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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Some believe Aiden Pearce to be a Flat Character while others argue he's a perfectly fine one but lacks depths. A third faction, however, believes that Aiden may actually be a Deconstruction of traditional The Atoner Anti-Hero protagonists by pointing out he's a raging Hypocrite for being a vigilante while associating with career criminals as well as doing similar crimes himself. Likewise, he claims to be doing his vigilante work for his family but, in fact, is endangering them worse than ever. In this, he's sort of a Expy of Edward Kenway. Only, instead, he's a hacker instead of a pirate. Indeed, this later motivation has even generated some blog posts dedicated to the subject. Later, this fan theory was confirmed via Word of God. Which just shifted the debate to whether Ubsisoft was pulling a Parody Retcon.
  • Acceptable Targets:
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    • Human traffickers. In fact, there is an entire mission where you not only rescue the victims but kill anyone involved in this vile business.
    • The Irish Mob, since they are represented in the game by the Chicago South Club.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Iraq becomes this if you have the Destroyer sniper rifle.
  • Awesome Music: The shootout in "For the Portfolio" is set to "Jesus Built My Hotrod" by Ministry.
  • Base-Breaking Character: At the time of release, Aiden was considered in one of three main camps. 1) a sympathetic main character with good motivations for revenge, 2) a Flat Character compared to his supporting cast, or 3) a Designated Hero who ultimately causes more harm to the city than the villains would have if left alone. A small fourth group hated him so much that they considered him one of the worst video game protagonists of all time. Much like the game itself however, opinion toward him has softened over time, though he retains detractors and haters.
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  • Best Level Ever: One of the coolest applications of the hacking gameplay is being able to take over a ctOS control center without ever setting foot inside, simply by manipulating cameras and moving personnel into just the right spot.
  • Breather Level: "Grandma's Bulldog". The mission is purely camera hacking; no combat, no sneaking, so the only possible way to fail is to take too long hacking some of the firewalls. The level is mostly there for you to spy on the Viceroys and learn more about the chapter's primary baddies, while also developing Aiden and Clara's relationship.
  • Broken Base: When the first trailer since September of 2013 appeared in early 2014, people noticed that the graphics had a noticeable downgrade compared to the 2012 and 2013 E3 footage. This 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, stirred up the hornet's nest, causing three camps to rise: (1) You're pissed about the graphics and wanted Ubisoft to add the options in a patch. (2) You're on console, so it didn't concerned 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.
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  • Catharsis Factor: As mentioned above, the reason A Risky Bid is such a great mission is how satisfying it feels to kill everyone involved in the depraved business of human trafficking.
  • 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. Especially once you unlock the second level of the ATM hacking upgrade where NPCs with the rich bank account trait can yield payouts well over $10,000 a pop.
    • 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 else is essentially pointless, especially since the pistol is the only silenced weapon that won't give away your position to enemies.
    • 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).
    • Similarly: buying weapons can be fun and god knows you can afford it with how fast money builds up but it feels like a waste when you can also acquire new weapons for free by killing enemies equipped with them and taking their gun. Especially since you start the game with the silenced 1911, one of the most useful and versatile weapons in your arsenal.
  • Complete Monster: Dermot "Lucky" Quinn is the leader of the Chicago South Club, a syndicate involved in Human Trafficking, drug dealing, and cybercrime. Lucky orchestrates the affair between Rose Washington and Mayor Donovan Rushmore, and manipulates the Mayor into killing Rose so he can blackmail him for power. When Lucky notices hacker Aiden Pearce and believes him to be after his blackmail material, Lucky orders Maurice to kill him, which ends with the attempt failing and Maurice accidentally killing Aiden's niece, much to Lucky's apathy and responds to Maurice's failure by kidnapping his wife and selling her as a Sex Slave. Lucky would personally kill a fugitive Aiden delivers after an operation goes south, and later orders a hit on Clara Lille when he's made aware of her working against him. Upon dying, he declares that Chicago will build a statue of him while never knowing his criminal nature, and mocks Aiden that no one stopped for his grieving family because they don't matter.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Critics of the game generally cite this trope as one of its flaws. The vile behavior of the city's populace, as shown in Privacy Invasions, coupled with Aiden's lack of a moral compass, generates a depressing mood throughout the game. Ubisoft took the criticism to heart and started trying to avert this in the sequel.
  • 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 disable them you have to leave your car, since you can't look up that high to see them while in a car. 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 almost certainly 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.
    • Probably his nadir is when he forces a teenager into sneaking into his cousin's home base to steal info, betraying said cousin who is a known psychopath who takes betrayal poorly. Bedbug naturally gets caught and its clear that he is about to be killed as the line goes dead. But lest Aiden has to contemplate the fact he sent a teenager to his death, Bedbug calls him shortly after to say he somehow managed to escape, with zero explanation of how, before he promptly disappears from the rest of the game. And to top the whole affair off, Aidenly immediately decides to just storm the place guns blazing, making the games he played with Bedbug's life completely pointless.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Jordi, thanks to his crazy antics during the game, and for his Consummate Professional nature making for a hilarious Action Duo dynamic with Aiden. His popularity was enough to get him to return for the Human Conditions DLC in 2.
    • T-Bone, the genius redneck hacker, is also loved by a lot of players. He is even the main character of his own DLC chapter, where he's deeper and more likeable than Aiden ever was. Like Jordi, his popularity allowed him to become a major character in 2.
    • If there's anyone other than these two you'll find being discussed, it's Ded Sec, thanks to being better revolutionaries than Aiden. Plus, Evil Is Cool. The sequel is focused on them.
    • Telling from the number of requests of returns for the sequel, Defalt is this.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Delford Wade, AKA Iraq. He's a Genius Bruiser who has plans to betray Lucky Quinn, and has trained an entire gang in army tactics. He runs most of the gang activity in Chicago, to the point where when Aiden finally kills him, it's That One Boss and a bit of a disappointment.
    • Ded Sec. A group of hackers dedicated to bringing down the system. They plan to take down Blume, and prove that nobody's safe in Chicago. Hell, they get the Title Drop near the end. It helps that, by the sequel, they've Took a Level in Kindness.
    Ded Sec: We will be the watchdogs.
  • Epileptic Trees: You could argue the game is a Stealth Sequel to Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, as not only did they release under a year apart, one established a villain capable of manipulating technology and the other established a world where Everything Is Online. While Ubisoft has denied that they a part of a Shared Universe, they both include enough references to each other to put the claim to question.
  • Game-Breaker: The Fast Charge upgrade in Bad Blood, which makes your battery charge so quickly that you'll almost never have to worry about running out ever again. Once you've got this bad boy, the battery slot upgrades just grant you more overkill, and if you've got one of the Sony releases and also have the Season Pass or the right pre-order package, the extra battery slots those give you on top of it means that you can rapid-fire hack to your heart's content and your battery will start to recharge before you've even spent it all. What truly pushes it into full-on Game Breaker status is that you get it after completing just one Fixer Street Sweep mission, and the rewards you get for completing more of them are just laughable in comparison.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • It is possible to get inside the walls of the Merlaut Hotel and into the Stadium, making for an excellent hiding spot when doing one-vs-one hacking and enabling you to escape from police if you're being chased because they cannot follow you there. While the former has since been patched out, the latter is still 100% doable, likely due to just how difficult it is to pull off in the first place.
    • Due to the idiosyncrasies of online gaming in general, you can tell if another player has entered your game before the invasion notification pops up by attempting either to pause the game or enter Focus. If the background doesn't pause in the former case or Focus doesn't slow down time in the latter case, it's a dead giveaway that you've got an enemy player in your midst, allowing you to start searching for them far earlier than normal.
    • Speaking of pausing, it becomes laughably easy to beat the Shell Game simply by pausing once the cups have finished shuffling around. The pause menu puts a digital outline effect on everything on the screen, including the ball, making it clearly visible through the cups.
  • 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.
    • The "Disk Space Full" achievement for unlocking all 23 songs in SongSneak. On 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.
    • The E3 2013 demo ends with Aiden escaping the police in a boat. In the final game, boats are a completely fool-proof way to escape anyone chasing you, including cops.
    • 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. Except it was delayed.
    • Also related to Grand Theft Auto is the two series' reversal in roles; GTA V initially beat Watch_Dogs, but has since become a Contested Sequel for more or less grinding the franchise to a halt (The only known plans for the franchise are a second Updated Re-release and more Online content), while Watch_Dogs was Vindicated by History and got two sequels, the latter of which would take the idea of multiple protagonists and turn it Up to Eleven.
    • Found in the lobby of Rossi-Freemont, one of Iraq's audio logs has him consider DedSec, ending in him dismissing DedSec as a "fad" while he is the future, not only is his part disproven by his death at the start of act 4, but DedSec go on the be the protagonists of Watch_Dogs 2 and Watch Dogs: Legion, proving that they, not he, are the future of the franchise. Funnily enough, Marcus Holloway, protagonist of the sequel and one of DedSec's hackers, can wear Iraq's iconic vest and shirt as a top in said game.
    • Whenever DedSec issues a warning in the city, the voice filter makes them sound like Kylo Ren.
  • Inferred Holocaust: The Bad Blood DLC deals with what happens during a blackout, but the game barely acknowledges it otherwise. The very first mission has you blackout a stadium during a sports game while at the same time planting evidence of a gang-shootout having happened there and ingame dialogue already mentions fans invading the pitch. A mass panic isn't exactly an unlikely event to happen in these circumstances. Additionally, there's little evidence that hospital systems are secured any better against your hacks.
  • It Was His Sled: T-Bone is Raymond Kenny, the guy who caused the 2003 Blackout and helped create the CTOS.
  • Last Lousy Point: Getting ten wins in Online Decryption will prove the bane of any player going for 100% Completion who doesn't have friends to play online with. While friends can start up team matches, which makes getting wins several orders of magnitude easier, solo players will be tossed into free-for-all matches against anywhere from two to seven other players. Because of the way the victory condition works - you simply have to be the one holding the file when the decryption meter hits 100% - it's all too easy to be holding the file for the vast majority of the match, only to lose because some doofus who joined the match thirty seconds ago snipes you from halfway across the map and steals it at the last second. Because of how long Decryption matches tend to drag on - around 10 minutes on average - notching those ten wins can take literal days of grinding, as opposed to Hacking, Tailing, and Racing which combined only take around an hour or two if you know what you're doing. The final kick in the groin is that PS3 and XBox 360 players don't have to deal with this slog because the Decryption mode wasn't included in those versions. Because of this, it's not uncommon for PC, PS4, and XBox One players to simply ignore the Decryption branch of the Progression wheel and declare themselves at 100% once all of the other branches have been completed.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Raymond Kenney is a genius software engineer hired by Blume Corporation to create Central Operating System (CTOS). When Raymond learns of the corporation's plan to use CTOS to spy on people and control their lives, he hacks CTOS to show everyone the dangers of relying it, causing the Northeast blackout of 2003 and the deaths of eleven people. Going into hiding in Chicago and taking the alias Theodore "T-Bone" Grady, Raymond allies with Aiden Pearce, helping him rescue his sister from Damien Brenks, dismantle Lucky Quinn's human trafficking ring, and shut down CTOS when Brenks hijacks it. Upon learning that JB Markowicz, aka Default, has sent fixers to kill Raymond in the "Bad Blood" DLC, Raymond tracks him down and turns Default's own trap against him, killing Default. Resuming his crusade against Blume in the sequel, Raymond goes to San Fransisco and recruits Marcus Halloway and his friends to his cause while tasking them with dangerous missions to gain more followers, turning them into a genuine threat to Blume and allowing them to expose the corruption of their Chief Technology Officer, Dusan Nemec, leading to Nemec's arrest.
    • Jordi Chin is a witty yet professional fixer hired by Aiden Pearce to track down Maurice Vega, the man who killed Aiden's niece. Finding Maurice Vega at a baseball stadium and killing his men, Jordi stages the scenario like a gang-shooting before calling the police, distracting everyone while he and Aiden escape and take Maurice with them. When Jordi learns that someone survived their attack and can identify them, he has Aiden infiltrate the prison the witness is being held in to silence him. Jordi eventually betrays Aiden after receiving a contract to kill him, though he does reveal Maurice's location after surviving their scuffle. Appearing in the DLC for the sequel, "Human Conditions", Jordi teams up with DedSec hacker Marcus Holloway in tracking down the Russian Mob, Bratva. Tracking down Bratva's leader at a yacht, Jordi goes in to kill the leader, while pinning his murder on Marcus before escaping.
  • 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 alongside the "Doge" meme.
    • 'Two months are enough to visit Los Santos', taken from a rather infamous ad involving a jab at Grand Theft Auto V. Became a rather mocking statement aimed at the game when GTA V proved more technically sound, and much better received overall.
    • Defalt being called a Rat Kid may be a reference to a Latin American stereotype based on a Simpsons episode. Kids or pre-teens playing M-Rated games online, displaying immature behavior are called nños rata (literally, Rat Kids) in these countries. Defalt fits this stereotype.
  • 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.
    • What you see at the auction firmly confirms Dermot "Lucky" Quinn as a Complete Monster.
    • Iraq hits it when he bashes a guys head to death with a brief case. Although he doesn't hit it quite as hard as the other two.
  • 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. Also, the consoles the game was originally released on (Xbox One and PlayStation 4) had an AMD Graphics Processing Unit.note 
    • Even on Ultra Settings the final PC build doesn't come anywhere near the graphics shown off during E3. This combined with the fact the old graphical settings are still in the code but Dummied Out have lead to speculation the PC version was intentionally downgraded so it wouldn't show-up Sony's new console.
    • The biggest insult on the PC side is that the Ultra setting for the textures doesn't even work correctly. Even on insanely high-end GPUs like Titans it reduces the game to a jerky, stuttering mess for no logical reason. You might be tempted to think it's a vram leak but looking a status monitor shows the usage never breaks 4GB. Truly a baffling and infuriating performance bug for those that delight in flexing their hardware with completely maxed out graphical settings.
    • The PlayStation 3 version at one time had severe audio bugs and constant game-freezing. It's definitely much better now, though.
    • Many had hoped that the heavily-delayed Wii U port might be a Polished Port that made use of the system's (somewhat) improved graphics capabilities compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360. Instead, the resulting port had graphics that were noticeably degraded even when compared to those two systems (to say nothing of their successors), and frame rates that struggled to keep up with the older two consoles even in simple cutscenes, while tanking to near-unplayable levels in the open world. This was essentially the last straw for third-party development on the Wii U, with virtually no major third-party titles released on the system for the remainder of its lifetime.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: While the game ended up being considered So Okay, It's Average by many critics and gamers on release, people often only talk about the game to discuss how it cemented Ubisoft's reputation of announcing games with state-of-the-art "gameplay" demos to hype up its concept/gimmick only for the final product to have heavily downgraded graphics, missing features and plenty of bugs and optimization issues.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: Aiden's family dynamic would make more sense if he was an estranged father/husband, rather than the unscrupulous uncle/older-brother we're presented with, with some going so far as to suggest that was how the game was originally written, with the change being made so that the writers could put in a "big brother is watching you" joke. However, All There in the Manual reveals he had been living at his sister's house and had essentially acted more like a father to her two children. With this information, his distraught reaction to his niece's death and protectiveness of his sister and nephew makes a lot more sense.
  • 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.
    • You can't hide the HUD, making it impossible to take good screenshots of the game.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Word of God confirms that it's possible to get through the majority of the game in a Pacifist Run, with nothing but your trusty cell phone and some stealth. However, there will be some scripted sequences where gunfights and killing will be unavoidable. Also, knocking out an enemy with a non-lethal melee attack will earn the player double the XP than simply shooting and killing him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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 Adaptation:
    • Of Daniel Suarez' Daemon. Aiden Pearce is Matthew Sobol minus the terminal cancer that forced him to empower Brian Gragg AKA Loki Stormbringer as his successor in his war against corruption.
    • The game's theme of cyberterrorism, Everything Is Online, and hacking via smartphone could be considered as a Darker and Edgier take on Mega Man Battle Network.
    • Details aside, the way the CTOS interface is displayed on the screen and the fact that you play a heavily-armed badass who uses it to solve problems also predicted by it means it's the closest to a Person of Interest game people will ever get.
  • 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 Boss: Iraq Wade. After wiping out several waves of thugs he sends after you, you must contend with DeAndre Coleman, a special Enforcer that cannot be taken down with the "Enforcer Takedown" skill and soaks up normally lethal explosions. A short time later - likely while Coleman is still alive - Iraq himself storms out and starts shooting, and he has nearly as much health as a regular Enforcer. To make matters worse, if you die during the fight, you have to start all over - and listen to his unskippable, almost minute-and-a-half rant all over again.
  • That One Level:
    • In Plain Sight. Damien projects Aiden's face over the surrounding news screens, and the goal is to chase down and destroy the van broadcasting the offending material. Shortly into the chase, police begin to set off a series of ctOS scans that are nearly impossible to avoid without losing the target, and the police are unusually relentless in this mission. Unless you've thoroughly stocked up on Jam Comms and Blackouts, or are just extremely lucky, the mission can be close to impossible.
    • The Palace. You have to go halfway across the map from the start of mission, infiltrate a house filled with Elite Mooks, hack the security system and are immediately locked into a cutscene where more Mooks run directly at you and will more than likely start shooting you before you can even exit the camera you hacked. To make matters worse, you have to move like the wind through this gunfire to try and knock down/kill a target who had a 300m head start on you. This invariably results in a 20-second timer informing you that the target is getting away (which if it counts down to 0 you fail the mission) popping up while you're probably still dealing with the Mooks back in the house.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Certain Digital Trips can be a pain to complete or even play. Psychedelic becomes increasingly 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 (15 objectives), while Madness is long and can easily be screwed up (29 objectives, with the same 4 looping objectives). Alone is more stealth based, but the streets (depending on your generation of consoles) can lack cars that can give vital cover, and later in the game, you're often surrounded by a dozen or more robots as soon as you step foot in an occupied area, which means that you'll usually be spotted instantly. Getting spotted usually grants an instant game-over, unless you invest in certain skills or get to weapon-caches.
    • The DLC trip "Conspiracy!" also gets into this territory later on, since you'll usually have around 10 or more cyborgs to profile in a relatively small area, which means it's incredibly easy to get spotted before you've gotten a chance to profile them all. Once you are spotted, they tend to rush you all at once, and while you're dealing with the 7 or so coming at you from the front, that last one you didn't get to profile will usually flank you while you're not paying attention, which results in "BOOM!". And if it's one of those rounds where they put out a news report on you? Have fun evading both them and every single pedestrian in the area, since if one gets out a successful 911 call, every single cyborg goes on alert, which more often than not pretty much means you're dead.
    • 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.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: A lot of people believe that Watch_Dogs is Ubisoft trying to cash in on the popularity of Grand Theft Auto style games, which may or may not be true given that it came out just a year after the original GTAV. Some, however, go so far as to believe Watch_Dogs is just a shittier version of GTA because it has driving and shooting, even though the hacking arguably makes the game much more a stealth game than the all-guns-blazing game that GTA is.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The most common criticism about the game is that they completely failed to make an intruiging plot about the setting in favor for a flat revenge plot.
  • Vindicated by History: At launch, the game was mostly considered negatively, especially compared to much-beloved Grand Theft Auto V. However, over time the game's reputation has increased and its stealth, action movie influences, and hacking mechanics were seen as welcome variation to what had started to become a stale genre. After Watch_Dogs 2 came out, a lot of people also retro-appreciated that while its plot wasn't the best it at least took itself semi-seriously instead of completely going Denser and Wackier and as a result felt a bit like We're Still Relevant, Dammit! Looking at Steam reviews for both games, it becomes quite clear that Watch_Dogs stood the test of time, and was rewarded. Less flak has also come to the game's simple hacking mechanics when critics realized that they'd be much better than providing anything even slightly realistic, which would ruin the pacing.
  • 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.
      • Aiden's overarching goal is to find out why he was targeted by the hit that killed his niece, find the person responsible and make them pay. Yet at no point did Aiden ever think to investigate the Merlaut, where he knows his hack was detected a few days prior to the hit. Especially when it's later shown that the Merlaut is owned by the most powerful crime lord in the city, and that this is a publicly known fact (Said Crime Lord hosts political rally in his own name for the Mayor he supports in said hotel, and is thanked in front of all the guests for his generosity). To recap: Aiden does a hack in a hotel belonging to a figure widely reputed to be the city's dominant crime lord. The hack fails and he's detected. A few days later he's the target of a hit. Aiden never considered those events might be linked.
    • One mission revolves around Damien broadcasting Aiden's location all over the city, allowing the police to track him down. This despite the fact that he needs Aiden for his plan to succeed. Doubly so in a later mission where he actively tries to get Aiden killed by giving his location to Blume.

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