It’s May 27th 2014, Watch Dogs from Ubisoft has finally been officially released. I say officially because plenty of those that have pre-ordered the game got it over a week ago. Ubisoft may not like that very much because the game is also available for download as an illegal torrent. The developer has poured over 68 million in developing and marketing Watch Dogs which earns it a respectable 16th place on the list of most expensive games (Grand Theft Auto 5 and the upcoming MMO hybrid Destiny cost 360 and 500 million dollars each ). Despite the leak of the game on torrent website and some early unfavorable reviews the big wait is finally over. Is the game worth the hype? Maybe yes and maybe no, most agree it is a good game, even great, but some elements do not compare well to GTA 5. That said, most reviewers will readily agree they are a bunch of spoiled brats and state that GTA 5 isn’t perfect either. In fact GTA 5 Online is according to most terrible and that was in most cases not covered in early reviews because it wasn’t accessible. Some of the problems with Watch Dogs such as with the graphics, online play and car mechanics that have been mentioned can still be partially remedied in upcoming patches or expansions. However, if Ubisoft is going ahead with its plan to turn Watch Dogs in a multi game franchise than it definitely needs to ditch the PS3 and Xbox-360 because it just leads to too much confusion.
Sadly, I did not get a copy of Watch Dogs. I don’t have a PC that can run and I will be dammed if I buy a console. Instead I will try and summarize what other gaming news vendors have written about Watch Dogs to help you make up your mind regarding Watch Dogs.
IGN has only reviewed the PS4 version, thus keeping everybody with a previous generation console completely in the dark about the quality of the graphics. IGN is very positive about the game and gave it a 8.4. They laments the weak car chases and the Auto-fail stealth missions, little is mentioned about the graphics other than a few slowdown further in the game. It seems IGN is one of the more positive reviews about the game.
‘Watch Dogs is an excellent open-world action game with some unique hacking-magic that makes it a memorable experience.’
Score; 8.4 / 10.
Gamespot has reviewed both the PS4 and the Xbox-One versions of the game. They are less positive than IGN and gave the game a respectable 8. Gamespot in particular lament the lack of importance of the in-game world. This is surprising as such as surveillance of ordinary citizens was touted as a very important aspects. However, according to Gamespot it simply does not lead to anything important and neither does the in-game economy. Apparently buying a fast car is unnecessary as they are readily available in the game. They conclude that the online aspect of Watch Dogs is sadly enough boring. Only the hacking mechanism and the clever mission design save this game. Gamespot does not mention that the online aspect may still be fixed. Gamespot conclude just like IGN did that the lead character Aiden remains too much of a mystery to the player.
‘Watch Dogs does a lovely job of keeping its many interlocking systems from becoming overwhelming, though some systems ultimately feel superfluous.’
Score; 8 / 10.
Destructoid gave Watch Dogs also a 8. However they were less impressed with the hacking aspect of the game by saying it feels too familiar and simple to use. They praise the sheer amount of content in the game but make criticism that the in-game world can also be too trivial at times. Destructoid has reviewed all version of the game. Despite praise of the next-gen and PC they think that the PS3 and Xbox-360 are too dated and at times look worse than GTA 5. The old generation console has specifically a problem with pop-in of structures and cars. Were as with GTA 5 it was only a problem of you drive at a insane high speed with Watch Dogs it can become a problem even at moderate speeds.
‘Despite the fact that Watch Dogs hasn’t made any meaningful impact on the genre, I found myself having a ton of fun with it. Between the deep levels of customization and the sheer breadth of content, there’s no shortage of things to do. If Ubisoft can take the game’s core fun factor and marry it with an actual “next-gen” experience the next time around, they’ll have something truly special.’
Score; 8 / 10.
Well that was it for this review roundup. I think Watch Dogs it definitely worth checking out even it didn’t get a insanely good grade. Some of the problems encountered can still be fixed later. Don’t forget Star Trek Online barely got more than a 7 after it was released 4 years ago and it evolved over time into something special. Even if Watch Dogs is mostly a single player game Ubisoft will continue to work on multiplayer just to keep you coming back for more. If you can get a copy of Watch Dogs make sure it is PS4, Xbox-One or PC. This was Watch Dogs Review Roundup