review
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POSTED 8/7/14


WATCH DOGS

Ubisoft



Fuck we’re sick of virtual pets.

Luckily, despite its title, Watch Dogs has nothing to do with canine voyeurism. Instead it’s basically GTA with hacking. Or Person of Interest: The Videogame. Just sans limping geek, humanoid Easter Island head and the ace chick from Angel.

As the GTA mention should imply, Watch Dogs is an open world thingy requiring stealth, nous, smarts and chutzpah. It’s set in an alternate Chicago, whereby you’re a bloke named Aiden Pearce. He’s busy skimming dosh from everyday people like you and me (bastard!) when things turn turtle and he has to do a runner...

Luckily, Aiden’s savvy to the whole hacking caper, and as this game’s all zeitgeisty-like he can use his smartphone to hack into most anything. This is helped markedly by Chicago’s kindly City Hall connecting everything that has a vague electrical pulse to a massive grid known as ctOS. Seriously, if you're just playing Candy Crush then you’re missing out.

Yep, Big Brother’s a pussy compared to what this ctOS puppy can poke its electro-schnozz into. So, of course, dodgy types have cosied up to it like a Brony to a Twilight Sparkle plushie.

As you’d expect from a huge open-worldy thing, a main campaign’s the norm, with side projects to heavify the load. The latter range from street races to QR puzzles, Mirror's Edge nods to unearthing hidden tech (don’t get zapped now!), with all manner of nerdvana in-between.

Unlike some such ventures, Watch Dogs’ Chicago is thriving with people, any of whom you can point your phone at and learn their nitty-gritty. Hack attacks from other players worldwide serve to add realism – even if it’s a pain in the arse. If so, turn it off. Speaking of online, up to eight can go co-op or competitive.

If you’re paranoid about technology’s reach, Watch Dogs really won’t help. But you may glean some survival tips.

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.