One Thing Watch Dogs Does Better Than GTA V

One Thing Watch Dogs Does Better Than GTA V

The open-world DriveShoot games Watch Dogs and Grand Theft Auto V have enough in common that they beg a certain amount of comparison. Despite GTA V‘s generally higher production values, Watch Dogs handily outdoes it in one crucial way.

Back when GTA V came out, I wrote an article about how the game’s shooting doesn’t work very well.

GTA V is overly reliant on auto-aim, to the point where if you set the game to manual aiming, zooming in jerks your aim up and makes it difficult to hit anything without first re-calibrating your reticle:

One Thing Watch Dogs Does Better Than GTA V

Furthermore, GTA V lacks a persistent reticle (except in the shooting range above), which makes it very hard to line up follow-up shots while in free-aim mode. Meanwhile, Watch Dogs‘ shooting works much better:

One Thing Watch Dogs Does Better Than GTA V

For all the complaints I have about Watch Dogs, Ubisoft deserves recognition for making the on-foot action handle far better than GTA V. It’s easier to run, easier to corner, and easier to take cover. If only GTA V’s foot-chases and shootouts could handle like Watch Dogs!

It’s a state of affairs that’s even stranger given that Rockstar’s own Max Payne 3 handled even better than Watch Dogs does. And of course they got the aiming right too:

One Thing Watch Dogs Does Better Than GTA V

We can always hope that the next-gen/PC versions of GTA V will feature re-tuned shooting controls. Failing that, there are always PC mods…


  • Another thing that watchdaogs is better than gta v is that you can hack into your enemies explosives so that it kills them without shooting

    • That is SO satisfying! They scramble around, frantically searching their pockets and while sometimes they get it and throw it away in time, other times they don’t and I just laugh every time!

      EDIT: Or the reactions to the communications disruption both during and after.

      • Totally! I was actually fortunate enough to witness one vic throwing his explosive away from himself into a group of militiamen next to a big ass gas tank. Whole trailer park damn near went up in smoke!

        This game gets 2 Dolphs and A Van Damme from me!

  • I also really liked having a route displayed on the road – I feel that GTA V is the far superior game if comparisons are being made, but I would spend so much time looking at the tiny map in the corner rather than the beautiful expanse of Los Santos.

  • The GTA games have always had pretty horrible shooting mechanics GTA 5 was the best by far but still not great

  • i have an idea for the best GTA type game ever. combine the melee combat from sleeping dogs with the gunplay from max payne, next add in the hacking from watch_dogs with the grappling hook and parachutes from Just cause 2 and bam best open world game ever

  • For anyone who hasn’t seen the latest news today….

    All the awesome E3 Trailer graphics are actually in Watch_dogs…. they’re just disabled. Some guy got into the game files and turn them all on again. The game actually runs better and looks amazing.

    EDIT: I see kotaku already mentioned it here
    sorry, didn’t see it hiding on page 2

  • Ironically, with the ability to hack the locks and alarms of cars in Watchdogs and with Michael’s pet Chop in GTA, we have a situation where Watchdogs handles the theft of automobiles better than Grand Theft Auto while GTA better facilitates the watching of dogs.

  • When telling friends about Watch Dogs it’s mostly negative, except for when I’m talking about on-foot movement, stealth, cover and gun play. These are far superior in Watch Dogs compared to many games. When you have such stand-out features it feels like a greater shame when the rest of the game is so flat.

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