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"Watch_Dogs" - arguably one of the most-anticipated video games of 2014

Watch Dogs


A South St. Louis Fatherhood Examiner, Vincent Opper, wrote a piece on WATCH D.O.G.S. This non-profit program, “established in 1998 after” an Arkansas school tragedy, “maintains fatherly presence in schools” (Opper). On an unrelated note, a much-anticipated video game of the same name (though stylized differently) finally came out on the market after multiple delays.

Front cover art for "Watch_Dogs" for the PS4.

Watch_Dogs” was released on May 27 for the PS4, PS3, One, 360 and PC (the Wii U version will come out sometime in late 2014). “Watch_Dogs” was developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft, and it is rated M (Mature) for blood, drug reference, intense violence, partial nudity, sexual themes, strong language and use of alcohol. The genre of “Watch_Dogs” is an action-adventure open world video game. Single-player and online multiplayer are the major game modes in the game.

Due to the long-awaited anticipation for the game, there should be more establishments in the “Watch_Dogs” series. “Watch_Dogs” is the only game in the series. Ubisoft is even working on a film with Columbia Pictures and New Regency, based on the game.

“Watch_Dogs” lets the player control a hacker, Aiden Pearce, from third-person, by foot or vehicle, in a fictional Chicago environment—and not just the city, but the countryside as well—to get revenge for his niece’s accidental death. Aiden’s smartphone is heavily used in the game to hack and view information on the city and its citizens. Jonathan Morin, creative director, said the main story should take 35 to 40 hours to complete (Maiberg).

Online mode lets up to eight players play co-operatively or competitively in the same single-player Chicago environment. One player can even install a virus on another player’s smartphone in single-player mode. Some more multiplayer modes include a central operating system mobile challenge, decryption combat and car races.

Further, gamers’ real-life smartphones and tablets can download a mobile application to hack into another player’s game, in order to make them fail. Unfortunately, due to hardware restrictions, the decryption and free-roam online modes are unavailable for the PS3 and 360.

Positives for “Watch_Dogs” include interesting supporting cast, beautiful character animations, totally open Chicago map that’s big, diverse and spot-on, environment graphics, bountiful information on pedestrians, many mini-games and side quests, great multiplayer activities, good mission variety, swell cover system, cool arcade-style driving, fun story and precise hacking powers.

Negatives for “Watch_Dogs” include weak main character, slower and slower framerates as player continues through story, pointless reputation meter, weak villain motivations, repetitive activities, too many auto-fail stealth missions, poor rewards for gadget use, hard car chases due to little combat options, such as not being able to shoot out the window, and AI cars are impossible to just outrun them. Also, the One has a lower resolution than the PS4.

Metacritic gave it a Metascore of 82 out of 100 for the PS4, 78 for the One and 82 for the PC. The 360 and PS3 have yet to receive a score. “Watch_Dogs” outsold any previous Ubisoft game in the game’s first day (Matulef).

Even though “Watch_Dogs” has some downsides, it is still worth buying, unless you are not old enough to play the mature game. For those who are a fan, and have a compatible console, this game is perfect for you and can be purchased here in St. Louis stores.

“Watch_Dogs” is about $60 for the PS4 at Target, Walmart, Kmart, Best Buy, Toys “R” Us, Hastings and GameStop. The limited edition is available for $130 at Target/Hastings/GameStop/ The season pass is $20 at Best Buy/GameStop. The official game guide is $15 at Hastings ($25 at GameStop), and the collector's edition guide is $35 at Hastings/GameStop. Shirts and hoodies are also available at GameStop. A pre-owned game from GameStop can be purchased for $55, and will eventually have lower prices.

Please contact me at my email address below for any comments or questions you might have.

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