Parent's Guide: Watch Dogs - Age rating, mature content and difficulty

Parents Guide Watch Dogs Age rating mature content and difficulty
4th July, 2014 By Ian Morris
Game Info // Watch Dogs
Watch Dogs Boxart
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Players: 1
Available On: PS4
Genre: Third Person Shooter
Everybody Plays Ability Level
Content Rating
Violence and Gore: Extreme
Bad Language: Strong or explicit
Sexual Content: Strong references and/or nudity
Parent's Guide

Watch Dogs is a cyberpunk styled action game set in a near future Chicago, where almost everything essential to keeping the city moving is controlled by an operating system known as ctOS. Into this land of convenience drops Aiden Pearce, a hacker with a back door into the system who can control the city at the tap of a smartphone app. Only Aiden himself isn't exactly as straight laced as they come. When a jaunt to hack the bank accounts of a load of civilians in a posh hotel lobby goes wrong, Aiden rubs a powerful person the wrong way, and finds his family in the firing line. What follows is a tale of subterfuge as you try to discover the identity of the person out to get your family, and get them off your back.

An open world game, you can approach Watch Dogs in several ways. If you'd prefer to just drive around a massive city, playing with traffic lights, lifting and lowering those street bollards, or blowing up electric panels, you can. If you'd prefer to take on some side quests, and bring criminals to vigilante justice after getting a tip off through an intercepted text message, you can do that too. But the meat of Watch Dogs comes from playing through its story missions, which are heavily stealth based, and usually revolve around gaining entry to a compound, retrieving a file of some sort, and legging it away.

And it's this that may be the problem for some players. With an emphasis on stealth, and some rather awkward missions, Watch Dogs isn't the easiest of games to get to grips with. The cover system, which lets your character crouch behind scenery, and transfer from one piece of cover to another at the touch of a button can be tricky to get the hang of if you're new to these sort of games, and some characters can call in endless amounts of reinforcements until you kill them, so once you're spotted, it may be hard for to dig yourself out of their hole. The hacking minigame, which sees you rotating circuits around a maze in an attempt to direct the current from one point to the other isn't actually explained in game at all, with no tutorial what so ever.

The whole idea here is that you can hack things to make your life easier, like lifting a forklift truck to draw guards near, before hacking a grenade in one of the guard's pockets to take them all out - but you can rarely rely on your hacking powers alone. Often, you'll have to get your hands dirty, and with the emphasis on stealth, running in all guns blazing and just shooting everything that gets in your way isn't as easy as in other games, giving this a general level of complexity that makes this one best left to older players.

Mature Content

Like many "AAA" games, Watch Dogs features large amount of violence, sex and gore. There's frequent and strong language throughout (f**k, b**ch, b**tard), and excessive, bloody violence (one cutscene shows you a close up of a man being stabbed through his chin). Thanks to its cyberpunk themeing, you'll often see surveillance videos which depict people performing sexual acts, although you do only mostly see silhouettes of the people, and everything is implied, with clever camera angles or other objects obscuring things. However, there is one mission set in a sex trafficking ring, where topless women, wearing only thongs, are stood in a circle being paraded around with breasts fully exposed.

There are also repeated references towards drugs and sex, which you'll mostly find by "profiling" civilians you see as you wander the streets of Chicago with your mobile phone - most of the brief descriptions of each citizen's interests (or rather, secrets) seem to revolve around either compromising or embarrassing information, whether it's that they "attend S&M clubs", or are a "legal marijuana advocate"

Age Ratings

We Say
Violence and Gore:
Bad Language:
Strong or explicit
Sexual Content:
Strong references and/or nudity
Substantial Mature Content

Format Reviewed: Playstation 4

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