In the much-anticipated Ubisoft game, Watch Dogs, Aiden Pierce is on the typical quest for revenge with his deus ex machina-like hacking skills. In a world that no longer promotes the traditional morally bound hero, vigilantes like Aiden, who blur the lines of right and wrong, are taking the spotlight. Since Watch Dogs’ release, there has been an even split between gamers who were extremely disappointed and felt misled by the marketing, or loved it and felt it was misunderstood for its great qualities.
Placed in near-future Chicago, Aiden is a master hacker who is capable of accessing any, and seemingly all, kinds of information he wants through the citywide operating system, ctOS. He can use the information to do anything, varying from stealing money from an innocent bystander or remotely blowing up a bomb next to a target. It is definitely chilling to see what his skills are capable of when applied to reality. Fortunately (or unfortunately), the game does not delve too deep into the ease of identity theft.
The player has freedom to choose the kind of vigilante Aiden will be, and those decisions carry consequences or advantages to the game. Every situation has multiple access points for success, requiring the use of both brute force and hacking.
The game mechanics are interesting, if not repetitive. While there is a decent amount of variety for what the player can do, the similarity in car chases, gunfights, and navigation to Grand Theft Auto, Far Cry, and Assassins Creed, can make the game feel commonplace. The big misunderstanding comes from expecting the game be the start of an entire new world and style. As the marketers highlighted the graphics and the novelty of Watch Dogs, people felt misled because they were expecting a completely different new game, not a conglomeration of good old ones. Those who focused on the game itself were able to enjoy the original allure of the cyber thriller, hacking.
Aiden is capable of breaking into any system, car, or electronic device with a push of a button on his phone. From predicting danger for pedestrians to manipulation of any electronic device, Aiden can do just about anything. One of the more interesting aspects of Watch Dogs the ability to hack into other player’s games, and create disadvantages for them. The multiplayer aspect is a fun interactive game of tag, as you can mess with friends or strangers with the possibility of retaliation.
Overall the game seems great for the more inexperienced gamer, but unsatisfying for the seasoned veteran. For the inexperienced gamer, Watch Dogs is a hodgepodge of the most popular aspects of other Ubisoft games. It provides enough crazy unrealistic action and has a decent enough storyline to keep some players interested in the game. The main disappointment voiced by the people was on the misleading overhyped graphics. While the expectations of the gamer community may not have been met on a visual level, many players are willing to assess Watch Dogs fairly. At least 50 percent of the buyers are able to appreciate the innovative additions to the otherwise classic Ubisoft gaming style.
Commentary by Sophia Bien