Monday, September 7, 2015

Interactive Friction: Watch_Dogs: Episode 22: The Uncanny Valley Of Evil

The scene between Aiden Pearce and Lucky Quinn is by far the best scene in the game, aside from those between Aiden and Jordy. There's a fair degree of subtext and subtlety in their back-and-forth that it's surprising that the same people who created this scene also made the parts with Bedbug, Iraq, the prostitutes, and every other section of the story.

This is also the one of the few kills where Aiden Pearce may not necessarily be in the wrong. Even if you discount the revenge motivation here (and we have), it's clear that Chicago would be an objectively better, less awful city should Lucky Quinn and his Chicago South Club fall.
At the same time, one could make an argument that killing anymore is morally wrong, no matter how evil that person may be. It may not make Aiden Pearce out to be the paragon of justice, at least an argument could be made that it's morally acceptable to kill Quinn.

We have a couple of problems with it in the episode, but that's less a problem with the scene and more an issue with the context that it was provided in. If the writing is this game was a little tighter, and there was less filler, this would've been a fantastic payoff.

This also happens to be the part where the game finally makes the decision to say something. Even if it's a simple "Information is power" message, that's more than the rest of the game has been willing to give. Exploring how much someone can do if they know all of your dark little secrets, if they can expose you at the blink of a button: That's some very interesting stuff. On top of that, it ties back into the central premise nicely.

If the game ended at that point, I would've considered it a pretty strong finish to a pretty weak game. Unfortunately, we're not done yet. Rather than use this point to wrap things up, we still need to deal with Damien. Even worse, we deal in this dumbest way possible.

And that makes me sad.

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