Rahul is a video game addict who loves lumbering around in open-world RPGs like "Skyrim" and "The Witcher 3." Join him on his adventure!
What Games Are Similar to Watch Dogs?
Watch Dogs might not have been given its due share of credit for its ingenuity, but there's no denying the fact that it's one of the best open-world games of the last decade. Considering there are tons of such games popping left and right everywhere these days, it being on the top can be a big claim. Even though this open-world shooter has its fair share of flaws, but after all these years, it is still innovative and entertaining.
Watch Dogs: Legion, the third and latest addition to the franchise, is aiming to be the most ambitious of the lot, which, to be honest, can go both ways. With the sandbox approach to Legion, it seems as if the quality of the storyline isn't at par with the likes of other open-world games like GTA V or Red Dead Redemption 2. However, it’s still early to predict how things will shape out. While there is still time for the launch of new installments, let's take a look at some games similar to Watch Dogs.
1. GTA 5
Rockstar knows how to ace open-world single-player games with panache. Grand Theft Auto 4 was a masterpiece in all aspects, earning a solid 10 from IGN, which is a rare feat. Five years down the line, they managed to create a new benchmark for adventure games.
For the first time, they experimented with more than one protagonist by allowing the player to control three different people throughout the game. At any point in time, except when you're on a mission, you can choose to switch the characters immediately with just a click. It's a miracle how they have managed to blend all the stories cohesively.
Once you complete the main and side missions, which should take you around 50 hours or so, hop on to GTA Online where you'll share the same world with other players. Go one on one, compete in races, rob banks together, or just wander around with your group, wreaking havoc on the city. It's your call.
Before you start playing GTA Online, you need to understand how its economy works. If you're not careful, you'll be spending tonnes of real-world money on it as everything on the game costs money. Be sure to play the tutorial to get introduced to the basic mechanics. Once you're through that, learn to make some quick cash. There are a few YouTube videos to help you through the process. Once you've some money in your bank account, you can afford its countless properties, bikes, yachts, penthouses, and cars.
2. Sleeping Dogs
Developed by the United Front Games and published by Square Enix, Sleeping Dogs is one of the most underrated games just like Watch Dogs. Despite having a passionate fan base, the game was unable to perform well in the market and was unable to make way for a sequel.
Despite being short, the campaign is one of the best you'll come across. It's unusual, especially these days, to find a freely roaming game with a fascinating storyline. Of course, there are always exceptions like The Witcher 3 and Red Dead Redemption 2, but these are just a few.
When you want to take a break from the power-packed content, there are a plethora of activities for you to choose from. These side options do their best to distract you from the main mission for the right amount of time.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Sleeping Dogs is much more than a mere GTA clone. It doesn't have the grandeur of the GTA franchise, but the game converts its limitations into its strength with grace.
3. Far Cry 5
Far cry 5, developed by Ubisoft, is one of the best free-roaming first-person shooters to emerge over the past few years,. It might not be the best of the lot, but it is the most liberating and free-flowing of them all, giving you the freedom to engage with the world however you like.
This is the first time that after Far Cry 3, there are no towers to climb upon. Additionally, you have to find the quests on your own. Gone are those days when you could just climb a tower and populate the nearby areas with quests and treasure markers. Far Cry 5 will give you prompts and motives to explore its vast sprawling world.
While the main mission is fun, all the side missions can feel like a bit of chore. After a while, things start to get repetitive. Thanks to it's shooting and stealth mechanics, the game still remains fun, even when the story is not. The goofiness, the craziness, and the capriciousness will make you fall in love with the game and eventually get hooked to it. Those looking for some games like Watch Dogs will love what Far Cry 5 brings to the table.
4. Mad Max
Mad Max is an underrated gem that needs more spotlight. Yes, the journey, even though being fun, can seem repetitive at some points. You'll fight the same enemy types over and over again, except for the main bosses. Yes, there are some optimization issues on PC. Despite its fair share of problems, however, Mad Max deserves your attention.
Inspired by Batman games, this one will make you duck, bob, weave, roll and throw in the punches. Once you get the hang of the melee combat, you'll look forward to getting your hands on a bunch of bad guys. Honestly, beating people up has never been more fun!
If you want an intriguing storyline, Mad Max is not the best choice. The story is serviceable at best, serving as the background for tons of action. However, if you love car customization and vehicular combat, Mad Max will not disappoint you.
5. Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Taking place in Bolivia, Wildlands is a tactical co-op shooter where you can team up with your three buddies to weed out the cartel members from the whole country. While Bolivia implodes, the only hope is you and your teammates.
Wildlands is often disliked for its filler campaign, but people often overlook its fun side. If you know what you're doing and you have teammates who can aim reasonably well, you're going to have a blast clearing out enemies from the map.
However, I would not advise the first-timers to play this with other teammates. Try the solo option before jumping in with your friends. The world can often feel a little dull, especially if you're soloing through the whole campaign, but there is enough to hold you over for at least a couple of days.
6. Just Cause 4
Just Cause 4 is way better than its previous versions, but it still suffers from some technical glitches. The developers should have taken more time to give it the required finishing touches. There is no denying that it's a hastily packed product that is still rough around the edges and needs to be polished.
It's worth mentioning, however, that these technical errors won’t be a hindrance to your gameplay. I haven’t yet come across any game-breaking bug while playing it on my PC. There were a few stutters here and there, but not enough to spoil the fun.
Do you remember the grappling hook from Just Cause 2 that helped you create havoc in the game? Well, it's back in the 4th installment, but with new attachments to make it more powerful, unpredictable, and diabolic. It's far from a realistic experience, but having some stupid fun is what we need sometimes.
7. Assassin's Creed: Oydessey
With Odyssey, Ubisoft has finally embraced the role-playing genre by introducing one of the finest open-world games to this date. Unlike the previous iterations, this game gives you the liberty to choose your gender. While this choice doesn't impact the game much, except maybe for a handful of altered dialogues, it still is a nice shift from its previous versions where the games had the pre-selected protagonists for the players.
Inspired by the likes of Mass Effect and The Witcher 3, you will have to make a lot of choices in the game. However, your decisions won’t matter in the long run. The ending, more or less, will be the same.
This massive RPG can easily take above 100 hours to complete, thanks to its endless chain of the main storyline and the side-quests. You will constantly keep on finding something new across your path, there will be something to do, someone to meet, or someone to kill. My only gripe with this game is that it often feels a bit too repetitive. Other than that, it's a flawless masterpiece.
8. Yakuza 0
Yakuza series has always been known for embracing its capriciousness, providing you hours of endless fun and enjoyment. Revered in Japan, the Yakuza series didn’t find the same level of success in the West, thanks to the lack of marketing for these kinds of games. Japanese gaming companies like Saga, Bandai Namco, and Capcom have only recently started pushing their niche products in the Western market - something that's proving to be a win-win for everyone. With these niche games selling like hot cakes on PC, the most recent example being Personna 5, we can expect more goodness to arrive on the platform.
With a great mixture of main missions and side content, Yakuza 0 strikes up a perfect balance between the two. If you feel the storyline is getting a bit intense, you can take a few side missions to ease yourself out. The side content is fun, engaging, and helps distract your mind for a while. Over the course of its 50 hours of runtime, Yakuza 0 keeps you on your toes. There is always something to do, someone to stomp on, or some ridiculous mini-game to partake in.
9. The Division 2
I understand that an online looter-shooter RPG might not be everyone’s cup of tea. You have all the right reasons to be cynical, especially after the hasty launch of the very first game of the franchise. Despite them making efforts to turn things in their favor with updates and fixes, most of the player base never returned to the game.
I am glad to report that The Division 2 doesn’t suffer from the same problems. Yes, the launch was somewhat rocky, but it was surprisingly smooth for an always-online game. Division 2 also improves upon the original version in every way possible, including the shooting and movement mechanics. While there hasn’t been much improvement in the graphics department, there is no denying the fact that this looter-shooter is a more refined version of the very first offering. Ubisoft, the developer and publisher behind this behemoth, has learned from the mistakes of the first game and has worked hard to come up with a better version.
With 11 PVE zones as of writing, there is more than enough for you to spend days scouring the post-apocalyptic map. You can go solo if you want to, but running amok with your friends is always a better idea.
10. Red Dead Redemption 2
Developed by Rockstar and published by 2K Games, Red Dead Redemption 2 is arguably the best action RPG of the last decade. Everything from its stunning graphics to meticulously crafted quests will immerse you in its world of cowboys. It's a treacherous world where life is not worth more than a few coins.
You can, however, change the world as per your choice. There are various ways to complete each quest. You can go all guns blazing if that's what you like, but there's almost and always a second option. Sure, shooting sounds fun, but sometimes, you might just want to use your silver tongue and see where it will take you.
If you get bored of the usual main quests, you can always opt for poker, hunting, or fishing. Surprisingly, these activities offer more than just being fillers. These side activities will keep you busy for hours.
Once you're done with all the main and side content, there is always an option to jump into Red Dead Online where you're introduced to tonnes of online content to further sink your days into. Just like GTA Online, Red Dead Online can be quite an addictive experience. Brace yourself to spend an unhealthy amount of time in front of the screen.
Did I miss out on any other games like Watch Dogs? Let me know in the comments section.