|Reviews for Watchdogs: Defragment|
| glenarvon chapter 21 . 9/16/2017
Here we are, the last chapter and what a ride it's been!
As always, I don't have the first idea what I'm doing writing a review, so forgive me if not everything makes sense or comes across as rude. You know I don't mean it, yes?
Anyway, a bunch of random thoughts: I love the description of Gardner's house. Her frustration also comes through very clearly, it posits her perfectly as a villain and like every villain, she doesn't think she's the bad guy at all. I absolutely love Aiden's "It's not loaded." for some reason. It makes it so very clear that's his anticipating her, which in turn just makes him more intimidating. And the pizza thing, Aiden the troll at his finest. Love it.
Good job on showing the effect of incarceration on Cr0w, completely helplessness, never sure what'll happen next. That mix of anger, fear and desperation, but without a target to spend it on. I really like how character comes through. She's tough despite cracking.
Now, I feel like there's something slightly off with Hayley's part. I think it might be better to put a stronger emphasis on how much time passes. Hayley does a lot of thinking and contemplation in what reads like a short time, though it's not, but it just feels like it reading. I think it's important because it's intrinsic to her decision to leave Chicago and Aiden. It's the first time she gets to think things through on her own without being exposed to Aiden's (bad) influence.
I was almost sure you'd decide to break them up, I'm glad you didn't kill Hayley to do it and let her go her own way.
I really like Sutter (in the sense that I find him interesting). I hope to see more of him in the future?
Minor critcism: You barely make typos, but this chapter has a few more than usual. Nothing bad, just pointing it out.
Overall, I'm not sure about the pacing. The scenes with Gardner and Cr0w feel like a continuation of the story as such, flowing naturally from the action of the last chapter. But Hayley's part might be better placed on its own, maybe as an epilogue. Her part is slower and more introspective and it jars a little with the first two scenes. Unless that was deliberate, in that case, just ignore me.
I wanted to write more when I started, but now I can't seem to find the words, but I'll let you everything else that occurs to me. In a timely fashion. Promise.
| glenarvon chapter 20 . 5/21/2017
Holy *EXPLETIVE*! This chapter is an absolute rollercoaster. I love the slow, tense built-up as they infiltrate the place and the slight insecurity because they haven't had enough time to really plan and prepare.
And Klockwork is finally revealed. What a devious little thing. I like how it connects regular porn/prostitution/human slavery with the capabilities of modern technology. Technology is supposed to make human existence better, but it opens a million new ways to control people and inflict misery, too.
Nice little tidbit about Aiden and working with Damien and how Aiden feels about having a combatant have his back, not just some guy behind a monitor. And then that leads immediately to Aiden deciding that Hayley shouldn't be doing it anymore, he probably didn't even consider to ask her about it. Although, while she's good at it, I think she doesn't crave this kind of contest the way Aiden sometimes does. I think she'd simply bark at him deciding for her, regardless of her actual opinion on it.
Absolutely love the voice-activated explosions as distraction/panic-button, especially using the phrase. It's almost poetic.
When the implication of someone else setting everything up, my money was on either Angela or Hayley's brother, I couldn't think of anyone else in a position to do it. Using DedSec as unwitting pawn also seems like a smart choice. They'd soak up a lot of attention from Aiden. It really brings into focus that he has so many enemies and they can come at him in a sheer endless number of constellations.
I didn't expect Collins to turn out as such a formidable enemy. He and Quinn only went down because they wasted so much time on gloating. Should've played it safe, like they've managed to underestimate Aiden despite running scared of him. That must sting, lol. So with Hayley's identity not such a secret anymore, I wonder how it'll play out for her in the long term. Of course, that's because I'm assuming she'll live, but I'm not completely sure about that. If she died, I'm not sure there'd be much left of Chicago after Aiden's done avenging her.
With the cops raiding this new auction, I'm guessing it'll be dismantled like the last one and the Club will take another bad hit. I wonder if there's much left of them, despite all the mess.
I'm sad that there'll be just one more chapter, but it's definitely going out with a bang. Kick-ass chapter!
| glenarvon chapter 19 . 5/21/2017
Now I have a full appreciation of why re-doing the research must have been a bitch. But feels well-worked into the narrative and dialogue, especially with Cr0w. Also love the fight between Hayley and Cr0w. Neat timing for Aiden to just show up at the end, or he was hanging back to enjoy the show...
I think it wouldn't be a good idea to underestimate Cr0w, she seems not only tough, but also pretty smart, trying to use Clara against Aiden. I think it would be interesting to face up against Jordi, I think she'd be a little higher maintenance than Maurice was.
I really like the idea of hiding information in spam and using something like Gnaural as a delivery method. Gives anyone snooping into things something to focus on and distracting from the real thing.
I wonder how the partnership between Quinn and Blume/Collins came about and who's really in charge.
Good chapter and good setup and explanation of the digital network running things. Love the loose end with Cr0w and the Jordi cameo. Aiden comes across as very fixated on the auction, like he's taking it as a personal slight. Considering that it's another auction in the exact same place, it's probably hard not to think it is just that.
| glenarvon chapter 18 . 10/9/2016
When Aiden muses about drawing a line for himself and then expecting everyone to adher to it, that's so typical for him. He has that attitude going, the world has accommodate his whims and if it doesn't, he's justified to punish the transgression. He has a rare moment here where he realises it might not actually quite work that way.
Goddamn, the action was fantastic and you really captured the stealth gameplay, too. (And the silenced pistol...) I thought Malcom was going to last a bit longer than that, so that's good shock value right there.
But the best thing is the confrontation between Aiden and T-Bone with T-Bone being completely frustrated with Aiden's willful ignorance. That's exactly the kind of partnership I see them having, given how different their outlooks are. And T-Bone really sums it all up nicely, everything that's still unanswered. They have a lot of pieces, but they haven't really started putting them all in the right places.
Cr0w! Another minor character. Aiden seems a little miffed with her, maybe because she's responsible for forcing him out of the Bunker?
It seems that Blume and the Club have forged an actual alliance this time around, unlike in the game where Lucky coerced them. That certainly can't be good.
It's not a real point of criticism, but you mentioned having trouble with writing the technobabble, so here's what I think. Hayley seems bit too clueless and by extension, it comes across a little like talking down to the reader. Deep Web/Darknet issues are part of modern day news, so you can probably assume some familiarity with the terms. There's some redundancy, too. When T-Bone mentions TOR, he actually explains what it is, yet Hayley still asks "what is TOR?". Also, you do have the definitions appended at the end, so if someone really doesn't understand it, they'll get it explained there, it's not necessary to work these definitions into the story itself. Overall, I think you could do with fewer general/basic details. The entire, popup-botnet-Gnaural-Klockwork webwork, on the other hand, is plot relevant and needs to be explained in specifics, like you did. I hope it's helpful in some way.
| glenarvon chapter 17 . 10/9/2016
I really love the Aiden and Hayley's conversation. They know it's going to be hard to make a relationship work and they even realise that maybe it won't. I like Aiden being almost confused by the fact that she does indeed want to stay.
Damn, I was wondering if Malcolm would show up, especially in connection to Blume via Collins.
The bodyguard comment made me snigger, probably delivered so deadpan, you can't even blame this Dave for buying it.
| Savage Kill chapter 18 . 10/7/2016
Closer to their goal, though it makes me wonder just how close they're getting and how much danger (well more danger) that they're going to get into once they find cr0w. Though no doubt Adien is going to be thinking of getting revenge more than anything else which no doubt will make it where Hayley would be in, well more danger.
I do have to say that Adien sure likes to be the boss of everything. No doubt that makes him a pain in the ass when someone is the voice of reason as you showed above...
| glenarvon chapter 16 . 5/2/2016
(Oh... you didn't just post this because of my nagging, did you?)
Once again, this is a really good chapter. The first part feels really tense, between Aiden keeping his secrets and especially Hayley's frustration with that habit. I feel that maybe T-Bone is holding back a bit much here. He's not as emotionally involved, but he seems unwilling to take too much of Aiden's shit, either. When Aiden's reluctant about Corrado, I'm not sure why T-Bone wouldn't push him about it, too, since it seems like relevant information.
Anyway, I love the inclusion of Backseat Driver, it fits perfectly with the overall story, tying events back into the game even more. Same goes for the inclusion of Digital Trips, now evolved into a full-scale hard drug.
Hayley's in a difficult place, she's coming to realise that she might not be able to go back to how things were before. If her identity gets out, she'll never have a normal life again, if she stays in Chicago (with or without Aiden) or if she walks away. And even if she gets that chance, she'll always know the kinds of questionable things she's capable of.
I really liked her fight with Clarke, it feels more raw somehow, with both Hayley and Aiden being outmatched, even if only for a moment. And Aiden not wanting to stop beating up on him, just because he can... I like these moments with him a little too much, I think.
Plot is coming together nicely. Instead of speculating, I'll just sit back and wait to be amazed! Keep up the good work! :D
One bit of advise, though, ffnet doesn't allow web-addresses (or html code or anything in that vein), it removes them without a trace. Maybe good to keep it in mind, in case it's part of the story itself.
| glenarvon chapter 15 . 12/17/2015
I know I promised a real review, but I realise I don't have much to say. You're incredible when you write action, just incredible. It looks like all the different strands are starting to come together now and it seems to be big.
| glenarvon chapter 13 . 9/15/2015
First of all, I'm envious of how well you write the hacking aspect. It fits perfectly with the mood of WD and its interplay with the world and the characters. I really like your T-Bone, he's this mad genius full of odd little habits. I like him running mission control, too.
And the mission itself, hell yeah. Love the way they broke into the gated community and just sort of strode along for a bit. Hiding in plain sight at its finest.
Suspense is really good throughout. Starting slowly and then escalating. And, this is a thing I've got, I love it when they actually have to use all the weapons, so T-Bone having to fry everything at the end really hit the spot for me. Love it!
Really nice description of Aiden while he's hacking Julian's computer. It's just something that Hayley never really considered. It's too easy to take him as an action star. And he's got a bit more going than 'mere' street smarts, too. He should maybe stop standing in the way of bullets, though.
We're getting close to the meat of the plot with Klockwork, right? Can't wait to learn what it might be, I'm sitting here speculating like mad.
| glenarvon chapter 12 . 9/15/2015
A lot of things I want to say, I'll try to make it coherent. As always, please take it as my subjective opinion and just stuff I noticed while reading.
Now, as you can guess from that preamble (maybe), I'm not sure about the first part of this chapter. I couldn't shake the feeling that the entire Kerry stint was just there so Hayley could have her revelation. It doesn't really push the plot forward since Kerry seems an incredible long shot to get at Julian, unless she becomes more relevant later. It feels like the scene is less about her and Julian and more about Aiden and Hayley and that doesn't entirely work. Hayley's realisation itself... I feel like she skipped a few intermittant steps in it. She goes from "Aiden's a good actor" to "he set me up that time" without much in between, which is a bit of a leap, especially since the actual events aren't very similiar. A person's mind might actually work like that, but reading it is a bit jarring.
The confrontation that follows makes its point slightly heavy-handedly. It's a case where you tell rather than show what's going on, especially in Aiden's side of the POV.
I do like Hayley realising how her principles shift around him, that he sort of just pulls her along in what he does. Was the kiss somewhat manipulative on his part or is that just me? It's like he's rewarding her for thinking the way that makes it least difficult for him.
Julian maybe recognising or at least remembering Hayley also seems like a good moment. I'm curious about him. I wonder if it'd be possible to connect her to Aiden from back when? Maybe there are old records that Aiden never bothered to mess with. Speaking of which, I like the idea that he went to jail for stalking her (more or less).
And I love T-Bone! Having turrets set up is exactly the thing he'd do and his minor panic over almost accidentally killing them was the kind of impulsive thing he'd do. I like that he's on board now.
On to chapter 13...
| glenarvon chapter 11 . 7/31/2015
Let me just say, this habit of yours of always posting two chapters at once? Fantastic!
You've really tightened up your prose in these two parts and everything flows very nicely.
SoSueMe... this game just never runs out of prompts. There's just so many... things (for lack of a better term) to use! I love this. Still love the intrigue of whatever's really going on. I'm beginning to really like not liking Angela, if that makes any sense. She's definitely nicely developed.
I still really love your Aiden, nothing more to say to that. Interesting to read his thoughts on fatherhood.
And holy shit on Hayley's backstory. I like how you work up to it, from the flashback at the beginning of chapter 10, to her scarring and then finally how she tells it. Gruesome flashback, but very well-written, makes you really feel it.
Nice contrast again between her and Aiden, about what violence means to either of them.
| glenarvon chapter 9 . 7/12/2015
I've been thinking all afternoon what to say, but it's really hard to say anything specific. I'm sorry if it's not the most useful feedback, but I'll try.
These two chapters are really tense (and I'm glad you didn't end on that cliffhanger in chapter 8). The action is excellent, well-paced and detailed. There's some interesting contrast between how Aiden fights to how Hayley does. Good job on Aiden's disproportionate retribution tendencies. Also, good work on the relationship and building up the mutual attraction. I especially liked the bit about the many small signs of trust from Aiden.
Angela doesn't come across as particularly likeable so far. Not a criticism, really, it's just something I didn't expect. I'm curious where it goes. Will she have a larger part?
You drop into the present tense a handful of times: "Aiden was sitting in the driver's seat, but doesn't..." and "silence envelopes the car" and most of that paragraph. Larger passages of present tense wouldn't be a problem (I'm a fan, actually), but these seem random.
Before I say anything else, I really love your style, it's just well-written. But there are a few minor things I've noticed. I think we've talked about it before, sometimes you get really wordy. I struggle with that myself, so I'm kind of trained to notice. For example: "It shouldn't be like trying to walk a minefield every time she tried to have a conversation with him." You could probably drop one 'try' and the 'like', too. (I read this somewhere as a tip: Metaphor is better than simile.) Please, I absolutely don't want to mess with your style, you'll have to decide if it's something you want to keep an eye on. You can tell me to shut up about it from now on!
Lastly, you may want to up the rating a bit. FFnet can be squeamish and you do throw around a lot of body parts.
| glenarvon chapter 7 . 6/19/2015
You've got a VERY interesting plot going there. I can't wait to see where it goes!
Without the POV shifting your style is really good. A bit wordy, perhaps, but I have no business having an opinion on that sort of thing. Some references to canon events could maybe be shortened or left out (everyone knows what the Bunker is, for example), but you've got to decide if you think it needs fixing or not. The same goes for Hayley sometimes repeating herself when she thinks about Aiden.
One small thing, though, I think Angela probably only knows T-Bone's real name (Aiden seems to be the only one who calls him T-Bone at all). By the way, ANGELA! I've been kicking around ideas on how to include her and I love that you thought of her!
| glenarvon chapter 5 . 5/28/2015
I rather like this story so far. The plot's interesting and you move it at a good pace. You write action really well, too.
A small point of criticism, though. I'm not sure I'm sold on the constantly changing POV. It's mostly personal preference, of course. You have to write your story as you see fit. :)
Anyway, I hope you keep it up. I'll definitely stick around.