, and of course the Ubisoft “climb the tower to unlock locations on your map” with a hacker twist. There are numerous other additional things to do, but these are the ones that stand out in my mind. That being said, they are for the most part incredibly well done with the exceptions being the slots which are just a standard single line slot machine and poker which is mind-numbingly drawn out.

    The virtual reality games are unique in that the game’s standard AI continues to function as you fight invading aliens with a ray gun or run around like a crazy person collecting coins. I nearly ran in to several vehicles and people as I was fighting my way through what appeared to be endless waves of aliens. I thought certainly someone on the street would call the cops on me for looking like a maniac, but it never happened. The chess challenges tasked you with capturing all of the pawns in a certain number of moves ranking your performance on a three star system. Being a guy that grew up loving chess, I found myself really enjoying this addition. The Crime scenes have no level of interaction aside from finding a voice recording of a sociopath, which is a little disappointing compared to LA Noire. The “tower climbing” is much better than any of the other Ubisoft tower climbing I have experienced which is understandable given that it has been an ongoing mechanic within the company for at least the past decade.

    Another side item that I thoroughly enjoy that I did not lump in with the others are the Gang Hideouts. They are in some sense an equivalent to the outposts in Far Cry 3 with the specific targeting found in some Assassin Creed Missions. Essentially there is a gang of roughly 10-15 people and you have to isolate a specific 1-3 individual(s). The one downside here, is that you must not kill that 1-3 specific individual(s) and everyone else is fair game. Meaning you can murder 15+ guys just so you can pummel one in particular individual who might have simply did the same thing to someone else. It’s weird that it is an instant fail and not simply a reduction in experience with the option of retrying for something so simple.

    The story itself is by no means thinking outside the box, but it works. The pacing of the story however is way out of whack. Act II of IV makes up half of the game's missions. Add to that missions that do not seem to end and it gets a little tiresome. On more than one occasion I thought I had finished a mission only to find out 10-15 minutes later that there was another waypoint that continued that mission and not start a new one. I did start my playthrough with my xbox set for energy saving so every time I started the game, it required a fresh load. That fresh load coupled with my interest in doing side stuff first led to me listening to the same phone call conversations over and over again reminding me that I should progress the story even if I had previously listened to it, did something that saved my progress, and then shut down my console.

    Act II seems to be the most thought out of the game. The boss battle is well thought out and not just a quick time event. There is one mission where you guide someone through a place and then later you have to revisit it as you navigate yourself. That feeling of revisiting something that I only initially got to experience through video cameras was just so rewarding. Act I is an appropriate start to any game and I cannot fault them for that. Acts III and IV and just moderately underwhelming compared to the rest of the game. The final act is a single mission that definitely works in the story, but is a little weird. It's not long or short, but it attempts to distract you from your objective,. The distraction is only mildly annoying and does not entirely make sense unless Aiden is a robot or there is something else at work in this digital future. The ultimate showdown just turns out to be a one, two quick time event with no satisfaction. The ending of the third act was much more satisfying than the final mission and even that mission has been panned by many who have played it.

    There is a moral system that will either work in your favor or against you in the same manner as the mental state in GTA V. If you go around killing civilians you will be seen as a wanted man and the public will not hesitate to call the police on you. However, if you play the game avoiding civilian casualties, the public will ignore you for the most part and not make a scene.

    The voice acting is slightly off, but for a peculiar reason. Chicago has never been and could never be this Canadien. That thought ran through my mind every time I heard someone speak. I detected a Canadian accent from 90% of the main voice actors. GTA IV had a diverse culture, but then again that is fictional New York. Here we are dealing with as close to Chicago as can be, yet everyone has a canadian tongue. I mean we knew the setting was going to be Chicago 2 years ago, so why is everyone talking funny. This has little impact overall, but it is still something to take note of.

    Getting past the accents, the dialogue for the main characters is present and easy to follow. It’s not the best script or the worst, it’s just meh. The random conversations you will hear on the street is immensely better. Most of the time it feels like natural discussion and commentary. My favorite [spoiler free] experience is just randomly running around the city and someone uses a famous movie line to comment on it.

    The achievements are all fairly straight forward and simple. There are two exceptions; Social Lubricant (complete level 10 of all 3 drinking games) and Disk Space Full (unlock every song with the song sneak app). The drinking games with pressing the right buttons are fine, but using the joysticks to navigate moving dots and get them to stay in moving circles is just not my forte. The problem with unlocking all of the songs is at the moment identifying if the people holding the songs are completely random or if there is some moron sitting in the middle of nowhere holding on to that one song that I have yet to find. All in all both of these should come with time and patience, but it is asking a lot for me to run around for literally hours with nothing to show for it.

    I did have the achievement for completing the 30 intrusions glitch on me. It never popped when I completed the requirements and the game indicated that I had completed them all and an achievement should have been rewarded, but nothing happened. I wound up playing for not much longer than 30 minutes later after I was disheartened, but when I checked the Xbox One App on my phone 6 hours later it was there. Sure enough I turned on my box and it was there, without any notifications or any sort of achievement pop. It was strange.

    The game does have numerous graphical errors that completely detract from the next-gen experience. Just to name two obvious issues, there are no splash effects when shooting at water, and no reflections in glass even on NPCs that are cleaning the windows.

    The game’s multiplayer does not feel shoehorned in. It does at times feel forced as I am currently getting a barrage of messages telling me that a multiplayer activity is available. The best integration is the hacking where if you hack the wrong person a bounty is placed on your head and soon after another player will be dropped into your world looking for you. For the most part, the multiplayer components feel like they belong in the game and are a natural extension of the lifestyle depicted.

    +Addictive side activities
    +Stealth Action
    +Great multiplayer integration
    +Enjoyable middle act
    -Budget for Acts III and IV seems to have been spent on Act II
    -Lazy texture coding
    ?Why so Canadien?