Watch_Dogs review

Ever since it first broke cover in 2012, Ubisoft's ambitious open-world title has been touted as the game that would define the new generation of consoles, the game that would prove just what the PS4 and Xbox One were really capable of.

Unsurprisingly, Watch_Dogs doesn't really live up to the pre-release fervour that surrounded it. But that's not to say it's a failure. As it happens the game is an enjoyable mix of Grand Theft Auto and Ubisoft's own Assassin's Creed, letting you run around Chicago as hacker-cum-vigilante Aiden Pearce as he attempts to track down the people responsible for the death of his niece.

As good as the driving and combat models are, what really lifts Watch_Dogs out of the glut of GTA clones is Aiden's smartphone. As well as allowing you to hack into camera and computer systems to solve puzzles, it also lets you to turn the environment itself into your ally, opening bridges and changing traffic lights to thwart pursuing cars, or taking out enemy soldiers with exploding electrical junction boxes. It isn't the best-looking game around (even the next-gen console versions suffer from obvious 'pop-up') but Watch_Dogs is a lot of fun and introduces some enjoyable gameplay wrinkles to the format. Just don't go expecting a new videogame benchmark.

Watch Dogs, Ubisoft, x 360/Xbox One/PS3/PS4/PC, £50 Approx