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Why I Couldn't Finish Watch_Dogs - Destructoid

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I'm in my 20s and a recent college grad. I have two passions in life: writing and gaming. I grew up doing both, and now I'm looking to combine them. I was a '90s boy, which meant an endless amount of Toonami and hours upon hours of N64. I've always been a console gamer, which is why I'm so excited about what's going on with the next generation. It's never been a better time to be in gaming.

The N64 and Gamecube will always hold special places in my heart as the two best consoles I've ever played. My favorite game series is, without question, The Legend of Zelda; and my favorite game within that series will always be Ocarina of Time.

I've played everything from Sonic, Mario and Donkey Kong to Jak and Daxter, Assassin's Creed and Halo. My favorite style of game is Action-Adventure, but I'm also a big fan of RPGs and Shooters if they're done well.
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The amount of time I spent playing Watch_Dogs dwindled over the course of two weeks, and now Iíve officially given up on Ubisoftís posterchild, unable to finish any one part of the game. Part of the reason had to do with the release of Carbineís Wildstar, which I have grown to love over the last few weeks; but again, thatís only part of the reason.

The gist of it is, I lost interest.

Watch_Dogs was an entertaining game right out of the gate. The hacking aspect was a feature that hadnít really been done before, and I thoroughly enjoyed making my way through the streets of Chicago with my handy hack-all-things-with-the-push-of-a-button cellphone. The plotline was decentóI was interested in Aiden Pearce as a character and his struggle, and part of me wanted to progress through the game just for the sake of finding out what happens. After a while, though, I went from ďThis is interestingĒ to ďMeh.Ē I barely made it to Act III of the gameís campaign before calling it quits.

It only took me a few minutes to figure out why my attitude about the game had shifted so drastically in such a short amount of time. I hadnít lost interest in a game so quickly in a long time, and I was pretty excited for Watch_Dogs. I took a critical look at the formula of Ubisoftís games, and from there it was easy.

Thereís no question that a lot, if not most, of the AAA titles hitting shelves today are repetitive to a certain degree. Gaming studios have taken the concept of the side missionóan activity that should be a welcome retreat from pursuing the gameís story modeóand put it through a cookie-cutter formula. Side missions today are less of a refreshing and enjoyable break and more of a chore. Why?

Because theyíre all the sameóthereís no variety. And most of Ubisoftís AAA titles are well known for using this formula.

I asked myself why I was getting tired of Watch_Dogs so easily when I love the Assassinís Creed franchise, even its side missions, which are usually just as repetitive. The answer came down to the gameís environment. The Assassinís Creed games take me on exciting adventures, allowing me to visit exotic locales across the globe that I wouldnít normally get the chance to see first-hand. Watch_Dogs, on the other hand, is set in Chicago.

I can get in my car and drive to Chicago in a matter of hours.

Ubisoft can get away with somewhat repetitive side missions and activities in games like Black Flag because you play as a freakiní pirate. Iíll sail all over the Caribbean just to accept another assassination mission or grab another set of Animus fragments because itís fun just being in that environment and exploring the region. If Iím just cruising through the streets of Chicago, all the areas begin to blend together, and the repetitive nature of the side missions becomes much more noticeable. I can handle repetitive activities if those activities lead me through sprawling jungles or aquamarine seas. If I just have to drive through traffic to do the same-ish activity, no thanks.

Watch_Dogs made it difficult for me to immerse myself in its experience. Donít get me wrong, I had fun with it for a little while, but over time that fun lost its allure, and I gave up on it. Game devs are going to have to try harder to captivate their playerbase with content that is different, refreshing, and challenging if they want to maintain such a large audience. Otherwise everyone will just play through the story and be done with it.

And thatís not worth $60, is it?

This has been a hot-button issue for gamers for a long time. So what do you guys think? Where are AAA games headed if their dev teams canít seem to implement a variety of content to eliminate, or at least reduce, the repetitive aspect of these games? Drop some knowledge in the comments.
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