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YMMV: Watch_Dogs

  • Base Breaker: Aidan's either a sympathetic main character with good motivations for revenge, a Flat Character compared to his supporting cast, or a Designated Hero who ultimately causes more harm to the city than the villains would have if left alone.
  • Best Level Ever:
    • For The Portfolio, where T-Bone and Aiden use T-Bone's traps to devastate a small army of Blume soldiers.
    • By Any Means Necessary, where Aiden storms Iraq's HQ, progressing through the tower while facing the entire Viceroys, culminating in a duel with Iraq himself on the tower's top.
    • Sometimes You Still Lose, where Damien takes over ctOS and tries to kill you with it. All the hacking tricks you've used in the past, from blowing up steam pipes to screwing with traffic lights, are now being used against you, with a healthy dose of Interface Screw besides. It all culminates in a massive city-wide blackout and Jordi's brief Face-Heel Turn.
  • Broken Base:
    • The news that Ubisoft delayed the game until Spring 2014, particular for those that pre-ordered it with the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One bundles.
    • Though thankfully not cancelled, the Wii U version has been confirmed to be delayed. After what happened in 2013 with Rayman Legends getting a delay so Ubisoft could make it multiplatform, Wii U owners are not pleased to see Ubi's basically giving them the shaft in favor of people who own other platforms. Only time will tell if the Wii U version will still hold the interest of Wii U owners, or if too many people feel burned by Ubisoft to give them another chance.
    • When the first trailer since September of 2013 appeared in early 2014, people noticed that the graphics were a noticeable downgrade compared to the 2012 and 2013 E3 footage. This has caused people to doubt whether or not to buy the game.
      • The revelation that the graphics shown in the E3 footage are still in the game files, even blatantly titled as E3 settings, has stirred up the hornet's nest again, causing three camps to rise: (1) You're pissed about the graphics and want Ubisoft to add the options in next patch. (2) You're on console, so it doesn't concern you, but you still express distaste at Ubisoft for doing it, or: (3) You don't give a crap about graphics and just want to play the damn game.
    • The news that Ubisoft will use its disparaged UPlay DRM for the PC version turned some fans off. Which turned out to be justified when UPlay did go crashing down on the game's launch day.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • So you're planning to stop a Criminal Convoy, ey? So, from all the awesome hacks you could use to stop it, what'll you use? Most likely none. Most hacks divert the course of the convoy and can mess up the tracking of them. You'll barely use any hacks to stop a convoy, besides the Steam-Pipe hack to drive them off course. Most of the time, you'll probably park your car in front of them, pull out a grenade launcher and shoot whoever isn't the target with it.
    • As much as doing fixer contracts to get money can be rewarding, you'll most likely gain 70-90% of your main income from hacking civilians, since they are easy to find and hack. With a certain skill, the game will pick out whatever target is worth it, even without your phone out. Plus, you can hack civilians anywhere and anytime, compared to a single job that limits you to the main objective.
    • If you're aiming for the achievement for finishing 40 Fixer Contracts, you can simply choose what type of contract you want to take and stick to that one mission type.
    • Unless you're fighting an enforcer, you're better off sticking to your pistol. Sure, the guns present some nice flavour and can (depending on the situation) save you. But... when a single headshot can take out most enemies, using anything that doesn't have that precision, you're better off with the 1911.
    • While we're on the subject of guns, you're better off just going straight for the highest priced weapons. Getting the cheaper ones and going up from there will clog up your inventory and make weapon switching much more annoying. Getting any grenade launcher, an automatic rifle and staying with the silenced 1911 will get you far enough in the game, to not worry about even getting anything else, besides a shotgun.
      • The Destroyer makes all car-chase missions laughably easy. While they're on a straight road, just leave your vehicle, snipe your target, run your fleeing victim over. (The last part applies only if you didn't get the headshot on the driver at the first shot.)
    • Certain hacks. Sure, having the ability to permanently incapacitate your enemy's car with a spike trap is cool and effective, but so is a steam-pipe or blockers, or a simple traffic-light hack. As much as unlocking all the hack available, they become either just convenient to use or just there for a few rare gimmicks. When hacking a veteran's comms to stun him is pretty convenient, there's nothing that stops you from just slotting the guy in the head with a pistol.
    • Getting cars in the Cars On Demand app. Sure, you could use hard-earned cash on a cool car, but why do that, when you can get just as good cars for free, that you unlock? (If only to blow money away, since the above-mentioned ATM hacking means that you'll be swimming in cash).
  • Complete Monster: Dermot "Lucky" Quinn is the leader of the Chicago South Club, a syndicate involved in human trafficking, drug dealing, and cybercrime. Before the game begins, Lucky manipulates Rose Washington and Mayor Donovan Rushmore into an affair, then manipulates the Mayor in killing Rose so he can blackmail him later for more power. In the process of obtaining this blackmail material, he sets up a hit that ends up killing Lena Pearce. Lucky also has no tolerance for failure. He kidnaps Maurice's wife and sells her as a sex slave at a human trafficking auction after Maurice fails to kill Aiden, and kills a fugitive Aiden delivers after an operation goes south. Lucky later orders his men to kill Clara Lille when he's made aware of her working against him. As he lays dying, he declares that Chicago will build a statue of him while never knowing his true criminal nature, thanks Mayor Donovan for being "stupid enough to fall in love", and states that vigilantes like Aiden will be forgotten because they don't matter.
  • Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: When several reviewers examined the motive for Aiden's Roaring Rampage of Revenge (namely, his niece Lena being killed by the villains), a few made jokes that the villains had a major What an Idiot moment by killing Lena (who had nothing to do with their crimes) instead of killing Aiden. This would be a fair criticism, if not for the fact that the villains WERE trying to kill Aiden, and Lena was unintentionally killed in the hit attempt. This is reinforced by the Hitman with a Heart being constantly wracked with guilt over killing an innocent girl when trying to kill Aiden ( and at the end, begs for Aiden to kill him out of this guilt.), and how the Big Bad didn't even know the hit meant for Aiden had killed Lena instead.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Higher level police choppers. Their snipers always have a lock on you, no matter how much you speed and swerve and can destroy your car very quickly. Also if you want to use disable skill, you have to leave your car, since in-car camera doesn't go to a right angle. Good luck doing that while being fired on by police.
    • Enforcers. They can take a lot of punishment before going down (to illustrate just how much, most of them can take several direct hits from grenades and still get back up), typically carry high-tier weaponry like full-auto shotguns, and unless you invest in the skill to do so, they can't be taken down by melee attacks. If you're spotted when there's more than one in the area, you're dead.
  • Designated Hero: Aiden can be this if you play him as a complete lunatic or Villain Protagonist who pays no attention to the collateral damage he causes while indiscriminately killing cops and bystanders. If you do a Pacifist Run he becomes an in-universe Designated Villain due to his other illegal activities. IGN sums it all up.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Privacy Invasion scene with the Cancer patient with an unborn baby is reminiscent of Breaking Bad.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Jordi, thanks to his crazy antics during the game.
    • T-Bone, the genius redneck hacker, is also loved by a lot of players.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Not technically a bug, but because of the way the drop-in multiplayer works, you can't pause or enter Focus while another player is in your game. Some players abuse this to no end, allowing them to get the jump on would-be hackers and flee before the hacker can even get their bearings.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • The Shell Game and Chess minigames can be this- luckily, the Shell Game can be made easier- crank up the brightness, and when you're asked which cup to pick, pause the game and you'll be just able to see the ball- easiest XP Boost ever.
      • You can activate Focus mode while the ball is being shuffled. This makes it much easier to follow.
    • The "Disk Space Full" achievement for unlocking all 23 songs in SongSneak. One one hand, 3 of the 23 songs that contribute to this achievement can only be obtained by profiling and hacking pedestrians, and said songs are very difficult to find; many a player has completed the entire campaign without ever finding these songs. On the other hand, people who tend to go for side-quests first may find themselves perplexed that, despite hours upon hours of searching, they're still missing three songs, not realizing that these particular three are unlocked automatically throughout story missions.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • One of the game's major themes is the lack of privacy on networks and the Internet. However, nothing about the game leaked out prior to its unveiling at E3, making it a big surprise.
    • Also keeping with the privacy theme, it was also revealed during a time where several phone and Internet companies became the center of a controversy involving said companies sharing user data with the US government.
    • Ubisoft itself was hacked several months before the game was released.
    • Pirating games carries the risk of getting a copy with malware. This is normally a virus or a trojan. The first pirated copy of Watch_Dogs to hit torrent sites had an embedded bitcoin miner, effectively turning the users' computers into money-making machines for someone else.
    • Originally the game was supposed to release in November near a certain other video game and released this ad. Yeah
  • Hype Backlash:
    • When it was announced at E3 2012? Gamers rejoiced... yet after delays, the release of Grand Theft Auto V, a trailer with downgraded graphics, news that the PC version will use the much-hated Ubisoft DRM, it seems that the game fell to this.
    • Release saw a huge backlash on three different platforms, with the PC version taking an especially large backlash. The PC version is badly ported, suffers from mouse acceleration in the menus, bad audio & voiceovers, inept AI, with mediocre graphics in terms of PC games, along with performance issues on machines with AMD cards. The current user score on Metacritic is 6.3 for PS4, 5.5 for Xbox One and 4.6 on PC.
    • This has been a common criticism leveled at the game - two years of solid hype and the game just can't live up. According to some critics who like it comes damn close, but just falls short.
    • And then there's the UPlay outage caused by server overload on the game's launch day. Hundreds of angry players vented their frustration online. Intriguingly, the PS 4 and Xbox One versions were hit by a separate problem that also knocked the games offline a few days later, earning Ubisoft the venom from console gamers as well.
  • Internet Backdraft: When a modder discovered configuration files in the PC version that, when set up the right way, produces graphics on par with the E3 demo, the metaphorical Pandora's Box was opened on the whole "downgraded graphics" issues, with many fans immediately spouting insane conspiracy theories that Sony and Microsoft had somehow paid off Ubisoft to downgrade the PC graphics deliberately in order to lessen the graphical gap between the PC and console versions. Ubisoft's response, which basically boiled down to "No we didn't", didn't help matters at all.
  • Last Lousy Point:
    • The "Social Lubricant" achievement for beating level 10 in all three Drinking Games. Said drinking games tend to be maddeningly difficult (especially the one in Pawnee), making this one of the last achievements most players get. The kicker? This is considered a low level achievement (worth only 15 GP for 360/One, or a bronze-level Trophy for PS3/PS4). Thankfully, Ubisoft listened to the feedback and released a patch that dropped the difficulty level significantly, thus making them challenging but manageable.
    • The "Traced" achievement for getting Tailed five times. Tailing is very rarely done due to the greatly reduced Notoriety/EXP earned from a successful tail vs. a successful hack, making this a Luck-Based Mission Gone Horribly Wrong. Even worse, because it's a hidden Achievement, there's no way of telling how many times you've been tailed, since unlike Hacking, you're never alerted that you're being tailed unless you try to start a mission (or you use one of the methods detailed in Good Bad Bugs above). And to make it worse? Like Social Lubricant, it's a low level achievement (Meaning those values above also apply here).
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Some make a point of pronouncing the title "Watch Underscore Dogs".
    • Others have joked about how the NSA "Scandal" may just be the most expensive game launch ever.
    • Due to the name "Watch_Dogs" it's not rare to see someone call it "Watch_Doge" or referring to the game as someone literally watching dogs.
      • Alongside this, calling it "Wash Dogs" or inserting a dog head over Aiden in promotional art.
  • Moral Event Horizon: While Damien was never a nice person, he cements himself as an irredeemable madman when he kidnaps Nicky just because Aiden didn't want to work with him anymore.
  • Most Annoying Sound: The cat yowl in the "down and out" parts of the city. Oddly, the ambient sound design for the city environment is just one long loop, so apparently a cat screams every few minutes, on the minute, in the more destitute parts of Chicago.
  • Narm: Aiden's delivery of the line "I hack the city" in the trailer is something that just can't be taken seriously.
  • Paranoia Fuel: This game runs on this fuel, and its Facebook messages sure don't help. The fuel is so strong that it got its own page.
  • Porting Disaster: The PC version of the game has been criticized for poor controls and mediocre graphics optimization. The latter problem occurs in gaming rigs since the game was purposefully made to run on NVidia hardware, and NVidia hardware only. Gamers with AMD graphic cards experience framerate drops and crashing/freezing galore, even if they can run other games on the highest setting flawlessly. Even on NVidia hardware, it runs wonky. There is no baseline 60fps frame rate lock, the frame rate just goes as high as the hardware allows. Pop-in that is surprisingly low on the console versions runs rampant in the PC version.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The hacking mini-game is loathed by a significant number of players because it interrupts the flow of the story, it pops up often, and it can't be skipped.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Between the side missions, random crime events, AR Games, Digital Trips, and online modes, there are plenty of ways to spend hours in this game and barely touch the main storyline.
    • This has become the main view for many players who like the game, they stick around for everything else. Though others complain at the fact that all these side missions do absolutely nothing for the main game.
  • So Okay, It's Average:
    • A not-uncommon opinion of Watch Dogs is that it's not necessarily bad, but it's not really great either.
    • A lot of flak is leveled at the protagonist, Aiden Pearce, for being not nearly as interesting as the other characters. Lovable sociopath Jordi, genius redneck T-Bone, tormented triggerman Maurice, creepy-as-fuck Lucky Quinn...
    • Another YMMV, may be the opinion of Last-Gen buyers of Watch_Dogs. Bugs that sometimes render hacks useless, or physics that seem to bounce around to place, to two game-modes being exclusive to Next-Gen buyers (being Decryption and Online Free Roam).
    • As the Super Bunnyhop reviewer stated, "I really liked this game, but that 'like' comes with a lot of qualifying statements!" For every awesome thing you have in this game, there's some element to it that doesn't integrate with the others or come off so well.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Of Daniel Suarez' Daemon. Aiden Pearce is essentially Matthew Sobol minus the terminal cancer that forced him to empower Brian Gragg AKA Loki Stormbringer as his successor in his war against corruption.
  • Squick:
    • The ctznOS vid of a 28 year old virgin with a collection of fleshlights, while he's using them.
    • Varying on the facts you can find on people, privacy invasions, and profiling criminals after you've taken them down, and reveal some... pretty nasty facts...
    • One privacy invasion is of a man masturbating at his computer. He's profiled as a single father. Cue his baby child screaming until he gets up and takes care of him/her... without washing his hands.
  • Tainted by the Preview:
    • The downgrade of the graphics in the 2014 footage caused some people to lose interest in buying the game.
    • Serveral PC gameplay videos that were uploaded prior/on game launch, have presented some rather... weird physics and game mechanics. Right from trains stopping when the player is close to them, which seems to be absent from console versions, to water not reacting to bullets. Although some pointed out that some of these were likely due to being from a leaked copy of the game- most players haven't reported any major glitches.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Certain Digital Trips can be a pain to complete or even play. Psychedelic becomes increasing difficult and starts throwing you blind jumps, having to guess where to land. Madness and Spider-Tank are a long stretch of objectives you have to complete within a certain time frame. The Spider-Tank is much more forgiving, being shorter and easier (16 objectives), while Madness is long and can easily be screwed up (29 objectives, with the same 4 objectives). Alone is more stealth based, but the streets (depending on your generation of consoles) can lack cars that can give vital cover. Getting spotted usually grants an instant game-over, unless you invest in certain skills or get to weapon-caches.
    • Poker can be outright tedious if you're trying to get the reward for clearing out an entire table, even with being able to hack cameras to look at other players cards and gauge their stress level (to determine whether or not they're bluffing), a game can still go on for at least a couple of hours. On the other hand, sometimes you just happen to get a string of lucky hands- just like in real cards.
    • The Drinking game can be a pain if you're trying to get the achievement for beating it at level 10, as you have a ridiculous amount of buttons to press and very little time to do it in while also fighting through the Interface Screw. A patch released later in the year dropped the difficulty level significantly, to much rejoicing from the fans.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: A fair few critics have the opinion that Aiden Pearce is one of the less interesting characters in the game, despite being the main character. This is mainly due to his tendency to speak the obvious during his internal monologues, as well as his Guttural Growler voice not lending itself to great emotional delivery. Coupling that with the fact that his allies are all much more colourful and dynamic characters, it wasn't long before accusations of "boring", "unoriginal" and "flat" started flying in Aiden's direction.
  • What an Idiot:
    • The Government linking everything into CtOS, not considering security problems that might occur. Even pacemakers!
    • Aiden himself. He wouldn't be stuck in the trouble he's in, if he had listened to Damien in the first place. Sure, Damien isn't the most trustful person and he majors in being a dickhead, but when it's someone you've worked with before and know he's a little on edge, maybe the best thing isn't to show it in his face. He also could have saved himself some time by abducting Damien the first time they meet in-game. For a supposed genius social engineer, Aiden's not good at seeing obvious villains.

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