Generally favorable reviews - based on 80 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 80
  2. Negative: 0 out of 80
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  1. May 27, 2014
    Watch_Dogs combines an astonishingly detailed world, a gripping storyline, creative game mechanics, a myriad of missions and activities, and improvisational tactical sandbox gameplay to create a truly next-generation open world game. Phenomenal. No other word for it.
  2. May 27, 2014
    This is the game that makes spending that hard earned money on a next-generation console worth it.
  3. Hyper Magazine
    Jun 28, 2014
    Oodles of fun in perhaps the most living game world we've ever experienced. Holster your weapon and hack the planet. [Issue#250, p.53]
  4. Jun 6, 2014
    Despite some standout visuals though there’s nothing here that feels like a leap forward in gaming, and I can’t imagine the core game feeling much different had I played a last-gen version. It doesn’t tarnish the experience, but players looking for a reason to need a new console still don’t have one.
  5. Jun 5, 2014
    What it is, though, is a supremely well- made open world game with some great new ideas and a really intriguing sense of paranoia and technological fear.
  6. May 29, 2014
    Watch Dogs definitely needs some improvements (the side missions for instance) but what remains is a game that pulls the impossible; the realization of its high expectations. Many games focus on specific target groups, but Watch Dogs creates an experience that we can recommend to anyone. And that's something in which few other games succeed.
  7. May 27, 2014
    Innovative, unique and straight-up impressive in the gameplay department... Ubisoft has created a masterpiece. Yet nobody's perfect, as both the story and graphics could have been done better.
  8. May 27, 2014
    Incredible design, tons of content and a deep, interesting concept in a product that ties every aspect together very neatly. Quite simply the best game from Ubisoft since Beyond Good & Evil.
  9. May 27, 2014
    Watch Dogs has had a lot of adverts revolving around the promise for some crazy unseen next gen’ graphics. But if Ubisoft’s title is not the eye-watering masterpiece we were sold for the last two years, it easily makes up for that with gameplay that cleverly mixes action, stealth and hacking. Actually the whole structure of the game was built around this balance and the result is a success. As a matter of fact we would have enjoyed a more intriguing plot, a more charismatic hero and a bit more depth in the story. But open-world game fans will find some satisfaction in the huge amount of content and a well-integrated multiplayer mode. Some game design choices can be weird (no jump, impossible to shoot while driving, or disappointing close combat animations), but for a first try, Ubisoft Montreal’s team has done it well. Overall, among the GTA competitors, Watch Dogs is the most serious one.
  10. May 27, 2014
    Watch Dogs is a good game and a beginning like Assassin's Creed was prior to a few years ago. It has its own downfalls but in the end it emerges standing and winning.
  11. It’s not often a new game franchise comes into the world so fully realized and without major shortcomings, which is why this is such an impressive achievement. Not only is it more polished, expansive, alive and fun to play than many predecessors in its genre, it’s also the best example yet of next-generation gameplay.
  12. May 27, 2014
    Watch Dogs is far and away the best game to released for the new consoles.
  13. May 27, 2014
    Watch Dogs doesn’t have the depth you’ll find in a Grand Theft Auto title, but it does have a unique gameplay experience through hacking abilities, a gorgeous gaming environment to play in and enough added content via side quests and online play to make it worth your time.
  14. May 27, 2014
    It raises social and governmental questions around a person’s right to privacy. It delivers combat, stealth, story, and an incredible amount of side content to bring the whole world to life. I’m amazed at what the team at Ubisoft has delivered here, and I’m glad that they treated the hacker world with more respect and attention to detail than any other game or movie to date.
  15. It’s not without quirks, but Watch Dogs can be fairly described as close to astonishing in both ambition and execution for the first game in a wholly new and original license.
  16. May 27, 2014
    After a generation that brought us seven years of countless linear and identikit shooters, Watch Dogs is the open world adrenaline shot that fatigued gamers needed. While the story could have been better and Ubisoft have made a few questionable design choices, it’s rare to see a big budget game that offers players freedom in almost every aspect of its design – and, more importantly, one that is this much fun while doing so.
  17. May 27, 2014
    Though gang warfare slightly overtakes the more pertinent theme of personal security and government surveillance, Watch Dogs is a superlative technical achievement. Its interpretation of Chicago is painstakingly detailed and sets a new bar for open worlds, with only a spare few hiccups in frame-rate.
  18. May 27, 2014
    Polished to a mirror sheen, and bursting with content, Watch Dogs is a great looking game with a thriving open world and an empowering premise. It suffers from being an amalgamation of every other major Ubisoft game, to the point where it doesn't feel as fresh as it deserves to, but it's still a varied, rich, thoroughly dense experience.
  19. May 27, 2014
    Maybe Watch Dogs doesn't have GTA's highlights, but it's still one of the most impressive debuts to date. The game is huge and the hacking adds an interesting new layer to the free roaming genre.
  20. May 27, 2014
    Despite an insipid plot and a cross-gen look, Watch Dogs is one of the most dense and interesting free-roaming released in the past few years.
  21. May 27, 2014
    Watch Dogs isn't inspiring or revolutionary, but it's a well-rounded approach to open world gameplay. Completing the story and merely sampling the various side activities can last over thirty hours, with plenty more left to do. The focus on hacking lends to more cerebral gameplay, and the multiplayer is solid.
  22. May 27, 2014
    Watch Dogs is a very good free roaming game, with nice graphics (even without the gorgeous visuals we saw in the first trailers), interesting hacking-based gameplay mechanics, and solid gunplay. Sadly, the story, very poor and badly written, is not what a game like this deserves.
  23. May 27, 2014
    On PS4 Watch Dogs is gorgeous. Whether it’s a gusty, sunny Chicago day or a rainy night, the game never ceases to amaze. Its draw-distance is second-to-none and the engine always feels like it’s two steps ahead of what you’re doing.
  24. May 28, 2014
    Watch Dogs is one of the best options in the PS4 catalogue. Taking control all over Chicago with your smartphone is really enjoyable, and even if it doesn't surpass games like Grand Theft Auto V in quality, it offers many hours of gameplay on Sony's new platform.
  25. Games Master UK
    Jun 29, 2014
    Forget speculation about textures and frame rates - this is a winning new -gen proposition. [Aug 2014, p.56]
  26. May 27, 2014
    It is a great surprise, and even though we've felt the team behind could have pushed harder to make it a better experience, it's a game fans of the genre will definitely enjoy.
  27. Pelit (Finland)
    Jun 12, 2014
    Watch Dogs has dull characters spewing agonizing dialogue, but gameplay-wise it gets most of its ingredients right. Even the simplified hacking feels like something new. [June 2014]
  28. Aug 6, 2014
    Watch Dogs is a fun open world experience. However, the repetitive chases and the formulaic gameplay tend to get tedious and boring after a while. As such, you might want to enjoy the different multiplayer experiences and take frequent breaks to just roam around the city.
  29. Jul 18, 2014
    Overall, it is almost without a doubt the best platformer that has popped up on the current generation of consoles and is a bedrock on which Ubisoft could build a brand to remember.
  30. Jun 2, 2014
    Watch Dogs has the guts of a masterpiece. This ambitious project had the foundation to be one of the most amazing interactive experiences in history. Therefore, it’s with a somewhat dejected heart that I must deduct points for falling short in several areas. The story and character development isn’t of the strongest stuff, there are a few minor to significant control issues, and multiplayer invasions don’t quite cut the mustard.
  31. May 27, 2014
    While minor bugs, inconsistencies, and a lackluster story restrain Watch Dogs, its impressive environments, fluid interconnected mechanics and welcome multiplayer components set the bar for future open-world experiences, and help it to stand as a sign of things to come.
  32. Watch Dogs is a very different game story-wise. Crafting, hacking and roaming in the city is fun. Even if the game seems perfect, there are some annoying bugs. Not a perfect one but a very good hit.
  33. May 27, 2014
    While Watch Dogs is not as brilliant as it could have been, this game is a very good one and worth picking up for sandbox fans.
  34. May 27, 2014
    Inevitably, two years of gamer fantasies must come up against those first hours of playing and in at least one or two regards, be found a little wanting. But Watch Dogs more than makes up for it with a range of unexpected pleasures, from its winning script and characterisation, to its real success in turning hacking into an engaging gameplay mechanic. A must-play for new-gen owners.
  35. May 27, 2014
    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.
  36. May 27, 2014
    Watch Dogs is a great traditional sandbox game that focuses on adding to the genre rather than reinventing it. The formulaic gameplay lacks variety, but Watch Dogs makes up for it due to its high quality and incredible depth.
  37. Jun 2, 2014
    It’s probably one of 2014’s most hyped games, and it delivers on some levels. It is just let-down by the fact that Watch Dogs promised so much two years ago when it was revealed.
  38. May 27, 2014
    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.
  39. Play UK
    Jun 21, 2014
    Decent solo stuff, but it's the multiplayer that steals the show. [Issue#245, p.53]
  40. Jun 21, 2014
    It is an elaborate trifle, a AAA time fritterer, a playground with skyhigh production values mired in a bog, a dessert tray without an accompanying meal. It is mostly hollow, almost entirely meaningless, and only accidentally relevant. And I’m having a grand time with it.
  41. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Jun 16, 2014
    Watch Dogs comes close to earning Best in Show, but falters on some critical open-world elements. Bring on the sequel! [July 2014, p74]
  42. Jun 6, 2014
    It could’ve achieved true greatness if it had followed through on its most ambitious promises.
  43. Jun 3, 2014
    Watch Dogs was probably never going to be the ground-breaking “next-gen” experience many had envisioned back in 2012. It’s hardly run-of-the-mill but at the same time only makes a few genuine attempts to break the mould. However, in these areas – such as the online multiplayer – there are genuine glimmers of innovation worthy of merit, and if you look anywhere else, players will still find an open-world game backed by a unique premise and solid core gameplay.
  44. Jun 2, 2014
    Watch Dogs isn't a hack job, but it isn't the next-gen revolution that many were expecting either. It's a game largely made up of mediocre bits and pieces, but is elevated far beyond the sum of its parts by its brilliantly dynamic sandbox and often gripping mission design.
  45. May 30, 2014
    A decent effort for a new IP and hopefully a sequel can build upon a solid base.
  46. 80
    Watch Dogs on PS4 executes fresh gameplay ideas with aplomb, marking one of the first games of this new generation of consoles to innovate within its genre. It's a slower, smarter sandbox shooter with an astounding degree of content, but despite resonant themes of technological overbearance, its poorly handled story likely won't grip you.
  47. May 29, 2014
    Watch Dogs is a slick action game that's very relevant today. The urgent theme opens the door for gameplay mechanics and situations that actually touch reality. However, the game lacks a strong protagonist and a focused story. That's a shame, because the foundation of the game - despite the somewhat tight pattern of the missions - is fine to say the least.
  48. May 28, 2014
    It's not the "behemoth" many were expecting, but that doesn't mean Watch Dogs is not delivering what Ubisoft had promised in almost every respect. If you like "open-world" games with a twist, this is for you. And if you have the option you should definitely go for the next-gen or PC versions.
  49. May 28, 2014
    In the end the ambitions and message of Watch Dogs overshadow any technical glitches or disappointments. Watch Dogs might not be exactly the game we envisioned after E3 in 2012, instead it's a playful and varied action game in an open 3D world dynamic enough to allow the players to create their own memorable moments. The icing on the cake is how the game manages to tackle current events like surveillance on citizens and our willingness to share personal details with the whole world online in an engaging way that makes the player feel and think.
  50. May 27, 2014
    It’s engaging, enjoyable and offers massive bang for the buck, but has too little to say about our eroding digital privacy and stars an anti-hero who you’re likely to forget as soon as the credits roll.
  51. May 27, 2014
    When I say that Watch Dogs does not meet expectations, I’m not only referring to the technological aspects - new concepts and ideas are the key parts. In this aspect, it’s definitely on the right path. it is important to mention that this is a game that most of the time is very good, but there is still potential to be explored in the future.
  52. May 27, 2014
    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.
  53. May 27, 2014
    Watch_Dogs has a very obvious storyline and some minor issues, but as a game it offered me lots of satisfaction and finishing it was a real pleasure (there was no boredom, and I can't say that about all Ubisoft's sandbox games). The most important thing is the idea - the developers had a good one and were able to deliver a very good game on top of it. If there were no GTA V and surprisingly good Sleeping Dogs, the final grade would be higher.
  54. 80
    The main character has the charisma of a wet piece of cardboard, but other than that, Watch Dogs is solid and a great foundation for Ubisoft to build on in the future. Having spent many hours in virtual Chicago as Aiden Pearce, we’re only hungry for more.
  55. May 27, 2014
    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.
  56. May 27, 2014
    Its shallow narrative and bland protagonist detract, but those looking for a finely-crafted open world game that eschews parody and satire for an overall darker tone will have a great time in Watch Dogs' digital Chicago.
  57. May 27, 2014
    A passable but not detestable story and characters is Watch Dogs biggest criticism, but the fact that it handles an open world the right way - and adds in a genuinely original multiplayer component - more than makes up for it.
  58. May 27, 2014
    After an opening act bogged down by tutorials and dodgily scripted story sequences, Watch Dogs removes the shackles, takes some chances and begins to live up to its own hype...Despite its pacing issues, Watch Dogs manages to tell a worthwhile story that's backed up by some novel new ideas in both single and multiplayer.
  59. May 27, 2014
    When compared to GTAV, the game falls short in most places — notably in driving and side-missions. Falling short to one of the games of the generation, however, is still a huge accomplishment and Watch Dogs blazes its own trail by offering the ingenious addition of hacking. With tons of content and a surprising amount of humor, Ubisoft has laid an incredibly solid base with Watch Dogs. It might not be at the top of its class, but it’s a damn fine salutatorian.
  60. May 27, 2014
    Watch Dogs’ interconnected world is a wonderful, explosive, high-tech playground. Shame the people who inhabit it are so forgettable.
  61. May 27, 2014
    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. Other games have nailed a better balance in optional activities and large-scale ambiance, including other games from Ubisoft Montreal itself. 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.
  62. Joystiq
    May 27, 2014
    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.
  63. May 27, 2014
    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.
  64. May 26, 2014
    Watch Dogs is a really good GTA-Like which gives us a new weapon: the hacking ability. It is not revolutionary, but it provides interesting new gameplay mechanics to try.
  65. CD-Action
    Jul 25, 2014
    It’s a bold first step on the new terrain for Ubisoft. The game is enjoyable, offers some interesting mechanics and lasts for long enough, but is bland as a whole. The characters lack personalities, the city could use more distinctness and the story is instantly forgettable. [07/2014, p.46]
  66. Watch Dogs relies on unfiltered girth to entertain. Another victim of cross-gen releases, there’s nothing particularly ‘new-gen’ about the game, but there are plenty of good ideas and a lot of activities to keep you busy. The fundamentals for a truly special game are in place – but as was the case with Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, it now falls to the sequels to fully realise it.
  67. Jun 3, 2014
    The game is a sort of inverse of Grand Theft Auto 5: triumphant in ambition but faltering in execution. Nowhere is this more apparent than in those NPC bios, which can’t seem to decide if they’re funny or serious.
  68. Jun 2, 2014
    Settling for less, in the game's case, means settling for the usual open-world bag of tricks polished to a high shine, with a downright gluttonous variety of activities to do them in.
  69. May 27, 2014
    Never once does Watch Dogs raise a finger to show the rest of the world which way to take the genre. Instead, it is somewhat of a Best-of across a multitude of thematically and systemically similar games. A highly polished, and entertaining, cross-section through all things 'open world'. I'd lie if I said I hadn't gotten a few really satisfied sighs out of it. But sometimes that's just not enough.
  70. May 27, 2014
    It's a game that reaches a baseline of enjoyment – and that baseline is fairly high – and doesn't raise it further. The mission loop is too samey – drive here, hack a few things, sneak/shoot out – and multiplayer is too throwaway to really affect much. You'll undoubtedly enjoy your time with it, but it won't linger long in the memory.
  71. May 27, 2014
    A highly enjoyable GTA clone but one that doesn’t quite have the panache of Rockstar’s best or the inspiration to make the most of its otherwise enjoyable gameplay concepts.
  72. May 27, 2014
    Imaginative, cleverly integrated online play helps to bolster Watch Dogs’ less exciting single-player offering, which fails to capitalize on its ambitious hacking concept in any truly memorable way.
  73. May 27, 2014
    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.
  74. 65
    The focus on setting up Watch Dogs as a new franchise will pay off in the years to come, but it does come at the main game’s expense.
  75. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Jul 8, 2014
    Ambitious, yet under-cooked attempt at a revolution. The flaws are fixable, though, so keep an eye on this series.
  76. Jun 24, 2014
    It has an excellent premise – hacking, revenge and conspiracies – but it then proceeds to not do much with it. The story and gameplay starts to blend into the same generic formula we have seen in other open world action adventure games. This doesn’t mean Watch Dogs is a bad game; it is a decent well-made game that is also just (here comes that word again) generic.
  77. Jun 23, 2014
    Here we have a game that borrows too heavily from others – entertaining as those mechanics may be – robbing it of its own unique identity. The hacking rectifies this somewhat, providing that differentiating hook, but even that’s not enough to elevate Watch Dogs above the sum of its derivative parts.
  78. Jun 11, 2014
    Watch Dogs is a game with a high budget that has some really good ideas. Unfortunately it also comes with a lack of focus and many pointless mechanics. Although Ubisoft understand the potential in the concept of hacktivism they aren’t using it in any meaningful way. And instead of a comment to society, Watch Dogs is a pretty shallow action game that we have seen many times before.
  79. Jun 5, 2014
    It is a genuine shame. There is a real sense of creative energy crackling at the edges of Watch Dogs and a mechanical aptitude in its systems that make it enjoyable enough to play. Parts of the game irritated me greatly, but I rarely found it less than entertaining, and there were moments that brought a real thrill. Watch Dogs immediate success almost guarantees a sequel, and Ubisoft have plenty of strong points with which to build upon. But I would also like to see more conviction in their own ideas, rather than avoiding difficult questions and settling into a pattern of familiarity.
  80. May 27, 2014
    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. It's rough around the edges, though, so if you don't settle for anything less than the best, you'll probably be disappointed...But hey, Watch Dogs 2? That'll probably be pretty cool.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 3540 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. May 27, 2014
    I'n shocked at how there'd are so many haters for this game. IMO opinion this game is wayyy better than gta 5 and here is why. First off theI'n shocked at how there'd are so many haters for this game. IMO opinion this game is wayyy better than gta 5 and here is why. First off the city of Chicago feels way more real than anything rockstar has crafted. Don't get me wrong rockstar can craft some great live open world games but nothing comes close to matching watchdogs living breathing city. Random crimes happen, fights, and some nova will even call the cops on you. It just feels so real even in how the npcs interact with you and others. It's simply amazing. The animation and graphics are excellent even though there is a noticeable graphics downgrade. The shooting and hacking in the game is fun and opens up endless possibilities on how to complete missions, stop crimes, or evade the cops. There is just so much content in this game from the aforementioned random crimes to activities like chess, drinking games, races, and even my favorite trips. There is so much more this game offers but explaining it would take a while and I'd rather get back to playing this amazing piece of work. It is well worth the money don't believe the hate. It ain't perfect but it sure as hell is close to it 9.5/10 Full Review »
  2. May 27, 2014
    I hoped that game was the GOTY, but unfortunately Watch Dogs has so many problems that you cant avoid or lie to your self.

    1- Yes, the game
    I hoped that game was the GOTY, but unfortunately Watch Dogs has so many problems that you cant avoid or lie to your self.

    1- Yes, the game dont have the E3 graphics. They downgraded the game. I dont have problem with the current graphics, but I have with lies!
    2- The game was delayed for what? I hoped that time waiting was used to make the game better, not worse.
    3- Every where I look, here on Brazil, Watch Dogs is the most expense game of all time! At Steam, or PSN. I complained to ubisoft, and for my surprise they answered "the game worth this price". Cool, dont it?
    4- Watch dogs is a GTA clone, with a small city, promissing the best graphics of all time, but even Infamous Seceond Son has a better look!

    Sorry Ubisoft, you lied for us. And Im very disappointed with you.
    Full Review »
  3. May 27, 2014
    Graphics is nice, gameplay is good though gets boring after 4-5 hours of playing. I would give it 7/10 if it wasn't that overhyped. Ubisoft,Graphics is nice, gameplay is good though gets boring after 4-5 hours of playing. I would give it 7/10 if it wasn't that overhyped. Ubisoft, calm down your marketers. Full Review »