Giant Bomb News

280 Comments

I Don't Think You Deserve Redemption, Aiden Pearce

Watch Dogs didn't leave much of an impression during my 20 hours with it, but I can't stop thinking about the game's final choice.

(We're going to talk spoilers for Watch Dogs. Fair warning.)

At the end of Watch Dogs, Aiden Pearce and the player are presented with a choice. A man is tied to a chair, openly weeping and begging for his life. Want to pull the trigger? The player can end his life or walk away. The game doesn't comment on your choice, either. After, the interrupted credits keep rolling.

You kill hundreds, if not thousands, of people in Watch Dogs. Though it's a game themed around hacking and technological subversion, most problems are solved much faster with a bullet. If you run over a civilian in Watch Dogs, it slightly alters how the citizens feel about you, but despite (accidentally) running over many Chicago residents, it didn't impact the game. The act of killing is routine, and Watch Dogs doesn't spend time humanizing the people around you. If anything, Watch Dogs deliberately dangles one-note stereotypes to ensure the bullets are spraying.

That's not true for the character at the end of Watch Dogs, though. The man in the chair is Maurice Vega. Watch Dogs opens with Aiden and his partner, Damien, during a virtual bank heist. But the two stumble upon a mysterious file, which alerts a nearby hacker, and their identities are discovered. Aiden tries to flee with sister, Nicole, and her two children, Lena and Jackson. A hitman, who we eventually learn is Maurice, is sent to take out Aiden. The attack ends up crashing the car, which sends Lena into a coma that she never wakes up from. Watch Dogs then follows Aiden tracking down those responsible for her death.

But Aiden is an asshole. I haven't violently disliked a character this much in a long time. Ignoring how the game never, ever tries to explain how Aiden is a master hacker who's also a gun expert, he constantly put his family and the citizens of Chicago in danger. Need to escape a building? Don't worry, just shut down power at a major sports game attended by tens of thousands of people. Cops on your tail? Bah, trigger a bridge while traffic's crossing! Aiden is directly responsible for Lena's death because he's a criminal. As the storyline in Watch Dogs plays out, the cycle repeats. He's responsible for hitmen going after his nephew, and he's responsible for his sister getting kidnapped. Aiden was not randomly targeted by an unjust system; he was being a dick.

Watch Dogs is not a game about players living with consequences, either intended or unintended. You're following a linear story set within an open world, and you're meant to accomplish objective A, B, and C while moving from D to E. Watch Dogs does not give the player many options when it comes to roleplaying. It's possible to make Aiden a bit stealthier and kill slightly fewer people along the way, but it's pointless. Aiden's arc has been determined by the game's writers, and players have little input.

Yet, eventually, you are given a choice. That's what makes the final sequence with Maurice so interesting.

Aiden deserved to be punished for his actions. The ending tries to portray Watch Dogs as Aiden's origin story, events required to produce a hacking superhero that will use his powers for good. But nothing suggests Aiden earned redemption. He's not a hero.

When I play video games, especially ones with player choice, I'm Han Solo, the renegade with a heart of gold. I'm always trying to do the right thing, though unafraid to crack a few eggs along the way. But that wasn't an option in Watch Dogs. Aiden was going to act a certain way, no matter what. Destined to dickitude. Even if your version of Aiden tried to show restraint, that was never, ever reflected in the story. He was always an asshole walking around with blinders, oblivious to the chaos created in his wake.

And that's fine! Not every game needs to give players influence over character development, but Watch Dogs doesn't hand over the keys to Aiden's heart and mind until its final curtain call. It's an odd choice. If the game wants to tell the story of an everyman whose noble intentions go horribly awry, do it. (I'm not sure this is even true. The ending's tone points to writers sympathetic to Aiden's decisions.) But have the balls to make Aiden's final choice, too. Asking the player is an M. Night Shyamalan twist, a cop out.

To fully understand what's happening, we need to rewind to its opening moments, too. Watch Dogs begins with Aiden pointing a gun at Maurice, hoping the man will spill who ordered the original hit. Your first action in Watch Dogs is firing a gun. But the game subverts expectations, revealing there's no ammo.

Being confronted with Maurice a second time is Watch Dogs coming full circle. My Han Solo gut was telling me to let Maurice go. As with any criminal conspiracy, he was one pawn among many. Who needs more blood on their hands? But that's not what Aiden would have done. Up until this point, Aiden has killed without a trace of guilt, doubt, or hesitation. Me? I wouldn't pull the trigger. But Aiden would. Aiden wouldn't be able to resist ending the life of a person who had caused him so much pain, misguided or not.

So I made Aiden pull the trigger, and Maurice was dead.

It felt satisfying. Not because I was happy to see Maurice's body slump to the floor, but I'd subverted the game's storytelling. The ending wants you to believe Aiden to be good, and gins up a happy ending. But Aiden doesn't deserve one. He's a bad guy. In trying to do the right thing, he constantly did the opposite.

Screw off, Aiden. Good riddance.

291 Comments
Posted by Briggs713

Well written Patrick. I agree with your ideas here. This game's story-telling felt like a big step back for Ubisoft. Although, I am kind of happy the it stayed small and didn't get into saving the world. From what I glean in the credits, that won't be the case in the next game.

Edited by megalowho

Aiden and the people he surrounds himself with are some of the most unlikeable and unsympathetic characters (and caricatures) I've come across in a while, can't disagree with that. The decisions he makes are selfish and self defeating, plus his personality rivals that of a wet blanket. Never made it to the end partially because I was turned off by the lot, not surprised it ended up as a redemption arc that falls flat.

There is promise for the series in some of the unique gameplay elements and stealth scenarios, but as far as creating a hacker hero/anti-hero/protagonist worthy of building a franchise around Watch Dogs is a swing and a miss. Going to be interesting to see where they go from here considering the lukewarm reaction.

Edited by MannyMAR

I agree with you Patrick, Aiden never really deserves redemption. I also believe the events that lead up to that choice also hammer down that fact actually. Now I won't say the story's all that, but I wouldn't say that final choice was completely out of character for Aiden either. I see him more akin to the protagonist from Old Boy than say Bruce Wayne/ Batman.

If anything though, I never perceived Aiden's journey as a story of a would be hero in the making. Rather, I saw it as a man driven by revenge who showed little (if at all) remorse for his actions. The only times you are forced to do something morally good is when you prevented the first crime in the early parts of the game and at the game's final mission. Everything else you do is for selfish reasons and can be viewed as being either morally grey or just straight up wrong. In reality Aiden was a TRUE vigilante for seeking his own brand of justice by any means necessary. Whether he became a champion for the people or not is only by coincidence of his own selfish desires. Either way he still loses his allies and family. He loss due to his lust for revenge.

Finally in regards to Maurice Vega, if you collected all the Burner Phones Aiden comes to realize that perhaps both he and Maurice are two sides of the same coin. By leaving it up to the player they effectively let the player decide what kind of vigilante Aiden will become. A vigilante who while willing to get their hands dirty is looking out for the people, or someone who is so hell bent on revenge that he becomes blind to the idea that he himself is a monster. By letting Maurice go, there's the possibility for Aiden's redemption to begin. Damn, I never thought I'd write something this long and incorporate a bit Nietzsche in the process.

Posted by Slab64

I just finished Max Payne 3 and I had similar issues with the main character there as well. It helps somewhat that he knows he's fucked up and his inner monologue points it out every 30 seconds, but yeah, that game is hella grim.

Posted by Generic_username

Awesome piece, was good to read.

Edited by pixelatedsoul

When the choice was brought to me, I felt the opposite. I thought Aiden had had enough of the killing and this was his first step on the way to redemption. His actions had already drove his family away from him. Killing him would change nothing. So, I let him live. Doing so actually unlocks a string of side quests with Maurice's audio logs.

Overall, I'm pretty much on board with the consensus that the game doesn't live up to expectations. To me, it's easily the most disappointing game of the year.

Posted by aktivity

@heyguys said:

@scotto said:

The story itself makes Aiden out to be kind of a dick, but I struggle with the whole "you kill hundreds of dudes over the course of the game!" ludonarrative dissonance stuff. If you're gonna hold that part against this particular game, then you're gonna have to look at an incredibly long list of games with new eyes.

At least the game "punishes" you for directly killing civilians, I guess.

Personally, I just found Aiden unsympathetic. You robbed the wrong person, and that person retaliated. YOU are at least half responsible for that little girl being dead, you idiot. Yet the story never even seems to grapple with the idea that Aiden himself is responsible for what happened. I kept waiting for it, but it never happened. I let Maurice go, because he was arguably just as responsible for her death as "I" was.

But mowing down the odd civilian, causing traffic accidents, and so on? Meh. I just mark that down to the dissonance inherent in playing a "good guy" in any open world game. I "narratively" separate what happens in scripted cutscenes or missions, versus the chaos that occurs in pure open-world gameplay.

I agree with you somewhat. In any open world game or otherwise I don't think there's a problem with the player being able to go kill civilians or whatever, if I do that I know it's on me. The problem was like "Hey Aiden go kill all these security guards!", then Aiden killing these dudes who don't even know about any of this shit and are just doing their jobs. "Oh no they killed my niece, they must pay!" followed by Aiden making a whole bunch of fatherless children just like his niece is duuuuuuumb. Then as I remember the game trying to do the laziest, dumbest thing I might have ever seen by trying to justify this by saying something like "Oh don't won't Blume's been recruiting these guards from prison so they're all evil." or something.

I don't remember the game forcing you to kill many "innocents". You can generally go through most of the game with a fairly low body count. I just made sure to stock up on Blackout and get the upgrade to disable alarms. This allowed me to stealth takedown my way out of most situations. Besides he's on a vengeance trip why should he care, that's (movie) action hero 101.

Also he does blame himself for the death of his niece, as seen in a couple of cutscenes. In a way the whole point of the story is his inability to let go of his guilt, which is why he's trying to "fix" things by hunting down those behind the hit.

Edited by DHIATENSOR

Strongly agree with the gist of the article. Pearce is a dull murderous asshole and a hyprocrite to boot. There were nuggets of really fun gameplay strewn throughout and the acting wasn't all horrible, but the fundamentals of the story are just awful.

My main gripe is that for all the pre-release talk of digging in to the ideas of intrusion and control - the game totally failed to engage with this. Aiden is the only one intruding on people and usually for a few lousy bucks. I totally assumed Blume would be the big bad corporation for this, as Abstergo is for AC but they were mostly peripheral. The plot was just some old crime bollocks.

Oh and fuck me, the driving was a pile of aids.

Posted by IggNight

Nice article. Aiden is a terrible character. His story really makes the world in this game seem fake. Also the stupid mission objectives where you have to knock a specific person down, but can kill everyone else. It is manageable in the gang hideout missions, but the convoy mission are unplayable.

Posted by paulunga

@mintyice said:

@patrickklepekIgnoring how the game never, ever tries to explain how Aiden is a master hacker who's also a gun expert

I think they mention in an audio log that he's actually ex-military or something like that...

I actually had a lot of fun with the game. It isn't fantastic or groundbreaking in anyway, and the story is complete garbage, but it's a solid 3/5 imo. It helps if you think of Aiden as a really, really shitty Batman.

I'm not sure comparing him to someone who never, ever kills anyone, not even a complete sociopath like The Joker is favorable to him in any way. He's more like The Punisher.

Online
Posted by Bobtoad1

@probablytuna: Here's my problem with John Marston:

I always play the white knight in games with moral choice, I enjoy being the guy who's better than everyone expects or even deserves. So i played John Marston as heroically as possible, i maxed out the "good" side of the choice meter about a 1/4th into the game.

Then i went to Mexico, and i firebombed homes with the families still inside and sided with with a petty, but ruthless local dictator. I know that there was a story reason for that, but doing those horrible things, and seeing my meter just stay at 100% good just completely broke the illusion of the game for me. I just couldn't continue. It was laughable, here i am doing horrible deeds with no repercussions, but I'm still a good guy because i helped some nameless shmuck in the middle of nowhere.

Posted by AccidentalPancakes

People can say what they want about Aiden -- I personally went back and forth on him as the game went along -- but I really enjoyed the supporting characters in Watch Dogs. I thought they were a lot of fun, had great voice acting, and turned a disappointing game into one that I didn't totally regret paying full price for.

Posted by canichangemymind

He's no Alex Mercer.

Posted by Rabbykayn

I'm going to go ahead and comment on this because it's well-written. It probably won't get the attention it deserves because most of us were so damn bored of Watch_Dogs by the time it came out. Still. Insightful piece.

Posted by triviaman09

I'm shocked to hear of all the cognitive dissonance people experienced playing RDR and GTA IV. I guess that's good, in a way. I always wanted the best for those characters though, because they always felt like good people in a bad situation. Whether or not that was the case is debatable, but that's how it felt

Not so for the GTA V characters. Those dudes were pieces of shit, with the possible exception of Franklin.

Edited by mintyice

@paulunga: Hence shitty Batman and not good Punisher. A shitty Batman would totally murder everyone because he's shitty. All the right intentions but completely bungling it up

Posted by elfinke

This was a pleasure to read, Patrick. Thanks.

Posted by HeyGuys

@luck702 said:

This game, from what I hear, is lazy. It pretends like the hacking mechanic is vital to the character but fails to replace the standard open world interaction of shooting your way out of situations. The developer/publisher not being brave enough to commit to their one unique feature brings this game down severely.

Absolutely. I don't hate the game but it might be the least ambitious game I've ever played and that really touches every aspect of the game.

Posted by kashwashwa

Agree with your article. Now I feel stupid for deciding to not shoot the guy because it's something I personally wouldn't have done.

Edited by I_Stay_Puft

Watchdogs suffers from the same issue that ACIII suffered from my viewpoint. For a game that's suppose to be particularly long, players can't stand so down brooding characters. It's really, really difficult to stay up on a game when Aiden himself is probably an ass who keeps on putting those around him in trouble. Even splinter cell had similar issues until they kinda pleasanted him up by making him go all Shepart Mass Effect. I think the only character who deserved to be the main guy and brooding is Batman but only cause he's already been established for awhile as such and you kind of expect it. Ubisoft needs to take a cue from AC II and IV and give their characters personality.

Edited by InternetFamous

@fitzgerald: It's neither bad, nor is it overrated. It's a really DECENT open world game with a really bland, unlikeable protagonist. Just like Assassin's Creed was. And it's certainly not overrated, at least with the PC crowd. I see more blind, drooling hatred for Watch_Dogs than any other game in recent memory. You'd think the game was an unplayable pile of shit the way people talk about it online.

Posted by Acornactivist

Cool read, Patrick. Would love to see more of this kind of thing.

I haven't played the game myself, mostly because it's been received so tepidly. But from what I have seen and read, I probably would have done the same as you, for the same reason. A lot of games throw in player choice just because they can, but since I tend to role-play the characters based on how they have acted throughout, it doesn't seem much to me like a player choice.

A great example of player choice in an action game is Dishonored. At the end of my first play through, I had let everyone live but Havelock at the end. I "let" Corvo take him out, because I felt he had earned that kill, after sparing everyone else. It was really interesting that the game just kind of went with it, instead of forcing me down an all-or-nothing path.

I'd like to see that kind of choice show up more in games.

Posted by ElectricBoogaloo

I shot Maurice for exactly the same reasons. The choice was never an option of being good or bad, it was the games way of asking if you would adhere to its storytelling and continue Aiden's characterisation as a merciless bastard or make a choice he never would. Of course I shot him, because that's the only thing Aiden would have ever done. There was no choice, just an illusion of one, and picking anything else would have been lying to myself.

Aiden is a criminal who's painted as a hero by bad writing. I would have liked Watch Dogs a lot more if they fully embraced his criminality but they try to brush it under the rug even when it's shooting you directly in the face. Nothing is ever his fault except it always is. Everything bad that ever happens to anyone he loves is a direct result of his actions, but the game never makes him accept his role in any of it. The narrative would have been infinitely more interesting if it ever did.

Posted by BBQBram

My main issue with Watch Dogs is how it tries to be Bridge-era William Gibson but completely fails to commit and let go of the focus-tested generic action tropes.

Posted by Fram

I have no interest in playing through Watch Dogs. That said, I've really enjoyed the criticisms and discussions that have popped up since the game's release.

Posted by spraynardtatum

The only reason I feel sympathy for Aiden Pearce is because at one point he hadn't been written yet and there was hope that he could have been a something else.

Watch_Dogs needs to go back to dog school because it's dumb as a pile of rocks. Just brain-dead beyond belief.

Posted by Brendan

@ucankurbaga: I don't agree with your logic here. You, playing as Lara Croft, cannot walk up to any group of people on that island (except for your friends) without them immediately attacking with the intent to kill you. That entire game is basically self-defense. I'm assuming if you literally put yourself in her shoes you probably wouldn't see yourself as a "murderer".

Posted by SilentBob251

Felt the same way. In every game where you're given a moral option that's as black and white as this one I almost invariably pick the "good" choice. In Watch Dogs I really didn't care about Aiden. He was a miserably written character. So brooding and so vengeful even though this was all his fault. He chose this path. There wasn't even a feeling of rooting for the bad guy you might feel in a game like GTA.

In the end I pulled the trigger because Aiden is a selfish person who blames everyone else for his problems. A petulant child with a hand gun. I felt nothing in pulling that trigger because Aiden would have felt nothing. There was no satisfaction. No closer. Just another chapter in his sad attempt to blame anyone but himself.

Posted by dOm_CaTz

This game felt like an origin story of a super villain which would have been great but it was completely unintentional. Since it sold well I really wonder what a Watch Dogs 2 looks like, do they lean in on the Aiden bullshit, do they pull a (better executed) Prototype 2 and have him be the villain which I would prefer or do they just scrap everything and start anew and go the Far Cry route.

Posted by Aaron_G

I felt the same way the entire game, I never have hated a main character so much. I couldn't understand why Aiden was so upset with the consequences of his actions. He was a bad guy, and it finally caught up to him. Because of Aiden I pretty much hated Watch Dogs. It wasn't fun.

Posted by whur

This game is such garbage. It's the only time I've given a game back to gamestop for used credit.

Posted by Cydramech

One man's hero is another's criminal. I don't care if Aiden is considered an antihero or a criminal, and I won't act like he deserves redemption (protip: no one 'deserves' redemption or mercy, hence the point behind the concept of such). But for an 'asshole', I found him quite likable and enjoyable, certainly more than anyone in GTA besides C.J. & Franklin and most other modern characters (now if you want to know what characters I don't like, it's the kind like Cole in any of his directions in Infamous, whom as far as I'm concerned regardless of which directions are taken is just a typical goody-too-shoes at the end, the James Heller of Prototype 2, & the likes of Superman/Professor-X), and though I enjoyed GTAV for a while, I don't enjoy it anymore while my only problem with enjoying W_D is the lack of ability to replay each mission or some type of NG+.

On the other hand, it is implied if not explained that he doesn't have any choice continuing as he did, and more often than not there is no choice but to continue onward as a criminal in the real world (despite what your government's propa... er. peace forces may tell you). Once you're branded as a criminal, you're a criminal until the day your existence dies (not just your life, your entire existence ends in the known world). There has never been any sort of legal recourse for a criminal to even be decriminalized (only to be rehabilitated or punished), and probably won't ever be.

Maurice, on the other hand, I felt neutral towards. With respect to what he did, I left him living only because the fact is death is too easy. Want someone to suffer? Make them live; you cannot expect someone to suffer in death. But unlike Maurice, it's wrong to say Aiden didn't know what he was doing - the fact is he did know by the end it was his own fault his niece died (he acknowledged it fully in one of the final conversations with Damien).

Posted by theanticitizen

So can we all agree that Watch Dogs is a bad, overrated game now?

No. I had alot of fun with the game. I honestly spent more time playing it than I did GTA V. I just really enjoyed the mechanics and the sandboxes you were set in for the missions.

Posted by Irvandus

Haven't played Watch Dogs or ever even have a desire to but that was a great read. With all of ubisoft's strengths and employes doesn't anyone find it off that they haven't hired some awesome story writer? Like, it's a massive company. Someone must be able to write something that rates hire than a 3/5 at best story.

Posted by nasher27

@ljbrewer said:

One if the collectibles reveals that Maurice is just as much of a victim as Aiden if not more.

This. You got an audio log of Maurice with every burner phone you collected. If you actually listened to the majority of those, you end up feeling kind of bad for Maurice, or at least I did. They did a good job of providing a way to shift Aiden's contempt from Maurice to the old guy and the black guy. I guess that shows how forgettable the game's main villains were that I can only remember them as "old guy" and "black guy," huh?

I enjoyed Watch Dogs a fair bit, and I don't really understand the hatred for the game. I guess it's because I never really followed the game or watched the early footage, which seems to be most of the people who were very disappointed. Before the game came out, I was pretty skeptical even. But it came out at a time when there was a pretty severe drought of good games, especially for people who shelled out for new consoles, and I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. I purchased it for $60 and ended up trading it in for $40 about two weeks later. Totally worth it in my book, and I would / will play a sequel when it inevitably comes out in 2-3 years.

Edited by Aronleon

I gave Aiden I piece of my mind too, by not buying the game in the first place.

Posted by mrcraggle

The whole story premise never really clicked with me and it's an issue with story telling in general, not just WD. I understand these characters wanting revenge but in doing so, they often hurt others to get who they want and in the case of video games, it's often hundreds of people. In terms of narrative, these people have families, kids, partners etc yet we're just completely meant to not even notice that and instead see them as something that's in my path from A to B. Although with WD, you can be an extra special dick to innocent people and steal from their bank accounts if you so choose to do.

GTA "works" because you're playing as a scumbag to begin with, with characters you won't sympathise with through their actions as well as your own. Trevor is a psychopath who wouldn't be out of place as a villain in Batman so when we play as him, we generally feels less out of character to go on a rampage and kill people in comparison to someone like Franklin. Franklin is simply a small-time gangbanger doing petty crime and while murder is not outside of his comfort zone, it's done out of desperation after getting himself involved in something stupid often set up by Lemar and only finds himself killing more people as he becomes involved with Michael.

Posted by LucidDreams117

Absolutely right, Patrick. Very much agree. I killed the guy just because. Aiden was a killer and had no problem doing it or never once stopped to think about what he was doing. The story was such crap, but it would have been nice to see at least the main protagonist be a better man. Either that or Ubisoft should have gone the other way and just accepted this vigilante was a killer and own it!

Shame. Game really had promise at some point... something must have gotten lost on the way between the delay and what we got.

Edited by TruthTellah

So, in summary:

A bad guy kills other bad guys in a bad game.

Posted by Rabidlamb

So can we all agree that Watch Dogs is a bad, overrated game now?

I fell for the hype but in the end Watch Dogs wasn't the savior of the new generation, wasn't a game of the year contender, wasn't even the best game that starts with the letter W in the month it was released...

Posted by natureboy46

Nice piece.

I think it hits on the reason why I just couldn't get into the game. Made two concerted events but maybe played 5 hours total.

Posted by Dallas_Raines

@humanity: half of your hacking powers are super destructive. You have to use the blackouts in the story, which definitely result in the death of innocents.

Posted by MEATBALL

I just wanted to say that Aiden Pierce sucks. :P

Edited by RazeEverything

So glad i grabbed Wolfenstein instead.

Posted by Kierkegaard

@humanity said:

At one point in the past I started to write a thread about defending Watch Dogs as a good game. After several paragraphs I decided that ultimately it was a waste in time. Half the people wouldn't read this much about a game the internet along with some media have crafted into some terrible monstrosity to befall gaming - the other half would just argue with me.

Now Patrick writes this article and I don't even know why it bothers me this much. Maybe it's because Watch Dogs tried to do a lot of cool and innovative things in the open crime world genre. Maybe it's because it actually played fairly well. I guess it's because people have decided that this is the game where they will make their stand, and it's completely unwarranted. Aiden Pearce isn't an asshole. If you killed thousands of pedestrians and acted completely recklessly throughout the game then guess what, it's you, you're the asshole. Because Aiden Pearce didn't run those people over, you did. But those are just semantics. At the end of the day the protagonist of this "revenge" tale is no different than any other we've seen along the years.

What about Max Payne? What about John Marston? What about any open world game character really. I feel that Watch Dogs especially gives the player so many opportunities to do good deeds as opposed to evil ones when compared to it's contemporaries. Is Aiden a saint? No. He is a man that is consumed by revenge and often makes mistakes along the way because of his single minded obsession with punishing those responsible; but he's definitely not some monster.

Here is how much of an asshole Aiden Pearce is: he stops black market munitions trade that supplied mercs with weapons responsible for the death of police officers. He tracks down a serial killer that goes about kidnapping and murdering women. He uncovers a human trafficking ring and exposes those involved so they end up getting arrested. These are all unique side activities that don't cover the multiple gang related behavior you can put an end to if you choose to do so. Hell he even takes down Yves Guillemont in the game for running illegal DNA experiments and kidnapping on behalf of some weird Abstergo corporation.

So I'm sorry that the player you were controlling all along ended up being a huge asshole Patrick, because in my game I was very much a decent human being.

I still have not shot at a single cop in Watch Dogs. I have, however, made a lot of their cars explode. I tried to stealth all the time, but you can't sleeper-hold everyone in every scenario. Aiden does kill, sometimes indiscriminately. His entire traffic pattern control power is built around mimicking the horrible attack on Lena. Countless motorists will have died regardless of how well you drive.

Yes, the sidequests are redeemable. Personally, I made every human trafficker kneel before shooting them in the head. The game still considered them civilians. That's, like, really dark for me as a player. But that human sex trade thing was so fucked I didn't see the law as justice.

But that does not change the fact that Aiden's entire revenge scheme is poorly thought out and ultimately only helps people besides him by accident. He kills OLD IRISH GUY (who is poorly characterized no matter his real name) because he wants to, not because he really cares about anyone besides himself. His original choice to continue to endanger himself and his family by trying to find Lena's killer is the wrong move. Hundreds of deaths and wanton destruction are his fault.

He tries to use corruption to fight corruption. Christ, Aiden, maybe before all of that become a super white-hat hacker for the city, work with the cops (who have corrupt elements but are not corrupt by nature in the game), and take out CTOS and Blume from a position of ethical power.

I dunno, little rant. Honestly love the mechanics of the game and its multiplayer is seriously engaging and brilliant, but the character is a dick like the Joker pretending to be a hero like Batman.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Haven't played watch dogs, but it doesn't surprise me that Aiden is an irredeemable jerk whom the game attempts to portray as in the right.

Of course, Ubisoft is also responsible for one of my least favorite protagonists in Far Cry 3's Jason Brody, so it's not like this hasn't happened before. I know some people will also point at Connor from AC3 as a potential example, but I don't think the game pulls any punches in regards to making him come off as a self-righteous dipshit.

Posted by Bill_P

Haters gonna hate.

Posted by Dan_CiTi

It's an enjoyable game for sure, with some cool ideas, but overall it's too lifeless and shallow to do much of anything. Hopefully Watch Dogs 2 wipes the slate clean in all the right ways and makes a lot of adjustments in terms of narrative, as well as just like.....do something with the gameplay.

Posted by tescovee

despite (accidentally) running over many Chicago residents, it didn't impact the game. The act of killing is routine

Thats not the Chicago I know.... :P