Team behind Watch Dogs says game needed more time

The long-delayed Watch Dogs appears to be finally ready for its debut. 

By , Correspondent

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    A screenshot from Watch Dogs.
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Ubisoft has finally set a launch date for Watch Dogs, an open-world title originally intended to hit shelves last October. 

According to Gary Steinman, the communications director for Ubisoft, the PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, and PC versions of Watch Dogs will be available on May 27. A Wii U edition is also in the works, Mr. Steinman said, although the release date is still being determined (another blow to consumers who invested in a console that has been written off by a slew of third-party developers). 

In a Q&A, Dominic Guay, a producer on Watch Dogs, said that the Ubisoft team used the delay to polish the final product. 

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"We had the game playable front-to-back in spring [2013], which meant we had like five, six months ahead of us to iterate and debug, which is more time than a lot of games need," Mr. Guay said. "But because we are a new [franchise], a new game experience, that wasn’t the case. We needed that time and we needed more."

The big question now is whether Watch Dogs, after all this build-up, will be able to deliver on its promise – or whether it will more like Thief, another long-delayed game which received less-than-enthusiastic reviews when it was finally released.

We won't know for sure until May, of course. But if a hands-on test by the Financial Post's Chad Sapieha is any indication, the wait may have been worth it. 

In Watch Dogs, Mr. Sapieha finds a "gorgeously-rendered" title, full of cleverly-designed puzzles and explosive action. "It’s a game that raises questions about privacy, security, and what constitutes criminal access and use of information and information technology," he writes. "These are big, timely ideas. And they’re presented within a fittingly large game." 

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