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Watch Dogs review: Meet the new open world game, same as the old open world game (but with hacking)

Hayden Dingman | May 28, 2014
Watch Dogs is beautiful, but it doesn't do anything to change up the same core game we've seen since Grand Theft Auto III. This game is "next-gen" in the looks department only.

That being said, it is a fascinating sort of multiplayer I'd like to see more often. Certainly it's more interesting than forcing me and a bunch of others into an instanced world for competition, or jamming the same handful of stupid gametypes (Team Deathmatch) into games that aren't built to support those.

Bottom line
I don't want to leave you with the impression that I had zero fun with Watch Dogs, which I understand would be an easy takeaway after this negative a review. The remarkable thing about the "Drive somewhere, kill someone, drive away," feedback loop is it holds remarkable sway over me. It's a more story-driven method of "filling up progress bars," and each new mission brings the same rush as unlocking that next gun in Call of Duty or whatever. But with a story this bland, there's nothing to show for it at the end.

None of the side missions make particularly interesting use of the hacking mechanic, and after the fifteenth time you see the ground explode in the same exact manner--well, the problem with gimmicks is that gimmicks quickly grow old.

Regardless, if you enjoy that sort of open-world game, you'll enjoy this one. There's nothing that makes Watch Dogs necessarily worse than, say, Grand Theft Auto V. But that's a shame, considering I've basically just said "This new open-world game is on par with what we did last generation." And the generation before that.

And therein lies the problem.

 

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