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Is Worth Playing Watch Dogs in 2022? Review


Released in 2014 by Ubisoft, WatchDogs, an action-adventure game played from a third-person view, follows the story of Aiden Pierce: a hacker who lost his niece in a traffic accident before engineered by Chicago's powerhouses, where the game begins with the protagonist going after the assassin's performer, Morrice , and throughout the game's campaign, Aiden tries to overthrow this whole scheme involving such powerful people who (directly or indirectly) control the CtoS, the company that forms “smart-cities” controlling and observing all the attitudes of the city's population. So Aiden becomes a vigilante.



Truth be told: from the above summary, the game's plot seems to be very exciting. Unfortunately, that's not how things work in practice. Because it is divided into 5 acts, the campaign, the main game mode, is extremely confusing and misses a lot for having a poorly elaborated progression. It has some interesting characters (but none is well developed) like Clara and T-Bone, however, some characters essential to the story are thrown aside, appearing in the last moments of the game or in peripheral participation, lacking a real development, or clear motivations, as I will speak next.

The only character that has a clear motivation and is being worked on throughout the game (he reached the apex in the last scene) is the protagonist, Aiden. From start to finish, it's possible to understand his actions and why he became a vigilante, and even worry about the character and his family; giving it depth. It is the high point of the game, the only one that really stands out from the rest, where you can see that there was work on it. Nothing like this is done for any of the other characters, which should be, because, as with Damien, the “villain” (the concept of villain and hero here is more subjective): he has a lot more motivation.' in the dark "of what it should, And it's never good to leave what moves the" antagonist "hidden…

In this regard, another highlighted character would be the "2nd hacker", or "the other hacker" with the revelation of who this hacker would be (one of the mysteries that haunts the beginning of the game) happening at the end of the 3rd act, in this moment being well elaborated interconnecting several points of history up to that point. However, the mission where we have to defeat him (something common in the game)is dull and tiring due to a gameplay that is not as functional as it should be, which sometimes like this, ends up disrupting the experience.



Look: the interesting proposal of being a hacker in a city that “breathes” technology reflects a lot of the gameplay where, basically, we can control almost everything in the city.From changing the signal traffic lights to building bridges, or hacking people stealing their balance in a digital bank, or even blowing up convertibles and several other features that, as well as being fun, are functional when fleeing or facing an enemy. This is the main highlight of Watch Dogs, which sets it apart from other games in the genre.


However, as I said, sometimes the gameplay fails in other aspects. First, with the police who, in pimply terms, don't give a damn about the lives of civilians in chases, where they try to destroy your car by throwing it into walls or off the road, with or without people in front. These chases are frantic, since if you don't die on the first try, it takes a long time to get away, as the game's cops are fire in his belly.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view) your attitude in shootout combats is much more logical, just as it happens in other games, even so it is not perfect, in which police officers pass in front of the character several times, showing that the police AI is imperfect, which actually includes the entire game. The situation with NPC’S civilians is a little better: their reaction to different actions is a little more elaborate, like calling the police when we steal your car. Another interesting element is the description of civilians, which is sometimes quite comical beyond cell phone hacking where we can, such as, listen to calls or read messages exchanged, making the game experience less boring and actually more fun.

The gameplay problem are very poorly balanced enemies, with the highlight being the Executors who, in short, have special armor, with a huge difficulty to eliminate them in battle (sometimes, even explosives don't work).



Another aspect of gameplay that is faulty is the missions: main and minor. In the main missions, or campaign missions, what ends up hindering the experience are extremely repetitive missions. Just after the campaign, I sometimes found myself doing basically the same thing over and over, which I could have easily corrected given the possibilities the game proposal offers (except for the prison mission, which was the height of their creativity!)

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Regarding side missions, on the map, you can see which ones are available, sorted by types, such as online profiles, gang hiding, mercenary contract, criminal escort, etc. Even though there is a great diversity among them, the truth is that most are boring or meaningless, where we have to take down criminals that are being transported (criminal escort) or inside the gang hideout.

Regarding online missions, they are the biggest problem in the game, in which (if you are connected to Ubisoft Club, playing on the computer ) any player can invade your game and hack you, so you can't do more nothing in the game but waiting to finish the hack or go after the other player (hacker) to kill him. The problem with this is that it happens automatically; you can be playing in single player mode by going to your missions, for example (they don't happen when you are already on a mission) and anyone can get in the middle of the game and get in your way. To me, it doesn't make sense for a game mode to stop (momentarily) people from actually playing and doing whatever they want in a single mode. In addition, online missions are not much different from offline missions; they are much “more of the same” with other players.

The mini games are extremely fun and good when you are tired of missions like chess or "alien hunting”. But overall, side missions aren't the games fort.


Graphics and sound

Regarding the graphics, the ´most controversial part of the game since it suffered a "downgrade" at launch, I can say they are acceptable, decent. Don't expect a game with flawless graphics or anything like that, as it is a game from 7 years ago and was released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation, which influences a lot. The only problems with the graphics are the character modeling, especially the face region and hair, which has a serious problem with texture and sometimes color. These are not exceptional graphics, but they are not disappointing either.

And, finally, to the sound: the composition of the music for the game talks a lot about the theme and what happens in the game, while the songs chosen to put on the radio (from cars) have a wide variety of styles, with choices very interesting to compose this part. In my opinion, the audio is among the best items in the game.

Just a curious detail is that whenever you get into a car there is a song playing. Why this is a mystery…

A totally wreced car...

A totally wreced car...


In summary, Watch Dogs was an ambitious bet by Ubisoft in 2014 with the proposal of being a hacker in an “ultra-tech” city. Overall, it's an interesting proposition, but imperfectly executed: it presents good gameplay with all this technology issue, an acceptable AI (but which is also imperfect), a good "soundtrack" composing the game, an interesting but irregular story and without developing the characters satisfactorily, (the protagonist is the exception), with many disappearing and reappearing in the story over and over. Finally, it has tiring and meaningless side missions and an online one that kills a game.

Still, it's an interesting game to play, oscillating between being a tiring game and a fun game. Even in 2022, as even if the game is more than 7 years old, it's not a dated game and definitely worth a try, priced at less than $10 in a promotion, for example.

Grade: 7/10


Played on Windows 10 with Language as Brazilian Portuguese.

Watch Dogs (Ubisoft, 2014)

Released for: Windows (7,10), Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4.

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