Why I think video game Watch Dogs sucks.
When I first saw previews of new video game Watch Dogs, I was hooked: a game about hacking? I’m in! Except that when I received my PS4 copy, I realized that this game really isn’t about hacking. In fact, hacking is only a small part of the game. Needless to say, I attempted to play it and made it through a few missions until I threw my controller down and immediately went on Amazon to trade the game in.
So yes, I think Watch Dogs sucks. And I hate that it sucks because I wanted to prove the critics wrong (they’ve been pretty harsh with the reviews). But the game sucked. I didn’t enjoy it, it wasn’t fun, the story was the same old thing we’ve seen a million times before and it just didn’t pull me in.
But I digress. Please note that this isn’t a review, because again, I didn’t complete the game. I didn’t get that far in it at all. But I usually know what I like, especially after four hours of gameplay, and well, this ain’t it.
Watch Dogs pretends to be about hacking, but it’s not.
I thought Watch Dogs was going to be solely based on hacking into cameras and computers and people’s cell phones. And although there is some of that (and it’s simplified to the point of not even being interesting), this is a driving game. That’s right. It’s more about driving than hacking. To say I’m not a huge fan of driving games is an understatement. I’ll only tolerate it for something like Saints Row games, but that’s only because the driving mechanics in those games is actually good. The driving mechanics here? They’re awful.
Even worse, though? When you’re driving, you’re either chasing someone down or being hunted by the police. And these situations are so utterly frustrating that you just eventually give up (like I did). Again, the driving SUCKS.
But again, this wasn’t supposed to be a driving game.
Oh, I also forgot to mention that the stealth gameplay also sucks, and there’s a lot of it. It’s not nearly as intuitive as Dishonored, or even Thief, and it’s also frustratingly annoying. In fact, although the game encourages stealth, you’re better off just firing weapons at everything, blowing crap up and pretending that this is Grand Theft Auto,
The learning curve is steep.
I’m of the opinion that if a game doesn’t come with a manual, then its tutorial better be awesome. Wait… what’s that? What’s a tutorial? Because in Watch Dogs, learning how to play the game is, more or less, non-existent. You sort of just have to figure out everything yourself. And if you like exploring and trying out missions that aren’t part of the main storyline, good luck with figuring out exactly how those work.
The story is unoriginal.
Guy does some hacking. In retaliation, those people kill his wife and daughter. Guy now wants revenge. If that sounds familiar, that’s because every other game has done this exact same plotline. Now throw in a guy character who is about as bland as they get and you’ll have the Watch Dogs plot. YYYYYAAAAWWWWNNNNN. Needless to say, a game that is frustrating and not compelling is not going to get completed. Who cares?
Again, Ubisoft is forcing UPlay on us. I got sucked into some multiplayer thing that I didn’t even want to take part in, but somehow I had to play through this stupid mini-game with some other player and had no way of saying no. Don’t force me to play with others. I’m a solo gamer and I like it that way.
So for those of you thinking about purchasing Watch Dogs (and I’m sorry to those of you who already have), just don’t. Don’t even wait for a sale. Just skip this one entirely. If you want a better storyline with much less frustrating storyline, try Remember Me, which is refreshingly different and has an interesting female protagonist with a pretty cool plot.