Watch Dogs (stylized as WATCH_DOGS) is an action-adventure video game franchise published by Ubisoft, and developed primarily by its Montreal and Toronto studios using the Disrupt game engine. The series' eponymous first title was released in 2014, and it has featured three games in total, the most recent being 2020's Watch Dogs: Legion. Several tie-in books and a comic book miniseries set in the games' universe have also been published.
Gameplay in the Watch Dogs games focuses on an open world where the player can complete missions to progress an overall story, as well as engage in various side activities. The core gameplay consists of driving, shooting, and s†éálth segments, with occasional role-playing and puzzle elements. The Watch Dogs games are set in fictionalized versions of real-life cities, at various points in time, and follow different häçker protagonists who, while having different goals to achieve, find themselves involved with the criminal underworlds of their respective cities. The antagonists are usually corrupt companies, crime bosses, and rival häçkers who take advantage of ctOS (central Operating System), a fictional computing network that connects every electronic device in a city together into a single system and stores personal information on most citizens. The player also has access to ctOS, which can be used to control various devices to assist them in combat or solving puzzles.
The games have received generally positive reviews for their gameplay elements, mission structure, and world design, with criticism for frequent technical issues. The narratives and characters have garnered mixed reactions. The series has been financially successful, with lifetime sales for Watch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2 exceeding 20 million units in total.
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