Watch Dogs - a Game Review

I don’t often find myself playing first or third person shooters, racing games, or games that involve me being overly violent very often. But this game (and series as a whole) is an exception to that rule. 

I first discovered Watch Dogs when my friend streamed the first portion of it on Twitch. At first I didn’t care for the game mechanics or the story, I was there to support her. But after a couple of hours of watching her play, I found myself being intrigued by the hacking component of the game. 

You play as Aiden Pearce who is a middle aged vigilante in, what was at the time of game release was a futuristic Chicago. Aiden is trying to avenge the death of his niece, Lena, who was killed when someone ordered a ‘hit’ on Aiden after a hack job he completed with his ex-partner. Being in a futuristic world, the city had something called cTOS, which was an entire system network and everything was connected to each other. You only needed your phone to access bank accounts and credit cards, appointments, cars, the L-Train, and everything in between. Your ability to hack into the system will come into play throughout the entire game. 

What makes this game different from Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is that you hack into different locations, objects and people. The hacking component makes up a good portion of the game, and making the violence and driving more tolerable. 

Although other people might disagree, I thought the story was well done. We weren’t left wondering what happened after the game was over, and even though the story got complex towards the middle, it all made sense in the end. Aiden’s character often gets frowned upon for being too simple, however I think he’s rather complex. We don’t see much of the other side of his personality because that’s not what the game is about. We’re trying to find who ordered the hit on him, not to babysit his nephew and sister. He has a very rough exterior, coming off as cold, blunt and potentially heartless, but we know he cares and loves his family, so there’s definitely a softer side in him buried under the events that happened to his niece. 

There are other characters we meet, like Jordi, Clara and T-Bone who all play important parts and the game is loaded with plot twists. In case you want to play it for yourself, I won’t spoil it, but I think the game is definitely worth the price tag. 

Watch Dogs has aged a little bit - Aiden’s coat tails are super bugged out and the developers don’t seem like they’re going to fix it. However, the game still holds strong for being six years old. It’s not a game for everyone, but frankly I didn’t think I would wind up playing it, but here I am, trying to 100% in-game achievements. Just give it a chance.