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Watch Dogs + Exclusive PS3 Content Review

Watch Dogs is Ubisoft's newest franchise that was revealed at E3 in 2012, and the game has finally arrived. Watch Dogs brings plenty of unrealistic hype that could have never been fully met. Ubisoft caused some of the problems themselves by producing cinematic and gameplay trailers that didn't showcase actual graphics from the game, but fans are also partly to blame for the problem for setting unobtainable goals for a game that was still a year or more away from release. With all of that said, Watch Dogs still sold more preorder copies than any other franchise shipped by Ubisoft, and the game is actually a lot of fun despite not living up to all of the game's expectations. Ubisoft is definitely happy with the results for their game, and fans will satisfied with the new game as well.

Aiden Pearce is the star of Watch Dogs. The protagonist is a skilled hacker living in the city of Chicago, who takes up vigilante justice after witnessing the death of his family. The Punisheresque storyline allows Watch Dogs to ride the line between making Aiden hero and anti-hero material, and even more interesting are the other characters the protagonist meets up with during his journey. Fellow hackers, gang bangers and other make up a unique cast that is interesting and helps move the story along with new missions and objectives. Watch Dogs may not have the most unique narrative, but it's a good one that will keep players enjoying the game over the 20 hours or so that it takes to complete the game.

Watch Dogs begins players with a very memorable mission that showcases Aiden's hacking ability in all its glory. The mission design continues to impress over the remainder of the game, though there are some boring tail missions and similar quests that players will have seen hundreds of times before thrown in if for nothing else than keeping up expectancies. Hacking isn't always vital for completing mission objectives though, and sometimes it's better to fly into a dangerous situation and shooting anything in sight rather than attempting to stealthily infiltrate a location with hacks while using cover to remain hidden.

Players will have access to a nice variety of hacks and gadgets that include distractions that can be thrown from behind cover and activated with the smartphone to make noise and force enemies to turn their backs to Aiden. Players could also choose to hack into a phone of an enemy, find personal information on them and use that valuable intel to cause a helpful distraction. Cameras can also be hacked in a variety of ways including to see around a facility or to spy on other characters, which can sometimes lead to the creepiest and most disturbing moments in the game. During chases, hacks can also be used to trigger explosions that can take out enemy vehicles or to throw up barricades to halt enemy progress. Hacks aren't always necessary for a mission, but they are always fun to experiment with and easy to trigger with the push of a single button.

Watch Dogs comes packed with plenty of side missions and mini-games to give players lots to do outside of the game's main campaign. The side missions includes objectives such as wrecking a car and taking out its driver in Criminal Convoys and finding a crime boss inside of a large base in Gang Hideouts. The also includes some crazy mini-games known as Digital Trips that take Aiden to virtual reality settings within the game to battle alien invaders, fight off hordes of robots or pilot a massive spider tank. Other more basic mini-games include playing chess, poker and getting drunk. The good variety of missions available outside the game means most players will spend a massive amount of time in the game's single player campaign before ever growing bored with the game.

PlayStation and PC owners will also be allowed to access exclusive content for Watch Dogs that includes four additional missions, a new outfit and a helpful battery hacking item. The additional content adds another hour or so of playing time to the game and gives players more reasons to pick up the game on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC. One of the most memorable missions in the exclusive content takes players to the palace of a rich Internet entrepreneur that happens to have information on Aiden located on a hard drive inside of his home. Aiden gets word that the police are about to raid the home though, so players must quickly and carefully break into the palace, wipe the hard drive and escape before the raid begins. The bonus content is definitely a lot of fun and unfortunately isn't available for Xbox gamers.

It's even more unfortunate the exclusive content is only available on PlayStation consoles, since the PlayStation 3 does have a few noticeable performance issues while running Watch Dogs. While the game may have a few graphical pop-ins, frame rate drops and other glitches which are all part of the performance issues with the game on PlayStation 3, however, the game does hold up to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the visuals department. The PlayStation 4 version of the game seems to be one of the best versions for gaining access to higher quality graphics and exclusive content, but gamers who must choose between PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions will have a much tougher time deciding what to sacrifice in order to play the new game. In the end, fans will find that the game offers a superior experience on the PS3 just because of the exclusive content that adds even more fun and replayability to the title.

Watch Dogs does manage to introduce some pretty fun multiplayer modes on PlayStation 3 as well. Players can choose to enter another player's world to attempt to hack, tail or perform other actions without the other player catching them in the act. The online multiplayer modes are totally optional, but they're a lot of fun to fool around in when not focusing on the game's main story missions. Ubisoft no doubt were helped in developing Watch Dogs's multiplayer with the development of Assassin's Creed multiplayer over the last few years, since a large part of both involves one person blending in to the environment and crowd, while the other can use any tools necessary to hunt down the lone enemy. Watch Dogs also supports other online multiplayer modes, though the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions do not include online free mode or Decryption multiplayer.

Watch Dogs may not be the exact game a lot of players were expecting, but it's still a fun game that is well worth purchasing for fans of open world adventures. The gritty tale Ubisoft portrays in the game is a lot more like Grand Theft Auto than Saints Row, but Watch Dogs is unique enough to shake off any imitation comparisons from either. A nice variety of mini-games and side missions coupled with some fun multiplayer ensures players will spend a lot of time in the Windy City to explore the in-game world completely. Watch Dogs is in stores now, so check it out on PlayStation 3 and other consoles today!

Watch Dogs is now available from all major retailers for the MSRP of $59.99 and can be purchased for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. Watch Dogs is rated M by the ESRB for Blood, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content & Use of Drugs and Alcohol. For more information on the game, check out the official Watch Dogs website.

Game Features:
  • Online Multiplayer 1-8
  • Open World Based on Chicago
  • Use Hacks to Escape Enemies and Gain New Information
  • DLC Support
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer & Publisher: Ubisoft
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 (reviewed), Xbox One, Xbox 360 & PC
Release Date: May 26, 2014

Score: 8.3 out of 10
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