“Hacking is everything”. That is core approach for Watch Dogs. If you remember back to when we first seen this game at E3 2012, this game was a breakout hit. This game is about the personal data that we hold dear yet share on the internet freely. If nothing more, Watch Dogs is about what can happen where information is power and power corrupts.
You play as Aiden Pearce. He was a criminal hacker, trying to make some easy cash. One job took away all that. He is haunted by the death of his niece. It was not his fault but Aiden lives with the pain. He is not your typical hero. He will cross that line to keep his family safe. Yes, this is your typical revenge story. That might be the negative in this game. I was hoping for some more meat to the story. ctOS is the main villain here. That is a computer system that runs and records all. As that first teaser trailer back at E3 2012, information is power. With varying hacks Aiden uses the ctOS to his protect his family.
What can I say? It is a game based in a open world Chicago. All you do is hack. For Aiden and now you, hacking is a way of life. It is very simplistic in its working. Yet it does work and works well. If you are running after a criminal. There are a multiple options available to you. Breaker, steam vents, valves, and electrical boxes. Hacking is as easy as judging the distance of the enemy to the hackable object.
In some ways the gameplay will remind me of Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. You have in different sections of the Chicago a ctOS stations. By gaining access to these stations, this allows you to use hacks and profile citizens. At these highly guarded facilities, you need to find the access code and then hack the main grid. By using the security cameras perched above, you can do this without a shot fired being fired from any side. One of the fun things about this game is the freedom to play the way you want. I stand outside of the stations, access a camera, maybe mess with a guard or two, find the codes, hack the system, and leave.
Yes, the run and hack is mostly what you do. With most of the gameplay being driving to a destination and taking out a group of guards or hiding from the police. That brings me to the driving. It is like driving a high speed tank down the street. In some instances, instead of speeding away. You peel out for a second. Wasting valuable time if you are trying for catch someone. From a company that made the Driver games, you would think the driving would be better.
As in most open world games, you also have side missions. These can range from chess to digital trips. Spider is the best! You play as a robotic spider, with one goal: Destroy. It seem that this could have been a easter egg. It reminded me of the spider slayers that are after Spider-Man. Also, this game has some glitches. Nothing serious but funny. You might have seen these on the internet. I would say these glitches give this game some personally.
Watch Dogs is a fun game. With varying hacks, missions and unlimited people to surveil, you will come back to this place. It has some flaws but if you can look past the driving and the lackluster story, this game property has great potential.