When I reviewed Watch Dogs 2 some time ago, I found it strange that I never reviewed its predecessor. Then I remembered that it originally released well before my tenure as a permanent contributor at this amazing establishment.
Well, the short of it is that Ubisoft’s open-world, hacking, shooting, adventure was an under-appreciated experience. It released to a lot of disappointment. Especially when people noticed the obvious visual downgrades from the game’s E3 2012 and 2013 presentations versus what the game actually looked like on release. With that said, however, I found that the story was serviceable, and the open-world experience was novel. With that said, the sequel showed how Ubisoft’s new Intellectual Property (IP) evolved and how much Ubisoft Montreal learned from the original Watch Dogs.
Interestingly, Ubisoft is giving away (for free) the game that paved the way for Watch Dogs 2. All you need to do is log in to UPlay, go on over to the news page, and click on the Watch Dogs banner. Searching for the game via the UPlay Store will give you a paid-for version of the game, and adding the free version gave me a version of the game that was still on “preload”. This is a strange way to handle free copies of a game, but I assume that it is so the company can count the free unlocks easier.
Whatever the case may be, the game is free, and this free version is the entire base game. Sadly, the Season Pass will still need to be purchased if you want to play any of the post-launch content; or want to have some of the outfits unique to the Season Pass.
The deal will run from 7 to 13 November 2017. This means that you have an entire week to claim the game as your own. Ubisoft also confirmed that once you have claimed the game, it will be yours to play forever. So long as you stay active on UPlay. You can even play it offline!
Watch Dogs released on 27 May 2014. It has a Critic Metacritic score of 77%, and a User score of 4.8, with generally unfavourable reviews. Take my word that the game is worth it… especially when free. Although free for a limited time on PC, the game is also available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Wii U.