That’s not tinnitus that you can hear – no, it’s the sound of Watch Dogs hitting store shelves. The build up to Ubisoft’s latest sandbox smash has been more drawn out than the last note in Thunderball, but the open world adventure is finally set to phone home – your home, to be precise. While we haven’t had enough time with the game to deliver our verdict yet, we’ve compiled a handful of the better release day reviews below. We’ll also be bringing you some first impressions later today, along with various features and articles throughout the week. And if you’re happy to hold, our appraisal should be with you shortly.
USgamer.net - 5/5
At this point, I don’t really know what more I can say. Watch_Dogs is a landmark, benchmark, must-buy game. It’s a challenging, rewarding, adrenaline pumping, utterly compelling spectacle that absolutely delivers on the sandbox premise by giving you a really interesting set of tools that you can use in whatever way you see fit to solve inventive, creative and exciting missions and objectives. This is the next generation I’ve been looking for.
CVG - 9/10
Watch Dogs is smart, punchy, HBO-boxset-worthy storytelling spun together with solid stealth, responsive gunplay and voyeuristic power fantasy. It isn't perfect, and it isn't the graphical supermodel that Ubisoft showed at the game's announcement. But as the 'next-gen' poster child we were promised, Watch Dogs delivers and then some.
GameSpot - 8/10
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. This version of Chicago is crawling with a hyperbolic number of degenerates, and I didn't mind squashing pyromaniacs and slavers under my tires as I plowed through the streets chasing after a hacker, hip-hop beats blasting from the radio. After all, the struggling mothers and homeless beggars wandering Chicago deserve some peace of mind, and doling out some street justice is a good first step.
Polygon - 8/10
Watch Dogs’ basic premise is one of its strongest hooks, all old-school noir conventions and private eye posturing with a post-NSA whistleblower twist. But after a promising (albeit well-trod) start, Watch Dogs’ plot struggles to remain coherent. The writing has Aiden’s flaws covered, but it never finds a way to make him relatable beyond a dead niece and a family in trouble. Ubisoft Montreal also introduces so many "big bads" that it’s hard to know who the real villain is.
Eurogamer.net - 7/10
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. You won't regret the time you spend in Aiden Pearce's world, but nor will it be saved as a precious memory when you reboot.
Other Noteworthy Reviews
Have you started to download your digital copy of Watch Dogs yet? Are you waiting for the mailman to deliver your physical version via snail mail? What are your first impressions of the game? Upload your thoughts in the comments section below.