Xbox owners who bag themselves a copy of Watch Dogs shouldn’t feel too bummed out by the game’s exclusive PlayStation content.
For a couple of years now Ubisoft has partnered with Sony to deliver bonus missions for titles including Assassin’s Creed III and Black Flag. Following this recent trend, Watch Dogs also offers a chunk of side content, purportedly adding an extra hour of solid game time.
Although fairly meaty, after tying up each of the four exclusive missions, there was still ten minutes on the clock. With that said, longevity is far from being the main issue here.
The PlayStation content kicks off with a transmission from elite hacker collective, DedSec. After a brief spurt of dialogue, Aidan is sent to track a target, download their data, and return it to DedSec.
The first mission, “CTRL”, has you pursuing a vehicle. When in close range a meter will begin to fill, indicating how close Aidan is to securing the data. It’s a fun car chase and one made slightly more challenging by the presence of other enemy vehicles attempting to run you off the road.
Once complete, players are then free to take down the target before hightailing it back to another checkpoint. It’s a short yet satisfying mission and one that succeeded in whetting my appetite for the remaining three data hacks.
However, this sense of excitement is soon stamped out as you rattle through “ALT” and “DELETE”. Though sound enough, they use the first mission as a template, adding nothing in the way of variety. For the first half-hour, you’re basically repeating the same car chase three times in a row.
For those who persevere, DedSec promise a “party”, yet this finale proves just as lacklustre. Much like the “Gang Hideout” side missions, “SHUT DOWN” tasks Aidan with infiltrating a tiny district of Chicago.
You’re free to approach this however you choose, using a combination of stealth, hacking, and tactically-placed bullets to reach your target. Once hacked, there’s a brief encounter with some advanced enemy units before one final, drawn out set piece as Chicago PD move in for an arrest. What ensues is a fairly mundane police pursuit, followed by one last call from DedSec.
Those expecting a huge pay-out or some form of reward will feel short-changed, however. The hacking collective simply give Aidan a pat on the back before hanging-up, leaving players to return to whatever they were doing fifty minutes ago.
In summary, the PlayStation-exclusive content isn’t bad, it’s just lazy. With no cutscenes or any sort of narrative depth, the missions simply act as marketing filler for Sony. It’s a shame really, especially considering the quality of Black Flag’s bonus missions last year.
For those wanting to expand Watch Dogs beyond its thirty-plus hour lifespan, then keep an eye out for upcoming DLC packs.