Ubisoft’s highly-anticipated console and PC game, Watch Dogs, came out today. One of the cooler features of the release, though, at least from a mobile gaming standpoint, is an app for both iOS and Android that purports to be more than just a tie-in game, letting mobile players “hack into” the console version of the game to play a bit of cat-and-mouse via the mobile app.
As I grabbed the free Watch_Dogs Companion: ctOS Mobile app for my iPhone today (it’s also on the Google Play store), I was excited to drop into the futuristic setting and actually impact someone’s game.
Unfortunately, the excitement didn’t last long. When I tried to connect via the game’s Quick Match option, which connects mobile players to random console players for some head-to-head action, the app hung on the connection screen.
The anticipation of interacting directly with a console game via iPhone is a huge draw; these kinds of issues, while common on release day of big-budget games, could tend to alienate the very consumers the app is meant to impress.
It’s not just the mobile app with issues, either, as Ubisoft’s official Watch Dogs Twitter account mentioned connectivity issues today, though they were more about Uplay, the game publisher’s own multiplayer system.
My own issues continued as I tried to connect my PlayStation account to the mobile app: I got an unspecified error. The News icon on the main app page gives another error, even though there’s an icon indicating there might be new info to be had.
I would love to play the Watch_Dogs Companion: ctOS Mobile when away from my PlayStation 4 copy of the larger game — if they’re anything like me, the longer players are in-world, the more they’ll want to stay there. My inability to connect to the game sours gamers’ perceptions of the brand.
Of course, if Ubisoft fixes whatever the issue is fairly soon, I’m sure we’ll all forgive and probably forget.
Until then, though, you’ll have to drop $60 on the console or PC game to get any kind of taste of the action. The free mobile app is just a big mess right now.