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Set in Chicago, where a central network of computers connects everyone and everything, Watch Dogs explores the impact of technology within our society. Using the city as your weapon, you will embark on a personal mission to inflict your own brand of justice.
Chicago's overarching network is known as the Central Operating System (ctOS), and it controls almost all of the city's technology and information - including key data on all of the city's residents.
You play as Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker and former thug, whose criminal past led to a violent family tragedy. While seeking justice for those events, you'll monitor and hack those around you by manipulating the ctOS from the palm of your hand. You'll access omnipresent security cameras, download personal information to locate a target, control traffic lights and public transportation to stop the enemy... and more.
The City is Our Weapon >
Watch Dogs takes place in a fully simulated living city. Using Aiden's smartphone, you have real-time control over the city's infrastructure. Trap your enemy in a 30-car pileup by manipulating the traffic lights. Stop a train, and then board it to evade the authorities. Narrowly escape capture by quickly raising a drawbridge. Anything connected to the ctOS can become your weapon.
Street Justice >
Living in inner city Chicago, where violence is often answered by violence, Aiden has learned how to take the fight to the streets. Deliver devastating blows with your baton, or experience electrifying shoot-outs with physics simulation that rivals anything in the shooter category. Throughout his journey, Aiden will take on his foes with more than 30 traditional weapons.
High Octane Driving >
Luckily, Aiden won't always need to traverse Chicago's streets on foot. Ubisoft Montreal has partnered with studios such as Ubisoft Reflections, the acclaimed team behind the award-winning Driver series, to provide a suite of vehicles bursting with horsepower. You'll get behind the wheel of more than 65 cars – each with state-of-the-art physics and handling – to explore Chicago's vast and intricate roadways.
Everything is Under Control >
Disrupt, the all-new game engine powering Watch Dogs, uses advanced processing to deliver stunning visuals and an incredibly immersive world.
Dynamic Navigation >
Not only does Watch Dogs give you the ability to take advantage of the ctOS, it also allows you to explore the many layers of Chicago itself. Cut through buildings, scale rooftops, and explore the city's dangerous underground to catch your target.
You are Aiden Pearce, a man shaped by violence and obsessed with surveillance, who monitors his family 24/7 in secret to protect them from something that happened in the past. Unfortunately, his family will be endangered once again.
Pushed to his limits, he will take justice into his own hands and confront a corrupt system using every weapon available to him. Aiden will become a modern Vigilante Hero – not a hero from the 70's with a cape, but a real human being that will deal with all the repercussions of his actions.
Clara is seductive. She's dangerous. She's the trapdoor spider you never saw living right under you. She can weave her way through any system and she can expose every secret you hide.
When you're screwed beyond belief, you call in a fixer. And that's Jordi. He gets things done and gets paid good money for his services. You need a body to disappear? You gotta find a missing adversary? Someone pissed you off? You call Jordi.
T-Bone grew up a tinkerer and a basement hacker before the Internet was barely a byte. He can't help challenging his mind to unlock areas forbidden to him. And it hasn't gone without punishment. But he'll take his jabs. And he'll give his share in return.
The ctOS is an efficient system linking all the city's infrastructure and public security installations to one centralized hub. This system focuses on traffic efficiency, eco-development, tele-communications, and crime control throughout Chicago. It has brought notable benefits to citizens, including shorter commutes, lowered crime rates, a cleaner city, and much more.
Watch_Dogs takes place in a contemporary Chicago that's been enhanced and transformed by the ctOS. In this version of Chicago, everything is connected. Banks, security systems, communication hubs, and even the city's basic infrastructure operate via the this connected network. The ctOS provides a new take on one of the world's great cities, and it's this omniscient setting that serves as the backdrop for Aiden's story.
Pros: Both single and multiplayer offer interesting (new) concepts and creative features. Side-characters seem intriguing and relatable. The music and sound effects are good.
Cons: Single player: - Some bugs, one of which was truly game-breaking - Suspected memory leaks - Main character is bland, storyline erratic
Multiplayer: - Hackers/cheaters not uncommon - Imbalanced game modes - No dedicated servers
Visual: - Cars and people "pop" into view too closely
Other Thoughts: (Full review) Single player: Enjoyable with occasional bugs, one of which was game-breaking (prevented storyline progression completely until I found a work-around). Missions are fun as well as the main objectives, but the storytelling (erratic) and main character (bland) have much room for improvement (interestingly, the other characters seemed deeper, more relatable, and interesting that the main one). I've found when playing, the memory usage for the game steadily, but reliable, climbs every time and my machine would get warmer until both the audio and visual begin to lag in-game, requiring the application be restarted completely to resolve this issue. I do not experience such issues with any other games and have searched the web, where I found others have also encountered this with the game (memory leak?). Though I anticipated that it was overhyped, I still like the gameplay and ideas, but hopefully Ubisoft will improve the aforementioned issues if they create further Watch Dogs games.
Multiplayer: Creative and interesting modes, but altogether they disappoint. Hackers and cheaters (ironically) run rampant due to a poor system of reporting and a lack of any anti-cheat measures/monitoring by Ubisoft. There is a certain dead-giveaway you can learn to recognizing that you are being invaded without the game telling you. Certain strategies can render victory for the invader impossible. Non-dedicated servers means the the group-based game mode is often (but not always) unplayable. Overall the multiplayer is still okay when it works properly and your opponent is not blatantly cheating (speed hacks and invulnerability most common) and there is a decent connection.
Visual: Vehicles and people "pop" in a bit too close though. This is especially noticeable when driving at higher speeds.
Audio: Nice sound effects and a good music "radio" system. I believe you can also play your own music in-game but I haven't used this feature.
Other notes: - The "Digital trips" (minigames of a sort) are great and very worth playing if you purchase this game. - Not a lot of replay value
Pros: The game really looks beautiful on ultra settings*. The campaign is pretty fun. Ubisoft is working on a patch to optimize the game*.
Cons: Technical: As i mentioned the game looks great with graphic settings cranked, but play is hardly enjoyable. There is hardly a difference is lag/stutter when I drop the settings to medium. I didnt purchase a GTX770 4GB VRAM to play on medium. Ubisoft has not released an ETA for the patch, just that theyre working on one. In Game: The replay value is pretty low. Once the campaign is done and some side quests, there is no gang turf or anything exciting happening around this huge city. If you want to get in some trouble/have fun you will have to kill civilians to get a wanted level. I spent the whole game trying to avoid killing citizens to become a vigilante and now if I want a gun fight, I have to destroy my rating to have any kind of action. There is literally nothing to do except steal from bank accounts and stop random 1 person crimes after the campaign and short side missions. Didnt get attached to any characters.
Other Thoughts: I was really hoping to like this game. It not being truly optimized for steady frame rate/playability didnt really hurt the game too much for me. Its that now that I have all these pretty cool weapons unlocked and I am a vigilante, I have no one AT ALL to use them on.
3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
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