77/100 on Metacritic
This hyped game going back to 2009 looks to offer something different in the open world genre and does so with its futuristic feel with the protagonist being able to hack into the city's (Chicago) central operating system (ctOS), thus enabling traffic lights, steam pipes, bridges and cameras (to name a few) to be hacked into. A trait of every single citizen also pops up when they're close by, whose phone calls can also be listened to and ATM details hacked for money to be withdrawn later. These additions do provide a fresh feel to the genre. I found the plot to do that as well partly due to being more emotive than the GTAs and Saints Rows of the world.
Most of the missions in the campaign involve driving to a location, then stealthing/shooting (generally a choice the player can make)/hacking your way through the level to reach an objective, then escaping the area which often involves a car chase against the enemy and/or the police. The AI are fairly clever, particularly when driving and this is when the hacking comes into play the most that helps you end the chase by obstructing the pursuer. What doesn't work here is that there is a flaw in the game/easy way to lose the target. Jump in one of the nearest waterways, and swim or drive away via boat. There aren't any water police or enemies that want to get their feet wet in this game. It becomes a slightly harder task when a chopper is in pursuit, but even then, once you are traveling by boat the helicopter doesn't keep up. Maybe I was crossing international waters...
Along with the campaign there are many side missions, however there isn't a lot of incentive to do these as the upgrades, money and weapons garnered from the campaign is plenty to get you by.
Playing on PC, I had to make a minor variation to a file to help fix the aiming, the handling is inconsistent while driving as well, but this could be partly due to my ageing graphics card. (Edit- Having played this on a more powerful rig and on PS4, the handling is fine and the aiming noticeably improves too). I didn't get to enjoy this game in all of its beauty either as my card is getting old as mentioned. The load times are fine. but the game could do with a small patch nonetheless. There is also a drinking game as part of the campaign where as the character is drunk, the movement is inconsistent and buttons need to be pressed when the mouse is on those buttons. If the developer's aim was to pi55 me off they succeeded. This mini-game/level seemed unnecessarily frustrating. This comes down to musical taste, but another bugbear is the soundtrack. The collection of songs on the radio are very poor. There are maybe three I liked, and that's why I normally turned the radio off when driving. The original music by Brian Reitzell is great at times, as is the voice acting and overall sound design.
As good as hoped? Maybe not. The missions are too same-same at times and there is too much A-B driving (the fast travel via train is a very useful feature) but from someone unmoved from the GTA series these days this does offer something slightly new. I know people were pi55ed and felt lied to given the very early teaser of this sounded so good, but It's definitely not the unplayable mess and deserving of its negative reputation some like to give it.