Tuesday, 10 June 2014

VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Watch_Dogs - Ubisoft

Release Date:  27/05/14
Publisher:  Ubisoft

All it takes is the swipe of a finger. We connect with friends. We buy the latest gadgets and gear. We find out what’s happening in the world. But with that same simple swipe, we cast an increasingly expansive shadow. With each connection, we leave a digital trail that tracks our every move and milestone, our every like and dislike. And it’s not just people. Today, all major cities are networked. Urban infrastructures are monitored and controlled by complex operating systems.

Welcome to Chicago

In Watch_Dogs, this system is called the Central Operating System (CTOS) – and it controls almost every piece of the city’s technology and holds key information on all of the city’s residents.
Aiden Pearce

You play as Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker and former thug, whose criminal past led to a violent family tragedy. Now on the hunt for those who hurt your family, you'll be able to monitor and hack all who surround you by manipulating everything connected to the city’s network. Access omnipresent security cameras, download personal information to locate a target, control traffic lights and public transportation to stop the enemy… and more.

Hack the city
Watch_Dogs takes place in a fully simulated living city where, using your 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 city’s CTOS can become your weapon.

Street justice
Living in inner city Chicago where violence is best answered by violence, you have the skills to take the fight to the streets. Take down enemies by delivering devastating blows with your baton, or experience a shoot-out like never before with a physics simulation that rivals anything in the shooter category. Use a combination of shooting and hacking to gain advantage in any given situation. The streets are designed for you to create your own plan of attack.

High octane driving
Ubisoft Montreal has partnered with studios such as Ubisoft Reflections, the acclaimed studio behind the award-winning Driver series to bring you a game bursting with horsepower. Get behind the wheel of more than 65 vehicles, each with state of the art physics and handling, and explore the massive city while completing missions.

Everything is under control
Disrupt, the all-new game engine dedicated to Watch_Dogs, uses advanced processing and graphics to deliver a stunning visual and an incredibly realistic experience. Disrupt gives you the power to affect the story, the city and the life of the population with your choices creating a ripple effect throughout the city.

Seamless multiplayer experience
Discover new levels of interaction, cooperation and confrontation between players thanks to a brand new multiplayer game system that links the single and multiplayer modes into one seamless experience. That means no menus, no loading screens, just instant open world multiplayer action.

Stay connected with a new way to play
Take your experience beyond the console with a groundbreaking, real-time, companion game. This innovative mobile platform allows players to connect and compete with friends, even when away from their home console. The Watch_Dogs companion game delivers revolutionary dual-screen gameplay that enables you to play from anywhere, at any time.

This is a title that has been on our radar for quite some time. The concept was fascinating with gamers controlling a modern city with their wits, hacking ability which clearly demonstrates that the more complex we make something the easier it is to break.

It’s cracking good fun, has a whole host of things to do and the further you progress the more options you have as your skills improve. The key for this, as far as I was concerned was figuring out what key aspects the gamer requires originally and picking the key ones that work for your gameplay style is essential to start with. Its tricky but for me, I originally went with a skill point in hacking to help me evade the police and a point in gun skills as the game is something that will see you doing a lot of driving as well as involved in a lot of shoot outs.

Hacking is also a key aspect and to be honest you need cash and lots of it within the title (mainly to buy things like weapons and ammo.) It works wonderfully well and whilst many gamers will find the combat system a little tricky, its one where ducking behind cover and evasive maneuvers are going to win hands down against charging down the middle blasting. (You’ll end up dead very quickly with the later tactic.) Also your choice of guns is going to be key here and personally I’m a huge fan of the silenced weaponry option (unless you’re taking out cars or heavily armoured opponents in which case I love the extremely subtle grenade launcher. LOL)

The game does work well on quite a lot of levels but as a player you will find yourself repeating certain quests trying to beat the system as your tactics have to change on the hop depending on what you’re doing. Yet for what was there, for me key aspects were missing. (Such as a silenced sniper rifle.) In addition to this, the gamer will die when they try to chase down some suspects that they have to beat down due to getting shot and for me, I’d have liked some sort of weapon that would aid the gamer such as either a beanbag gun to knock the person down for say 10 seconds or a taser to help you gain ground. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of fun to be had and you can work your way round the problems, but there were a few times when I ended up having to redo things purely because the character didn’t quite do what I wanted.

All round, it’s a game that for me works very well and I would like to see some additional weaponry aspects in future releases, perhaps a smoke grenade to help when you’ve been spotted and a whole host of people come at you alongside the previous suggestions and for me, Ubisoft have gone on to prove that they are the masters of massive gameplay options (with me already clocking up over 60 hours of gameplay) including other players entering your world. A cracker all round and one that’s going to take a hell of a lot to beat for this year’s other release.

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