Watch Dogs

Rated: M for Mature

Publisher : Ubisoft

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Developer : Ubisoft Montreal

Platforms : Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Wii U and PC

     Watch Dogs is the story of Aiden Pierce. You are a hacker; you use a cell phone and your computer to steel from anyone with a digital footprint. At least you did, until you accidentally tripped into some information. It is the kind of information people kill to protect.  The bad news is that instead of killing you, they make a mistake and kill your niece. Now fueled by rage, you will take down everyone responsible for hurting your family.

     OK, so it is not the most original story, but it does give you a reason for going around Chicago righting wrongs any way you can, and there are a lot of ways to clean up the streets. The city has adopted a program called "CTOS," and it controls everything in the city: the electric grid, steet lights, cell phones, cameras, even the trains. With your phone, you are able to control CTOS. Now you are limited to line-of-sight, and your phone only holds so much charge. Hack too much, and your phone will die. The good news is you don’t have to find a charger; your phone will recharge in time.

      The storytelling in Watch Dogs is great. The voice acting and the writing really bring Aiden to life.  There is also a ton of things to do if you want to ignore the storyline and just explore the city. Your phone will be able to show you anyone’s background and history, allowing you to hack their bank accounts, read their text messages, and even listen to their phone calls.

     This will give you money and lead you to crimes around the city. While some of these missions are fun, they tend to be repetitive. Also the game will keep prompting you to do side missions when all you really want to do is find out what happens next in the story.

     Some of these side missions are difficult and repetitive. You will randomly get missions that don’t allow you to kill certain people. This is frustrating beyond imagination. Since they don’t have the same rules, they will unload a full clip in you, killing you, and forcing you to start all over again.  Also you will get alerts when violent crimes are happening near you. They always end the same way: you jumping out right before or after the crime has happened, you will chase the perp down, and either killing or subduing him. This is fun once, but by the tenth time, you will stop caring

     You don’t have to do any of these sides missions if you don’t want to. However, if you do, you will be rewarded with money that is somewhat useful. More importantly, you will get experience that willl help you upgrade Aiden. Your best bet is to spend the early game gaining all your experience in upgrading your hacking ability. 

     When you are not hacking the city, you are zooming around in cars and shooting anyone who looks at you funny. You have the choice. You can shoot and run over anyone you want, but if you do, you will spend most of the game trying to ditch the cops. If you actively try and not hurt people, you still will. Car chase missions will have you bouncing all over the road, so try not to feel bad about all the people you kill accidentally.

     While I really enjoyed this game, it definitely has some questionable content. There are several scenes in the game show people having sex. While you don’t see graphic depictions of sex, you do see people gyrating on top of each other. In one scene, a young man forcing a woman to give him oral sex. He also yells at another woman that she is next. When she turns to run away, you see she is holding a baby. There are several story missions that you have to complete that bring you to kinky sex clubs and show women topless. If any of this seems like something you wouldn’t want your kids to see, you should probably skip this one for the youngsters.

     Watch Dogs is an amazing ride. While some of the side missions get repetitive, it still one of the best games I’ve played in a long time. I would recommend it to anyone who loves open-world games and those that can play the game without small kids in the room.

4 out of 5 stars