Players: 1+ Player Game | Genre: Action
Release Date: 05/27/14
The Internet, has ties to almost everything, in our modern day-to-day lives. It’s connected to your cell phone, your tablet, your TV, your PC, and in some people’s cases, their cars, thermostats, and so many other things. All these devices are interconnected - And, theoretically, each and every one could be accessed by any of the others (Not sure what you could do, connecting a thermostat in your house, to your car - But, all the same).
The neat thing about Ubisoft’s new game Watch Dogs, is the fact that I could practically just keep talking about the real world, and be able to tell you just about everything about Watch Dogs - That’s how great of a game Watch Dogs is, that players will be able to so closely relate to some of the things that happen in the game.
In the game Watch Dogs, we follow the story of Aiden Pearce, a modern day vigilante living in the city of Chicago, whose most powerful weapon is a Smartphone. The ctOS, an Operating System that runs the city of Chicago’s utilities, security system, telecommunications, traffic system, the Chicago PD’s crime prediction system, and just about everything else - By connecting to this system, Aiden is able to hack into nearly any device. I say nearly, because, first, Aiden has to install backdoors in the ctOS’ hubs, throughout the city - This unlocking system is fairly Assassin’s Creed-esque, in comparison to the synchronization viewpoints. Except, in Watch Dogs, it’s a bit more crucial, as you cannot hack into anything in the area, until you install these backdoors into the ctOS.
The ctOS hubs have armed guards, that you will need to either sneak past, or take out, as you make your way to a position where you will be able to hack into the ctOS hub. In addition, you will need a code, that is possessed by one of the guards. In the demonstration at E3, that we saw, Aiden was able to simply hack into the guard’s phone, and steal the code - A little easier than what I was hoping for, but it works, I guess. Anyway, once the backdoor is installed into the ctOS, Aiden is free to wander about the area, and now hack into any device that he so wishes.
In addition, Aiden is given access to the Chicago PD’s crime prediction system, and up entering an area where there is likely to be a crime committed, Aiden will be notified, and can then being scanning the faces of the people in the area, to identify the potential victim. You can then choose whether to follow this person, or leave them to whatever fate awaits them. If you do follow them, however, and intervene, you will then prompt a chase, with the perpetrator, where you will need to catch them, and either subdue, or kill them - Either solution works, but will also have an effect on how the citizens of Chicago portray you, in their minds.
During the demo that we were shown, at E3, we were given a glimpse at what the multiplayer functionality is going to look like - And to say the least, I was impressed. As the people presenting the demo to us were wandering about, suddenly, an alert saying that we were ‘being hacked.’ At this point, the game shifted over to a multiplayer mode, of sorts. A waypoint appeared on the screen, leading us to a general area where the hacker was located, and additionally there was a ‘download percentage’ meter up in the top left corner of the screen. It was explained to us, that one would need to find the hacker, to avoid them stealing information that, I guess, would hinder us, in some way, and help the other player, in their game. Anyway, the hacker was found, before too long, using the facial recognition software of the Chicago PD’s crime prediction system and database, and the use of a security camera. A chase then ensued, pitting our demo guy against, whom we then found out, was a guy in the room next to us, with an opaque window in the room becoming transparent.
Apparently, there are two ways to resolve this multiplayer instance, though, from this side - One, you simply find and identify the hacker, causing them to stop their download attempt, sparing them, or, two, after finding and identifying, killing them. Whether or not turning off this multiplayer feature is possible, though, was not addressed.
After the other player, in the next room managed to get away, after a bit of a chase, we were told about another function to the multiplayer. Apparently one can then track down the person who tried to hack them, and retaliate, by attempt to hack them. After a little bit of searching, though, the player in the next room identified our demo guy, and thus ensued yet another chase. We then, though, were introduced to another possible outcome of one of these instances - As our demo guy went down an alley, exited his car, pulled out an assault rifle, and shot the player next door, in the head, as he drove towards him. So, the tides can go either way - So, whether you started out as the aggressor, or not, don’t think that you’re the only possible aggressor.
All in all, Watch Dogs is, by far, one of the Best of Show of E3 - It promises, just from the small parts we’ve seen, so far, a great story, as well as an open world environment, with tons of area to explore, as well as an intriguing new style of multiplayer. Watch Dogs, I believe, is a triple-A title that will be one of the best in it’s generation, and a stepping stone to a whole new niche of video games.