What a hack of a game (Watch_Dogs review)

So I was playing Watch_Dogs on my PS3 the last couple of days after I’ve waited a very long time for that game. And while some may say it’s advertises hacking – which is both stupid and untrue – I really enjoyed the game. And I really look forward to the next game in the series, because the game isn’t perfect and – like with Assassin’s Creed – Ubisoft proofed to be able to step up their work with second instalments.

So, what did I like about the game and what should be improved?
I like the size of the map and the different parts of the city – even if it’s not as big as the map of GTA V or the like but also not so large as to get lost or to have to drive endless times around the city to get from point A to B. A smaller map also means less loading and more processing power for my good old PS3 and there are way enough problems as is, so it’s better this way.
Hacking is fun and intelligently done. it’s both easy to understand and deep enough to not get to bored out immediately. Even better than the hacking is the combat or the ‘lack’ of it. Used to playing games like Metal Gear, I much prefer a stealth gameplay to running around gun’s blazing. And though Watch_Dogs is an open-world action game, it’s not forcing me to one style of playing. Most of the time I could just hack my way through several cameras, take out several guards this way and then – if necessary – make may way through the area with a silenced gun – from one cover to the next.
The story is good, too, but I don’t like the pacing that much. The first two acts are really slow and feel much longer than the last three which took me maybe five hours put together. Maybe I was just too focused on the story after the first act but in the end it still felt a bit of. Then again, I enjoyed the story and even if the speed of the story was a bit too high, it kept me on my toes and it was quite hard to put the controller down.
What came way too short, though, was Aiden’s past as the vigilante. Not even is there a whole year missing between the accident and the game itself but also his whole past before that. But maybe we’ll learn about that later?!
Also Ded-Sec. Though we have Clara and Defalt, the hacker group stays mostly in the shadows – as they surely want to act – but considering the ending it’s a bit weird Aiden isn’t interacting with them more in the main story.
Performing-wise, the PS3 is really pushed to her limits with the game even if the graphics aren’t as good as in other games – but I don’t mind that. What I don’t like, though, are random cars, pedestrians or even enemy soldiers popping out out of nowhere. Especially when you’re re-infiltrating a base after dying and the enemies don’t load instantly.
A minor but also frustrating thing is, that you can’t start mission while in a car or on a motorcycle.  It may seem silly, but after a while it’s getting really unnerving that you always have to get out of your car.
Otherwise, it’s a solid, fun game to play with a great story, very cool game mechanics and an idea which could work for several games to come. And as said at the beginning, Ubisoft has proven that they CAN improve new IP’s quite a bit and I’m curious to see where they’re headed with this new franchise.

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