For more than a year now gamers have been anxiously anticipating the launch of Watch Dogs, Ubisoft‘s near-future open world title. At one point, the title was the must-have launch game for PS4 and Xbox One, but unfortunately a delay into 2014 dashed any of those hopes. In some ways, the delay also deflated some gamers’ enthusiasm for Watch Dogs heading into its May release, but now that the title is out, gamers can finally decide for themselves whether Ubisoft’s latest is worth the hype.
While we’re still working away on our review for Watch Dogs, critics have already weighed in on the game, and thus far the consensus is pretty positive. Sure, like many open world titles, Watch Dogs is not without its faults, but it appears the promise of technology-fueled freedom is (mostly) delivered by Ubisoft.
By now, though, gamers are no longer concerned with learning how Watch Dogs does or does not change the game as far as next-gen titles are concerned, or how Aiden Pearce’s allies figure into the story of revenge. Rather, they want to know whether the highly anticipated game is worth the $60 price tag, or in the case of the Limited Edition, $120. Read on for some choice excerpts:
Polygon (Arthur Gies)
“As an open-world game, Watch Dogs provides “enough” – enough sidequests, enough space, enough of a playground – to qualify, but it doesn’t quite place…But when Watch Dogs focuses on the things it does better than anyone else, it finds an identity worth developing. As a hybrid open-world stealth-action game, it’s in a class by itself.”
Game Informer (Jeff Marchiafava)
“Ultimately, however, the main draw of any open-world game is the gameplay, and while not perfect, Watch Dog’s hacking abilities add an engaging and unique twist to the third-person action. Ubisoft has another deserved hit on its hands, and I look forward to seeing where the new series goes next.”
Giant Bomb (Jeff Gerstmann)
“Even though I feel its story is often weak and its action isn’t that different from other games in the genre, I still enjoyed my time with Watch Dogs. It turns out that the old stuff still works, and the strong-but-standard mission design kept me entertained, most of the time.”
Gamespot (Kevin VanOrd)
“But while I can’t say who Aiden truly is, 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.”
IGN (Dan Stapleton)
“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.”
Joystiq (Ludwig Kietzmann)
“Even when it skews toward bigger actions and questionable bouts of busywork, though, Watch Dogs is a more fluid and modern power fantasy than we’re used to. Somewhere, in its vague, fantastical version of hacking, there’s a lesson about the power and the naughty temptations that lie in our networked, selfie-infested world.”
PC Gamer (Christopher Livingston)
“At times, Watch Dogs can seem like a game we’ve played before, just another open-world city to speed through in a series of stolen cars, another crowd of hoods and hitmen to add to your body count, another moody, growling protagonist to endure in cutscenes. When it deviates from the familiar, however, it really soars: hacking the city of Chicago and all its cameras, utilities, and communications is freeing and fun, and invading the games of unsuspecting players is an unusual and welcome thrill.”
EGM (Josh Harmon)
“With Assassin’s Creed II, Ubisoft Montreal proved they were capable of the thoughtful retooling needed to help turn a promising but flawed first effort into a viable franchise. I’m hopeful that Aiden Pearce and his turtleneck fetish can make a similar leap, but they’ve unequivocally got a much steeper hill to climb. Assassin’s Creed needed some soul-searching. Watch Dogs desperately needs a soul.”
Games Radar (Andy Hartup)
“The story is unlikely to keep you logged in, and the missions will often feel annoyingly familiar, but if you connect with and really explore this high-tech world, there are plenty of virtual–and emotional–rewards to harvest.”
What do you make of the Watch Dogs reviews? Are you planning on picking up the game today? Let us know in the comments below.
Watch Dogs is out now for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. No Wii U release date has been announced.
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