Monday, June 16, 2014

Disgusting allusions

It took a long, long time for Ubisoft to sneak an Assassin's Creed reference into Watch_Dogs. There are probably a ton more that I missed (read that as I just checked and yes, there are several other easter eggs) but I am referring the the criminal convoy mission that specifically mentions Abstergo and one of the employees from Black Flag. It was subtle, not in the main story, added depth to the world instead of just pointing at another game and screaming 'BUY THIS ONE, TOO!'

Assassin's Creed and Watch_Dogs exist in the same universe, that much is certain. Will the vigilante come up against the templars in the next game? Ask that again in twelve  months when Watch_Dogs 2: Watch Harder comes out.

We are more than two weeks distant from the game's initial release and that is enough time to absolve me of spoiler considerations. If you care all that much about Watch_Dog's story, and you shouldn't, be warned.


Watch_Dogs climaxes about two missions too early and its refractory period is just too long to build any more excitement before the end (ew!) leaving me, well, unsatisfied. Pearce rescues his sister and kicks her and the almost mute kid out of town for their own good. She is rather ungrateful, so good riddance, I didn't need her complaining about how I got things done anyway. This allows Pearce to just kill all the bad guys without worrying about the consequences. And kill all the bad guys he does, culminating with murdering a mob boss by hacking his pace maker.

That would have be a good ending. Nope, there is one more bad guy to deal with, and he now has the same access to ctOS as you do. Queue chase scene through downtown Chicago with the whole city blowing up around you and a dozen cops on your tail. This is a fitting end, or it would have been if it didn't culminate with me hiding in a corner wasting all my blackout power, waiting for the cops to go away. When they finally did the game limped along to a goddamn quick time event for the last encounter.

After hours and hours of driving around the city at high speeds, sometimes avoiding pedestrians, shooting mans in slow motion, the end is reduced to press B not to die.

The shortcomings in the first Assassin's Creed were understandable because it was, more or less, new territory. Each one got better. Watch_Dogs is just GTA with better handling cars. I have been told that GTA was excellent. Watch_Dogs was merely good, but with the full might of Ubisoft behind it, what excuse does it have? There will be more, and they will be better, but it would have been nice to not have to wade through the infancy of another franchise when there are plenty of good examples to have cribbed from.

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