Wednesday, 28 May 2014

First Impressions: Watch_Dogs

I picked up a copy of Watch Dogs yesterday on my way home from work and although I haven't spent a whole lot of time with it so far my initial feeling is that it's going to be a lot of fun. From Ubisoft Montreal, creators of the Assassins Creed series of games, Watch Dogs is the latest in a long and distinguished line of open world games set in a big city. Indeed it has the feel of GTA about it initially, running about, driving, shooting, a cell phone as your access to menus and in-game abilities & services... But it is the cell phone that makes Watch Dogs stand out from all the rest.

You play as Aiden Pearce, hacker extraordinaire and general bad-ass who is on a mission to discover the identity of the man who ordered a hit on him, which he survived, but which caused the death of Aiden's niece. The city that is your playground is Chicago, a nice change from the usual facsimiles of New York us gamers get to run around in, a city which is run on a central computer network called ctOS, a network that through your 1337 haxxor skills and your cell phone you have complete access to. You can use this ability to perform hundreds of different tasks, from hacking the network's facial recognition system to find information on the citizens you see in the streets to overloading electrical circuits to cause explosions, from changing traffic lights and raising bridges to stealing bank details and causing blackouts. The number of uses for the phone seem limitless, the city is huge and well realised and it seems like a great playground with a unique and fascinating tool to create amazing moments of gameplay. I just hope the missions are as well realised as the city and that they don't contrive to ruin what promises to be a ridiculously fun game.

Comedy moment of yesterdays play: using the phone to interact with a crane causing it to drop a huge steel crate on the two goons standing beneath it. I think I'm going to enjoy this!

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