In an unusual move, Ubisoft has announced a free three-hour 'trial' of Watch Dogs 2 for console players. As of today, PS4 owners can hack their way through San Fransisco for free, before the trial comes to Xbox One on January 24th. PC gamers, however, get no such luxury. This extended demo will allow players to experience a range of solo missions as well as three of the game's online modes: Hacking Invasion, Bounty Hunter and two player co-op.
While brief downloadable demos are fairly common practice, a big publisher releasing such a lengthy game trial after launch is almost unheard of. With Watch Dogs 2 hitting shelves during one of the busiest holiday seasons in recent gaming memory, it seems as though this is Ubisoft's attempt at luring players into a game that many overlooked.
As Watch Dogs 2's global sale figures are currently a close guarded secret, no-one knows how well the game truly sold. UK charts revealed that sales quickly dropped by 80%, though, and it looks like the game didn't quite get the audience that Ubisoft wanted.
The French publisher wasn't the only game company to suffer disappointing sales last year. With the latest Call of Duty also under-performing, Activision performed a similar stunt last month, offering players free access to Infinite Warfare for five days.
Given Watch Dogs 2's quality, the move makes perfect sense. Where its predecessor offered a depressing narrative and repetitive missions, for the sequel Ubisoft righted many of its wrongs, giving players a fun and unique sandbox to hack to their heart's content.
If you're looking for an engaging open-world experience, then you can do far worse than three free hours of Watch Dogs 2.