Despite my rantings last week, it was later on that evening that Uplay’s authentication servers came up, and I had about half an hour’s worth of gaming before needing to head to sleep. The starting missions that get you into the game were a very good introduction to the game, but the following day or two afterwards I completely ignored the story and went around town stealing money, cars and tunes for about six hours.
I also managed to find an NPC that would send you on these ‘digital trips’ that will take you into minigames that have different objectives and missions to complete: Spider-Tank, Psychedelic, Madness and Alone (though I know you can access them at any time, I’ve only really done them when I’ve found someone to send me on one). I’ve only had the opportunity to try out the first two over the past week and of the two, I definitely enjoyed Spider-Tank the most. It’s pretty self explanatory – you drive around in this robotic spider capable of climbing up the sides of buildings or crawling along the ceiling of underpasses. Oh, and it has cannons. The goal in this minigame is to cause as much havoc as possible through different missions such as “Destroy X vehicles” or “Kill Y cops”.
The other game I tried, Psychedelic, is certainly an interesting trip. Bright neon colours, bouncing around the place like a flying squirrel on giant flowers that spring out of the streets and buildings of Chicago… I’m just happy I’m not actually high when I try it out. The idea is to bounce from flower to flower until you get to the end of the course and you unlock more levels, and missing a flower sends you back to the previous checkpoint. You can earn more points the closer to the middle of the flowers you bounce on, with multiplier bonuses for the middle of the flowers themselves. Extra points for highscores can also be earned by flying through the rings between the flowers.
There’s also Madness that involves running over demons and Alone that’s a stealth mission to restore electrical power back to the city, but I’ve yet to try either of these out as there’s so much stuff to do! There’s many other mini-games that I’ve tried out such as Cash Run, a classic-style arcade game where you run up and down buildings like a crippled Altaïr, picking up gold coins while dodging the red ghosts. Purple clocks give you bonus time and the idea is to get all the coins as quickly as possible. I was terrible at this because I got into the mindset of Assassin’s Creed and ended up just running into walls too often or hitting ghosts I shouldn’t have.
There are also other minigames you can play including Chess, Poker, Slot Machines, Drinking Games and the NVZN Alternate Reality phone game, all of which I’ve yet to get round to playing as really, there’s still the whole running around town, checking into different locations and stealing everyone’s belongings and spying on everyone that is still entertaining for at least a few hours, all while occasionally being a vigilante or escaping the cops. I also might have spent a little too long cackling maniacally at being a Spider-Tank…