Platform(s): XBOX 360, PS3, PC, XBOXone AND PS4
Developer(s): Ubisoft Montreal
When the cyberpunk genre of science fiction is intertwined in the realm of video games, the product usually comes out great. Deus EX, Fear Effect and Final Fantasy VII are the examples of the perfect balance of the two completely different realms. Now, we can add another game to that list: Watch Dogs.
Loosely based off the event of the Northeast Blackout of 2003, Watch Dogs allows the player to control Aiden Pearce, a grey hat hacker and vigilante, who roams the cyperpunk version of Chicago with a smartphone as his primary weapon. This is where the gameplay’s foundation comes into play. The majority of this game is based upon hacking into various electronics to make the chosen missions a little easier and more entertaining. Combining that with the stealth and parkour feature that are implemented and Watch Dogs comes a very technical game with little room for error and a lot of opportunity to earn extra money.
Taking cues from a few sandbox games, Watch Dogs has a variety of unconventional methods to earn money and increase your notoriety (reputation). The particular popular method of gaining notoriety is taking out criminals while in the process of a crime netting experience and notoriety among the public allowing you to commit more indecent actions without worrying about prying eyes. While it ranges from hacking someone’s phone with their bank account open to completing a fixer’s contract job, the player is immediately immersed in the cyberpunk world. This makes the actual storyline, when the player finally gets around to it, that much more pleasant to watch.
Without giving too much away, the player is thrust into a both a political and criminal conspiracy that took the life of the Aiden’s niece thus creating the vigilante that the player now controls. The structure of the main storyline, like most sandbox games, is broken up into Acts that the player engages in through missions. This allows the player to take breaks from the main storyline to embark on personal errands. As for the story, itself, it has a very suspenseful and dark tone with a catch of light humor. And while politics is something that most gamers try to avoid, Watch Dogs manages to weave it in seamlessly into the story effortlessly.
Adding the online multiplayer feature that allows you to sabotage, or join, other players, Watch Dogs can have anybody immersed for many hours at a time. The only problem that it has is the driving mechanics and the zero tolerances for errors. One mistake can cost you a mission – or even your life. This can make it a little less entertaining, depending on how sensitive the mission presents itself.
Overall, I highly recommend this game for the science fiction and action game fans.
Rating: 9/10 Great Storyline, Small margin of error on tasks
Review by: Justin Pyfrom