Zero Punctuation: WATCH_DOGS

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Baldr:

LoneWolf83:
snip

Well that is the whole story, a security company Bloom is a mafia type company who put all the other security companies out of business, installed Cameras all over the city, then went after city infrastructure itself so it could spy on everything. One of the executives lets the backdoor remain open for exploits by the company. Dedsec is the only other people to have the exploit. The ATM hacking is just a mechanic for the protagonist to get money.

That does make sense, that doesn't change the issues with hacking helicopters, blowing up steam pipe (or gas pipes, or what ever) and taking out the city's power are ridicules. Taking out the city's power could be done, once, and once it is done the people at the power company would scramble to figure out what went wrong and then find the back door which would force the company to close it. If the hacking was limited to stop lights, barriers, ATMs, other peoples computers and cell phone, and if the hacking was more than just the character pushing a button on his cell phone (like a hacking mini game, though not for stoplight and barriers) and as Playbahnosh said the more you hack the more likely you are to be found by the authorities.

Playbahnosh:

LoneWolf83:
That is not hacking, that is magic.

You have to understand, that most people DO think hacking is magic. This game is for all those oblivious people. Anyone who knows even a little bit of computer security or hacking would laugh at this nonsense. But then again, this is a video game, so it's "suspension of disbelief" time.

But people know one can't blow up a steam pipe by hacking it. I know, suspension of disbelief, but that can only go so far, how far depends on the individual though.

I would've introduced a game mechanic, that whenever you press Y to log into CTOS using your backdoor, it would start a security trace. The more things you do in the system, like rob accounts, open doors, etc, it would make the trace much faster to the point they eventually reach your phone and alert the authorities to your EXACT location using your phone's GPS. You either log off before that and wait a set amount of time for a new backdoor to be created (which will take longer each time because of the new security measures), or if they did reach your phone, you could throw it away and escape, but then you have to buy a new phone (which costs a considerable amount of money because of all the custom made software on it). Either way, you won't be able to hack anything in the meantime. Yes, this would've made the game too complicated for some simple minded people, but all the more fun for many of them. Consider the adrenalin rush, when you are escaping from a gang fight, you already used your phone many times to steal some data or something, and the trace is getting dangerously close but you need the phone to hack bollards and whatnot. Do you log off and try to escape the offline-peasant way, or keep using it and run the risk of the police joining the chase and losing your phone altogether. Things like that...

That would make a better game. The sad thing is the lowest common denominator the suits on the video game companies keep trying to appeal to is a minority, most people (I think) would like a little more complexity in their games. Just look at Dark Souls, with little marketing it became a success, if it had the marketing budget Watch Dogs had it probably would have been a much bigger success.

Whenever the Escapist plasters ads and hype for upcoming games, part of me always hopes that Yahtzee will dislike it and will detail aspects about it that I find unappealing. It's a bittersweet experience when that hope is fulfilled.

I somewhat wonder what will be hyped up two weeks from now, after everyone forgets about Watch Dogs.

LoneWolf83:
But people know one can't blow up a steam pipe by hacking it. I know, suspension of disbelief, but that can only go so far, how far depends on the individual though.

It's pointless to argue what is and is not possible in video games, because it's fiction, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE. You don't even have to look far for an example, just take a look at the latest Saint's Row game. The only question is, "(how) can you justify it"? Blowing a steam pipe can happen. If it's a modern system, it most assuredly has a computerized overwatch system. You can hack those. You just close the transport valve on the main line and disengage the pressure regulation system. Pressure will build up in the pipe and since you disabled the emergency release, it will continue to build. If you time it well enough, just before the whole line reaches critical pressure you can open a release valve at a given spot and the explosive decompression will do the rest. Is it techno-babble that most people will just take your word for? Yes. Does it sound even vaguely plausible? Yes. Does it fit into the game's world? Sure. Suspension of disbelief will do the rest. This is enough for most people, and "most people" is what game devs need.

I don't want to make excuses or explanations for game devs, but games are really just fiction. If they say that pipe burst by waving your phone at it, then you have two options. You can roll with it and enjoy the ride or you can sulk and question the validity of a single gameplay element in a fictional world, where you run around with tons of guns strapped to your back shooting and robbing random civilians and somehow not get thrown in jail after the first five minutes just to play Prison Rape Simulator for the rest of the game.

That would make a better game. The sad thing is the lowest common denominator the suits on the video game companies keep trying to appeal to is a minority, most people (I think) would like a little more complexity in their games. Just look at Dark Souls, with little marketing it became a success, if it had the marketing budget Watch Dogs had it probably would have been a much bigger success.

I doubt it. Marketing was never a measure or maker of quality or success. It's just a rain of bullsh!t to cover up a game's shortcomings and/or hype it up so high you impulse-buy the hell out of it on launch regardless of it's quality. Once they have your money, they don't give a rat's ass if you enjoyed the game or not, they made you pay them money, their work is done. The real measure of quality is word-of-mouth and community support. In fact, it's better to have LESS marketing and let the game speak for itself. The easiest example is Minecraft. It didn't have ANY marketing whatsoever, it was a tiny hobby project of one guy that he put on the internet for sh!ts and giggles. Now even your grandparents know what Minecraft is (or probably played it too) and Notch is swimming in diamonds in his solid gold jakuzzi. Dark Souls got a huge cult following, because it has a very peculiar art style, world, gameplay, and a murderously punishing difficulty curve. The devs somehow hit the golden ratio of the elements they put in to strike cult gold. But even though it has a very dedicated fanbase, it's still a niche game for the exact reasons it's so popular with it's own audience.

Can we all agree that the story of Watch_Dogs (yes, I'm judging a story in a video game. If I didn't need to, why did Ubisoft spend all this money on it?) is just kind of lame? I actually thought Aiden's sister was way more well adjusted and more reasonable about the niece's death than Aiden was. Not that it mattered.

Playbahnosh:

LoneWolf83:
But people know one can't blow up a steam pipe by hacking it. I know, suspension of disbelief, but that can only go so far, how far depends on the individual though.

It's pointless to argue what is and is not possible in video games, because it's fiction, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE. You don't even have to look far for an example, just take a look at the latest Saint's Row game. The only question is, "(how) can you justify it"? Blowing a steam pipe can happen. If it's a modern system, it most assuredly has a computerized overwatch system. You can hack those. You just close the transport valve on the main line and disengage the pressure regulation system. Pressure will build up in the pipe and since you disabled the emergency release, it will continue to build. If you time it well enough, just before the whole line reaches critical pressure you can open a release valve at a given spot and the explosive decompression will do the rest. Is it techno-babble that most people will just take your word for? Yes. Does it sound even vaguely plausible? Yes. Does it fit into the game's world? Sure. Suspension of disbelief will do the rest. This is enough for most people, and "most people" is what game devs need.

I don't want to make excuses or explanations for game devs, but games are really just fiction. If they say that pipe burst by waving your phone at it, then you have two options. You can roll with it and enjoy the ride or you can sulk and question the validity of a single gameplay element in a fictional world, where you run around with tons of guns strapped to your back shooting and robbing random civilians and somehow not get thrown in jail after the first five minutes just to play Prison Rape Simulator for the rest of the game.

That would make a better game. The sad thing is the lowest common denominator the suits on the video game companies keep trying to appeal to is a minority, most people (I think) would like a little more complexity in their games. Just look at Dark Souls, with little marketing it became a success, if it had the marketing budget Watch Dogs had it probably would have been a much bigger success.

I doubt it. Marketing was never a measure or maker of quality or success. It's just a rain of bullsh!t to cover up a game's shortcomings and/or hype it up so high you impulse-buy the hell out of it on launch regardless of it's quality. Once they have your money, they don't give a rat's ass if you enjoyed the game or not, they made you pay them money, their work is done. The real measure of quality is word-of-mouth and community support. In fact, it's better to have LESS marketing and let the game speak for itself. The easiest example is Minecraft. It didn't have ANY marketing whatsoever, it was a tiny hobby project of one guy that he put on the internet for sh!ts and giggles. Now even your grandparents know what Minecraft is (or probably played it too) and Notch is swimming in diamonds in his solid gold jakuzzi. Dark Souls got a huge cult following, because it has a very peculiar art style, world, gameplay, and a murderously punishing difficulty curve. The devs somehow hit the golden ratio of the elements they put in to strike cult gold. But even though it has a very dedicated fanbase, it's still a niche game for the exact reasons it's so popular with it's own audience.

They did not hit the "right amount." Any game that isn't Ride to Hell or Big Rigs will have a cult following among people. And even then it's not really a "cult" game because it was hyped to heck and back and it is to early to tell if it will achieve that status. Also, there are times in Watch Dogs where suspension of disbelief doesn't account for huge flaws like:
1. The Chicago P.D. have not reached the technological progress needed to build a boat.
2. Aiden can mow down 10 civilians and no one bats an eye but the moment you pull a gun some NPC will call the police.
3. If someone tries to call the police there are numerous ways to make them forget entirely to call the police.
4. For a heavily 1984-esque Chicago there are almost no patrol cars outside missions.
5. With the hundreds of cameras around the city the police can never spot you or your car, but a random civilian on the street can.

Those points are just too hard for me to suspend my disbelief in what a accurate portrayal of Chicago would be like.

Yes, the game has flaws in its storyline and game mechanics (although some of the things that people have said are not actually flaws, just misunderstandings). But it's still a fun game, in some cases because of those "flaws". Games don't have to be realistic. Realism is dull.

(And, FWIW, so far I've managed to get through almost every mission -- including gang and CTOS hub ones -- without firing a single shot, and in most cases without even taking out any of the guards. Sure, you *can* play it like a dumb run-n-gun if that's what you want, but there are other options.)

Yahtzee's comment near the end about a camera-watching game reminded me of The Experiment (aka Experience 112). Which was an interesting game, if a little monotonous at times. Unfortunately it suffers from "we ran out of money" syndrome with an unexpectedly abrupt ending.

But if you want more realistic hacking mechanics, play Uplink. That game still holds up well, and I've yet to come across a game that does it better. (Though even that suspends a lot of realism in favour of fun -- but that's a good thing.)

Brownie80:
They did not hit the "right amount." Any game that isn't Ride to Hell or Big Rigs will have a cult following among people. And even then it's not really a "cult" game because it was hyped to heck and back and it is to early to tell if it will achieve that status.

I guess you wasn't around for it's original release then. Sure, NOW it's popular, because publishers capitalized on it's cult value. I agree, it's cult status is questionable at this point, since the game got mainstream-ized. Also, I don't think "cult" means what you think it means.

Also, there are times in Watch Dogs where suspension of disbelief doesn't account for huge flaws like:
1. The Chicago P.D. have not reached the technological progress needed to build a boat.
2. Aiden can mow down 10 civilians and no one bats an eye but the moment you pull a gun some NPC will call the police.
3. If someone tries to call the police there are numerous ways to make them forget entirely to call the police.
4. For a heavily 1984-esque Chicago there are almost no patrol cars outside missions.
5. With the hundreds of cameras around the city the police can never spot you or your car, but a random civilian on the street can.

Those points are just too hard for me to suspend my disbelief in what a accurate portrayal of Chicago would be like.

Suspension of disbelief doesn't stand for bugs and stupid design flaws. It stands for the game world, the story and the game mechanics. The things that are "intended to be in the game". And even in those, it stands for the ones that are not universally accepted as factual. For example, most people seem to point out the exploding steam pipes and the "magic" phone as broken, and yet nobody points out the auto-magically recharging health, or that you carry around eleventeen guns in your pocket with a hundred magazines each. Or how about having the ability to destroy and murder yourself through half a city, get chased around by tons of cops, lose them, hide for a while and then do it again. Four times. In a single day. And not get the whole city locked down with the national guard marching in under martial law.

Anyway, as I said, it's pointless to argue what is and is not possible in a video game, since it's a video game. We can go deeper and analyze all the logical fallacies and factual inaccuracies till the Sun blows up, and we won't be any closer to a conclusions. The point is, you won't get "an accurate portrayal of Chicago" in a video game. Ever. At the end of the day it's still just entertainment, nothing more, and you can either take everything with a mountain of salt, or argue with strangers on the internet about it. :)

I think I'd prefer the Shadowrun hackers. At least they have to duel digital samurais with their minds.

Playbahnosh:

Brownie80:
They did not hit the "right amount." Any game that isn't Ride to Hell or Big Rigs will have a cult following among people. And even then it's not really a "cult" game because it was hyped to heck and back and it is to early to tell if it will achieve that status.

I guess you wasn't around for it's original release then. Sure, NOW it's popular, because publishers capitalized on it's cult value. I agree, it's cult status is questionable at this point, since the game got mainstream-ized. Also, I don't think "cult" means what you think it means.

Also, there are times in Watch Dogs where suspension of disbelief doesn't account for huge flaws like:
1. The Chicago P.D. have not reached the technological progress needed to build a boat.
2. Aiden can mow down 10 civilians and no one bats an eye but the moment you pull a gun some NPC will call the police.
3. If someone tries to call the police there are numerous ways to make them forget entirely to call the police.
4. For a heavily 1984-esque Chicago there are almost no patrol cars outside missions.
5. With the hundreds of cameras around the city the police can never spot you or your car, but a random civilian on the street can.

Those points are just too hard for me to suspend my disbelief in what a accurate portrayal of Chicago would be like.

Suspension of disbelief doesn't stand for bugs and stupid design flaws. It stands for the game world, the story and the game mechanics. The things that are "intended to be in the game". And even in those, it stands for the ones that are not universally accepted as factual. For example, most people seem to point out the exploding steam pipes and the "magic" phone as broken, and yet nobody points out the auto-magically recharging health, or that you carry around eleventeen guns in your pocket with a hundred magazines each. Or how about having the ability to destroy and murder yourself through half a city, get chased around by tons of cops, lose them, hide for a while and then do it again. Four times. In a single day. And not get the whole city locked down with the national guard marching in under martial law.

Anyway, as I said, it's pointless to argue what is and is not possible in a video game, since it's a video game. We can go deeper and analyze all the logical fallacies and factual inaccuracies till the Sun blows up, and we won't be any closer to a conclusions. The point is, you won't get "an accurate portrayal of Chicago" in a video game. Ever. At the end of the day it's still just entertainment, nothing more, and you can either take everything with a mountain of salt, or argue with strangers on the internet about it. :)

First about "cult" value. I define something with a cult value as something that was originally was thought as bad but is now loved by many is hailed as DA BEST EVAH by some people and has a lasting legacy (Say Pinkerton for example.) The second thing I think it might be is something hailed at the time and still is as one of the WORST ever and is blasted at any chance in there form of media or field but has a small group of people still love it (Such as any Ed Wood film of the Yugo). Now maybe Watch Dogs might fit into one of those categories, but I don't think publishers capitalized on it's "cult value" because it was hyped as some point to be THE game to completely blow our minds. This wasn't marketed on novelty because Ubisoft wanted this to be a huge title and make them enough money to pay off the national debt, so it wasn't marketed on "cult value" no more than TLOU was. Only after it was released did they see it wasn't the next coming of Christ they expected it to be. Although, it did set the record for the fastest-selling new IP in the first release week in the UK. However I do agree it's a bit to early to tell due to only being released three weeks ago.

Now for the bugs, what I am saying is that even though they are not supposed to be part of the experience, they still take a beating on the believability of the world. No police boats? Vice City accomplished that 12 years ago! A game set in 1986! It's kind of hard to be immersed in the world when you know that the police can't touch you when you get in a boat. So instead of saying, "I wonder what I should hack to get these police off my tail," you're thinking "Police? Just a nuisance, I can get rid of them by using this unintentional exploit in the game which makes water their kryptonite." This isn't like small clipping or bad physic hiccups, this directly affects a big part of what makes an open-world game an open-world game. Also, some of those things I mentioned are most likely not bugs, like the lack of patrol cars and the confusing crime system are part of the game. Glitch, bug, or not, they still take you out of the game for an amount of time. And let me tell you, it would be hard to suspend my disbelief to a level high enough to accept things like this:

"So she's probably a few dead kids shy of an origin story."

That line deserves a hearty round of applause. Well done!

I like the fact that their pathetic AI cannot even be bothered to summon police or fire trucks when half a city block is being razed to the ground due to all the cars you can smash together. They spent more on hype than on the game. So Ubisoft has now unlocked the EA Achievement "Soulless" (or is that so less)?

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