Along the course of our life-long gaming careers, there’s a good chance we’ve had a game that we just plain don’t agree with the rest of our friends on. Possibly even the rest of the internet. For me, that game is Watch Dogs.
When I first heard about Watch Dogs, I was excited. I’m a nut for the surveillance scandals, you see. Pre-Snowden, people would have called me a conspiracy theorist, even though it was already known that governments were collecting calls and metadata en masse. Hell, I was working at Telstra when they installed the boxes.
So the concept of Watch Dogs is right up my alley. What isn’t is the gameplay. The first time I saw the game, at E3, I instantly wasn’t impressed. I walked out of that demo a curmudgeon, whereas everyone else was smiling ear-to-ear with excitement.
In the demo, there were two kinds of gameplay. There was a scene in which you hacked a camera and could see into the room of the person you were talking to on the phone, and you had to guide this person, a la Morpheus guiding Neo in the Matrix, so they wouldn’t get caught by pursuers. That was actual gameplay, and I was encouraged by that.
Then, there was the “Press X to hack” gameplay, which is interacting with the city in the most shallow way possible. No puzzle solving, no dexterity, no timing… Just Press X To Hack, in a city where the solution to every problem is to hack.
It also strikes me that, similar to the first Assassin's Creed trailer, the hype for this game makes it seem like anything is possible. When, in reality, it's likely that there are a handful of things possible. A handful of city hacks to use in interesting ways, just as there are a handful of ways to evade guards in Desmond's DNA memory.
But in every conversation I’ve had, on podcasts, on the street, online, everyone disagrees with me. I’m not saying “You shouldn’t be having fun with this game” or anything — go nuts. I just don’t get it. Not my cup o’ tea. I was even over a friend's place the other night and saw multiplayer being played. Everyone was riveted by it. To me it seemed dull.
Do you have any games everyone disagrees with you on? Are you a part of any circles in which you can’t join in the reindeer games, because their poison of choice just irks you? What game would you love to love, but just can't bring yourself to do it?