I Don't Think You Deserve Redemption, Aiden Pearce

#201 Posted by EveretteScott (1515 posts) -

Haters gonna hate.

This doesn't supply any form of opinion you have.

#202 Posted by Encephalon (1282 posts) -

@humanity: If it makes you feel better (and, frankly, it sounds like you need to feel better), you can choose to view the critical backlash against Watch Dogs as the impotent bleating of games press outlets which have been confronted - like movie critics in the wake of a Transformers film - with the limits of their own influence. Watch Dogs sold very well, not just for a new IP but for anything, and its metacritic average is hovering somewhere around 80.

I wouldn't touch Watch Dogs with a ten-foot pole, but the game is, by any metric that Ubisoft gives a shit about, a smashing success.

#203 Posted by GreyFoxV1 (72 posts) -

I'm so glad I sold my key for this game in exchange for Assassins Creed: Black Flag. It seems like such a bust especially with such a shitty protagonist.

#204 Edited by Brodehouse (10066 posts) -
@bobtoad1 said:

@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.

Think of it this way. It's actually perfect, because even if you were Marston del Fuego Diabolous to the people in Mexico, when you return home to America, you're still good ole John Marston.

I've only seen the first 15 minutes of Watch Dogs. Aiden seems like a trained espionage person and his behavior and personality seems pretty standard for espionage fiction.

#205 Edited by dr_mantas (1973 posts) -

Heh. Could have written a similar article after GTA IV came out.

#206 Posted by Shindig (532 posts) -

With games like this, isn't it better just to give you a blank canvas of a character to work with? Then if you write character-related stuff, you relate it to their actions, rather than writing the arc from the get-go and giving you no room to move.

#207 Posted by Quantris (285 posts) -

@fitzgerald said:

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

Given that pretty much everyone knew it was just an average game on launch, I don't feel like it is overrated. Definitely overhyped in the months pre-launch.

#208 Posted by HeyGuys (536 posts) -
@irvandus said:

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.

Well there's the thing really. What's good writing to Ubisoft? It's whatever sells games. Some of the problems with Aiden and the writing in Watch_Dogs in general comes from the feel that they've been revised, focus tested, and made to appeal to core demographics as much as possible while also ironing out all the edges that might drive away anyone else. It goes so far that the game feels hollow and incoherent at times.

#209 Posted by probablytuna (3724 posts) -
@bobtoad1 said:

@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.

Huh, touche. To be honest I don't even remember what happened in Mexico, but the things you mentioned certainly make John Marston pretty shitty.

#210 Posted by Encephalon (1282 posts) -

@probablytuna: It's more that Marston was being an errand boy for shitty people in exchange for favors that they clearly have no intention of reimbursing, as is the custom in Rockstar games.

I got the impression that having three protagonists in GTAV was their attempt to get away from that, by allowing for more self-motivated missions, but you still do a whole lot of thankless dirty work for obvious scumbags in that game.

#211 Posted by Xpgamer7 (2383 posts) -

I feel like often the situations don't acknowledge the moral byproducts they cause. Shut down a staduim? It's an emergency. Kill a few people? Byproduct of open world games and irrelevant to the story since there's no associated cutscene. And not just this one. MOST games. The hero is the relatable, good willed hero. Rarely an anti-hero He/She always does the "right" thing, and is just fun enough to be enjoyable. We celebrated The Last of Us for bucking many of these trends. So I find it weird how much we're kicking Watch Dogs when it's just following the pack. After all that seems like what it's good at.

#212 Posted by Humanity (9576 posts) -

@humanity: If it makes you feel better (and, frankly, it sounds like you need to feel better), you can choose to view the critical backlash against Watch Dogs as the impotent bleating of games press outlets which have been confronted - like movie critics in the wake of a Transformers film - with the limits of their own influence. Watch Dogs sold very well, not just for a new IP but for anything, and its metacritic average is hovering somewhere around 80.

I wouldn't touch Watch Dogs with a ten-foot pole, but the game is, by any metric that Ubisoft gives a shit about, a smashing success.

I was thinking of coming up something equally snarky and passive aggressive but decided against it, it's what the holy Rorie would have wanted. Maybe one day you can get over whatever issues you have with Ubisoft or Watch Dogs and actually play the game - it's fun and well made and I'm sure any fan of open world games would enjoy it as long as they can approach it with an open mind.

I'm aware that the game sold fairly well which makes me happy because they laid out a really solid foundation with this first game that can really be something awesome if they continue to build on it. So I'm hoping they'll make a sequel, which wouldn't be too surprising. Maybe by that time that pole of yours will get a little shorter.

Online
#213 Posted by TheAcidSkull (556 posts) -

I'm not really getting all of this hate. If I understand correctly, you guys hate Aiden because you played him like an asshole? How the fuck does that make sense. The parts where the player kills millions of civilians is not part of Aidens character, it's not part of the story, it's just you having fun. If I go on a rampage and slaughter everyone how is that the characters fault? And is this the only time when something like this is possible? What about prototype? or GTA? Mafia? Saint rows? Why don't the main characters get hate in thous games? Why do people love Trevor in GTA 5, who is actually a crazy fucker and kills people? Don't get me wrong, not saying he's a bad character but why is it okay to give so many protagonist a pass while hating on Aiden for the exact same reason?

I just don't seem to get it.

#214 Edited by Y2Ken (1177 posts) -

Thanks for the article, Patrick. A good read. I actually like the idea of videogames where your protagonist turns out to be kind of the biggest asshole, but it sounds as though even if that was what they were going for they didn't handle it especially well.

There's still some things about that game that seem really neat, but then there's a collection of bullet points on the other side that put me right off it.

#215 Edited by positron (44 posts) -

I don't have to identify with a protagonist in a game any more than I do in a book or a film to enjoy it. Watchdogs is a poorly written game. It's hard to feel any strong emotion one way or the other when this is the case.

And there's nothing wrong with having a bad guy as a protagonist in any medium.

#216 Posted by spilledmilkfactory (1888 posts) -

Totally agree, Watch_Dogs was an utterly mediocre game and Aiden was a boring reckless dickhead of a protagonist. I don't mind morally grey or skillfully inept protagonists (that's what made the movie Blue Ruin fun, for example) and I even like role-playing jerks in some RPGs, but my big problem with the ending is that it doesn't feel like Aiden gets the end he deserves. There's no growth or poetic justice there. If anything, the rest of his family should die too because he just kept repeating the same mistakes, and then he could go on to become the villain of the inevitable Watch_Dogs 2.

#217 Posted by Lucifunk (14 posts) -

I also felt that the sister was kind of a sociopath as well. She seems to hold no real animosity to Aiden's total destruction of her and her son's lives or the reprehensible shit he gets up to. I can't remember another game I enjoyed the gameplay as much as I hated the writing in as this one. I hope a sequel abandons him and picks up on a new protagonist.

#218 Posted by Jedo (138 posts) -

I guess is the fact that the game pretends to make his actions good and not in the fact that they are actually bad. We have no problem when GTA guy mows down prostitutes because there is no pretention that he is something other than what you make them to be. If they clearly gave Aiden the attitude "I am going to have my revenge and I do not give a shit about anyone else because this is all about me" then there wouldn't be as much hate perhaps?

#219 Posted by Jedo (138 posts) -

In fact, now that I think about it, this game makes sense. I haven't played the thing, but when you seek out revenge and you have the power to accomplish it, then it is a totally plausable outcome that you will end up causing more damage and pain than your revenge is worth. Revenge is not about the person who is being avenged, it's about the person doing the avenging, his feelings. Again the problem is probably the artificial pretention that this guy's character is something other than what it is.

#220 Posted by DedBeet (301 posts) -

I actually can't enjoy games when I can't identify with the main character. GTA, Red Dead Redemption, God of War...there are a number of games where your main character is such an irredeemably horrible human being that I just don't want to play through them. Watch Dogs has this exact same vibe to me, and it's made me not even want to give it a shot even though I got it free with my video card. After playing just the intro, I'm already done with it.

Nice write up. I definitely have felt that way about characters and stories in games before.

Wow, no love for John Marsten? That's a shame as I found him to be fairly redeemed at the point in the game where you meet him.

#221 Posted by aktivity (44 posts) -

I'm not really getting all of this hate. If I understand correctly, you guys hate Aiden because you played him like an asshole? How the fuck does that make sense. The parts where the player kills millions of civilians is not part of Aidens character, it's not part of the story, it's just you having fun. If I go on a rampage and slaughter everyone how is that the characters fault? And is this the only time when something like this is possible? What about prototype? or GTA? Mafia? Saint rows? Why don't the main characters get hate in thous games? Why do people love Trevor in GTA 5, who is actually a crazy fucker and kills people? Don't get me wrong, not saying he's a bad character but why is it okay to give so many protagonist a pass while hating on Aiden for the exact same reason?

I just don't seem to get it.

It mostly comes down to how they're trying to portray a character versus the action he commits in story/side missions. Like Aiden looking down on criminals, while going around plundering peoples bank accounts. Saint's Row for example can get away with it, because the main character is a sociopath. His complete disregard for human lives, make it so his actions don't clash with his character. Personally I didn't hate Aiden, I just found him to be bland and forgettable. The game was still decent though.

#222 Posted by Goldone (77 posts) -

@humanity said:

it's fun and well made and I'm sure any fan of open world games would enjoy it as long as they can approach it with an open mind.

I'm aware that the game sold fairly well which makes me happy because they laid out a really solid foundation with this first game that can really be something awesome if they continue to build on it.

I really like open world games, hell I like a lot of ubisoft games but Watch_dogs didn't do it for me, like other have said it partially came down to writing and not liking the character. Every section I could I tried to play using stealth or the hacking stuff, kinda treating it like a mini puzzle of some sort by seeing how I could get out of a situation without using guns. But the moment I had to use guns I stopped having fun, I can't really put my finger on it but there was something about the gunplay in that game that really turned me off, the driving too actually, hated how the cars handled.

I don't think the game was a steaming turd or the worst thing ever like a lot of people, I thought it was ok, but just ok. I had an annoying glitch where one of the side missions wouldn't show up (the ammo one I think) and the side activities I did do were just boring so I stopped doing them after a while. I also didn't like how I'd go to start a mission and the online would kick in making me have to deal with this guy invading my game before I could continue, but if I disable it I lose those skills I've gained.

I do however hope it gets a sequel so they can improve upon it but right now I do regret buying the game at full price and honestly don't know if I'd pick up a sequel unless it's in a sale somewhere.

#223 Edited by stoodspoon (646 posts) -

Wow Aiden Pierce just wow. Also brilliant article Scoops

#224 Posted by Soulglove (145 posts) -

You almost always play as a bad guy in open world games. Killing = bad, no matter the means, even if it's only bad guys you are killing. It may be just, it may be to better the world, but it's no less bad. Agent 47. Assassin. His contracts are almost always to kill a target who is a real bad person; bad for the world, bad for others. But he gets paid, so he does it. He doesn't actually have a moral compass because he was cloned and program for the very purpose to kill.

#225 Posted by Tennmuerti (8134 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@zeik said:

@impossibilium: The point is that there is no non-dick path. There is no way to complete the objectives of the game without being a dick to someone somewhere. You only get to choose how much of a dick you are.

And even then, the choices range from complete dickwad to total asshole. There's no "well-meaning vigilante" here. Just a selfish cretin that threatens the lives and safety of numerous innocents to avenge a single death.

I had no interest playing Watchdogs whatsoever until this article and reading the comments.

But now I do. Very much so.

I'm tired of playing good guys, or loveable assholes, or han solos, the self defense excuses all that bullshit. People seem to be saying Aiden is a selfish dick and a piece of shit. That actually sounds 99% more interesting then your average videogame protagonist. Playing the bad guy, I want to do that.

(and not the psychopath type of stuff Infamous: SS does, or Kratos for example, but everything i've read here so far, paints a picture of a somewhat realistic and believable bad guy, a bad guy going down that road naturally)

#226 Posted by Rasmoss (458 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@zeik said:

@impossibilium: The point is that there is no non-dick path. There is no way to complete the objectives of the game without being a dick to someone somewhere. You only get to choose how much of a dick you are.

And even then, the choices range from complete dickwad to total asshole. There's no "well-meaning vigilante" here. Just a selfish cretin that threatens the lives and safety of numerous innocents to avenge a single death.

I had no interest playing Watchdogs whatsoever until this article and reading the comments.

But now I do. Very much so.

I'm tired of playing good guys, or loveable assholes, or han solos, the self defense excuses all that bullshit. People seem to be saying Aiden is a selfish dick and a piece of shit. That actually sounds 99% more interesting then your average videogame protagonist. Playing the bad guy, I want to do that.

(and not the psychopath type of stuff Infamous: SS does, or Kratos for example, but everything i've read here so far, paints a picture of a somewhat realistic and believable bad guy, a bad guy going down that road naturally)

That would be fine but the game doesn't know he is a bad guy. It tries to sell him as a basically good, if flawed, guy, and it just doesn't add up with what he actually does. There is no consistency to his character, one moment he is handwringing over the moral grey area he inhabits, the next he is icing fools in cold blood. One second he is doing criminal work and stealing cancer patients' money without a second thought, the next he is rescuing civilians out of burning cars. And he does this all in this charmless monotone that mostly makes him seem sort of bored.

#227 Posted by HeyGuys (536 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@zeik said:

@impossibilium: The point is that there is no non-dick path. There is no way to complete the objectives of the game without being a dick to someone somewhere. You only get to choose how much of a dick you are.

And even then, the choices range from complete dickwad to total asshole. There's no "well-meaning vigilante" here. Just a selfish cretin that threatens the lives and safety of numerous innocents to avenge a single death.

I had no interest playing Watchdogs whatsoever until this article and reading the comments.

But now I do. Very much so.

I'm tired of playing good guys, or loveable assholes, or han solos, the self defense excuses all that bullshit. People seem to be saying Aiden is a selfish dick and a piece of shit. That actually sounds 99% more interesting then your average videogame protagonist. Playing the bad guy, I want to do that.

(and not the psychopath type of stuff Infamous: SS does, or Kratos for example, but everything i've read here so far, paints a picture of a somewhat realistic and believable bad guy, a bad guy going down that road naturally)

Eh, I'd say the game really treats him as a kind of tragic hero rather than a less than diabolical bad guy. He's the prototype angsty loner that they think the core demo loves but with all of the edges filed off to make him adaptable to other people's tastes.

#228 Edited by CaptainFunny (17 posts) -

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.

This is totally wrong. Did you even pay attention to the game, @patrickklepek?

Can't say I really like this article.

#229 Posted by subyman (646 posts) -

Great writeup Patrick. I felt nearly the same way about Aiden. I completely dislike him, even hate him more than any character I've ever played in a game. If Ubisoft was trying to make him into a heroic figure, even an antihero, they completely failed. He is a psychopath and I don't care to enter his world again. The one dimensional, stereotypes that filled the rest of the character roster seemed fitting for one of the poorest written games I've ever played.

The writing was so bad that I crossed the line between hearing the dialog through the characters and instead thought about the writers penning it. Hopefully Ubisoft takes the writing team seriously on the next game.

#230 Posted by flippyandnod (398 posts) -

I thought the game was fine. It's definitely not great like we all hoped, but it's a fine game. I enjoyed 100%ing (well, nearly) about as much as I enjoyed doing the same to Saints Row 2 and a heck of a lot more than Assassin's Creed 3.

As to Aiden, the character is a complete mess. None of the moralizing works. I can just envision the team meetings that led to the stuff with shooting cops in the knee. The game is going to make you fight cops, but they had to figure out how to put in some tiny form of agency so as to keep from completely bursting your bubble as to whether you're the good guy.

In the end, it just doesn't work. The game never reaches the lofty goals it seemed to aim for. It has a lot of good elements though. I enjoyed this game a lot more than Assassin's Creed 1 and that game led to the excellent Assassin's Creed 2. So I have hope that Ubisoft can take what ideas they've developed for this game and make a much better sequel all around.

I'd be fine if it dropped Aiden though. They killed all the other characters, let this one go too.

#231 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

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.

This is totally wrong. Did you even pay attention to the game, @patrickklepek?

Can't say I really like this article.

How is it wrong?

#232 Edited by stoodspoon (646 posts) -

John Marston is just in a bad situation and is forced to work for these horrible people holding his family hostage in Red Dead Redemption. Aiden is way way way more unlikable because he care nothing for his family and friends, cares only for himself and his niece's blood is on his own hands because he is a criminal

#233 Posted by JimC (3 posts) -

Brilliant article, articulated perfectly the game's inherent absurdity.

The greatest moment of irony comes at the end of the serial killer side quest chain. In the climactic final mission Aiden confronts and kills a mentally ill serial killer. In his VO, ole throaty takes pity on the killer as someone driven to madness, not totally in control of his actions who inherently wanted to be caught and killed.

The writing tries to be so clever and reflective it ends up just parodying itself. The only thing that would redeem this apocalyptic fuckwittery would be if a third serial killing maniac enters the screen that very moment and brutally murders the player before stealing from your bank account and finally turning to the camera to wink and nod.

This third killer should also be the vacant, monosyllabic, 'sympathy proxy' Jacks.

#234 Posted by Twisted_Scot (1180 posts) -

I chose not to shoot Maurice. I had been picking up the audio logs throughout the game (to try and break up the monotony between missions) and found most of Maurice's. They shine a little light onto him as a character and attempt to explain why he did what he did in more detail as well as show the guilt he was left with afterwards. It was this i feel aimed me more to the choice at the end than anything else. I felt it drew some parallels to Aiden and with the voiceover from him after the logs had played I got a sense that the character began to see that too. It seemed odd that this relationship was explored more through the logs and not the main story other than a throwaway meeting at the start and an after-the-credits scene at the end. I wonder if I would have made the same choice if i had not found the logs or if I would have cared much at all.

#236 Posted by thesuzukimethod (4 posts) -

Watch_dogs is an origin story, it just happens to the be the origin story for a (hacker)super criminal. We're used to this in GTA games, but the framing of the story (niece, etc.) made it seem like it could go the route of (red-dead) redemption, should you so choose. That actually wasn't an option...

I spared Maurice but mainly because I was exhausted from all the gunplay at that point...At least with running over civilians you could choose to be careful...by the few final missions make you into a full-blown cop killing sociopath or you are almost certain to repeatedly fail missions. but again, this is a super-criminal villain origin story...even if that's not what Ubi intended.

#237 Posted by Haze (376 posts) -

I wish Ubi would put out that mythological PC performance patch so I could decide if I like this game or not.

Online
#238 Edited by WiredFolf (89 posts) -

@lucifunk: Thank you! That was probably the one element of the story that frustrated me the most. Aiden gets Lena killed and then obsesses over finding her killer even when his sister, Lena's mother, says to stop. Not only does he refuse but gets her kidnapped and destroys their lives. AND SHE IS FUCKING OKAY WITH THAT!!!

I was on the edge of my seat at that goodbye part of the story, begging for her to stare Aiden in the eye and tell him how she hated him for ruining their lives. BUT NOPE!!! It's a mildly bittersweet understanding farewell.

#240 Posted by HockeyJohnston (72 posts) -

I've never seen a game handle narrative player choices in a satisfying way, even the ones that seem to be explicitly built around the concept. At best it kinda-sorta works, and mostly you get the Red Dead thing where one of the core mechanics (shooting lots of dudes) works at cross purposes with the story.

#241 Edited by megalowho (972 posts) -

@tennmuerti said:

@hailinel said:

@zeik said:

@impossibilium: The point is that there is no non-dick path. There is no way to complete the objectives of the game without being a dick to someone somewhere. You only get to choose how much of a dick you are.

And even then, the choices range from complete dickwad to total asshole. There's no "well-meaning vigilante" here. Just a selfish cretin that threatens the lives and safety of numerous innocents to avenge a single death.

I had no interest playing Watchdogs whatsoever until this article and reading the comments.

But now I do. Very much so.

I'm tired of playing good guys, or loveable assholes, or han solos, the self defense excuses all that bullshit. People seem to be saying Aiden is a selfish dick and a piece of shit. That actually sounds 99% more interesting then your average videogame protagonist. Playing the bad guy, I want to do that.

(and not the psychopath type of stuff Infamous: SS does, or Kratos for example, but everything i've read here so far, paints a picture of a somewhat realistic and believable bad guy, a bad guy going down that road naturally)

As others have mentioned, I think you've got the wrong impression of the character based on folks having a negative reaction to his behavior. The tone is all over the place and the game doesn't treat him like a bad guy or an unlikeable person, resulting in a disconnect that makes the intended characterization of Cool Vigilante Man fall so flat. On top of that there is very little in the way of realistic or nuanced motivation in either direction, Aiden's most defining characteristics are being a video game protagonist in a silly coat with a gruff voice.

#242 Posted by HandsomeHubby (7 posts) -

This game just felt completely written before any of the game had been developed. With Red Dead Redemption, that people brought up in this thread, I had really felt a *REAL* moral quandary at the end of that game. ESPECIALLY in the way that that game makes you seek out that particular revenge. (at the *very* end). And how completely unsatisfying it is. But you just felt you knew how shitty it would feel. But you just had to do it. You couldn't help yourself. You felt like not pulling the trigger would be betraying everything. I had to. Just like there was no fucking way I'd ever side with a mark ass trick like PlayboyX.

Everything in Watchdogs felt fake and forced.

#243 Edited by Brackynews (4090 posts) -

Fundamentally this sounds like Spec Ops: The Line (which I enjoyed) but with more bandannas.

Permanently putting W_D on my Don't Bother list.

#244 Posted by Zarx (8 posts) -

While I think everyone can agree that Watch Dogs is a deeply flawed game especially when it comes to narrative. I still had fun with it, for all it's flaws there are some neat elements mixed in with the bad dialog and samey Ubisoft Open World Design™.

But on the topic of the article I don't think that Aiden was ever supposed to be a hero. He was never meant to be Han Solo or Batman no he is the Punisher, he is an antihero. As far as I can see he is a sociopath (not text book but certainly exhibits psychopathic behavior) who does illegal and dangerous things regardless of the consequence despite everyone around him telling him to stop. He starts out as a hacker and a thief and when his actions lead to the death of his niece he doesn't stop, he doesn't disappear. No he explicitly targets targets the people that he knows are willing to stop at nothing to get rid of him. His sister begs him to leave it in the past, to stop his criminal dealings and everyone around him tells him that what he is doing will inevitably lead to disaster. but he continues to lie and steal and begins to murder everyone in his path for revenge regardless of the consequences.

#245 Edited by Karkarov (3172 posts) -

Uh man I like the article @patrickklepek I really do but I think this is a perspective question.

Super huge spoiler bomb incoming.

First we have to look at the whole picture. Was Aiden a "bad guy" when the game starts? Sure, he is a thief and is trying to steal a ton of money. That said why does he get targeted by the games Criminal Conspiracy Masterminds? Because he was at the Merlaunt to steal a ton of money? Because he killed people (no evidence to indicate he did prior to the game start)? No. It was because he accidentally stumbled onto blackmail material during the heist, which was conducted entirely digitally with no evidence that Aiden even had a gun on him.

Why is his sister kidnapped and nephew targetted? Is it the police trying to get at him for his vigilante activities? Is it even this criminal conspiracy trying to get leverage on him? No. It is his old partner wanted to get back at him for a perceived betrayal and to force him to do a job. Did he actually betray his old partner? No. Is it his old partner who caused them to get caught by going after the blackmail material when Aiden said to stop the heist in the first place? Yes.

Of all the people targeting him in the games world... most of them are actually doing it unjustly. He did not betray his partner he simply refused to work with him anymore because he was too reckless. He never actually had the blackmail materials that he was targeted for trying to steal and had they simply let him leave town he never would have gone looking for it or become the "vigilante". I will also mention the police who are justly after him for being a vigilante are never once targeted by a mission at any point in the game except for the prison mission which clearly showed the police at the prison were corrupt and mistreating the prisoners from the get go. So you can't feel but so bad about him killing them.

The key to Aiden's actual character comes at multiple points in the game but many are early on and you pointed out the biggest in your article. When he is threatening Maurice the gun isn't even loaded meaning he never actually planned to shoot him in the first place. He didn't just outright kill his old partner even though he could have and had lots and lots of motive to do so. When you meet Jordi outside an apartment during a mission and realize he has two civilians inside tied up Aiden actually acts surprised and wants to know what is going on, at least initially. When you are leading Bedbug through the Viceroys hideout and he gets nailed at the end Aiden actually shows relief when he finds out he is okay and didn't get killed.

I am not saying Aiden is a "nice guy". I am not even saying he is a hero. I am saying it comes down to the player more than you are giving it credit for and even though Aiden does lots of asshole things during the game like raising a bridge in traffic is that really Aiden... or is it you the player choosing to do that to evade the cops? When you hack some civilian for money even though they are unemployed and have cancer is Aiden doing that.... or is it you?

Much of what makes Aiden a right asswipe is not actually scripted at all.

One last thing though... Is the reason Aiden takes such a crazy hard core path and behaves like he has blinders in the game because he actually does blame himself for his nieces death and will do anything to redeem that? Yes.

#246 Posted by Rasmoss (458 posts) -

@karkarov: Aiden decides to kill his old partner, the partner just kidnaps his sister before he can do it.

#247 Posted by andrewboza (20 posts) -

I shot him too. My thought was: I have killed countless people already, so why should this be a significant emotional event?

#248 Posted by TucoRamires (9 posts) -

Of course you pull the trigger.
It's not as if we were short of vilains.How many other innocents did that guy kill before as well?
And how many would he kill later?
But the main problem is him saying all the time "Oh you don't know how powerfull these guys are..." and never telling more.You can spare few lives if it can help save many others,but obiviously,this dude has nothing to say.

#249 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2887 posts) -

What is bad about the game is not the game it is the story and the character motivations. They try to sell Aiden as hero, but while he is doing horrible things in a city full of decent people.

If they story was all the cops were corrupt, many of the city workers were complicit in privacy invasion, and some of the citizen were bigger jerks than an Aiden with a devil-may-care vigilante attitude would at least make sense.

The developers chickened out....probably. They might have put guns in a game that probably didn't have them in the original design doc. They 'livened' but Aiden's skills with hacks that caused as much 'destruction' as possible...a cop car coming to rising barriers doesn't screech to a halt...it smashed into it destroying it because that looks good.

The game should have done three things that it doesn't do now. All weapons in Aiden's inventory should have been hacks or non-lethal smoke/flash bangs that allow him to escape. Aiden can only steal money from criminals, and the cars he can commandeer should have been drone taxi cabs or ZipCars (rental drone cars with no occupants). Finally much more effort should have been made to give Aiden a back story and friends/accomplices that were interesting.

#250 Posted by KDR_11k (143 posts) -

Walker: "I didn't want to hurt anyone!"

Konrad: "Nobody ever does."

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