View Sidebar
Watch Dogs, analysis

Watch Dogs, analysis

June 30, 2014 6:37 am0 comments

Watch Dogs

Surely, more than one reader remembers the first time we saw Watch Dogs. At E3 2012, Ubisoft showed the first game in a long time that seemed to take the plunge we were all hoping for. The press, hardened by many battles, rose up and applauded in the moment in which Watch Dogs became seized by that phenomenon called hype. Then the news came little by little, the announcements of a graphics downgrade and the advance disappointments. Now, it’s time for a review; we’ve played Watch Dogs on PS4 and these are our impressions.

The design of Watch Dogs is a classic sandbox style, like any other Rockstar game, to which hacking and technology have been added as a distinguishing element. Thus, in addition to using guns and cars, we can use the abilities of Alden Pierce, our protagonist, to use the hyperconnected world we live in in our favor.

Hacking a device is as simple as holding down a button for a few seconds; cell phones, traffic lights, surveillance cameras, and the grenades of our enemies are all at our disposal. Watch Dogs wants us to be spies and allows us to investigate its world and those within it from the perspective of a tech pirate; we can decide to empty an old lady’s bank account or stop a crime in progress, all in real time and with an engaging quasi-random component.

The best thing is that Ubisoft knew how to integrate its ideas into an interface that doesn’t get in the way, but gives the player enough options to know what to do and encourages him to try combinations. The learning curve is smooth and there are few moments in which you’ll have nothing to do, even though the campaign is absolutely linear.

Like any other game in its genre, Watch Dogs has a main plot and tens of secondary missions, assignments and collectibles. Though it’s not required, it’s advisable to advance a few missions in the campaign to improve Pierce’s abilities and have access to a great part of the game. The central plot is a story of personal vengeance that, though not among the best we’ve seen, is well told and makes the player want to see more; what’s most missing is the weight of our decisions, which is virtually zero in practice.

From our point of view, the best thing about Watch Dogs is that it lets the player think. The beginning of each mission offers a clear perspective of what we have to do, and in most cases, many ways to successfully do it. Even within completion, one can achieve levels of perfection between a Rambo-style massacre and a fine job without putting oneself at risk or firing a shot. It’s the second approach that’s most enjoyable and, if we increase the difficulty level (practically a cakewalk on normal), the best option.

The influence of other games from the French developer is notable, due in large part to the game mechanics. The shootouts and stealth zones are especially well done, although the driving seems too “arcade” and, once the necessary abilities have been obtained, seems too simple a challenge for users with experience in the genre.

Watch Dogs

Broken promises that are no big deal

We’d be lying if we said that the graphics of Watch Dogs are at the level we expected. In fact, it seems more like an intergenerational game (classics of the first months of a new console’s life) than the revolution we hoped for. On the PS4, the platform we played it on, the game runs at 900p with 30 constant frames, giving it a notable smoothness.

The problems start when we find textures that are a bit poor (much more noticeable during driving), animations that aren’t even mediocre, and promises like realistic fire, smoke, and explosions have hinged on this. Titles like the recently released Infamous Second Son surpass a game that, in theory, was supposed to break records on the technical plane.

But aside from that, it’s a pleasure to play a lively sandbox game without pauses, decreases, or sudden drops in framerate. Thus, we have good news that augurs well for the rest of this generation of games, in which we include a more-than-likely second part of an IP that has come to stay.

Beyond that, it is a joy to play a full life without stoppages, slowdowns or sudden drops in framerate sandbox. We are left with the good news that portends for the rest of the generation in which we include a likely second part of an IP that is here to stay.

Watch Dogs


What can we ask from a game? The majority of readers would reply “fun” above all. Watch Dogs has it, and, for that reason, we’d consider it unjust to call it a bad game, like it could’ve been and wasn’t. We’re looking at a notable sandbox game that won’t have the weight many of us hoped for but offers between 20 and 25 hours of good entertainment. Recommended for almost everyone, as long as we forget that trailer…

Leave a reply