June 11, 2014
Watch Dogs reminded me that although I would like to know the secrets of others, such knowledge is too wonderful for me.
Glad to hear that the core structure veers into themes of alienation and the cost of living violently. I started to feel like Aiden was an even darker version of Heisenberg with no Walter White to make him seem more human. Also, a lack of nonlethal-centric tools made being a vigilante even more sinister. I don't get why the game didn't have pepper spray and tasers. Or at least something equivalent to the Lasso in Red Dead Redemption.
Honestly, I don't think the game does enough in illustrating the consequences of violence. I do, however, think that the game acknowledges that it is impossible not to abuse the kind of knowledge Aiden has. I think Aiden kinda realizes that. That is a step in the right direction at least.
I found WD to be a well-meaning but incompetent jumble of a narrative. Transposed to film, it would be noteworthy only for its unnoteworthiness and then forgotten. Aiden is wooden and unconvincing, a growling half-baked variant of the obsessive/vengeful protagonist; the story rambles unnecessarily, including a too-long detour through Chicago's black ghetto(and this is almost impressive) that makes no meaningful word to the intense history of racism or poverty; and Aiden's "Am I a monster?" moment is absurd and laughably disconnected from player actions and even the character of Aiden himself. Like the poorly programmed vehicles the game forces upon you, the story careens and slides around until it mercifully crashes to a stop at a billboard for the inevitable best-selling sequel.
I'm glad to hear that someone got something meaningful out of Watch Dogs. All I got was a reminder how far AAA game developers have yet to go before they master the multitudinous elements of video game storytelling.
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