Watch Dogs Review - No Hack Job

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So the game's pretty good. Good to hear. I shall play it wearing MY ICONIC SWAG CAP. Though if the PC port is really as shit as people say it is, I might start doing a little consumer vigilantism against Ubisoft to get my money's worth. Thank God for Jim and thank Ubi for ICONIC SWAG CAP.

I have to disagree with Jim(thank God for him), the game, while good, isn't as spectacular as he makes it out to be. While the open-world aspects of the game are fun and enjoyable, the story and protagonist is a really weird conundrum.

I'm actually quite surprised the review didn't mention the brain-piercing ludoscababib discotech going on this game. The protagonist is a genocidal thieving c*nt in the gameplay, yet the story tries to make him out to be a hero of some sorts, but it's utter bollocks. And the story(other than being a cliche in a cliche in a cliche in a...) feels really contrived, and it seems like an after-thought made to fit the various gameplay elements.

The side-missions are very AC-esque, where the context is always: do something to this random, nameless bad person. And often that something is also an after-thought made to fit some gameplay element(Ex. Gang Elimination missions)..

I won't harp on, because I can't be bothered, but I'll just leave a score here: 8/10.

And for f**k's sake, do not... I mean DO NOT buy the PC version. The optimization is terrible. The controls are also terrible, they feel like a cheap porting from consoles. I mean it. Graphics are a little bit better, but it's not worth the hassle. If you but it, go for the PS4.

The Lunatic:
I imagine this game is pretty decent for the consoles.

Admittedly, it falls a bit short of the hype, but, for a PC game?

Really kinda poor. Port is abysmal, game is struggling to run on higher end rigs, despite really not being a particularly amazing looking game.

A lot of minor immersion elements are missing.

Kinda feels inferior to GTA IV in almost all "Open World" aspects.

Which is a little disappointing from a "Next Gen" title.

4.5 is perhaps a little bit generous.

I'll tell you what, Jim.

If I give you a Nexus 7, preloaded with literally all the furry porn I can find, will you lower the score to 4.0?

I can take other peoples opinions from YouTube videos and pass them off as my own without playing this game too. An abysmal port though? Really? I think you're mistaking 'mediocre' or 'poorly optimized' with abysmal. Yeah, it's having frame rate issues. That can be fixed with a day one patch, or some optimization work. The game is completely playable however. Unless you're one of those people who cry about sub-60FPS (which means you apparently ignored all gaming up til a few years ago, but hey.)

The state of the PC port wasn't mentioned because he was not reviewing the PC version - in fact, if you read the review, its quite clear it was reviewed for the consoles. As for GTA doing everything better - Apples and Oranges. Driving is completely different. In world obstacles are completely different. I mean, if you want a "hire strippers and watch TV" simulator, I guess Watch Dogs is a let down. I also don't remember GTA5 having a dynamic Single/Multiplayer mix with contracts and stuff. I just remember a semi-broken online mode filled with a bunch of assholes.

Jim was not one of the journalists that got the Nexus 7 either. And in fact, most journalists who received the tablet ended up selling them off and donating the proceeds to charity, for exactly the reason that they didn't want people on the internet insinuating corruption on the reviewers part if the game ended up being good.

Oh, and reviews are objective, not subjective. A 4.5 is an objective score. You may not think the game is worthy of that score. You're free to make your own review and place the game at a rating you see fit. The reviewer is just as important as the review. If you don't agree with the reviewers stance, find a new reviewer. Cross analyze reviews. Etc.

Rabid_meese:
I can take other peoples opinions from YouTube videos and pass them off as my own without playing this game too. An abysmal port though? Really? I think you're mistaking 'mediocre' or 'poorly optimized' with abysmal. Yeah, it's having frame rate issues. That can be fixed with a day one patch, or some optimization work. The game is completely playable however. Unless you're one of those people who cry about sub-60FPS (which means you apparently ignored all gaming up til a few years ago, but hey.)

The state of the PC port wasn't mentioned because he was not reviewing the PC version - in fact, if you read the review, its quite clear it was reviewed for the consoles. As for GTA doing everything better - Apples and Oranges. Driving is completely different. In world obstacles are completely different. I mean, if you want a "hire strippers and watch TV" simulator, I guess Watch Dogs is a let down. I also don't remember GTA5 having a dynamic Single/Multiplayer mix with contracts and stuff. I just remember a semi-broken online mode filled with a bunch of assholes.

Jim was not one of the journalists that got the Nexus 7 either. And in fact, most journalists who received the tablet ended up selling them off and donating the proceeds to charity, for exactly the reason that they didn't want people on the internet insinuating corruption on the reviewers part if the game ended up being good.

Oh, and reviews are objective, not subjective. A 4.5 is an objective score. You may not think the game is worthy of that score. You're free to make your own review and place the game at a rating you see fit. The reviewer is just as important as the review. If you don't agree with the reviewers stance, find a new reviewer. Cross analyze reviews. Etc.

I've played the game.

As I've said. Runs okay, could run better. Biggest issue is with the controls, I've just given up even trying to use a keyboard and mouse for it.

And, frankly, if the default input device for the format in question feels unplayable, then, in my subjective and reviewing opinion, that would be "Abysmal".

Frame rate is pretty slow, popping in of objects, really quite poor. Doesn't seem to perform at an acceptable standard for a PC game. The PC standard being 1920x1080 resolution and a solid 60 frames per second.

Given it's struggling to perform this, on computers far superior to my own, it is questionable as to how much time they have spent ensuring their game runs on what is presently, the highest revenue platform for gaming.

Comparison to GTA IV come entirely in terms of the open world elements, I'm not too into the missions at present, thus I am not mentioning them, thus why I phrased it as "Open World Aspects".

However, as you've said, everything I wrote is subjective too, thus calling me out on them seems a bit pointless given you've only then gone on to say that opinions are subjective. Which I agree with you on.

Also, the last bit was a joke. I can't afford a Nexus 7.

I watched TB's WTF is on it and I'm glad I did. Holy shit this game looks boring to me. It looks like a slow GTA with a clunky cover shooter glued together. It also has demons/dark souls invasions? How does this make sense lorewise? Aren't you a lone hacker? A singularity in the system? It's just so gamey. It even says "Searching for players" in an unashamed, 4th wall breaking, UI decision.

It's getting surprisingly bad user scores with surprisingly high review scores. That's odd. I do trust Jim though on his reviews so I'll give it a shot.

Lots of the reviews seem to be angry at the PC version or are complaining about the graphics. Not really things I care about at the moment beyond getting the game on my PS4 instead of my pc.

Jimothy Sterling:
Watch Dogs Review - No Hack Job

Slickness and polish turns an ordinary open world game into something more special.

Read Full Article

Jim, ARS Technica trashed the games writing, characters and enemy AI.
I don't really see you touching on those too much.
Did you like those points better than they did?

Also: "It notably does not impress as much as it did when Ubisoft showed it off two years ago, but it's still quite nice."
Grrrrrr! I hate this industry with it's lying pre-advertising and fake images/video's!

1Life0Continues:

Kerethos:
snip

You watched that WTF Is...? too, huh?

The AMD lock-out by Ubi and nVidia is seriously riding the monopoly line too.
Might wait until it's on a deep discount sale, because $75 for a hobbled POS that punishes me for wanting good value for money is disgusting.

It's the first place to go if you want to know if a port is any good, so of course I watched it! :)
If the port is poor, there's no point in even reading the reviews - as the game is just plain worse on PC.

But I was not aware there where additional issues with running the game (or Ubisoft games in general) on AMD-cards (and it seems the same will be true for any Unreal Engine 4 games too). Having read a few articles, I am now though. And that just sucks.

So now Nvidia has successfully drained most of my interest in Watchdogs... good job! I'm happy with my two AMD Radeon HD 6900 for now. They let me max out most games - despite their age - at a steady 60+ fps. And being held hostage by Nvidia's choke hold on performance won't make me shell out the 400 Euro it'd cost me to replace them with two GTX 760's.
I'd rather just pass up on games that run like shit, it's so far proven to be the cost effective approach.

Still, as sad as it is, it might make me consider Nvidia cards - if the trend continues. And if this practice continues, it's also likely to rush the time when I can't get acceptable levels of graphical fidelity, and 60+ fps, meaning I'll have to upgrade sooner to maintain that standard.

I don't see how hampering the performance for roughly 40% of PC gamers is a good move, for any publisher, but it seems some will do so for access to Nvidia effects in their games. Troubling news indeed...

I think one of the upsides of playing Dark Souls on my PC is that I hear complaints about other game's ports and I immediately think "That doesn't sound that bad."

The game apparently is filled with Internet references.


So far the only thing going for it is how lively the world is like Jim said.

Rabid_meese:
Unless you're one of those people who cry about sub-60FPS (which means you apparently ignored all gaming up til a few years ago, but hey.)

As this is a review of the PS4 version, yes, sub 60 is to be expected, as consoles have made 30 fps their standard.

On the PC though, 60+ fps has basically been the standard since it became regularly achievable. And, as far as I know, 60 Hertz monitors have been around for about 30 years. And, as such, fps is very relevant when discussing the PC version - as that would make it the standard for PC gaming since at least the late 90's.

Though, admittedly, having been primarily a console gamer for most of my gaming the past few decades, with only the occasional PC title here and there, I can only guess that 60 fps became the PC standard around the time Quake 1 (edit: or similar fast paced titles) where able to run at 60 fps for most PC gamers.

Anyone more knowledgeable on this is free to correct me, as this is, at best, an educated guess on my part. And I'd really like to know when 60 fps actually became the PC standard.

I've heard the complaints (and can see where they're coming from) of this being just next "annual Ubisoft sandbox game" but as I haven't played the other entries in this meta-series that won't be an issue for me - looking forward to it.

LobsterFeng:
The game apparently is filled with Internet references.


So far the only thing going for it is how lively the world is like Jim said.

Okay...I'm sold! xD

Shall pick this up Thursday, anything to increase my PS4 library of 3 games...

There was that early review a few days back that claimed there was a minor form of DRM and while the review itself was shoddy, that point kind of worried me. I believe they claimed that if you go from online mode to offline mode, you lose all your abilities, or they get reset to level one, or something along those lines. Can someone confirm this please?

Besides that, the game looks pretty good I reckon. I haven't played a sandbox in a long while because I pretty much stopped gaming for a couple of years until recently. I'll definitely try it out as soon as I can (assuming the DRM claim is false).

Eh. Don't have a PS4, and my PC is hardly the stuff of legends. I'll give it a miss. It sounds good, but between the reportedly bad ports and ridiculous volume of controversy over how Ubisoft was handling this game, I'm not interested.

Can't wait till the Wii U version comes out =/

Rabid_meese:
Oh, and reviews are objective, not subjective. A 4.5 is an objective score. You may not think the game is worthy of that score. You're free to make your own review and place the game at a rating you see fit.

No no no no no. Reviews are ALWAYS subjective.

Rabid_meese:
The reviewer is just as important as the review. If you don't agree with the reviewers stance, find a new reviewer. Cross analyze reviews. Etc.

And this part right here, highlights that it's subjective, even if you don't realise it yourself.

I am surprised that Jim glossed over the faults of the game though, and called this a mirror polished product, which it's not.

Is it just me or does this sound an awful lot like Gary's Mod? Or Sims: Rampage? What I mean is that they're practically giving you the editing software and no clip and hope you find a way to have fun yourself. Maybe this is the wave of the future? Throw literally everything against the wall and hopefully something, anything, will stick and then pretend that one bit was the emphasis all along...
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure programming this took a lot of effort, but it feels lazy in the structure department. Look I'm sure there are plenty of people who will love this, but in most games sandbox games where I can do anything to just about everyone, I get so disillusioned and bored. I'm worried that for all its bells and whistles, there's no real immersion outside of goofing off, and when I get to the point where I ask myself 'what should I do next?' my answer is usually turn off the game and get a sandwich.

Adeptus Aspartem:
Jeah.. bought it, found out neither Uplay nor the game itself works and now i'm currently writing a ticket to the Steam Support to trade in the game for steam-money or another game i want.
Because they clearly sold me a product which is not working at all. Double so, since AMD cards are not supported at all - without a single lable providing information about that.

Meh, got proven right once again: Stay away from Ubisoft. The only company i consider worse than EA.
Back to Transistor it is.

Amen to that, had the same damn problem with Black flag and my AMD card AND Uplay. Ubisoft should really realease two versions, one with Uplay and one without. Charge 5 /$ more for the non-uplay one and it probably sell a ton or even more.

Totally agreed with the review, Though some of the mechanics borrows alot from other games and some of these gameplay are a bit lacking to their dedicated counter parts that inspired them, this game put them all into one world and did it superbly. There are car chase, puzzles, third person cover shooter, splinter cell like stealth, gadgets and exploration.

One of the thing I really love about this game is that alot of the missions especially the side missions give you a goal but does not tie your hands at how to achieve these goals. You can set up traps and lure enemies into them, go in guns blazing, stealth, go in as a ghost without killing or alerting anyone......it was just damn awesome!

Another thing the review forgot to mention is that this game is very well programmed. It not only looks better than any open world games out there, it also out performed them. I was able to run this game at almost maxed setting and never dipped below 30fps with only an I5, 8gb ram and nvidia460. The ps3 version ran pretty smoothly as well, much more than gtaV.

Review without hysteria. Looking forward to this game.

You know what, I was secretly hoping this game was going to astronomically suck and bomb harder than E.T., just so Ubisoft would be forced to get a grip on how its been handling its marketing lately.

Ah well. Can't really get worked up when people are harmlessly enjoying themselves. I'm still not going to buy it, though.

Brian Tams:
You know what, I was secretly hoping this game was going to astronomically suck and bomb harder than E.T., just so Ubisoft would be forced to get a grip on how its been handling its marketing lately.

Ah well. Can't really get worked up when people are harmlessly enjoying themselves. I'm still not going to buy it, though.

I really couldn't care less how the sausage is made as long as it's good and isn't made of human.

Are you going to do a Wii U version review Jim? Since it's coming out next month there is a possibility that there could be some more options to look through while playing the game.

Seems like a fun and polished sandbox game, however I get the feeling that for a lot of people that won't be enough.

I would like to play the game myself, but I heard that the pc port is poorly optimized, so my pc probably won't be able to run it.

Jimothy, why are there Xbox controller prompts in the video when it says you reviewed the PS4 version?

Ubisoft has done "little to discourage" the impression that Watch Dogs is some kinda next-gen ubergame? Hah! Nice one, Jim.

Near as I can tell, this has been the conversation surrounding Watch Dogs so far:

Ubisoft: "Let's make a hackery open-world game!"

Gamers: "Hey, that does sound pretty cool!"

Ubisoft: "And let's pump ALL the money in the world into it, so we're completely screwed if it's not the biggest selling game in the history of time!"

Gamers: "uhhhh... that doesn't sound like a good idea... remember what happened with-"

Ubisoft: "Hey, let's do 50 exclusive pre-order bonuses and the most draconian press embargo of all time!"

Gamers: "You're scaring me. Please stop."

Ubisoft: "LIKE OUR GAME! DEAR GOD PLEASE LIKE OUR GAME!"

Gamers: "Uh... maybe when..."

Ubisoft: "DON'T SAY IT!"

Gamers: "I might check it out after..."

Ubisoft: "DON'T YOU DARE!"

Gamers: "...a-after the reviews or when..."

Ubisoft: "ONE MORE WORD, MOTHERFUCKER! I'LL DO IT! I SWEAR TO GOD, I'LL FUCKING DO IT!"

Gamers: "...when the price comes down-"

Ubisoft: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

*millions die*

This is also, with a few small alterations, the conversation surrounding the release of every AAA game ever.

Glad to see the positive reviews coming in, I have been looking forward to this since Transistor turned out to be highly disappointing. Now the only question is whether I wait and get the PS4 version once I get a PS4, or get the PC version now and risk performance issues.

Might be one to get when the nextGen of myPC comes around. It's the only review I've seen but I've found that Jim's opinions are usually worth trusting.

One thing, Escapist, about your reviews. And, no big deal, really, as they are informative and everything but I had the impression today that I'm having this thought again so here it goes: I'm not really sure why I'm even watching the *video* when all it does is to give an audio track to the article's words, accompanied by what mostly amounts to disjointed bits of "look, there are graphics and pixels, too". As in, at best a review writes (and then talks) about car chases, so someone does a Fraps of a car driving around... "meh"

Adeptus Aspartem:
Jeah.. bought it, found out neither Uplay nor the game itself works and now i'm currently writing a ticket to the Steam Support to trade in the game for steam-money or another game i want.
Because they clearly sold me a product which is not working at all. Double so, since AMD cards are not supported at all - without a single lable providing information about that.

Meh, got proven right once again: Stay away from Ubisoft. The only company i consider worse than EA.
Back to Transistor it is.

What? I have both AMD processor and GPU, no problems. I did have some trouble logging into uPlay the first few tries, but that's because everyone is trying to get in at the same time. It worked again after 10 minutes or so. Been playing it for an hour without any problems.

I suggest you just wait a few days for things to settle down, and it'll probably be solved by less pressure on uPlay and maybe even a patch or two. Pretty much "all" games nowadays have launch issues the first few hours, demanding a refund when the game probably works the next morning is a bit harsh.

Be interesting to see Jim's take on Uplay being down for several hours now preventing people like myself from being able to log in to redeem their purchased keys and download the game. If Ubisoft had stopped being such bellends and allowed the likes of GMG to distribute keys a day or two early then I could have preloaded the game and gone offline and played, instead here I am sitting in 2014 with a 30Meg Fibre connection and a PC powerful enough take on Skynet and I can't even get to a situation where I can download the game, 15 years ago I would have been playing the game for several hours by now, progress ain't it wonderful!

Your review here made me briefly say "huh, guess I'll pick it up at the summer sale for 20 something percent off." Then I heard how insulting the pc port was (especially to those of us who didn't drop the extra dough on fancy nvidia cards) and now I'm back to "wait until it's 66% off or more mode". They better add proper support for us radeon users by that time.

Definitely sounds and looks like a game I will pick up, but not at launch or for launch price.

As for Aiden's lack of any real defined personality, I'm mostly okay with that. I'd rather play a character that I feel I've played as before than a character (or characters) that are defined in a way that totally turns me off from even playing the game as in GTA5.

SO glad to hear this game's good! I expected nothing less than awesome from its approach to hacking and the many, many, MANY extras there are. I just forget which version I preordered, it was almost two months ago.
And once again Jim rips into the hat. I have no problem with them making a hat as merchandise for the game, just making it a preorder bonus.

NLS:

Adeptus Aspartem:
Jeah.. bought it, found out neither Uplay nor the game itself works and now i'm currently writing a ticket to the Steam Support to trade in the game for steam-money or another game i want.
Because they clearly sold me a product which is not working at all. Double so, since AMD cards are not supported at all - without a single lable providing information about that.

Meh, got proven right once again: Stay away from Ubisoft. The only company i consider worse than EA.
Back to Transistor it is.

What? I have both AMD processor and GPU, no problems. I did have some trouble logging into uPlay the first few tries, but that's because everyone is trying to get in at the same time. It worked again after 10 minutes or so. Been playing it for an hour without any problems.

I suggest you just wait a few days for things to settle down, and it'll probably be solved by less pressure on uPlay and maybe even a patch or two. Pretty much "all" games nowadays have launch issues the first few hours, demanding a refund when the game probably works the next morning is a bit harsh.

The game should work out of the box, their even legally required to sell a working product. If it doesn't work he should get a refund, hoping it may be fixed later would be stupid. This whole reliance on the net to run bullshit needs to stop.

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