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Watch Dogs vs. GTA 5: A video comparison

Chris Plante co-founded Polygon in 2012 as editor-at-large and is now editor-in-chief. He also created and occasionally teaches NYU’s Introduction to Games Journalism course.

Watch Dogs is Ubisoft's play for the Grand Theft Auto crowd. This sounds like cynical speculation, but really it's business. Grand Theft Auto 5 is approaching $2 billion in sales, and its inevitable release on PC and next-generation consoles hasn't even been announced. Every AAA publisher wants those sales.

As far as Grand Theft Auto inspired games go, Watch Dogs differentiates itself in some fascinating, sometimes ambitious ways. The ability to hack objects changes how the player engages with the virtual world, allowing interaction with citizens without unholstering a gun.

What's surprising, though, is how much GTA's cynical spirit found its way into Watch Dogs. The two games are similar — just not in the way you might have guessed.

(Watch on YouTube)

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