Posted by : Dewey Riou III Tuesday, July 1, 2014

 | 7/1/14 5:30PM |





Digital Vengeance




It's hard to talk about Watch Dogs without bringing up the game's debut a few years back at the 2012 E3 Gaming Convention. Ubisoft's then new upcoming property instantly wowed with it's visuals and hacking concept, and was slated to be the game to buy for the next-generation of consoles. Since the game's release in May, it has sold extremely well and while it didn't visually match up to the game's premeire footage, it was still proclaimed as a solid open-world title. 

Watch Dogs is a cross-generation title, so questions arised about how it would fare on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, so hopefully my review of the 360 version here will help answer that question! 




It shouldn't come to anyone as a surprise that Watch Dogs doesn't look that great on last-gen consoles when compared to the new consoles, but this doesn't mean it's a bad looking game. The character model for Aiden Pierce is fairly nice, and the open-world of Chicago is presented with great detail as you drive and hack your wa around the city.  

While the visuals are good, it's the gameplay that is offered here as the star of Watch Dogs on last-gen consoles. The ability to manipulate specific areas of the environment with Aiden's extraordinary phone is awesome, and only gets better as you upgrade and unlock new abilities as you progress through the game's campaign.




Aiden's main goal as a vigilante is to seek out those responsible for the death of a family member, but overtime this evolves into something more as he follows a digital trail of conspiracies that creates a target on his back from multiple sources. It's a fairly engaging affair that will take about 20+ hours complete if you focus solely on the missions, but there are some fun and interesting activities to partake in outside the game's story that will add to the hour count of content available in the game.

The comparisons to GTA 5 have popped up several times since the game's release, but Watch Dogs mostly follows the formula that Ubisoft has established with their recent Assassin's Creed releases in terms of the gameplay structure. Areas around the game's depiction of Chicago are sectioned off and to fully unlock the available activities there, you must first hack into ctOS towers that are place in similar fashion to towers in AC. Once this is done, you'll be able to see the recently unlocked area, which will then be full of various activities to engage with. There's the interesting digital trips, a set of unique mini-games to play, as well as various activities around the city to partake in like poker and gang-hideouts.

Hacking is the main form of interacting with the world in Watch Dogs, and all of the abilities surrounding this are done with one button. There are times when you have to infiltrate a restricted area, but before you even make your presence known and begin a firefight, you can cause some real damage with your hacking abilities. It's a ton of fun to hack into a camera's feed to survey an area full of guards, explode objects to distract or dispatch of enemies in these areas, or you can even detonate grenades that enemies may be holding in their pockets  all from Aiden's phone and all before you physically enter the area.

When not hacking into the accounts of unsuspecting pedestrians, security cameras, traffic lights, and other unique objects, Aiden will have to sometimes shoot and sneak his way through the game, and this is where the game becomes rather conventional, but still fun to play.  




There is a cover system like most action titles possess, but Watch Dogs lacks the ability to blind fire and even attack from vehicles, which is almost an must-have ability for any game of this type. While the game is much more than another open-world title, it weirdly lacks some of the features that are almost expected for third-person open-world games, which does slightly hinder the experience in terms of the action contained in Watch Dogs. Another issue that appears is the slippery car-handling for most vehicles except for the motorcycles, my personal favorite and preferred method to get around the game's environment. Two-wheeled vehicles are to way to go in this version of Chicago.

Aside from the hacking, Watch Dogs' other neat feature is its multiplayer modes. The next-gen versions have a mode where players can freely explore Chicago together, which is unfortunately absent for 360, and PS3, although the hacking mode and races are still intact to play here. In the hacking mode, players can invade the games of others, and will appear as an NPC with the goal of hacking the other player. 

At first, it's a neat little game of cat and mouse, as you must find the other player among the crowd of NPCs before all of your data is stolen. Since it can happen at any time, you may be focused on campaign missions like I was, only being forced to stopped since anyone can invade your game unless you're offline or disabling the feature.

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Watch Dogs isn't the revolutionary next step in open-world gaming, but it is still very fun and well put together. You won't have the visual wow factor of playing on the last-gen consoles, but the game still contains most of the features that are available on Xbox One, PC and PlayStation 4. With the game selling very well for Ubisoft, I'm sure we'll see another iteration of the game down within the next few years, which will hopefully address the small negatives that are found in the game.





+ Interesting plot and hacking mechanics
+ Fun multiplayer modes that utilize the game's strengths

- Driving physics and lack of basic shooting maneuvers when in vehicles


Reviews on the thebuttonpresser.com are based out of a '1-5 controller' Scoring system. Purchased games by the reviewer contain no annotation, but review copies are always known to the reader via a review disclaimer.


Developer- Ubisoft
Publishers- Ubisoft
Release Date- May 27th, 2014
Price- $59.99 MSRP
Review Platform- Xbox 360



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