Ubisoft built Watch Dogs as one of 2014's biggest games, and then let the hype build up. Granted, we live in a world where hacking and leaking are more significant than they would have been five years ago, but that isn't the only reason it's one of the most expected titles this year, right?
The hype was half-right, Watch Dogs is a massive game, with an interesting story, and a big city left to explore. This is Grand Theft Auto as directed by Ubisoft, with a plot rooted in reality, a "likeable" anti-hero, and a clever premise, in this case "hacking the world." True, it's not the real type-o-hacking, but it doesn't matter, because it's more of an excuse to give you control of the game world.
Sure, Watch Dogs tries to explain everything that's going on, but even so, it still needs a lot of suspension of disbelief. Whilst I am certain hacking can affect many, many aspects of one's life, it most assuredly cannot blow up sewer pipes. It doesn't matter though, because the whole "hacking" gimmick lends itself to some fine, fine sandbox-ing. And, at the end of the day, once you are done running around left and right as each cutscene and NPC dictates, how you walk (or drive) from A to B, and how you destroy Chicago for the umpteenth billion time is the experience that matters.