Possibly the last game of its kind on the Wii U, “Watchdogs” satisfies those who have never played it the most.
To say that “Watchdogs” is unlike any other game on the Wii U would be a huge understatement.
Not featuring any plumbers with Rollie Fingers mustaches, green-hooded swordsmen or monsters jumping out of balls, it’s an open-world tale of revenge that merges stealth and raucous action, for an experience that you’ll kind of consider close to the “Grand Theft Auto” series, but not quite.
While there can be reckless violence in the game and our character is without a doubt self-loathing, it’s his ability to hack his environments and stop crime- rather than cause it that makes the game something special.
But regardless of the lack of a real noir payoff and ability to quench your need for wanton violence, “Watchdogs” on the Wii U serves a completely different purpose than its brethren on other consoles.
With the ability to play on the Wii U gamepad, it’s an escape- a great way to take a vacation of revenge in Chicago, while the kids watch TV- in the same room.
“What are you playing mom/dad,” they’ll ask inquisitively.
“Not Mario,” you’ll reply.
The game’s main protagonist, Aiden Pearce would not only put a bullet in Mario’s head right before he went down a pipe, he’d hack the start light in “MarioKart.” For all intents and purposes, “Watchdogs” may be the last game like this on a Wii U. They just don’t sell well- but that doesn’t mean they aren’t wanted.
A wide-open adventure on a huge map, with plenty of cars and weapons and excellent and simple gameplay mechanics, it’s not for casual gamers. Regardless, they’ll “get it.” After one press of the Y button, they’ll see. Hacking a street light during a police chase, or an ATM for some extra cash, or even someone’s phone for music is as gratifying an experience as the game’s wild driving engine or the sound bullets make when they cave in a cranium.
Obviously, this game is dark at times. This is not a Zelda game. No Koopa Troopers either. It’s a tale of “any means necessary” and “justice.” A modern day Robin Hood, you’ll enjoy the plethora of small side quests that allow you to take out crooks that hurt the civilians of Chicago. Humanizing your character and adding personality to both the people and things around you, “Watchdogs” makes up for its lack of color with plenty of hard-boiled polish and depth.
It’ll make you feel better that the guy you just robbed has three prior and collects child pornography, right?
While its most likely an adventure you’ve played before, it’s one of the only mature-themed AAA games on the console. Again, it’s perfect for parents who still want to game and only have a Wii U for the kiddies. Regardless, “Watchdogs” on the Wii U is a lengthy, fun and smart ride.
Sure, there will be questions asked as to why the game was released six months after its first appearance on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, with minimal changes, on a console it doesn’t necessarily need to be on, but those who got stuck getting a Wii U for their Super Mario-loving hellspawn, instead of a something more adult gaming friendly, will not be the ones complaining once the kiddies go to bed.
Closest Thing to GTA on the Wii U: It’s not nearly as sexy, but it’s smart and the gameplay is just as rewarding. With a huge open- world, however, there are times you can just go “have some fun.” It also helps that there are a plethora of weapons and cars as well.
A Solid Story: Aiden doesn’t have the best personality and he isn’t very colorful, but he is, at times, charismatic, resourceful and passionate. After a few hours, you’ll be completely invested in his adventure.
No TV Needed: While having the map on your gameplay doesn’t hurt the experience, having the entire game in your hands works great. It also makes us think of well this game could work on the PlayStation Vita.
Huge Map: Those that dig the large maps of GTA will did themselves in a beautiful and realistic version of Chicago with plenty of things to do. Easy to get lost in, you’ll find yourself reverting to your map or adding new waypoints for directions.
Super-Human: While you’ll be used techno-gadgets throughout the game, uncovering the inner-workings of all the characters and seeing NPCs personal information on the screen makes for a much more intense and emotional experience that you might have originally thought.
Awesome Gameplay: Although it’s simple in approach, “Watchdogs” on the Wii U feels awesome. From the shooting engine to the arcade-inspired driving engine and incredibly smart hacking system, “Watchdogs” lives and breathes thanks to the way it plays.
No Second-Screen Additions: While you can play the game only on the Nintendo gamepad if you so desire, the game doesn’t provide a truly second-screen experience. Used only as a map, it fails to bring the Wii U atmosphere to the game.
Lack of Real Visual Upgrade: Although the game looks better than it did on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the Wii U version does little else extra visually.
Can Get Repetitive: The gameplay mechanics that ultimately fuel “Watchdogs” are unique, but are so easy to pull off that you may end up “killing” the experience in a few hours if you aren’t enthralled by it.
Navigating Can Be a Pain: As stated Earlier, the map in the game is pretty impressive and getting from place to place at times can be annoying. Add in many of the side quests fetch nature and its enough to keep you focused on the main story.
“Watchdogs” on the Wii U is an excellent game, but one that you won’t feel forced to play or purchase if you’ve played it somewhere else before. Regardless, it’s just as taut and polished as it was before and the fact that it’s on the more family-friendly Wii U makes it a must play for anyone that missed it the first time around.