I know I'm a bit late with this, but when I said I was gonna post my review last week, I then realised I wasn't very far from completing the game, so I decided to postpone it so I could review it properly (still a few achievements to get, but story and all collectibles have been completed). So here it is - finally! - my Watch_Dogs review!
So first of all, I'd like to thank Ubisoft for creating such a wonderful game. Sure, it did not live up to the hype generated for it a few years ago at E3, but I think that's a classic case of expecting too much from a game, before it is anywhere near ready for release.
You play as Aiden Pearce, aka The Vigilante, aka The Fox. Weirdly, I don't think I heard him be referred to as The Fox anywhere but in the little in-game news reports. He is a hacker, a very good one at that, and previously a hit had been put out on him, which caused the unfortunate death of his niece, Lena.
An urge for revenge, and a quest for reason ensues, and here we are. You are trying to find out who put out the hit on you, why, and ultimately get revenge upon them for causing your niece's death.
The plot was good, and it was good to see characters' reactions to you, as you dwindle down this path of self-destruction. Revenge has pretty much consumed you, and you won't stop until you get it. Family members are visibly shocked by your actions at some points in the game, which forces you (as Aiden, of course) to take a hard look at yourself - "I killed all those people... what have I become?"
Graphics were good, but nothing compared to the uber crisp graphics shown at E3, although of course, this should probably have been expected. Real life hardly looks that good. A few... glitchy moments, if you could call it that, where movements by Aiden aren't quite as natural as they should have been, and once or twice (for me, at least) textures took a little bit to load on surfaces. Nothing too major.
Playing through the story, I didn't really bother with collectibles. Especially the check-in points. Those just seemed a bit tedious, although a few of the facts given once checked-in were actually quite interesting. However, as I should have expected, an achievement/trophy is unlocked for checking in at all 100 locations, so that then proved quite boring for me to just have to visit them all one by one (and my God, some players are Mayors of those check-in locations as they've checked in like 60+ times that week... no chance am I doing that!)
The other collectibles were quite good however, in particular I enjoyed the "Missing Persons" chain, as those were pretty interesting. I'd actually have liked if there were more serial-killer type missions to complete in the game, after all, you are a vigilante. Stopping a few crimes in progress is good - but solving murders, that's better.
One collectible final-mission, the Weapons Trade one, repeatedly glitched out on me however, which was extremely frustrating. At the point it would tell you to prepare for enemy reinforcements, three cars would appear on your mini-map, driving towards your location. Two would enter the "zone" but the third one ALWAYS got stuck at a set of lights. Outside of the mission zone. Which prevented me from being able to go up to it to kill the people inside. On two attempts, I successfully killed them, allowing the mission to proceed, first I used a grenade launcher, but this then made civilians call the cops on me, and I had no Jam Coms left to stop it, and this then made the mission so much more difficult, but I powered through, and completed the mission. I got a phone call from Tobias, and the achievement popped for completing it, and then the police helicopter killed me, forcing me to restart the mission. Second time round, I sniped the "stuck" car, and then completed the mission with ease afterwards.
One thing I noticed whilst playing was that there are quite a few awesome jumps set up in the game, the main one I've liked so far was at the unfinished bridge, and it pained me to realise that making that jump did not make an achievement pop.
The "Online _____" multiplayer activities, "Tailing", "Hacking", etc. are quite cool, however they are pretty damn annoying when you are in the middle of something *cough* Trying to check-in at all locations *cough* and other bloody players keep dropping into your game.
One player (I assume, as it surely couldn't have been a NPC, but it never initiated any online activities) came speeding into a building I was in, got out of their car and ran, and then I went outside to find them running towards a skip, and then they dived in! And when I walked closer, they kept getting out/getting back in/running around it, in order to not be seen by me. So I actually had a game of "tig" in this part. I really wish I had been recording at the time, as it was so bizarre.
I always did my best whilst playing not to injure/kill any civilians whilst out driving, however I would gladly hack every set of lights I came across to make all of the cars crash. A weird twist of morals there.
Overall, I would say the game is definitely worth playing, and if you can pick up one of the various editions, do it, as they come with a bunch of cool stuff! I will say though, I don't think it's a game I'll want to replay anytime soon (bar possibly completing it on another platform).
Played on Xbox One
Plot/Story - 8.5/10
Enjoyable, interesting story. Suffered a little due to short length of game, but still interesting nevertheless.
Length - 6/10
Could definitely have done with being a bit longer.
Collectibles/Side-Missions - 7/10
Really enjoyed the collectibles that resulted in missions, however the check-ins have brought this score down a point.
Graphics - 7.5/10
Didn't live up to the E3 presentation, but were still good. Could definitely have been better though.
OVERALL - 7.25/10
Have you played Watch_Dogs yet? If so, what did you think of it?
Let me know in the comments below!
- V x