Following in Assassin's Creed's Footsteps
Let's examine Ubisoft's past for a moment in order to create a frame of reference for their continuation of a new franchise with Watch Dogs. When Assassins Creed initially came out we loved it.
It demonstrated new gaming mechanics and a formula for a world that could be continuously revisited. That being said, the game that started it all had some serious issues.
The game was beyond repetitive, with its small degree of tasks that weren't really that interesting to begin with and certainly weren't by the time we'd finished the game. Additionally, the areas which we explored demonstrated a total lack of exploration and diversity and felt far too small. But Ubisoft had created a formula with enough intrigue that we wanted more, and boy did they deliver.
[Assassin's Creed](movie:437814) 2 became one of the best games for the previous consoles, still topping lists at IGN and Gamespot. Perhaps this could be something that we will see with Watch Dogs 2.
A Great Foundation that Lacked Development
They've created a very interesting foundation with [Watch Dogs](movie:1000357). The idea of everyone's life and the technology surrounding you being completely hackable is an exciting formula. It just wasn't what we thought it would be, it was almost too stripped back.
With wholly unique one-line descriptions available of every person you walk past, this demonstrated something which I felt I wanted to explore more. I wanted to see just how far into their lives I could invade. The small clips at ctOS towers which showed people being watched by the technology in their apartments was an additional hint at more power, just that we couldn't control any of it.
This being said, I had a lot of fun with Watch Dogs. Particularly during car chases, lifting up bridges as you approached them or watching as your enemies car exploded as a steam pipe bursted beneath them. The hacking abilities were well thought out and there are a good few hours of fun to be had in this environment. But their are definite changes that need to happen if this is to be the franchise we thought it would be.
"I think the difference is now, consoles are established. I think also the brand is established, so the ability to be more precise on all elements and anticipate things better is definitely something we can do better." - Jonathan Morin, Creative Director on Watch Dogs
Some Changes I Want for Watch Dogs 2
Firstly, get rid of Aiden Pearce, just get rid of him! He reminded me of Connor in Assassin's Creed 3 in terms of annoying main characters. What is the fascination with big franchises and deep-voiced, banal-looking, devoid-of-personality macho-men?
Personally, every secondary character in Watch Dogs was more interesting. Why couldn't the campaign have been led by Jordi Chin?? Now that would have been excellent, I would have spent the whole game laughing! Instead we were stuck with a character who I really didn't care for at all.
Secondly, with regards to plot, it seemed like Ubisoft wanted to actively criticize the modern age and the removal of our privacy, but it just wasn't fleshed out or appealing.
Honestly, the changes need to be radical in order to make Watch Dogs the game we thought it would be when we saw it at E3. Let's hope Ubisoft lives up to their reputation.
Watch Dogs launched earlier this year on PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and PC. The Wii U version will be released on November 21st in Europe.