The world fell in love with Watch Dogs when Ubisoft introduced it at E3. Finally, the game appears to be quite nice, and its size may even be astounding. However, it is a bit uneven output that would require further work to improve and polish the details.
Chicago, USA in an alternate dimension. The city’s whole electronic infrastructure is managed by ctOS, a major operating system. The operation of traffic signals, the subway, urban surveillance, and many other things are presently being calibrated in the name of improved city functioning and safeguarding citizen safety through facial recognition and catching criminal activities. The sole drawback in this nearly ideal system is that a hacker who gains access to it will have access to everything managed by ctOS. Aiden Pearce is one such individual. They loot several dozen individuals using a developed virus with the help of a buddy, but third parties uncover their scheme and take action to eradicate computer swindlers who might have known more than they should have by hacking into the system. The attack on Aiden was a ruse to create the appearance of a deadly accident, but the hero escapes uninjured. However, as a result of his injuries, a close family member dies. From that point on, the hacker vows war on all those who assisted in the assault and embarks on a long journey to uncover the truth about ctOS and those who abuse the system’s potential. The plot may appear predictable and typical at first, but with each consecutive chapter, it opens new, exciting strands that take the story in an interesting way, only to positively surprise in the end. There are a few clumsy sequences along the way that give the idea of script faults, but they aren’t significant enough to detract from the overall experience. The hero we control first appears impersonal, but as the tale unfolds, we witness him evolve and gain more charisma and character.
The scenario is slightly different with the side characters, who stand out from the start for their distinctiveness and uniqueness. Jordi Chin, a hired thug, can kill someone without blinking while giving us a few tales from his life. T-Bone and Clara Lille are real activists for free speech and the exposure of corruption. They race to reveal the truth to the inhabitants of Chicago via illegal television broadcasts, using their hacking talents. Many other personalities are just as vivid, and it’s difficult to ignore them – we either like them or immediately dislike them. The open world, though, is Watch Dogs’ most significant element. We follow Aidan through bustling city streets in the third person. People go about their daily lives: a newsagent offers to buy magazines, two friends gossip about a boy one of them met yesterday, three friends compete in amateur rap battles, and somewhere in a side street, we see a student relaxing after classes by kicking a football. Life in Chicago is shown in an intriguing manner that produces a really nice impression. A short walk is all it takes to see how, as a result of the rain, everyone quickens their pace, hunches, shelters beneath roofs, or pulls out umbrellas. People are queuing at ATMs, a police siren can be heard in the distance, and a youngster in a side alley next to us is losing his wallet owing to the risk of losing his health. Poor detail and technical faults disrupt the entire sense and authenticity of the seen environment, which is especially obvious after a long period. Half of all residents should be stripped of their driving privileges since traffic patterns occasionally deviate and we see people smashing garbage cans, road signs, and even complete fences. The ambulance rushes to aid, ramming numerous people along the way. Civilians pass each other aimlessly in randomly created scripts, and it just takes a shove from a hugging couple for them to flee in fright – each in a separate direction, as if they didn’t know each other. When we strike a garbage can or a chair by mistake, individuals around us may fall to their knees, frightened for their lives.
However, just wandering the streets is only the tip of the iceberg, as Aiden’s smartphone demonstrates the true potential of Watch Dogs. The gadget allows the main character to not only hack into most of the city’s electrical equipment, but also to access the data collected by ctOS on residents. We can whip out our phones at any time and see what a lady walking by is doing, what a man sitting nearby’s annual salary is, and what terrible things a woman reading a newspaper at the bus stop has recently looked for on the Internet. This never-ending monitoring game is made even more appealing by the potential of breaking into residents’ bank accounts, listening in on phone calls, and reading text messages. Sometimes, as a result of such acts, we may come across knowledge about a potential crime, which we may then prevent. A smartphone snooping everywhere might first overwhelm you with the quantity of information it has, which can be too random at times. We suddenly hear a chat between two males after hacking into the woman’s phone to eavesdrop on the call – at this point, we might refer to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, but it would be a joke with a beard. There are several extracurricular activities available. The majority of them are recurring, seemingly simple jobs, such as apprehending criminals, intercepting concealed shipments, eradicating gangs in their hideouts, and so on. Everyone can find the mission that most interests them. Fans of social games may spend their time in a bar playing gambling games or drinking contests that need knowledge of the pad buttons, and there are several augmented reality games that can be played on your phone.
Simple games, such as firing at oncoming aliens or racing around the city collecting cash, are separated from more complicated ones, such as a mystery techno-drug that offers a fully surreal trip. In this digital adventure, the player can rush through apocalyptic streets in an armored car, collecting points for murdering demonic passers-by straight from Carmageddon, or sow chaos on city streets in the form of a large mechanical spider, or jump on huge flowers growing on the streets of Chicago. Because of his powerful hallucinations, Aiden regains consciousness at absolutely random locations across the city after he dies. It doesn’t matter what we’re driving – during the chase, the police will still be able to catch up with us and stubbornly try to push the maniac to the side of the road. Although the driving model requires refinement, racing enthusiasts will certainly spend a lot of time on side tasks involving cars. This is not the end of our options for extracurricular activities, as we may also engage in a variety of car-related games. Cars in Watch Dogs are clumsy in terms of driving. Each car performs on the road slightly artificially and not fully in the way we would anticipate. The dynamics are evocative of Saints Row and prevent you from really immersing yourself in driving. In most automobiles, the brakes work intermittently and occasionally do not function at all. The damage model is limited. The first two crashes hardly left a mark on the bodywork. Even though the hood of our automobile had just collided with the trunk of a nearby cab, the car seems to be undamaged.
Despite this, the spy-hacking missions and combat scenes in Watch Dogs are the greatest, most engaging, and most polished parts of the game. Aiden drops to a stealth posture and seeks shelter to avoid detection by guards in designated hostile regions. At such times, we begin to fully utilize the hero’s hacking powers. We utilize cameras for spying and identifying opponents, and we blow up generators and crates to cut power or kill armed intruders with explosive force. Nothing distracts a guard like a vending machine that starts tossing out cans on its own at this point, we can either sneak behind the enemy’s back or just stun him with a few rapid strokes with a baton. Our smartphone also activates booms and forklifts, allowing us to climb into difficult-to-reach areas and plot an attack. Weapons and fighting accoutrements are also abundant. The number of firearms exceeds the number of fingers on one hand, and rifles, shotguns, and grenade launchers are already hefty weapons that obliterate all enemy resistance. There are also bombs and smaller distraction devices that disrupt communication between guards, as well as medicines that replenish the action bar, allowing you to briefly slow down time, as in Max Payne. The employment of the latter, in conjunction with quick hacking of electrical equipment, ensures stunning results that will be enjoyable to repeat numerous times. However, there are occasions when open fighting and creeping are not the greatest options and we must flee. We make insane rallies on Chicago’s streets even simpler by gaining access to the full metropolitan agglomeration’s infrastructure. The automobiles following us are efficiently eliminated by disrupting traffic signals, obstructing the road, or building a bridge. We may even cut off the power in the entire sector for a brief period of time and try to vanish into a dark alley, parking close to other cars and hiding behind the dashboard. Because there are so many choices, almost every action we perform appears extraordinary and may be a lot of fun.
The city is rather huge, and aside from the traditional metropolitan region, there are some lovely spots on the outskirts. A little port town, an island with a lighthouse, and suburban areas will also hold our interest. The story campaign is divided into five chapters, totaling around 40 objectives, to which we will commit over thirty hours of gaming. Completing all of the side tasks and finding every secret with peace of mind might require a second go, but the end result is highly enjoyable. It’s difficult to deny that Virtual Chicago differs slightly from the first statements and demonstrations, but Watch Dogs is neither a bad game nor a wholly unexpected one. Despite its drawbacks and small shortcomings, it is a large and intriguing game that might urge the receiver to go on their own adventures in the open world in a variety of ways.