Watch Dogs Review Roundup

How many dogs must a watch dog watch before they've watched enough dogs?

Watch Dogs is finally here! It's one of the most hyped-up games of the past few years, ever since Ubisoft stole the show at E3 2012 with that hugely impressive demo. But there was also that big delay last year, bumping the release of the title to just a couple of weeks before E3 2014 opens its doors. The game was released worldwide today, but just how has this open-world hacking-obsessed title fared with critics? Right now the game is sitting pretty with a Metascore of 82 on GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

Watch Dogs is available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, with a Wii U version scheduled to arrive later this year. Those who buy on PS4 will get a little slice of extra content, whereas PC owners with Nvidia cards will get access to a suite of fancy visual effects.

GameSpot -- 8/10

"I can confidently say that Watch Dogs is a lushly produced and riotous game with an uncanny ability to push you from one task to the next, each of which is just as fun as the last. This version of Chicago is crawling with a hyperbolic number of degenerates, and I didn't mind squashing pyromaniacs and slavers under my tires as I plowed through the streets chasing after a hacker, hip-hop beats blasting from the radio. After all, the struggling mothers and homeless beggars wandering Chicago deserve some peace of mind, and doling out some street justice is a good first step." [Full review]

Edge -- 8/10

"It’s all a bit of a muddle, suggesting an unwarranted lack of confidence in the core systems, and at times the most keenly anticipated game of this new generation leans too heavily on the conventions of the past. Watch Dogs was so well received at E3 2012 not for its looks, but what it promised: a truly new way to play open-world games in which the concept of agency extends beyond choosing where to go and what to do next. And whether you’re on foot, behind the wheel or in combat, Watch Dogs delivers on that promise." [Full review]

IGN -- 8.4/10

"One-button hacking might be overly simplistic, but it does give you abilities that make playing through Aiden’s story feel powerful and fun. Doing side missions and multiplayer as you make your way through the dark and lengthy story makes it feel like a huge adventure, and stealth options let you play smart if you prefer. Car chases aside, Watch Dogs is fundamentally very well made, and has more than enough unique ideas to make it a great and memorable open-world action game." [Full review]

Inside Gaming Daily -- 80/100

"I can’t get past the fact that there is so much to do in Watch Dogs it almost feels like too much. Literally, you could spend 100 hours in varied missions that, while they eventually become a little repetitive, are backed by effective AI that makes each encounter sufficiently unique. The voyeurism of invading citizens’ personal space is truly compelling, even if the main story arc is relatively straightforward." [Full review]

Polygon -- 80/100

"It’s just as frustrating that Watch Dogs is content with caricatures over characters. It leans heavily on noir stereotypes--the sexualized female source of info, the character macguffins, the muddy morality and lack of easy choices. It leans so heavily on those noir stereotypes that it becomes achingly predictable--and picks up the genre’s sexism to boot." [Full review]

Eurogamer -- 7/10

"Watch Dogs doesn't have that promising kernel. It certainly entertains, but mostly through borrowed concepts, and the central notion that could have made it stand out - the hacking - is the most undercooked of all. It doesn't get anything horribly wrong, but nor does it excel at any of the genre beats it so faithfully bangs out. It's good, and yet that always feels like a criticism when a game comes weighed down by this much hype. You won't regret the time you spend in Aiden Pearce's world, but nor will it be saved as a precious memory when you reboot." [Full review]

Martin Gaston is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @squidmania
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

133 comments
scottp61
scottp61

I think the hype for the game let me down. Plus, after playing GTA V, this game doesn't feel as polished or expansive as GTA. It feels kinda outdated. Like something from the PS2 era.

I like how the hacking ability is something new,but it's like I've been thinking for some time. Games like Watch Dogs, GTA, Red Dead Redemption, Assassin's Creed, and Far Cry 3 feel too similar. You've got your main story, similar side missions (like hunting, for example), and collectibles. I feel like these kind of games are getting stale. Though I did like L A Noire because it felt new with interrogation and motion capture.

Anyone else feel the same way?

liquidbutter
liquidbutter

dunno how Polygon could give Wolfenstein a 9 but give Watch Dogs an 8. Wolfenstein brings nothing new to First Person Shooters. It's just mindless Nazі killing

puffnbillys420
puffnbillys420

Pretty cool game only just started playing but from what I have seen its pretty underrated its also this first game this gen to take advantage of my home theatres speakers game sounds amazing

Kevy1252
Kevy1252

In my opinion it's going to be like AC, the first game did okat but the second is going to revolutionize the concept

i3randeeno
i3randeeno

Multiplayer is the game's biggest strength. Single player experience certainly didn't bore me but only because I broke all the rules. Immersion was out the window quick.


But really, multiplayer man. A bunch of wizards wreaking havoc together has been a literal blast so far. Just an anonymous opinion, but for those reading this, consider it a tip: If you purchase this title, buy it for the multiplayer.

Verenti
Verenti

In a world with Metacritic, is this really a necessary article? Do people really come to Gamespot to find out what other game sites said?

thekazumalord
thekazumalord

they forgot about giantbomb, which gave it  a 6/10 and play station lifestyle who gave it a 6.5/ 10.. basically reviews are all over the place for the game .some gave it high scores like 9's other gave it low scores like 6's. it depends on if you like this sort of game i guess

MuffintopX
MuffintopX

I am hearing universally that the game is fun. I thought that was the whole point of doing this video game thing. What is the problem?

benleslie5
benleslie5 moderator

Those are all fair scores it's still going to sell well on sales for this year

PS2fweak
PS2fweak

You can develop a really high quality game, or you can release for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One. Ubisoft will always choose the latter. I'm not saying their games suck, but they never reach their full potential because of shortsighted greed. 

remynova
remynova

 Driving is great, gameplay is a bit lackluster, story is a bland. The game it self has no intimacy. It's a sand box game with some neat ideas in chicago but I didn't feel like I was in chicago. If they were to put a gta character in this game and called it gta with hacking, then it would be the same game. There is really nothing that sets it apart from other sandbox games.

lpsyco666
lpsyco666

gameplay 10,for sure...is above in gameplay,more inteligent then gta5

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

It looked like it'd be the best game ever in 2012, then like it'd be amazing in 2013 from the console video they showed, then just okay or mediocre based on everything they've released the past few months.  I havent done much in it yet except for side stuff but I'm having fun.


And as bad as the driving mechanic feels at first (because of how different it is than GTA 5) it's not as bad as some people say it is.  It takes a lot of getting used to.

Flyin3lvl
Flyin3lvl

with this game there are many positives

couple of things iv noticed missing when hitting the share button and nothing but screen capture, no video is this a glitch my end or does this game not feature it? I will try again today but if it's not there I kinda need the definite answer,

walking around listening to the tunes awesome but I kinda thought would be sweet with my tunes streaming instead, kinda like the old 360 days playing grid, and a couple of times he seems to wonder into the wrong cover spot but apart from that all good

looks like a long campaign, I'm still act 1 completed a few main missions but being distracted by the other stuff and mini games then think oh yeah story but the level progression is very nicely balance, the frustrating part of trying again but the satisfaction of the completion,

I think through all the hype it was worth it, if a game gets you hooked, hours passed and looks like progression is being made even when doing the littlest things as well as the main then I can't think of a last line, all I know this game is up there, some minor flaws yes like how many other games core gameplay is there

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

Eurogamer hit the nail on the head this time good review guys completely agree!

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

Lots of 8s.  It's clearly a conspiracy.

How many dogs must a watch dog watch 'for a watch dog not watch dogs?

That one's for free, Martin.

kingsanchez4
kingsanchez4

I don't understand. How is that one sole reviewer calling this game sexist? lol Aiden's sister for example. Portrayed as a strong independent female individual. Nobody is objectifying her.

AizazSharif
AizazSharif

many good games get these type of ratings and games like GTA even on announce date and without the gameplay reveal gets 10. So watever watch dogs is mine and its awesome. 

joenm84
joenm84

Why does anyone let their expectations get so high that a game that is good, borderline great becomes disappointing? I never got the hype for this game, but it looked fun to me and I needed another PS4 game. And so far it has lived up to that at this point. Did I expect mind blowing new ideas, features and graphics? No. No game that comes out on 5 consoles and PC will be groundbreaking. It is not a true "next-gen" game if it is played on last gen consoles. But that doesn't mean it isn't enjoyable. There are far worse games out there that have been the same price. Quit worrying about review ratings and just enjoy the game. Or play something else. Nobody is forcing anyone to buy it or play it.

Erebus
Erebus

I would say Watch Dogs is ALMOST a great game. Every time it has the potential to do something great, it misfires. This happens OFTEN.


There are ALMOST enough hacks in the city to keep things interesting, but not quite.
I've almost had some epic moments, but nothing yet.
The controls almost feel great, but they ultimately feel off.
The world is almost believable....
The music selection is almost passable....
The multiplayer free roam almost lets you have fun...
The multiplayer races are almost worth more than a single playthrough...
The story is almost good...

You get the idea....


It's worth the $25 I paid for it, but I'd feel a little gypped if I had to pay more.

ermacos
ermacos

i dont like it sorry...
I wonder why they delayed it so much, it has bigger limitations compared to SR4 or SD.


And I also dont like their symbolisms...

alenth
alenth

This kind of crap should not be allowed, lying to your customers like that promoting a game that is not like the final version, the sad part is it will sell millions because of uneducated customers that buy up the hype and every trailer out there, the worst thing is how they lied that PC would be the lead platform for the game and then you get a PS3 port, the review embargo shows how sinister these companies can be by stopping the press to warn people before release, I understand that graphics are not the main thing in a game but they promised a lot of features in this game that are nowhere to be found and they never delivered.


I hope someday people will open their eyes and stop supporting these liars.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

I have Watch Dogs. I would say 8/10

I enjoy it but the driving isn't very good. 

I can see myself getting sick of it and not playing it again once I have completed it.

devilzzz2014
devilzzz2014

They lied to the consumer at E3. Look at the graphics they showed would be in the game and then look at what people are getting.  It is bad.

Trev9421
Trev9421

Well, I see your point most definitely, but I believe the same can be said of all genres.

Xenro4
Xenro4

@Kevy1252 Yeah, I could see that. The next will be a truly next-gen title.

Sideways8_4ever
Sideways8_4ever

@thekazumalord all personal opinion. that has always been the stint of reviews. it all comes down to personal opinion. one person could rate a game10 out of 10, while another person only rates it 5 out of 10.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@MuffintopX So all games with fun are a 10, and those without are 0...?  That's a boring system...  :P


Personally, I don't find the game very fun though, it's pretty boring to me :(

push88
push88

@benleslie5 The link that is supposed to take us to the Eurogamer review brings us to the Edge review instead.  Could you look into that please?

kennythomas26
kennythomas26

@PS2fweak  Which kind of makes them a bit lazy lately in the development department, I did have high hopes for the new upcoming Rainbow 6 Patriots, but now not so much.

jkeller211
jkeller211

I don't think the driving is that great but it's not to bad.

kennythomas26
kennythomas26

@remynova  Yeah your right that is why the Saint Row series is successful they have that respect meter that kind make see and a lot stuff out in that city landscape. 

jkeller211
jkeller211

It's a real fun game but I agree it can't be next generation if it's on the old gen.

ecurl143
ecurl143

@joenm84 Peoples expectations are high because of the hyperbole the developer & publisher dish out before, during & after development.

If our expectations are to be a little more realistic, maybe the publisher should be a little more honest with the consumer about the product.

AizazSharif
AizazSharif

@joenm84 u r right .... i still like what ubisoft created atleast its hell better and unique than other repititive and lying GTA type games .... and other worse games get release everyday no one cares but everyone is hell concerned about watch dogs bcuz they want to point out any negative since its a ubisoft game... Go ppl play skyrim and COD u ppl deserve that

themc_7
themc_7

@Erebus lol I feel really bad for you. This game is $70 +tax on console

ermacos
ermacos

that also means, I am not going to buy it... The user reviews in metacritic reflect the reality I could say...  lol

themc_7
themc_7

@alenth but it's still a great game. I wouldn't recommend anyone miss out on this game because Ubisoft didn't completely deliver. Yeah it doesn't look as good as it should, but that's no reason to completely skip Watch dogs

DawnBlue
DawnBlue

@devilzzz2014 I play the game on mostly medium graphics, 1920x1080, and it doesn't look bad enough to warrant crying over to be honest.


How many games actually live up to their cinematic trailers or even those perfected, trailer-like gameplay videos they show early? I haven't heard of many...

GregoryBastards
GregoryBastards

It looks nowhere near the E3 demo on pc with ULTRA even on two titans......not that im concerned just pointing it out.....