Watch Dogs review - Magical hacking


The game's setting, Chicago doesn't leave much to the imagination, and unfortunately it isn't one of those colorful cities with beautiful vistas and interesting locations. Sure, there are some landmarks here and there, but nothing really impressive. Not only that, but given the setting, Watch Dogs is quite bland: a mix of brown and grey, with glitzy skyscrapers you cannot interact with. It should look better than say, Sleeping Dogs, but unfortunately, it really doesn't. It's most likely due to the setting itself; the windy city is not even close to being as interesting as Hong Kong.

What about graphical fidelity? Well, I cannot say I am impressed by the game. The texture resolution is decent, the character models are serviceable and the lighting is also 'fine'. The only thing really impressive is the water, and the weather effects. 


I don't usually cover sound, unless it's something memorable, say Silent Hill's or Transistor's soundtrack, or The Wolf Among Us' voice-acting. With these open-city sand-boxes (Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row, Sleeping Dogs) you get a number of performers providing plenty of copyright registered songs for some variety whilst you're driving.

Watch Dogs is no different, though I cannot say any track got stuck to me. You've got a mix of trip-hop, country, one or two rock tracks, the obligatory hip-hop, and even one or two really weird tracks thrown in there, but not much else.


Before I talk about the game, I have a bone to pick with it. Having played both the PC and PS4 versions, I can tell the PC is slightly better, but not by much. However, there is no justifiable reason why the PC port is in such a terrible condition. There are issues everywhere: graphical glitches, CTDs, artefacts; I experienced them all in my 40 hours of play-time.

Watch Dogs - The Matrix

I cannot say I like the controls either. First, there's some some sort of bizzare positive mouse acceleration present, but even though it's only in the menu screen, it is noticeable enough to mention it. However, the biggest problem I have with the control scheme is the Weapon / Tool wheel. You see, Aiden can use up to only 4 weapons available at any time, whilst his inventory holds 20. So, if you want to exchange the Grenade Launcher for Sniper Rifle, you Press Tab, and use this wheel (the game doesn't pause or slow down). You use the mouse left and right, to choose the Weapon Slot, and the scroll to toggle between weapons, whilst still pressing Tab. It feels more like a roulette than a viable control scheme.


The game struggles to run properly on systems much stronger than mine. I tried it on Ultra for about 40 seconds, before I realised 4 frames-per-second is unplayable. The problem is, it isn't pretty enough to justify it. Again, it doesn't look considerably better than Sleeping Dogs, and I can run that 2012 game with 100+ frames on Ultra.

Watch Dogs - Display SettingsWatch Dogs - Graphics Quality

Still, here are the minimum system requirements, and the configuration for the rig this game was played.

Minimum System Requirements


2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 or 3.0GHz AMD Phenom II X4 940




25GB available


nVidia GeForce GTX460 or AMD Radeon HD5850 XT

Operating System

Win Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Win 8.1




Gaming Rig


Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3300 Mhz


Corsair 8GB, DDR3


OCZ Agility3 60GB, SATA3


MSI NVidia GTX 680 OC TwinFrozr 

Operating System

Windows 7



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