Imagine driving down the roads on a rainy day in Chicago as pursuit helicopter and several police cruisers are trying to chase you down. As you drive, you hack turnstiles, bridges, and even the traffic lights in order to slow down your pursuers. This is the action that Watch Dogs offers. While the hacking thing may seem a little exaggerated, it certainly makes for an interesting game mechanic. It gets even deeper when you remember that the chopper is actually controlled by an actual human player on a mobile device who is actively trying to override your hacks while deploying the police that are chasing after you. If you are looking for a game that offers lot of worthwhile and challenging activities, this is definitely it.
What is Watch Dogs?
Watch Dogs is an open world action adventure game that puts players in control of a character named Aiden Pierce. He does not have much of an attitude to make him stand out, but he does have a very interesting skill: he can hack pretty much anything in the game. ATMs, traffic lights, and even electronically controlled explosives –the game focuses and centers around this fact and much of the gameplay will have you making full use of Aiden's hacking skills in order to accomplish various objectives. The in-game world is chock full of surveillance cameras, electronically controlled entryways, and a whole load of other things that Aiden can hack to his advantage.
Driving is a secondary thing in the game. While there are a good variety of civilian cars available, the choices are not that much significant. For the most part, you will just have to care if the car you have is either fast or tough enough for the activity you will be doing. The good part is that when it comes to driving around the city, there are plenty of things you can do.
Fun on the Streets
Moving about in a car is something you will be doing a lot in the game –it is a big huge city and walking takes forever. The cool part is that there are more than just plenty of places to go to, the trip in between is often fill of vibrant scenery. From the more rural area of Pawnee right up to the big towering buildings of the main city, you get have a scenic drive that feels pleasant to the eyes.
Of course, you can also spend your time zipping past everything else at top speed. This is particularly done when the cops get on your tail. The hacking comes in pretty handy too –you can hack and drive, allowing you to make full use of the environment around you in order to balance the scales. From changing the traffic lights to forcing bridges to rise, you can use anything electronic to your advantage.
Multiplayer matches are easy to get into as well –there's a toggle in the settings for people who like to be notified of open games and you can find yourself joining various race-like events that make full use of the game's features. Decryption is a big favorite for players who like CTF style battles with a bit of action. There's the race where players on the console have to fight off against mobile app users (who are using a special app for controlling helicopters and deploying squad cars). And of course, you can also try to race and outhack other players.
Learning to Drive
The thing about driving in Watch Dogs is that it is a "love it or hate it" system. There are a lot of different cars, plenty of color combinations, and the handling of various cars differ from one another. Sure, they are not as distinctively visually different as the offerings of GTAV, but the lineup is still huge and impressive in its' own right. Also, the game does not champion mad carnage or killing sprees either –Watch Dogs goes out of its way to give each randomly generated NPC its own unique identity (you can even scan them for their name and health records) making wanton acts of violence feel a little more personal than it should. This is a game that makes you drive fast, but carefully so. And it feels even more challenging when you have to juggle hacking stuff on the go. Most of all, there is much more to the game than just the driving sequences (if anything, vehicle related activities are just a small part of the overall game).