Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. May 27, 2014
    90
    The game was designed to put control into the player’s hands and it succeeded. I thought the concept was incredibly epic and it didn’t leave me with that “I wish I could do this” feeling I get from some games. The power to play the game how you want is also a bonus. Also, if you’re looking for a game with a ton of replay value, Watch_Dogs will definitely do it. While I figured Watch_Dogs would have been a more sophisticated version of GTA, it isn’t. It can be frenetic at times and sometimes, that’s all you need to have some fun.
  2. May 27, 2014
    87
    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.
  3. May 27, 2014
    86
    A delightful open-world playground with terrific graphics, lots of activities and brilliant hacking gameplay. Poor plotting and the lack of a more courageous treatment of its up-to-date scenario keeps Watch Dogs from playing in the same league as Rockstar's masterpieces.
  4. May 29, 2014
    85
    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...During our playtests, the PC version of Watch Dogs was the best looking of them all.
  5. May 28, 2014
    85
    Ubisoft's challange to GTA has succeeded and shows great potential. But the writers should have shown more courage to be different and remarkable.
  6. Jun 23, 2014
    80
    Nothing could have realistically lived up to the immense level of hype that Ubisoft stirred up for this game, and while I value strong narratives and envelope-pushing technological advancements, I place just as much importance in the ability to enjoy the gameplay that's being offered to me. Watch Dogs is one of the more exciting sandbox games of the last few years, and if this is to become Ubisoft's next big franchise, I'm excited to see where they take it.
  7. Jun 2, 2014
    80
    Watch Dogs is an interesting open-world game, featuring some smart ideas (such as hacking), but in no way does it change the map of the gaming industry. The previously tested and successful gameplay mechanisms that it uses provide a significant amount of fun, similar to what great efforts of the past delivered (such as Sleeping Dogs) minus a remarkable script.
  8. May 28, 2014
    80
    A good game that could have been a bit better. Although far from Grand Theft Auto's greatness, Watch Dogs is like a compendium of Assassin's Creed and Far Cry's best moments.
  9. May 27, 2014
    80
    Watch Dogs has some smart gameplay mechanics. Hacking is a great experience full of possibilities, and the game perfectly combines stealth situations with good gunplay. However, Watch Dogs has two problems: driving isn't at all polished and has some graphical issues. It's better on PC.
  10. Jun 29, 2014
    70
    There are some strong gameplay elements in Watch Dogs, but overall it's merely an adequate open world game. [July 2014, p.46]
  11. Jun 13, 2014
    70
    Watch Dogs are no gaming revolution, but it is definitely a steady start of the new series. With respect to the game's size you may wink at technical issues which are like a really heavy stone attached to the PC version's ankle. However, you may wink at them but only to some extent. Enough is enough. Despite all that, Watch Dogs do not deserve to be damned considering it is an entertaining title, and although it does not run on 100% for the most part, let us say it does not pronouncedly fail in anything apart from its story.
  12. Jun 4, 2014
    70
    It is Open World: The Game, and as such, struggles to find an identity of its own beyond its entertaining hacking hook and the inspired multiplayer. But those two elements make up a sizeable portion of the game. There are moments of genuine brilliance buried in the game that elevates it above mediocrity, but its reliance on increasingly tired design does it a disservice.
  13. Jun 3, 2014
    70
    Ubisoft has a less-than-stellar record with portings of its AAA games and Watch Dogs is no exception.
  14. May 27, 2014
    70
    It’s good, but it could, and probably should, have been great. The underlying irony of Watch Dogs is the fact that the game itself suffers a bit too much from an identity crisis.
  15. May 28, 2014
    65
    Its best moments feel like flashes of brilliance rather than sustained genius. Its weakest moments are formulaic, repetitious and banal — a reminder that the next generation is a lot like the old one, but with more gimmicks.
  16. Jun 5, 2014
    60
    Watch Dogs became a certified hit in its first week of sales, moving more than 4 million copies. It is Ubisoft’s fastest-selling game, and from now on, it is condemned to live in the same milkshed alongside Rayman and Assassin’s Creed. Alas, this record wasn’t set by a smart techno-thriller with a fresh take on social stealth mechanics that had tantalized everyone at E3 2012. Watch Dogs is just a pale shadow of what it could have been.
  17. May 27, 2014
    60
    Watch Dogs is decent, but as the first entry into the series it’s still trying to find its niche and its style, and as a result it’s a little bland and all too repetitive. It successfully apes a lot of other games without ever really finding a way to stand out on its own, and the hacking isn’t really enough to push it past “me too” status.
User Score
4.6

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 2579 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. May 27, 2014
    3
    Facts about Watch Dogs: - Stupid NPC - Woods cars - Not interesting player's company. - Nothing to do in city - Static shadows It is game not about hacking. One button click is not hack. It is game not about freedom. You have only few opportunities which stay so boring after 2 hours. Full Review »
  2. May 27, 2014
    4
    Talks the talk, but can't walk the walk. The game just feels flaccid compared to its peers, mostly in the open world department. Mini games like poker and chess feel detached from the theme of the game, and are thrown in to up play-time. Most things that tie an open world game together are quite lacking in Watch_Dogs. Technology and world interactions are shallow and sometimes completely absent. Driving, a huge part of open world sandbox games, feels terrible and floaty, with minimal car damage making this game look like there was no effort put in from the developers. Hacking is "Press X to Hack", but I can forgive Ubisoft for that since it's a new mechanic, and when it works it's interesting. The game is mostly centered around stealth, which actually works quite well, with enemies shooting at the last spot they saw you, rather than being all-knowing beings. However, when you are forced into combat, be prepared for the most generic TPS on the market. Soundtrack is pretty garbage... prepare to hear the same handful of alright songs over and over again, until you decide to turn the playlist off. The game doesn't look like it should, this is a next gen game, and while it struggles to perform on most PCs, it looks like a decent 7th gen game. Story is pretty garbage, a huge waste of potential, with characters that really are just handled at a weird angle. Watch_Dogs is a strange case of a hugely anticipated game being handled seemingly without care by its developers, and it's a damn shame it turned out that way. There are better open world games that deserve your attention more than Watch_Dogs... looking at you Sleeping Dogs. Full Review »
  3. May 27, 2014
    0
    First of all, this game is broken beyond repair. My computer uses a graphics card utilizing two GPUs on the same PCB, which is essentially an integrated Crossfire system. Disrupt doesn't support such systems (the engine), so I had to install it on my powerful laptop with a dedicated Nvidia GPU, which worked as Nvidia is in bed with them. It stutters like **** and makes the game unplayable at any setting but the lowest.

    The crime system is a joke consisting out of three different cases in six different locations, each the same. The repercussions are a joke, getting money is a joke, there is two types of police vehicles, two models... The helicopter and the generic vehicle.

    There is no dynamic lighting (not even on ultra), the game looks like **** during the day. The drving mechanics are a joke, cutscenes are pretty much the only thing that's okay. But you can't drive anything, it was developed by a goddamn toddler.

    Stealth missions are an automatic fail on the first sight of discovery.

    Where is the pride? Big review houses are giving this game huge scores (8+), but it doesn't deserve 3. It's a piece of **** go around it if you can.
    Full Review »