Welcome to Live Love Play and Getting Started, a first impressions gaming series. In this video I begin a virgin play through of Watchdogs. Keep reading for my written first impressions.
A Late Start
I missed this game when it was released in 2014 so I am glad to finally give it a shot. Though the game was positively reviewed by critics the user response to the game was less favorable. This put deterred me at first but I decided to give it a try and so far I haven’t been disappointed.
Watch Dogs has all the staples of a standard open world action game but it sets itself apart with the core mechanic and focus around hacking. Strip away the hacking and the game would simply be Grand Theft Auto in Chicago. Thankfully hacking works to great effect in the game. I found myself simply walking around, profiling passers by and enjoying their single sentence descriptions.
There is never a lack of things to do in the game. Random events and missions pop up as you traverse the city. At times you may stumble across a crime about to be committed. Be quick enough and you can intervene, or you will arrive too late and avenge the victim. Larger scale events can pop up as well. You may find a gang hideout to be broken up, or a convoy of smuggled drugs. There’s rarely a dull moment.
In a game about hacking one wouldn’t think driving would play a major role. Not so in Watch Dogs. Driving is as smooth and fluid as any GTA game with a few interesting differences. Stealth driving is a special mission type involving avoiding police pursuit by staying out of sight, ducking low, and occasionally shutting off the engine. It is quite a breath of fresh air from the usual mayhem of similar titles.
Not that Mayhem is absent on Watch Dogs. In fact the potental even greater due to the ability to manipulate the city’s infrastructure. You can affect small things like stoplights, spikes, and collumns to deter and halt persuing vehicles. Or you can black out entire city blocks, cutting power to everything, including you. There is a wide variety of weapons to choose from pistols to grenade launchers.
Then there is the reality bending antics of the Digital Trip. Digital Trips are a special kind of content that take the player out of the main game and into something very different. Madness, for example, places the player into a space between Mad Max and Doom. I haven’t explored this enough yet, but I will.
Watch Dogs offers a large world of opportunity and fun and I look forward to my future exploration of the game and its world.
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