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]