The lights are on
I'd like the preface first and foremost that my review is based on the PC version of Watch Dogs. Unlike it's new-gen console variants, the visuals are entirely on par with the early videos of the game. This is not surprising considering the first demo of Watch Dogs was running on a high-end gaming PC. The visuals are absolutely stunning, to say the least.
Technicality and visuals aside, Watch Dogs is a new breath of air for the open world genre. With the exceptions of Rockstar and Bethesda Game Studios, there really haven't been a lot of developers who have been able to make truly memorable open world games. Ubisoft just changed that statement with Watch Dogs.
It is by no means perfect, however the foundation of the game and what it has to offer is immense and provides limitless hours of fun. Unlike the terrible launch that GTA V had with its online service, Watch Dogs seamlessly integrates multi-player into the single player experience. Watch Dogs offers a wide variety of different multiplayer options that players can tackle at their leisure.
Driving mechanics and physics are the best I have seen since GTA. The player actually has to pay attention to what they are doing, breaking when needed, and watching their speed at all times. On-foot controls and gun play mechanics are spot on, and the hacking addition is added in seamlessly and truly transforms the entire experience.
Watch Dogs in many ways is a synergy between Batman and the GTA franchise. It offers stealth, combat, technology, and the vigilante element one would expect from the Dark Knight. It also offers the engaging open world, compelling story, and rich environments one would expect in GTA. Ubisoft has done a fantastic job of borrowing great assets from various franchises and combining them into their own.
I cannot state that Watch Dogs will be on par with Grand Theft Auto and The Elder Scrolls in terms of success. I will say, however, that this is a great first step for Ubisoft in finally making a new competitive open world experience and I can only see a bright future for Watch Dogs in the ensuing years.
Hmm... Batman-ish game mechanics. It is nice that you mentioned that. I so far noticed some more "Hitman: Absolution" mechanics (but of course with hacking involved). But I can see why Batman is similar, and I can't believe i didn't notice that.