Watch Dogs: First Impressions

I wasn’t sure I wanted Watch Dogs, but thanks to Best Buy’s rewards program, I got it for under forty bucks. I had to work most of yesterday so I didn’t get to play it until later, but here’s what I think so far.

I’m sure it was hyped beyond reason for most gamers, but I almost completely lost interest in it shortly after hearing about it the first time. So my expectations were kind of low. I remembered thinking that hacking while driving just seemed like it would be awkward. It’s not, really. Then again, it’s not really hacking, either.

The game’s writing and presentation is the biggest letdown. After the expertly acted Wolfenstein: The New Order characters, Watch Dogs’ characters just feel dull and empty. Early on the campaign concocts an opportunity to meet a hacker named BadBoy17, and nobody’s going to be shocked to discover it isn’t a seventeen year old boy, which is to say nobody but the main character, anyway. That he’s so pissed to find out that his fellow hacker isn’t what the handle implies is the kind of piss-poor writing I haven’t seen in a AAA title in ages. How dare you hide your identity online, right?

While I loved Dark Souls, I would groan each time I was invaded by other players. I was just so enthralled by that fantasy world, I hated it whenever the illusion was shattered by gamertags like “EffUrMama69.” Watch Dogs’ world isn’t so fragile. The invasions (and opportunities to invade other players) are a lot more fun. I can’t believe I’m going to say it, but the 1v1 invasions in Watch Dogs have, so far, been more fun for me than the massively multiplayer free-roam in GTA Online.

I can say, for thirty-seven bucks, I’m having a blast. It’s a fun game not to be taken too seriously. It’s too bad the main character does. Oh, how I miss Trent.

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