A main aspect about any open-world game are the cars and the variety available in Watch_Dogs is great. Sports cars, to mack trucks, to motorcycles it has something for everyone. The downside is that on the Playstation 3, the driving pales in comparison to the next-gen versions. Constant texture pop in and occasional screen tearing can ruin the experience for some. I emphasize the phrase ‘constant’ as it does happen a lot. It’s not the only aspect of the cars I wasn’t fond of. I found that they also controlled a bit slippery in a sense. Maybe the proper terminology is ‘over-sensitivity’, either way it was troublesome making the hairpin turns necessary every five seconds to evade the cops. The current gen versions of the cars also do not have the cockpit camera view which is apparent in the next-gen versions.
The law is another main aspect of many open-world titles. The cops are not your only enemies in Watch_Dogs but other fixers too, who once dispatched give way to cops who are pretty upset of the explosions you have been causing in the fair city of Chicago. The cops are brutal but it is the realism that drives it. If you plan to play Watch_Dogs as your run of the mill sandbox game, then you won’t have a great time. Simply taking your gun out subjects you to the possibility of pedestrians calling the fuzz. Then you’re left with the choice of either shooting said pedestrian in the head to ‘silence’ them, which leads way to more calls from pedestrians mind you, or chasing them down and rudely smashing their mobile device. Pedestrians are not simply casualties of war in Watch_Dogs every civilian you kill will affect your meter in the top right which basically gauges your evil or hero mindset as Aiden. Kill enough and the public will not take kindly to you, do enough good deeds like stopping potential crimes, to raise your vigilante status and be praised by the public.
Multiplayer is a key component of Watch_Dogs and is always on unless otherwise turned off in the options menu and it has its own little mini-unlocks as you progress. The main modes taken out of the current gen version are Online Free-Roam and Decryption mode which is an 8v8 mode. Left in though are races, which you can go head to head against up to four players. The online hacking and online tailing basically involve either the player being an invader or the invaded in a random occurrence, where one will have to hack or tail the other player until they find the other who can look like one of any of the NPC characters. It’s randomly generated what the other player will look like so there is always an air of mystery. Players will also enter the singleplayer experience via this mode so if it is not something you would like, again, there is an option for that. The remaining mode is the CtOS mobile, which works as one player who uses the CtOS mobile app and controls the Chicago police as the player has to evade them. It’s cool but if you don’t have a mobile device, it’s very one sided. The online is unique and interesting, but it will only keep players busy for so long given the repetitive aspect of it all.
In the end, Watch_Dogs is a next-gen game on a current gen platform. Not in a good way, the removed aspects, the glitches and issues that are apparent make this hard to recommend for current gen players unless they really ‘must have it’. If you have an option for PC or any of the next-gen platforms, opt in for that instead. This feels like a mess of trying to get it on as many platforms as possible, but at least it still shares the same great soundtrack.Watch Dogs Review (PS3),