The highly anticipated Watch Dogs launch is finally upon us, and the reviews have started coming in.

Gaming publications had been banned from publishing their take on Ubisoft’s latest game before the official release, due to a controversial review embargo.

Generally reviewers have been impressed, with the in-game recreation of Chicago being cited as one of the star attractions.

Other plus points include varied and entertaining missions, along with a wide selection of optional side activities.

Comparisons have inevitably been made with last years blockbuster Grand Theft Auto V, which is currently seen as the gold standard in open world gaming.

One consistent area of criticism seems to be the driving elements.

Problems with vehicles in the game mostly center on unresponsive handling, and a series of reportedly dull chase/follow sequences have also come under fire.

The positive reviews will come as a relief to some, as the decision to restrict reviews until after release brought back memories of the dire Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Here are what some of the popular online publications had to say:

Gamespot  – 8/10

Some clever mission design keeps you looking forward to the next story event”

IGN – 8.4/10

“An excellent open-world action game with some unique hacking-magic that makes it a memorable game”

Games Radar4/5

State-of-the art thrills, combined with a genuine desire to fiddle with every inch of Chicago, that’ll push you to play to the bitter end”

Eurogamer – 7/10

“It doesn’t get anything horribly wrong, but nor does it excel at any of the genre beats it so faithfully bangs out.”

 While it’s early days, it looks like Ubisoft might just have managed to deliver on at least some of the hype.

Have you played Watch Dogs? Do you think it lives up to expectations?

Let us know what you think in the comments.