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3.9 out of 5 stars
Watch Dogs - Playstation 3
Platform for Display: PlayStation 3Edition: StandardChange
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67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2014
Platform for Display: PlayStation 3Edition: Standard
Update 6/7/2014: Online hacking / Tailing is almost impossible now due to player exploits and sore losers disconnecting from online hacking because they can't find you when you're 99% done with hacking them.

For the first week or so, Online Hacking and Tailing was pretty fun. Now it's getting ridiculous and almost pointless because victims (other human players you attempt to hack or tail) can easily tell when you're invading their game before you even reach their location.

There are 4 exploits victims can use to know their being invaded:

1*Pausing the game and the game keeps playing

2*Using fast travel or attempting to play any mini games or side missions will be cancelled. Players sometimes can see your location on their game map.

3*NPC's profiled as 'NOT A THREAT' is a dead giveaway another human player is in your game

4*Using Focus (similar to Max Payne's Bullet Time) does not work

Victims can use these exploits to instantly know if you're invading their game. Regardless if you're walking, driving or hiding. It's to a point where everyone must be spamming the pause or Focus button to check for invasions.

You will know a victim is on to you because as soon as you invade their game, you will see the victim going nuts. Running around profiling NPC's, wildly shooting in the air to flush you out or driving around like a bat out of hell so you can't reach them.

This seriously takes all the fun out of the online integration. And to make matters worse, if you attempt to disable the online feature, Ubisoft resets all your notoriety points and skills back to zero.

Some players you attempt to hack / tail, spamming the pause or focus exploit to check for invasions will run and to a remote location like a closed garage door, a park or sea shore where they can see you coming to get the drop on you or try to get you to 'timeout' and lose since you have a limited time to reach their location.

You can argue that this is all fair play but it's obvious that this is not how the online portion was intended to be played. In the end, Ubisoft is to blame for not doing a proper quality control assessment of the multiplayer. It's a poor game design choice for Ubisoft to alert the victim of the invaders location, via a purple circle on the in-game map for online tailing.

I suppose Ubisoft did this to avoid complaints from players not being able to start side missions or fast travel. "Oh you can't start a side mission because you're being invaded? Don't worry. This purple circle on your in-game map will show you exactly where the invader is so you can deal with them and resume to starting that side mission the invasion would not let you start."

Until Ubisoft resolves the exploits, the best way to avoid this is to simply not sign into PSN when playing if you don't want to be annoyed with revenge invasions and constant invaders.

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Original review:

I wanted to keep this simple for anyone with a PS3 on the fence about getting this. I will update this review when I get more time.

Bottom line, if you don't go into this game expecting a GTA V killer, you'll enjoy your purchase. I give it an 8 out of 10.

I've been playing for a few hours on PS3 and it's a solid game. Despite the drama about the downgrade graphics, the graphics are pretty good even on last gen. Nothing on the level of The Last Of Us or GTA V's detailed resolution but it's good enough to enjoy if you are not a graphics whore.

The gameplay is nothing revolutionary but the hacking mechanics are more fun than you think they would be. I'm not one for being invaded by other gamers but there is fun to be had using your wits tracking down another player trying to hack you or avoid detection from them when you're literally right under their nose, hacking them, watching them run around clueless and frantic trying to find you, lol!

As mentioned by others the driving sucks and is pretty arcadey but nothing you can't get used to over time. Definitely better than GTA IV's driving. There are so many random side missions, criminal activities and things to do, you can easily get sidetracked from the main story which is a good thing.

The gunplay is okay but it's meant to be a backup for hacking imo. You can easily get slaughtered trying to go in guns blazing with a bunch of goons gunning at you from different angles. You cannot shoot while driving or customize vehicles from what I've seen.

Cons I've noticed so far:

Long loading screens when you die. Checkpoints pick up where you first acquired the mission, not where you actually died.

Some side missions where you have to stop criminals instruct you to subdue the criminal rather than kill them. When these criminals have goons shooting at you while trying to flank you, you can mistakenly kill the target, causing you to instantly fail the mission. Then you have to start the whole mission over from the beginning.

Driving missions where you have to play beat the clock can get pretty annoying

No manual saves except for sleeping in game. Other than that, the game autosaves at checkpoints

Driving is too arcadey

Not much room for going in guns blazing but I guess that's the point of the big focus on hacking and playing stealthy
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59 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2014
Platform for Display: PlayStation 3Edition: Standard
There is so much hate going around for this game and I feel someone needs to be truthful about it. Some of the hate the game does deserve, but not all of it. I would like to say that when I review games I am very honest and dedicated to it. I have waited a long time for this game (as well as others) so it has given me the motivation to post this review. I also feel the need to defend this game to an extent because of all of the hate it is receiving, as well as the game not being properly reviewed. Most people are trolling it or simply not writing a meaningful review.

Watch Dogs Review:
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I have played this game for about 20 hours now. I was able to get my copy 1 day before release, so I have a small head-start on the game. I have not yet finished it, I do not claim to have mastered it and do not claim to know everything about it. However, I am working on that, so this review will be updated as time goes on if I see it as being necessary. As it stands right now, it's a great game, but if your expecting to find this game to be "nextgen" then prepare to be disappointed. This is one of the reasons why many PS4 and Xbox One players are upset and it could even lower the ratings for the game on those systems.

Let me make this point very clear. Watch Dogs is, always was, and always will be a PS3 & 360 game. The developers have even stated that they got a rude awakening at the end of the games development cycle when the next generation gaming systems had been introduced. The game was not delayed to add more polish as some in the studio had stated. It was delayed because it was being ported over to the next generation systems so everyone could play it.

Graphics:
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Yes, it is true, the final game has undergone a graphical downgrade. A lot of people expressed disappointment when they realized that Watch Dogs had undergone Forzaning. Forzaning is when a game looks really good at the E3 show, likely due to high-end Nvidia GTX-powered PCs with Cosair liquid-cooling and a high-end Intel CPU that is to heavy for both the Xbox One and PS4 to carry. Ubisoft has acknowledged that the Forzaning did happen, and that the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game are downgraded in comparison to the PC version from E3 2012. Does the game look bad? No. Does the game look better than GTA5? No. I would say one of the biggest things missing seems to be the dynamic lighting, leaving the game with a "washed out" kind of look to it. The player will notice this the most wile driving around in the city, the lighting just isn't right and the game does seem to look better at night. Everything other than that is well done.

Driving:
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Kind of bad, but not broken or horrible. It's arcade style with bad physics and damage. If you have ever played Saints Row 2, then you will know 100% how these cars will handle. They all work, but they are all "funny with the money" sort of speak. This was what stopped the game from being spectacular in some ways. It feels clunky and unrefined. The damage also doesn't make sense. You could hit things at high speeds and barely get a dent. There are no scratches, and hit a pole and it comes right off barely slowing you down. Hit another car at a high speed and it'll move a ridiculous distance. Trucks and SUVs handle great for some reason but sportier cars not so much. There are also bikes in the game as well as boats and the boats seem to handle surprisingly well. There is also no car customization that I'm aware of, so what you steal is what you get.

NCPs & Player Interactions:
-----------------------------------
There is so much random dialogue that you can over-hear many things. Significantly better than GTA5 in this aspect. If NPCs get into a car accident with each other they argue, and when you block traffic it is awesome. You can walk by random people free styling and if you point a gun at a civilian their reactions are well done. It would have been nice if you could push or punch civilians. The most you can do is run into them full speed, they stumble a little, call you a jerk and walk away. I found this to be very odd. You can shoot people and run them over, toss grenades at them and activate exploding canisters as they walk by, but you mean to tell me that I can't start a fist fight and serve them a little cement cake? If you start shooting up the place then yes they do call the police, so the cop killing and running from the law element is there. Not that I'm trying to sound off as that being a cool thing to do, but it is there to serve as one of the players options.

There is also a morality system. Help people out and earn a good reputation, but do allot of bad and word gets around as people start to recognize you. You can grab their phone before people call for help though or use a jammer. There is no star system like GTA but there is its own kind of heat system that it uses and they do bring out choppers to get you. The hit detection is also a little weird. If I try to shoot out some lights or even shoot some balloons or even bottles off a shelf they don't seem to pop or move out of place, meaning the destructive environment does seem limited. You can shoot people in the car when they are driving with the windows up, so have no fear there, the game doesn't pule a GTA3 on us with everyone seemingly having bulletproof windows. You can also shoot out tires and headlights as well as a few other things, just not everything you can come up with. If you fall into the water you can swim but there is no diving into the water or swimming under the water.

Hacking, Stealth, Shooting & Sound:
---------------------------------------------
Very good. The intelligent/realistic AI is highly entertaining. You can freak out enemy NPCs by opening and shutting gates in front of them and countless other things, and it never feels like a gimmick and it helps the game feel more diverse. The stealth gameplay is awesome and yes there are some guns with silencers as well as there being a good enough reason to use them in many situations. The shooting is very fun and the AI seems quite intelligent, they try to flank you and search the area and they don't always know where you are. I like the fact that you can also glide over the hood of cars as your engaged in a shootout or pulling off a little flank of your own. The game also has different difficulty settings. I am playing it on the realistic setting. There are also many different kinds of perk upgrades in this game, however, I would rather not spoil that, just know that there is a very interesting "upgrade tree system" in the game.

As far as seeing people through walls (enemy tracing) during a shootout, it only happens if you run a hack, so yes, you can play many gun fights without feeling like your "cheating" sort of speak. The explosions look really nice also and the police aren't overpowered. I'd consider it better than GTA5 here as well. The cover system in this game is great. It's really intuitive and easy to move from cover to cover. It would have been nice if they added blind fire though. You also can't free jump, you can only jump over obstacles but it is very well implemented. The sounds and voices are very well done and the games soundtrack is superb as well. There are also songs you can play in the car as well as your phone. The song list can seem small at first but more songs become unlocked by hacking some people and during the story's progression.

Side Activities, Story & Presentation:
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There is a ridiculous amount of them and there is something for everybody here. There are side games on your phone that range from psychedelic trip missions all the way to playing as a giant robot spider that causes city mayhem. There is chess games in the city as well as poker and loads of other content. Succinct to say, I would rather not comment on all the side stuff and rather it be a surprise. Lets just say that the game is very versatile with so much content that it would require an entire review dedicated just to cover it all. The size of the map is also a very good size. It is not as big as GTA5 but I do feel the size to be just right. It is around twice the size of Saints Row 2. There are train tracks with trains to ride and there are underground tunnel systems, there is more than what meets the eye and places to find.

The game also runs well, no lags that I have noticed, just a few texture pop-ups here and there, nothing game breaking. It is also worth noting that there is no buying houses in the game but there are hideouts throughout the city. There is a gun shop and the selection of guns is reasonable and all you need, as well as a store that features a wide variety of different colored coats. The game also has the occasional weather affects that are not overly used and seem to be nicely done. The story is ok. It will not blow you out of your chair, but I feel it sets itself up to be what it tries to be and does it well. It is about Aiden Pearce being a skilled hacker and former thug. Eleven months after his actions led to the death of someone close to him, so he seeks to bring his own form of justice by manipulating Chicago's Central Operating System.

The game kind of has this "Metropolitan Drama" feel to it. It can be slow, dark and sad at times, and then fast with guns blazing the next. If your looking to always be going gun crazy you might be a little let down but not because it doesn't have any of that. It is because the game has a slow pace and there is a time and place for everything. There is a time for driving like a maniac and a time for laying low as you hide from the police, there is a time for running about and a time for stalking about, and there is a time for letting everyone in town know your there as well as a time for being quiet using your silencer, bequeathing off your ghost like figure.

The game lets you toy around like a supercomputer that controls every piece of technology in the city. It also contains information on all of the city's residents and activities which can be used for various purposes. Every AI has their own story to tell and unique profile, and some are wanted criminals or about to do criminal things that branch into even more side activities. The main campaign seems like it may be around 30 hours long, but with all the side stuff I can easily see this game pushing the 60-90 hour mark. I am sorry to say that I can't comment on the online portion because I don't play online. However, the online is there and seems to have many features as well. Your phone in the game can pule up many different options, with online activities being one of the many features.

Difficultly & Replay Value
--------------------------
This is very subjective for each player. On the realistic setting it is very hard if you run in guns blazing. Think of Splinter Cell Blacklist on the perfectionist setting, one or two good placed shots and your done. The replay value is very high if you like stealth and shooting even without doing any of the side missions. Each area is kind of like a sandbox to play in that can be approached in many different ways.

The Bad:
------------
The load times! They drive me crazy, they can literally last up to 30 seconds long. I am not exaggerating this because I even counted the seconds. The good news is that not every load is this long, most are around 15-20 seconds. Normally I don't die much but when I do, especially in those "forced stealth missions", I am now prepared to do some waiting. Personally, that should have been highly questionable during the quality control meetings. The other thing I hate is not being able to hit anyone on my own will, this seems to be limiting what I can do. There is also no shooting out of car windows while driving down the road. This part is however not totally bad to me, it just seems that the game is trying to be a little more professional and not come off as being a killing simulator as some other games may be labeled as.

It would also be nice if I could crouch. The player does crouch, but only when near a cover object. It's also not very logical to have a stealth game that doesn't let you move bodies, that would be welcome considering Splinter Cell, Hitman and Metal Gear are much older games with such features. Being able to use people as a human shield would also be a welcomed addition. There is also no real bullet detection and considering it's 2014 these things need to start being incorporated. That means if you shoot them in the legs you cripple the leg and if you shoot the hand you cripple their aim just like in Fallout. They also need to shoot from the ground when you down them and crawl for cover. I also hate the way it shows people through walls at times even when I don't use any sort of trace. This happens at times in gun fights and it can really kill the immersion, there needs to be a way to turn it off.

There also needs to be a way to turn off your radar. There are too many devises in the game that make it feel as if there is too much hand holding at times and this ends up consistently reinforcing the idea that your playing a game instead of it feeling like a natural flowing simulation. Many of the main campaign missions could also use more diverse creativity. These things more often than not can begin to make the campaign, shooting and stealth feeling a little repetitious and mundane. It is also a little odd that pedestrians die from a single bullet no matter the location of being shot, and even more odd that if you start shooting up the place nobody ever seems to have a gun and defend themselves or others. It would also be nice if people didn't give up their car so easily, they seem to be a real sweetheart about it. In Saints Row I remember many people would practically hit the gas and run you over. The game also takes some fun out of exploring because it has the tendency to highlight all the side missions and games on the map for you. So basically, the game could use a little fixing up here and there as well as having a greater emphasis on realism. Besides these small issues as well as the lighting and driving mechanics everything is fine.

Final Verdict:
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There is no doubt in my mind that there will be many GTA5 vs Watch Dogs going around and to an extent that is reasonable. Personalty, I didn't really like GTA5 that much. I didn't care for the story and I found the missions to be very boring and found the series to loose its charm after Vice City and San Andreas. However, the world map in GTA5 is extraordinary as well as the graphics and production values. There is no question about it, GTA5 has a bigger world with better handling physics. The true question however is not if GTA5 is better, it is does Watch Dogs do enough different to separate itself and make it stand alone as being its own unique game?

The answer is heck yes it does, it is highly artistic and I find it to be more fun! Now, I will come right out and say this. Watch Dogs may lack the grandiosity of GTA5 but the game does come very close to being a "nextgen" quality game, if only it had a few of these needed tweaks here and there. It is a fact that when current systems reach the end of there cycle, that is when the best games come out because the developers have optimized how to fully use the systems true power. Just like "The Last of Us" may have been Sony's last big exclusive that oozed with high quality, the same goes for GTA5 and Watch Dogs.

We have Naughty Dog, Rockstar and Ubisoft all going out with a bang, all saying "please appreciate our high quality games" before we must depart and prepare ourselves for the next generation of gaming consoles. With that being said, sure Watch Dogs has its faults. It did deserve a bigger budget with better physics and dynamic lighting with faster loading screens and a greater emphasis of realism. It is these few things that prevent me from giving this game 5 stars. However, no game is immaculate, so let us overlook a few small impediments and enjoy the game for what it is worth and simply appreciate life.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2014
Platform for Display: PlayStation 3Edition: Standard
So far I've been fairly disappointed, and I tried to avoid anything about the game as much as I could to not spoil anything. The controls are weird for driving and for shooting (no more quick shots where you can run and fire, which is odd considering how much the game revolves around shooting. Also the driving is weird; break system isn't very solid and certain cars handle better than others (example: a semi handles turns better than a sedan?). And you can't jump unless you are running and vault over something like you're free running, which is...cool...I guess. The hacking is cool but feels old really quick. I also really don't like how you have to constantly worry about other players hacking into your game while you're in the middle of a mission (I've failed one mission 4 times because of this). I get that this is supposed to be a genre defying game, but taking away the ability to jump and fire while running has been a pretty weak move.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2014
Platform for Display: PlayStation 3Edition: Standard
It has a large city map, which you can get to by foot, car, or train. Looks very similar to GTA. NOT the same.
There are towers you can hack a backdoor into which reveals more options in each area. (You have to find out how to get there, using cameras and such to unlock doors, etc) Fun at first, but you get progression items in-game for doing things like this.
Weapon wheel-ok so far. You can get some good weapons early on; if using skill points you can upgrade your weapon skills.
Hacking-By far the best and most FUN part of the game. Spending skill points here can make one quite devious. Catching the right ones early on, can make escaping the police easy.
Hacking by others-This is the craziest I've experienced so far. It's been attempted on me three times as of this, but unsuccessful. One aborted, one ran away, the other I ran into the car until it exploded. You get a warning when you are being hacked along with a diameter area of where the hacker is. There is a data meter as well. You have until this reaches 100% to find and eliminate him/her. You can hack others. (I have not attempted this yet.) Those being hacked will be hunting you and YOU must be hiding and be on the run.

The Phone: The most powerful item. The apps can do almost anything. Order cars delivered, many which are free, can be gained from civilians, or bought. Other games played in-game (Inception......) Can be used to hack people's bank accounts; a steady cash flow, car races, Hack contracts, etc.

CON: The only one I can think of would be the only central story line. I'm not sure if you can continue to play after the game is finished. Since there are things you can do in-game, what if you don't do them all before that? There are 5 Chapters and I just started Chapter 2.

6-4-2014
Finished the game. I think the story-line is great: it's a bit long, but considering the price of brand new games, I'm not the only one who wants their money's worth. Since there is only a central story line, after finishing it, then (to me at least) there isn't much to playing it again. Unless you don't play for a year or more. Now IF.....others were to play it then yes, it would be worth having around. Here's a big stink going around: TOO many people are comparing it to GTA, Saint's Row, etc. This game is NOT a clone. Sure, the driving part does. The running, climbing, and vaulting is like almost every other game. How is the character supposed to get around? Wheelchair? Some people......
There is a progression wheel and I still have some things to do. After completing the game and almost half an hour of credits, you are back in Chicago to do whatever you like.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Platform for Display: PlayStation 3Edition: StandardVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been chasing this fool all the way to The Loop! I might have let him go, if he didn't threaten my sister. Looks like he's approaching a traffic intersection...let's just use my phone to switch the lights aaaaaaaaand...[collision]...PERFECT. He won't be driving anywhere now.

Wait...what? He's trying to escape on foot?!? Not over THAT bridge, he isn't. [Hacks bridge control]. Two hits with my baton ought to send him to dreamland...*thwack* *thwack* Let's see what his cell phone has to say. [hacks it, eyes grow wide with horror]
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This it what it feels like to be inside the mind of Aiden Pearce, the protagonist in Watch Dogs. He's got a marvelous little device that can see the digital footprints of everyone's life in the great city of Chicago. Aiden's got vengeance on his mind, and he's got the tools to carry it out.

PLOT:

The game starts off simply enough, Aiden Pierce has to escape from Wrigley field and avoid getting captured by the police. Once he does, he's on a mission to find the people responsible for killing his niece 11 months ago. After catching his breath in a safe house, Aiden starts following the bread crumb trails throughout the city of Chicago and neighboring Pawnee. No one can hide from him.

GAMEPLAY:

Watch Dogs is a free-roam game in a 3rd person perspective set in Chicago, which has recently been outfitted with a supercomputer called The ctOS. It's connected to everyone and everything, and hence, so is Aiden Pierce.

Using his cell phone called The Profiler, Aiden can change traffic lights, burst steam pipes, hack into vehicles, stop violent crimes from happening, and much, much more. He's able to jump over fences and cars and obstacles using parkour, similar to our friend Ezio from Assassin's Creed. His weapons are numerous, including IED's, grenades, pistols, machine guns, sniper rifles, etc.

However, Aiden's actions aren't without consequences - if he steals a car, chances are someone will call 911. If he commits too many crimes, He'll be recognized on the street and people will report him, making the game more difficult.

Aiden can earn money by hacking unsuspecting people or completing certain tasks. This money can be used to buy outfits, weapons, order vehicles, etc. There's an online component which allows the player to race against other people or even invade someone's game (similar to Demon's Souls), but watch out - the prey can become the predator if they discover what you're doing!

If you're the type of person that doesn't like jumping right into the main missions, you can opt to explore Chicago and get swept up in a tidal wave of minigames and side missions.

Want to play poker? You can do that.
Want to burn rubber in a street race? You can do that.
Want to swipe a rocking tune from someone's cell phone on the street? You can do that.
Want to track down a serial killer? You can do that.
Want to do checkins, similar to FourSquare? You can do that.
Want to spy on the darkest secrets of unsuspecting citizens? You can do that.
Want to fly around Chicago on bouncy flowers? Yes...you can even do that.

I never found myself struggling to find things to do in Watch Dogs, because Ubisoft gave me a game overflowing with secondary activities. I could have spent a solid month without touching the main missions.

The game won't let you unlock certain skills until you get far enough in the main missions, and that's the PERFECT bait to get us playing through them.

SO WHAT DOES WATCH DOGS MAKE YOU THINK ABOUT?

While the game centers mostly on hacking and accumulating wealth to unlock weapons and outfits and side missions, the overall theme (to me, anyway) is about privacy, and its confusing nature. People want privacy, yet they freely give information to social networks and GPS tracking systems. With the press of a button, Aiden Pierce can learn your worst habit. He'll know if you do searches for the word "bondage". He'll know if you purchased used underwear online. He'll know if you're making 80,000 per year, or living off your disability checks. He'll know if you're recovering from cancer, or collecting comic books.

It's Setec Astronomy all over again, but the little black box is now called The Profiler.

There's also an exploration of the dark side of voyeurism. This was covered in the movie Sliver, but Watch Dogs takes it out of the apartment building and gives it a citywide scale. We can watch anyone we want, and some of those things are very unsettling.

TROPHIES:

There are 40 trophies to earn in Watch Dogs. The largest chunk of them are dedicated to the Collectibles missions, such as finding all the Songsneak tunes, hacking all the ctOS towers, checking in to all 100 City Hotspots, and so on.
The rest are split between the Main missions, Side missions, Investigations, Minigames, and Online contracts.

Some of the more frustrating missions are the QR Codes - these are similar to the Riddler challenges in Batman: Arkham City, where you have to line up the picture just right.

However, I feel the "Social Lubricant" trophy is the hardest one to earn. If you're a trophy junkie, this one is best saved until you've completed everything else in the game.

GLITCH REPORT:

Playing with Version 1.02 -

The glitches I came across during my month of gameplay were very few and far between:

The first was my first jump off a building on Spider Tank, I landed but somehow couldn't move. After I was killed, the glitch never happened again.

The second was during an attempted hack. I was on foot, and my target was in a boat speeding away. The game gave me the option to fast travel. I chose to do this, and I appeared in the middle of the city...in a speedboat...hovering over the concrete.

The third one happened on my way to a mission - I jumped over a fence and the game froze, I had to reboot the game. It didn't happen again after that.

The last glitch happened after losing a drinking game with a character. The whole screen went black so I had to reboot. This glitch hasn't happened again.

Four glitches in a month's worth of gameplay? That's not bad at all.

WHAT WOULD I HAVE IMPROVED?

There is so much already in Watch Dogs, it's hard to think of things to add. Since I'm a sucker for multiple endings, I wish Ubisoft could have added a couple which depended on Aiden's reputation status, because this would increase the replay value of the game.

However, I could think of one item to remove...the "Focus" ability, which was nearly useless. I only used it once, because it was automatically triggered during a mission. Watch Dogs didn't need "Bullet Time" - it already has its place in the Max Payne series.

Oh, and I hated the drinking games. Quick Time Events are annoying enough, but playing them with sluggish controls to simulate being drunk is an exercise in frustration.

FINAL VERDICT?

I would have happily spent the standard new game price ($60) to purchase Watch Dogs. It's extremely rich in content, allowing players to get lost in side missions for days at a time. Once players dive into the main story, it's engaging enough so it doesn't feel tacked on. Even the ancillary characters are likeable, and that's rare to pull off in a video game. Lots of detail went into this game, right down to the hotspot checkins - you can discover facts about Chicago's past you might never have known before.

If you're looking for a sandbox game and you feel Grand Theft Auto might be a little too overwhelming, give Watch Dogs a try. It's by the same company that gave us Splinter Cell and the Assassin's Creed series, so they know how to write a solid story and give us a protagonist to cheer for.

Just don't be surprised if you look suspiciously at people on their cell phones after a few weeks of playing. ;-)

Highly recommended!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2014
Platform for Display: PlayStation 3Edition: Standard
Ever since its announcement, I've (admittedly off and on) been intrigued and looking forward to playing Watch_Dogs. As release approached, the articles regarding performance and graphics caught my eye and I began to see the threads unravel in my anticipation. I purchased a PS4 to play next-gen games with stellar graphics, environments, etc., of which this game was intended to be one of those purchases.

However, upon seeing the Conan play-through on the PS4 among other reveals, I decided to forego the preorder in favor of renting the game first and I'm very happy to say I did. Since I rent from Redbox (no rental places around me), I had to get the PS3 version, which I'm aware has a different level of performance, but the game is still Watch_Dogs nonetheless.

The "free-running" is frankly pitiful when compared with the fluidity of free-running in games like Assassins Creed, even Mirror's Edge. The nagging need to push a button to 1) climb a ladder, 2) vault over objects, and more is immersion breaking to a degree. When you're running at top-speed down an alleyway only to be stopped at a ladder to line yourself up and press "O" to climb, the adrenaline and in-game experience is significantly decreased.

Graphics are definitely not top-notch and feel like a game that was developed and released in 2010-2012. Shrubbery lacks quality lighting and shadows, with hedges often looking like furry green LEGO blocks placed in the ground. Cut scenes are still aesthetically pleasing, but once in-game playing kicks in, some areas are outstanding (indoor levels, a la the opening, and some exteriors) while others look like a significant step down in quality.

Driving, as alluded to in other individuals' reviews, is pretty unenjoyable and at times barely responsive. Within two seconds of getting in a car, my tires were blown out by pursuing cops, yet somehow my vehicle was still driving like normal. And by normal, I mean taking curves like you're driving a semi or school bus, not showing any damage until the car was about ready to explode, and just an overall clunky experience that parallels the "chunkiness" felt while free-running. The other downfall of driving is that when being pursued by cops, the only way to truly shake the pursuit is by hacking the intersections, etc. or jumping into the water. Police cruisers will not stop or take damage no matter how many times you ram them or swerve them into buildings or other cars, which makes the player drive in repetitive loops or way out of the way just to find an intersection or bridge to interact with to stop the chase.

I will give this game kudos in the story department. If you can put aside the lackluster personality of the game's protagonist, who sounds like a brooding twenty-something most of the time, the depth of the world and organizations UbiSoft built is comparable to their other hits like Splinter Cell, Assassins Creed, and more. I can feel myself sympathizing to a degree with the events that led Aiden to become what he is at the beginning of the game, and while I cannot see eye to eye with his macabre tone throughout, it makes for an interesting backstory that follows his journey through the latter portion of the (anti-)hero mythos humans enjoy in popular stories.

Overall, I probably won't be purchasing this game anytime soon as a permanent piece of my collection. Someday when the price is lowered and Ubi has a chance to iron out some of the issues through patches, I might consider it as a leisure pick-up to play through the city and side missions. Hopefully this IP only suffers from the AC:1 issue of being a new property testing out new mechanics and the second iteration comes out swinging to take the game world by storm.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Platform for Display: PlayStation 3Edition: StandardVerified Purchase
For the longest time, I've been wanting a game that not only played with the idea of a crusading hacker, but also that had an open-world environment against the backdrop of my home city of Chicago. Everything about this game seemed really cool at first, but when I finally started playing WATCH_DOGS, I was frustrated, bored, insulted and offended.

The plot of the game is startlingly familar; our protagonist, tough-guy hacker Aiden Pierce (who's essentially a amalgam of Harold Finch and John Reese from the great TV series PERSON OF INTEREST) has a troubled past and is atoning for it by hacking into people's smartphones and playing vigilante. Suddenly, he's brought back into that world forcibly by the criminal elements of Chicago when his sister is kidnapped. He partners up with a sexy young hacker to help bring justice back to the city and to save his sister.

You pretty much do everything you'd normally do in a GTA/SAINTS ROW style game: You beat people up with a collapsible baton when they try to hurt someone; you assault gang hideouts; you steal cars/trucks/motorcycles/boats and go on ridiculous chases throught the city; and you also attempt to complete a series of side missions. The main difference is the hacking element. That is actually kind of cool. But the combat, the missions all reek of the same kind of stuff that people should stop making.

The plotting is also awful. It's the same old alpha-male crap that we've seen done a billion times, but instead of it being daughter and wife, it's sister and niece. I'm just so tired of playing such a dour, joyless game. There's also the casual sexism/racism angle that's just ugly. Go ahead and argue that it's more "realistic" to have almost exclusively black people as the gang members or to have a sex slave ring plying their trade by a show of topless women. Sell that to the tourists. After about fifteen hours of gameplay, I decided I'd had enough. I was bored and frustrated by the main missions, I felt more bored and frustrated by the side missions, and I hate playing Ubisoft's multiplayer options (thanks for ruining that, ASSASSIN'S CREED) so I didn't even try.

Everything that's wrong with this game is made even more glaring by the fact that SAINTS ROW THE THIRD and SAINTS ROW IV are out there. They illustrate the essential problem with these games by doing the same old thing over and over, and also brilliantly satirize it. WATCH_DOGS is another example of why Ubisoft is no longer a developer you should be giving your hard-earned cash to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2014
Platform for Display: PlayStation 3Edition: StandardVerified Purchase
I have had this game since release day. Iv done about every thing you can do on it and I got to say there is more then enough to do! In point of fact if your A.D.D you will be hours into it without even hardly playing the main missions. I probably put 50 hours in before I even completed act 2. I will say that depending on how you decide to play the game it can become repetitive I did not have this problem because i was distracted by every shiny object in the game. From playing chess, to taking digital trips, to running down random bad guys. Now I pretty much agree with every thing the top reviewer True Story has to say in his review. However for me online hacking is the funnest part of the game. And after reading his update on online hacking I tested out some tactics to see if I could still have a fun hacking experience. While versing the other players advantages. And the answer was yes. So first lets address that fact that they know u r there. Yup they sure do. They dont know exactly where you are but they have a nice big purple search area to run to. So the trick is to keep your distance. and get the hack either through cameras or get close enough to them to start your hack. Iv actual found you can take advantage of them running for your position. Now once you start the hack you will disappear off of there radar. You now have about 50 seconds to run or drive to a location that is more advantageous to u. You then need to press the down arrow and start your down load. ( and yes i agree this is not exactly how the game was probably meant to be played but for me it has been quite fun) Now I have been on both ends of this situation. So try to pick places where you have a combination of Npc characters, places to hide (preferably ones you can move away from to another spot or around it) and cars.( have a getaway plan! )You get points weather you get the full hack or not. I dont even try to get full hacks. I just try for 50 to 60 percent then i get the heck out of there! Things to help you get away. ( if you see the person hunting you approaching the front of the car you are hiding in and he has not shot you or officially identified you. Hit him with the car! I have yet to see any one die from this and it gives you more time to get away! Also sometimes even if they see you if they dont get close enough to profile u your hack will continue. If they do profile you another thing to consider is that if you stay out of their line of sight for long enough you will automatically get away. So approach hacks as if the other person knows you are in there game from the get go, watch them on your radar and look for your opportunity to hack them . Then get your distance before you start the full down load. Forget about getting full hacks ( if you want to try more power to you but it will increase the likely hood of your death) Now on to the aggravating car situation. I have found that u usually get only one opportunity to start the hack when they are just driving around every where waiting for you to time out. So a few things to help with that. Watch your distance counter on the side of the screen if they are just driving away from you when it reaches 1000 you can fast tract to to them witch may put you in a better position to start the hack.( Also my personal fave is when you start the hack and they drive away form you. This will actually buy you more time as they will have to drive back to your location just make sure you start the down load before you get caught in the red on your radar screen or you will be to far away. Now as to the campers who sit in a building or get on a roof with no camera angle. All I can say is that this is dirty pool tactics and in my opinion UBI soft should not penalize u for not getting the hack and they should stop rewarding people that do it. While that one is a low blow I actually have only encountered it a few times. Its just bad luck and really I dont think most people have the patience for it. I know I dont so U probably wont see it to often. And I have not seen it enough for it to ruin the game. Now i am by no means a top notch player of watch dogs. I just really enjoy the game and I find that the tactics I use result in about a 70% success rate. The odds are stacked against you and that is all there is to it. But you can still have fun hacking the other players. Sometimes you are going to be instant killed when you go to hack another player. I personally only go after people that are worth 150 or above points my best hack was on a player worth 500 points I got a partial hack and this got me about 350 notoriety points. Though I have had many times where going after big points got me killed within seconds. Still I learn from my mistakes and continue to have fun. The best is when you manage to get away and you know you were on the brink of death. I just really enjoy this game and want to point out that the funnest part of the game is now more difficult, but not completely hopeless and that you can still have alot of fun with this game.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2014
Platform for Display: PlayStation 3Edition: StandardVerified Purchase
Wow. I can't believe how much I hated this game. I normally love open world games (GTA, Saint's Row, RDR, Sleeping Dogs, Just Cause 2), but I disliked this game after the first hour and grew to completely hate it. I've seen a lot of hate about this game regarding the graphics and being misled by the E3 trailer, but those aren't the reasons I hate this game. No, I have plenty of my own:

1. The main character Aiden was, pardon my French, a douche. He was a whiny, angst ridden drip of a character, who I found uninteresting and basically unlikable. I didn't care what happened to him or his family. I wished this was GTA V so I could switch to Trevor and kill him.
2. Cliché story. The story set up and first act was rather predictable. I’ve read that it gets better in the second half, but if a story doesn’t grab you from the start, what’s the point? I didn’t finish the game so I’ll never know what happened and I’m fine with that, unless I missed Aiden dying in some gruesomely horrible way.
3. Awful side missions. The selection of side missions were uninteresting, tedious or just plain odd. Chess? Why do I need chess in a console game? They seemed like a bunch of random things that didn’t really fit in with the story.
4. Weak music. The in-car radio music selection was incredibly poor. There wasn’t one single song that I cared to listen to. Not one. If you don’t like the music, it sure makes driving less enjoyable.
5. Speaking of driving, they made me do a lot of it. The few story missions I actually played usually started with making me drive clear across the map. Worse, the cars all handled like boats. Even worse, you can’t shoot weapons while driving; you can only use the hacking feature to try to disable another vehicle. This left me extremely frustrated.
6. The hacking feature was initially a positive, unique feature, but it didn’t take all that long for me to get bored with it. Some hacking involved addition steps that required solving a routing puzzle. The more you did those, the more tedious and annoying they became. The other big problem I found with the hacking was that you might hack the wrong object if your camera was moving and your timing wasn’t quick enough. This was especially true when in a car. Several times I wound up stopping myself rather than my target because of this.
7. I found the weapon wheel to be clunky to use. Rather than freezing time while I was trying to cycle through the weapon selections, it allowed the other characters to attack me the whole time. Stupid.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Since the story didn’t grab me, I decided to explore the map first and do a bunch of side missions to up my stats, skills and money. When I finally got tired of doing that, since I hated the side missions and bought all of the weapons, I thought I’d just plow through the main story and be done with this game. However early in the second act I got to a chase mission that I repeatedly failed, because of the awful car handling and frustrating hacking while driving feature. After failing it for the 12th time, I threw my hands up and threw this game out. Literally. It’s in the bottom of my garbage bin. I didn’t even want to give it away or trade it in, for fear some other poor fool would waste time playing this game. And before you make a remark, I 100%’ed all of the open world games I mentioned at the top, so yes, I do know how to play games. I also played the Assassin’s Creed games but they always seemed to have several frustrating missions. AC III broke the camel’s back for me when it came to frustration level and I never finished that game either. I vowed then to never get another AC game again and now I’ve changed that vow to include all Ubisoft games.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2014
Platform for Display: PlayStation 3Edition: StandardVerified Purchase
love how the game was delivered more early then the estimate stated. now as for the game. it is a GOOD game. not a great or amazing one but it is a good open world hacking game. the driving will need getting use to as its not that good. the world does not feel as alive to me as gta v. i did not care to explore the city much as i did not find it that interesting. pearce is an okay main character but not one that will make you want to be him again in a sequel. its very repetitive in and off the missions. not much to hack besides the same old 5 or 7 things on the streets. now on the other hand. even though their is not much to hack, its still fun to hack those few things. making light post switch to watch cars pile up, hacking peds bank accounts and looking at their life history and such can be kool at first until repeats start to kick in. the guns are kool and a nice selection. the story is okay and entertains but i felt like i played it all before for some reason. the cop chases are ok but i do love how you can hide in youre car as the cops slowly ride right pass you in search. the city is FULL of side activities. the map is a good size. it will be packed with little icons of things to do even though alot of them are repetitive. so enough content to please ppl for length. as for the online portion lets just say the one on one hacking is very addicting and fun. its pretty much hide and seek. steal the other players data and find ah good hiding spot until the hack reaches 100% while the other players runs around in panic searching for you with his profiler.. its simple, but addicting. other online modes i hade not tried yet so no comments on those at the moment. so yea its a fairly Good game and enjoyable, just dont expect to be blown out the water.
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