Monday, June 09, 2014

Watch_Dogs Gameplay Review

I'm playing Watch_Dogs, an open-world action adventure game by Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft.

In addition to a five act main story with missions that can be approached with stealth or action (or both), there are copious amounts of side missions (like stopping crimes or infiltrating gang hideouts), mini-games (including poker, chess, and arcade shooting), and investigations where information can be gathered in specific locations. Multiplayer races, capture the flag modes, and competitions against mobile players are available; other players can also attempt to hack you at any time. The interface was clearly designed for a gamepad; the inventory wheel is completely useless with a mouse, although I do like how control prompts change based on which input device is used. The main features that differentiates Watch_Dogs from other sandbox games is hacking: the phone to access cameras, deploy road hazards, alter traffic lights, detonate fuse boxes, and embezzle funds from unsuspecting bystanders. Components can be used to craft explosives and jammers, and cash can be used to purchase guns, ammunition, and medicine. Watch_Dogs is a cover-based shooter: pressing “C” will access the nearest solid object, and the lack of hip fire forces more deliberate aiming. Focus time can be used to slow down time for improved accuracy. Cars are best handled with a gamepad. NPCs have plausible behaviors, but antagonists like the police could be more aggressive and smarter. Overall, Watch_Dogs is a good, but not great, open-world adventure game in the tradition of Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row.