Content of the article: "6 years later- I feel the hate for watch_dogs and Pearce is still unjust"
Ubisoft sure fucked up to a degree with watchdogs, they projected a fake image of something and didn't give it. However I was never really caught up in that hype, I started proper console/pc gaming in 2017, and watchdogs became my favorite. Let me explain why along with some heavy flaws that run around in this game-
- First of all, I didn't really know this game's scandalous history, I.E how it projected itself to be and what it actually turned out, so I just popped this game to the experience a nice mix between some hacking and some bruce Wayne wick action. Having little to no prior expectations meant, there was nothing for me to get disappointed, unlike people 6 years ago.
- Aiden Pearce- Some call him bland, some call him an asshole, But none of this makes any sense to me. To me it feels as tho, people bash Aiden simply because they want a reason to, show how bad watchdogs is. Yes, Aiden is a very monotone guy, but I don't find him one-dimensional. I also don't like people who call him unlikeable simply because he isn't the most selfless or articulate or goofball of a protagonist. His character is morally grey. Technically he is a vigilante, but for the most part, whether he is one or if he is just seeking out revenge is questionable. That's something I like about him, it's hard to like him but at the same time, we do care for him. (unless you're another one of those critics). Aiden is the unapologetic, unstoppable, and morally oblivious character with some level of empathy, for whom the ends justify the means. To me, Aiden is an extreme example of a static character, one who doesn't change, one who abides by his philosophy and never changes his approach, but the player still tunes in, because the goal he has and how he goes acquiring is engaging and we as audience care for him. Also Static Characters are already established and hence they rarely get any development, yet manage to appear layered. Once in a while, I like such grey, unapologetic characters being the lead, he just wants revenge and he will do what he wants to achieve it and make it seem satisfying. Another minor thing is that when Aiden kills Lucky he is like, I will be able to breathe better now that you are dead, is something I liked as well. They didn't dramatize like they usually, Aiden's goal was over. So definitely he isn't a hollow, one- dimensional character. Also if you have a problem with grey characters, don't play games like GTA V. Another thing is a character can be unlikeable. Yet developed and complex. The fact that Aiden can't get over his past and turn full batman john wick mode adds depth to his personality. Not to mention, how at the end of the game, he sort of turns into a hypocrite. That requires characters to have some level of depth. Just cause you feel a protagonist is monotone doesn't mean you label him whatever you like. Moreover Aiden's Stoicism fits the story.
- Tone/Story- The game is aesthetic. The night in this game is truly lifelike yet dull and hides something gloomy behind it. It feels like a noir story. The rain is melancholic. The NPC are also as scandalous as the city of Chicago is portrayed to be in this game. Now that tone and aesthetic is out of the way lets, talk about the actual story. The story is entirely subjective. The point of the story is to show how Blume is being a control freak and turning Chicago into a dystopia. That part is almost ignored and replaced with a revenge arc. Hearing this made around 30% of people get off this game. Now the thing is the revenge plot isn't anywhere bad and is constructed well enough with hacking and technology playing a prominent but not a major role. Even though Ubisoft gave a big middle finger with this, I liked the noir-revenge plot and it was immersive and emotionally involving. The problem is, the game decides to however focus on more boring aspects. Even I admit this, despite being a fan. My favorite parts of this game were with defalt, Lucky, T-Bone, and all those characters. What Ubisoft did? take an unappealing sister character and drive the story around her a major chunk of the game. I admit, even I didn't like it, because the sister thingy was annoying and bland. It's just that CTOS, hacking they are part of it they tie in with the revenge plot but the latter comes off as marginally more important, which sucks and doesn't suck at the same time. And in my subjective opinion, the game was pretty terrible, until the final 10-15 missions. The last few missions and their thrill and emotionally involving nature made me truly like this game. The first 30 or so missions not so. As I said had we got more T-Bone, Lucky. The game would've been better. CTOS and Blume having a larger part in the narrative? had made the game better, but the noir revenge arc, with some CTOS in it still works and is good enough, it could've just got more time and less bro's annoying sister.
- Characters- Except for sis, everyone in this game is much more dynamic and interesting than the comic- relief cast of the second game. The cast needed more time, but they sadly didn't get a lot of it. Jordi is the eccentric dude but is really well made and a great contrast to Aiden. Lucky, on what we got of him, he is a great boss. Clara was by the far the best. And T-Bone was awesome as well. I won't ramble a lot on this, but for a plot-driven story, the characters are great.
- Gameplay- The reputation system in this game meant, that you could Aiden be a slightly better guy, however, the system was fucked up, and didn't let players use it properly. The Driving was pretty normal, except the chances of you crashing in civilians was much fucking higher. Hacking was good n great, but it was just kinda there, which turned off a lot of people, including me when I played the game a second time. But the actual combat is soo satisfying and John Wick. Aiden is a badass and it is badass seeing him do all these cool fight animations and nerfing militia down. It's really cool. The game is centered around stealth although and stealth is not well rounded enough.. same with hacking which is a shame. But again at least we got one of the best fighting moves (besides max Payne obviously).
The Final Verdict
The problem lies with Ubisoft- The plot should've been centered more on CTOS, and lucky and defalt, but no it wasn't, the last few missions redeemed this game. Still, I expected a bit more. The Characters (90%) were well crafted, but Ubisoft couldn't prioritize as to whom to give more focus, this is what nearly ruined the game. The hacking was clearly far off better in the second game, but can you see how everyone in that second game is tom holland? see Ubisoft does two things better and fucks up four. That's what is ruining a franchise with so much potential. The hate on this game is showered, because it's cool to bash this game, mindlessly. It isn't justified. It's a great game which is heavily flawed and only capitalized on around 50 percent of its concepts, and great characters. So I ask you, people, to be more kind of this game. Be critical, but don't spread blind hate so rampantly.
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