By: Corey Lack
So, like most people, I was intrigued when they announced the next Watch Dogs video game, but unlike seemingly a lot of people, I was more of a cautious interested. This was mostly because I remembered how playing the last two games were, but we’ll get into that later. First, let’s go over the plot of the game. So, the player takes the reins of a Dedsec member who is sneaking into Parliament for some reason only to find out bad guys have taken it over and are planning to blow it up while framing Dedsec for it. After Dedsec fails (because of course they do), the player is charged with rebuilding the group from the ground up, recruiting from among the people of London while dealing with the different factions that are using the chaos caused by the bombs for their own ends.
Now, in terms of plot, the game doesn’t exactly break the mold. Heck, even in regards to Watch Dogs games, the set up was pretty predictable. That said, the plot twist about who the main antagonist is was a surprise that I didn’t see coming. It was one of those characters that for most of the game was just a voice, seemingly having no hands-on connection to the story.
Now, let’s get into the actual gameplay. Overall, it’s all the same as with the previous games, though hacking on the move is a bit harder to pull off. Like with previous games, once the novelty of being able to hack everything wears off, the game tends to be demoted a box-standard open-world game. Also, the car driving sections reminded me of the first time I tried to ice skate. Namely, I would slide and move in just about every way I was trying to go and when I did manage to go the way I wanted, the only way I typically could stop was by aiming at something solid.
Now, let’s talk about the main gimmick of the game: being able to recruit and play as anyone in the game. This allows you to recruit people with good passive skills and abilities that can help you in your missions…and I have to say I only ended up using about three or four. The construction worker you have to unlock, the clan Kelley and Albion members I recruited for when I needed to sneak into places which was pretty much all the time, and the spy were pretty much all I used. The problem with being able to play as everyone is that 99.999% of the time, the people around you are trash when it comes to skills and you never really feel any real connection to them. Sure, you can make your team just a bunch of geriatric old ladies, but twenty seconds after that, when it stops being funny, you still have to go through the game and recruit some actually decent characters. The game also tells you on multiple occasions that you can dress the characters however you want and…I never, ever used it. As such, the money that you use solely for cosmetics just built up throughout the game.
As I finish up, I have to wonder if the characters calling Dedsec terrorists had a point what with all the times I accidently drove through a crowd of people, shot my way through a police station or Albion base, or caused car crashes to get pursuers off my tail. I mean, the game tries to portray the group as some kind of misunderstood Merry Men, but that kinda ignores all the times I accidently hit someone with a baton when I was trying to talk to them or the times I parked a cargo drone right on top of someone.
Honestly, I felt the whole game was a bit of a letdown. The only character I really enjoyed was the sarcastic and dark humored AI Bagley. He constantly made me laugh throughout the game. He was really the only thing that I can honestly say I really enjoyed about the game. The rest was just average at best. So, I’d give it 6.5 bored hitmen out of 10.