Watch Dogs has been promoted as an action game with a serious story about surveillance, privacy and technology. But beneath all of that, it's an open-world game.
Whenever I play a new open-world game, the first thing I do is cause havoc — not because I enjoy wild violence (though, I don't know, subconsciously I'm sure that's part of why so many people enjoy video games) but because I like seeing how the world reacts to the chaos.
I hadn't seen footage of the police responding to mayhem. I was, at least from this brief experience, happily surprised. After committing a crime, the sounds of police gradually took over the soundtrack. The actual chase felt intense, particularly when a hacked traffic light caused a crash behind me. The only thing I didn't buy was that a car could escape a swarm of police by driving on the 'L' train in downtown Chicago.
One other interesting thing: unlike so many games of its ilk, Watch Dogs does a commendable job making the killing of random civilians arrestingly uncomfortable. There's something nauseating about seeing someone's name and personal information before you shoot them in the face. It's when you write sentences like these that you realize how weird video games actually are. (Watch on YouTube)