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Watch Dogs - 27th May - CEX 5/5


elmo
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You really can't argue with the results of using a grenade launcher against a single pedestrian!

Really enjoyed the quick hour I got with this earlier and bursting to play more tonight. Lots of options for how to approach things and really solid cover and combat mechanics. The true test will be in the depth of the hacking as you open more of the world so as long as your ability to interact grows as you unlock the full city I can we this being a lot of fun.

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The wind effects are quite good indeed. After coming out of the tutorial mission, I smiled at the waving bushes and trees. They're not perfect, but really noticeable as it doesn't really happen in games usually. :)

..But then I frowned when some nearby flags were limp and barely moving. :(

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That's a good price... But kinda looking at xbone

It's about £38 on the xbox store too. Super simple to do, just switch system to US, reboot and enter code you've bought from the internet. Offgamers is the place most of us tend to use.

http://www.offgamers.com/xbox-live/xbox-us/xbox-live-us-gift-card-c-3455-3466-3467.ogm

You can start playing once it has downloaded 20% at a guess. I walked in at 22% and it said it was good to go.

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Played this for a few hours and not really sure how to feel about it. Already feel like I'm drowning under the typical Ubisoft bloat but there seems to be a solid stealth foundation to the game in there somewhere, hidden behind random mini games where you run around the streets collecting giant gold coins and avoiding skulls shooting aliens and delivering cars within time limits for...some reason.

The interactions you have with individuals are very gimmicky and shallow. You can hack certain NPCs bank accounts when you pass them on the street(why some and not others I don't know) but there seems to be no punishment for doing so and no reason not to, so why not? You can hack pedestrian's phones to tag what music they're listening to via some in-game Shazam equivalent. Why would you want to do that? Because Ubisoft have made busywork collectathon list #421 out of it, of course. Overall, the interactions with individual pedestrians just feel arbitrary, strained and silly.

The main missions seem better, but whether the hacking and stealth mechanics can sustain a 20 hour campaign, I'm not sure. This definitely seems to be the game's strength right now, but I could definitely still see the constant camera hopping and vent exploding become repetitive with time.

I dunno, it's ok. I'm hoping it grows on me and that the skill trees reveal more options. For now it feels like a competent stealth game wrapped in entirely unnecessary open-world clothing.

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I was wondering why they did not have a system where if you hacked someone who say has some terminal disease you'd get some sort of repercussion as opposed to hacking someone who has done a dodgy and embezzled funds. maybe had a load of operatives come and hunt you down, or better yet, hack all your funds from you. Seems like a missed opportunity to play on the morality system.

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I watched the GameTrailers review. I dunno, it looks really really complicated to me. I think my gaming years are closing in now, every game seems to become really complex, but does it add to the fun? Not sure. I'll clutch my Cave shooters and my 360 just in case.

Slimmy's videos look ace though. Hopefully the same tech will be used in something less taxing in future.

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Oof, PS3 version is very poor by all accounts. Obviously you expect lower detail and resolution, but traffic and pedestrian density is much lower and the framerate drops to single figures making it barely playable at times.

Interesting. Anyone got the the PC version and can confirm whether there is an option to adjust traffic and pedestrian density in the settings?

The cloth detail is unsurpassed and there is even cloth movement and reactions to wind. The NPCs also have moving hair!

The wind effects are quite good indeed. After coming out of the tutorial mission, I smiled at the waving bushes and trees. They're not perfect, but really noticeable as it doesn't really happen in games usually. :)

..But then I frowned when some nearby flags were limp and barely moving. :(

I'm sure the game uses some kind of wind generation tech which accurately simulates the wind (or not), however I'm not sure why they would go through the trouble unless it has an effect on gameplay.

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The wind effects are quite good indeed. After coming out of the tutorial mission, I smiled at the waving bushes and trees. They're not perfect, but really noticeable as it doesn't really happen in games usually. :)

It's easy to be flippant about little details like this but I actually am really hopeful this is the sort of thing this generation is full of.

In FC3, when you set a big explosion off, the trees shake in the shockwave; they bend a long way away from the bang, then spring back, then rustle back and forth for a while. In The Last Of Us, when Joel and Ellie hide behind cover, they touch it realistically, and Joel uses the scenery when mêléeing. In that new Clancy game who's title escapes me, when you shuffle past a car in cover and the door is open and in your way, you shut the door as you pass. Bullet holes are persistent on scenery too. In the upcoming Batman you and your opponents leave footprints in the snow, which gradually blur out as fresh snow falls.

Each element is perhaps trivial seeming in isolation, but I think there's an entire level of immersion, of verisimilitude, that we've never seen before; and I think every small thing like this a game adds takes us one stage closer to it. I want to see leaves and litter swirling in the wind. I want characters to get muddy and cars to get scratched. I want, basically, much more fidelity -- not in terms of pixels or frames-per-second, but in terms of interaction between all the materials and items in the world.

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I'm sure the game uses some kind of wind generation tech which accurately simulates the wind (or not), however I'm not sure why they would go through the trouble unless it has an effect on gameplay.

Well you could reduce everyone in the city to labelled cubes and it wouldn't affect the gameplay, but it would kinda destroy any pretense of the world being something more than the sum of the gameplay mechanics and agents within it. Adding some basic wind effects does a lot to create the illusion of being in an actual space, in the same way stuff like atmospheric dust effects in MGS2 & 3 were great subconscious visual shorthand for how the air might feel in that environment.

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In that new Clancy game who's title escapes me, when you shuffle past a car in cover and the door is open and in your way, you shut the door as you pass. Bullet holes are persistent on scenery too.

The Division?

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Well you could reduce everyone in the city to labelled cubes and it wouldn't affect the gameplay, but it would kinda destroy any pretense of the world being something more than the sum of the gameplay mechanics and agents within it. Adding some basic wind effects does a lot to create the illusion of being in an actual space, in the same way stuff like atmospheric dust effects in MGS2 & 3 were great subconscious visual shorthand for how the air might feel in that environment.

You had to go all extreme to shoot down my point. It just seems their efforts to accurately simulate wind may be wasted on many whereas more effort towards the car damage model, fire hydrant water physics, accurately simulated destructible environmental objects etc would have been more appreciated. Not saying there should be no wind effects but there was a video showing how the wind was modelled and it just seemed to be like a big investment for not much gain. I'll see if I can find the video.

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You had to go all extreme to shoot down my point. It just seems their efforts to accurately simulate wind may be wasted on many whereas more effort towards the car damage model, fire hydrant water physics, accurately simulated destructible environmental objects etc would have been more appreciated. Not saying there should be no wind effects but there was a video showing how the wind was modelled and it just seemed to be like a big investment for not much gain. I'll see if I can find the video.

In the grand scheme of things modelling wind is probably one of the cheaper things you can do from that list, computationally speaking, and delivers a fairly visible and effective result.

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Anyone else having problems with Uplay at the moment? Installed it for the first time to redeem Watch Dogs and it seems that servers are down?

Yep was 90% DLed as I forgot to leave on during the day, and then crashed and can't reconnect.

Oh well. Playing TWAU anyway

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This looks like another Ubi game that suffers from an ugly and spoilerific HUD (that mini-map - why the fuck is it so far away from the corner of the screen?).

Are their options to tone that stuff down or turn it off? Or would that render the game unplayable?

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Watchdogs and other city based open world games are always going to be compared to GTA and it may not be fair to compare them but everyone expected the watchdogs to provide a similar if not better game world to play in. GTA v did some very impressive stuff on the last gen machines. Hopefully Watchdogs can provide better missions or many different ways to tackle them.

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