- Murray Robertson
- 23 June 2014
Ubisoft's tech-minded release is an ambitious if slightly buggy open world shooter
When Watch Dogs was revealed at E3 in 2012, it was heralded as the first true next gen title, with jaw-dropping graphics and a fascinating hacking system. Almost two years later, and after a significant delay, the game has finally hit stores. Does it live up to the hype?
Protagonist Aiden Pearce is, sadly, a typical videogame hero: white, male, gruff voiced, and his story of revenge is similarly rote. What sets him apart is his smartphone which is capable of hacking electrical devices around him, from other phones to car alarms and CCTV cameras (ingeniously used to hack inside buildings). When missions frequently go wrong, it’s immensely satisfying to creatively use your phone to aid your escape – causing traffic chaos, setting off explosions, even remote controlling a train.
Since its first reveal, the game’s graphical prowess has been toned down and, despite the delays, it’s still a buggy release. However, Watch Dogs is an ambitious open world shooter. It may lack GTA V’s detail and polish, but its hacking mechanic is likely to inspire many more games to come.
Out now on PC/PS4/Xbox One/PS3/Xbox 360 by Ubisoft.