Watch_Dogs Initial Impressions (PC)

(Editor’s note: I was really into the idea of Watch_Dogs. Loved the trailers, loved the gameplay presented. I’ll still buy it someday, probably. Sure, I’m not going to pretend that everyone on Caltrops doesn’t hate Ubisoft’s Uplay system because we do. But with that in mind, Caltrops Senior Writer jeep offers up the following opinion on Watch_Dogs for the IBM PC and 100% compatibles. — ICJ)

Watch_Dogs is pretty bad on the PC at launch. Mark this as the first time I ever agreed with Kuchera (though that shitty site gave it an 8 somehow, hope they got paid). Cars are only semi-drivable. Missions are broken, they send you out to “knock over” a mob guy and then they’re like WTF don’t kill him.” Should I maybe hack into his heart and hurt his feelings a bit instead? Or just like trip him up a little I guess? Except I can’t use melee attacks 90% of the game and the hacking scanner only works every 7th time I push the “z” button. Character advancement is boring mostly, just shit you should be able to do out of the gate anyway.

Everything in there looks like they had teams work on it separately. Also every single character and pedestrian in the game is so boring and plastic and then lovingly crafted french accent punk goddess out of nowhere? All of the writing is pathetic. Every word of it. Even relative to other games. Stupid, meaningless, pointless statements that don’t match the characters’ motivations or actions. In another medium we’re passing through what might be the absolute nadir of cinema history, but here in games we’re gonna squander the perfect chance to grab even more of film’s audience by basically puking directly in our player’s ears and eyeballs. They threw in racist/patriarchal etc etc whatever while they were at it because why the fuck not? Wouldn’t be tone deaf and dimwitted enough otherwise.

Hacking the Internet of things is fun, like jumping into a camera to jump into another one looking for the right angle to hack that guard’s grenade to go off. I can see why they thought they had a big deal thing there because hacking through a well-designed set piece is genuinely cool, but the available opportunities to indulge in that are pretty scarce. It’s a minigame here, for all the frequency you get to engage the hacking for anything useful it ends up something you’d play between chocobo races at the amusement park in Final Fantasy 7

The rest of the game is trivial when it isn’t actively trying to make you stop playing it: glitches, crashes, can’t controls vehicles (except dirtbikes, rps got that right. those things handle like they fell out of another, better game), can’t aim without clipping pedestrians, can’t aim hacks without grabbing the “blow up everything within 2 feet” target, can’t use any kind of fast travel when you’re in a mission (I got dropped all railswise into a chain of missions to start and haven’t been able to use the train in the 3 hours I’ve played the game). Also no quicksaves (that’s right whorebach this fucking thing is wall to wall checkpoints, just have your gun auto-aim a curved path around the one wall in the building that’s decided to provide cover today, clip some random bank patron and then auto-reset you back to the spot you were standing at the other end of the city when you finished the last mission). It doesn’t even save on quit. Maybe I’d like to stop playing sometime between now and the hour from now it’ll take me to drive across the city, bouncing off cars and praying I don’t run over pedestrians on the way to have a 25/75 chance of engaging a decent set piece or solving a trivial puzzle.

If you didn’t already pay for this like I did just don’t. Don’t wait for the Steam sale, just go over to The Pirate Bay. That way you can bask in the schadenfreude of seeing 200 talentless people spray shit at you for a few hours without the indignity of having to even look at the Uplay client.

Retard-fucking game publishers just kind of repeating past mistakes over and over. This game is the absolute opposite of everything that was good about Saints Row 4, and the people who designed it, coded it, wrote it, modeled it, animated it, marketed it, produced it and decided to ship it a year early can skip right over “feeling bad” and go right to “stop making games.” this guy can go with them:

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