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watch dogs review

The first thing I want to say is that Watch Dogs is my new most absolute favorite game ever. I have a lot of favorites but this one is my newest #1. Bumped up the list topping Tomb RaiderSleeping DogsAlan Wake, Alice: Madness Returns, the Batman: Arkham games, even Beyond: Two Souls and more. Although, Beyond: Two Souls is definitely my very favorite interactive cinematic experience.

Watch Dogs Has Seemingly Infinite Content

The open world in Watch Dogs isn’t actually that big. It’s certainly not small, it’s just not enormous. The thing is, that’s not a problem. The first time I ever opened up the map and saw the many different side missions I could play, I was blown away. And it was only my first look at them and wasn’t even half of what would become available as I continued to play.

Much like Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed, unlocking ctOS towers in Watch Dogs opens up even more content on the map. That’s not all, much like Red Dead Redemption, random missions for either single-player or online matches pop up every few minutes inviting us to enjoy even more content.

The random missions that pop up so often may be a tiny bit on the annoying side. A tiny bit. There is so much regular content as it is, it makes me laugh that even more is randomly thrown in my face to jump into pretty dang often. I often find myself saying, “I’m already on a mission, I don’t need another!” But I love it!

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watch dogs review bike

There are different forms of racing, gang hideouts to take out, random crimes to stop and so much more. The “Digital Trips” are fun extra virtual reality side missions such as the Spider Tank which you’ve probably seen videos of. And guess what? There’s still more!

There’s so much content that I still haven’t gotten a full handle on the specific differences between all the random missions after around twenty hours of playing! (Note: my memory is really bad and I don’t tend to purposefully try to memorize stuff because of it.) I haven’t played a single side mission that I have not enjoyed. I do have friends that have found some missions they really don’t like, though.

The difficulty of the game sometimes feels strange. Some of the missions are drastically more difficult than others. Nothing impossible. I often think the side missions are easier while the campaign missions are harder but sometimes even the side missions are more difficult than others. It’s interesting. I have the game set to Normal in the options but it seems to really depend on the type of mission I’m doing. I’m fine with that, it’s just weird going from Easy to Hard without any kind of obvious reason.

I love the skill tree. There is a large variety of skills to upgrade to. None of them have felt necessary to me. There are several that are definitely ones that I wanted to pick up as fast as possible but I didn’t feel under-powered without them.

One of my favorite skill upgrades increases the battery power required to hack the city as I drive through it. While walking through the city normally and before upgrading any skills, there are plenty of objects to “hack” and distract people or stop traffic and such. The upgrades make it so much easier and even more fun by adding more options. I can’t wait to have the entire tree filled out!

What You Should Know

As much as I love the game and I’m super happy a buddy of mine helped me figure out how to get the game to run on my PC, I must suggest that you do not purchase the game on PC. Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it. Every major gaming site and even tech site that covers video games has written about how badly the game is optimized for PC. Especially noted is how badly it runs even on high end PCs. Here’s an article about it from IGN to get you started.

watch dogs review ultra

My PC specs are:

  • Intel i5-4570 3.2ghz
  • 64-bit Windows 7
  • 8gb Ram
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 4gb Vram

Watch Dogs with Textures (under Display, not video options) set to Ultra damn near broke my PC somehow. (It caused a ridiculous amount of issues that I may share in a separate article.) Something I had discovered sort of by accident is that you cannot change the Texture option while in-game. You can only change it in the main menu. I can run everything else full on max Ultra with no issue but apparently the Texture option on Ultra has the biggest effect on the visuals and PC performance.

I’ve done a little bit of messing around with the settings and I have almost everything on Ultra. Shadows on High and Texture on High and the game looks pretty good and runs smooth for the most part with some issues here and there.

The game looks pretty incredible with everything on full Ultra, including Textures. I just wish I could run Texture on Ultra without the ridiculous stuttering and freezing that happens constantly with it on, even with every other setting at the lowest possible. It’s ridiculous.

What you might want to know is that while this is my new absolute favorite game, I have talked to a few friends already that are disappointed. I love it very, very, very, very much and more.