Watch Dogs 2 Review - Who Let the Dogs Hack?
We live in a society, in which information - apart from food, drinkable water, oil, rare Pokémons metals - is the most valuable thing. Watch Dogs is a saga that elucidates some of the mysteries regarding the art of obtaining info illegally - hacking.
Graphics – 3.5/5
On the one hand, Watch Dogs has stunning visuals. The setting is an open world, recreated after Chicago and it's unspeakably gorgeous. I believe you would sincerely enjoy roaming through the streets of that digitalized Chi-Town, observing with curiosity all the smallest nuances. From realistic vehicles to abandoned supermarket carts, shiny asphalt and yellow foliage - the game is mesmerizing and well detailed. And if you don't believe me - try watching the setting sun, yellowish gleaming of which hides behind the silhouettes of skyscrapers - breathtaking!
On the other hand, we have:
- Traffic lights apparently made of rubber.
- Invisible walls that will make you grind your teeth.
- Easily destructible fences (they deserve to be a meme).
- At times strange and glitchy physics.
For instance, if you mortally wound an NPC, it'll turn into a human-shaped papier-mâché. That will moan at least for a minute. While showing no signs of life.
In the cut-scenes non-playable characters display plausible details as well - facial expressions are good. But their clothes look like they have been glued to their bodies forever and when it comes to movement animations, you can't help but notice awful clumsiness and lack of coordination. If you happen to get hit by a heavy-weight object, instead of dying you'll end up smoothly sinking through the ground straight into the ocean where inevitable asphyxiation will end your mournful fate.
Gameplay – 3/5
Our hero - the name is Alden Perce - is a jack of all trades with a personality of wallpapers.
He's a whizkid at hacking, a sharpshooter, he knows how to handle a police baton, and also he investigates his family tragedy.
While on this crusade, Alden will have to:
- Do a lot of stealth action.
- Run lickety-split from cops.
- Shoot the baddies.
The most unique thing, in my opinion, is that hacking is sorta wizardry in the game. You can:
- Control traffic lights.
- Alarm the cops.
- Trigger explosions.
- Cause massive blackouts.
- Learn background info on any NPC.
- Manipulate robotic spider-tanks.
To be honest, central missions and objectives get repetitive too quickly. You'll just have to do the same stuff - hacking, stealing, sneaking, killing - over and over again, in the same order. Like in the Daft Punk song.
If you get tired of this routine, an abundant quantity of side activities will save your sanity: poker, races, gang elimination, etc.
Sadly, the game tried too hard to be serious. As a result, all that seriousness turned into a buffoonery and we have dumb AIs, dull missions and a characterless hero.
Controls – 5/5
Luckily controls are intuitive and most of the action can be performed through one-two button pressings.
Just be careful with the hacking reticule - sometimes it targets wrong objects.
Replay Value – 4/5
Despite all glitches and shortcomings, the game has a great plotline with unexpected twists and also a majestic open world. I will definitely return to explore more of those beautiful Windy City's streets.
The Bottom Line
Watch Dogs tried too hard to become a new GTA and it broke under this weight, but still, it has the potential to launch a great game series. Let's give it at least this.
- Vast open world
- Great visuals
- Interesting plotline
- A ton of glitches
- Invisible walls
- Hero lacks individuality
- Tiresome police chases.