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Posted 2:00pm

Watch_Dogs: 7 things you need to know about the future-tech action epic

Watch_Dogs

Watch_Dogs’s dark vision of technological totalitarianism is heading to PS3 and PS4, and we were lucky enough to see the first live gameplay demo in San Francisco earlier this week (played on a DualShock 4, no less!). We’ve carefully studied the footage, asked pressing questions, and present you with this breakdown.

1. Aiden Pierce isn’t your typical videogame protagonist
“Aiden is a man with a dark past who has made questionable choices,” Lead Story Designer Kevin Shortt explained in our first live gameplay demo.Growing up in Chicago, Aiden used his technical prowess to infiltrate bank accounts and access surveillance systems, becoming something of a vigilante. Naturally, these pursuits earned him some powerful enemies on both sides of the law. As you play Watch_Dogs, you won’t be choosing between stark extremes on some binary morality scale, but defining where Aiden resides on much murkier spectrum of acceptability.

2. Chicago isn’t your typical videogame city
We’ve all played open-world action games where cities feel more like a collection of giant painted boxes than a living, breathing urban community. Watch_Dogs’s densely detailed Chicago feel less like a pretty façade and more like a densely populated city.Alleys are riddled with rotting cardboard boxes and detritus and parking garages are honeycombed with gloomy staircases — hack the right device and you may even find yourself peering into the living room of a Chicago citizen.

Watch_Dogs

3. You can hack almost anything
Thanks to Chicago’s Central Operating System (ctOS), the city’s expansive (and invasive) technology is constantly at your fingertips. Take control of a nearby security camera to map out the positions of guards in a well-fortified area, raise a garage door or forklift to confuse and distract your would-be enemies, or — if you’re in particularly dire straits — tamper with the traffic grid and cause a multi-car pileup. These aren’t scripted scenarios, but dynamic and occasionally unpredictable events that can change the course of an escape in a nanosecond.

4. Stealth and no-holds-barred combat are viable options
Aiden is no sedentary computer geek — he’s quite capable of dispatching his enemies using lethal and nonlethal force. The stealthier player will value misdirection and surveillance, using remote cameras to tag and monitor enemy positions while skirting past trouble. Brute-force players will have a wide range of armaments to choose from, but you’ll want to keep civilian casualties in check lest your reputation suffer.

Watch_DogsWatch_Dogs

5. Multiplayer and single-player will overlap
Watch_Dogs will feature a full-blown multiplayer mode set in the mean streets of Chicago, though final details are still under lock and key. More intriguing is that multiplayer and single-player will “seamlessly” overlap, an effort by Ubisoft to demolish the wall that has divided single-player gaming and multiplayer for decades. This interconnectivity will extend to a companion experience on mobile devices, though details remain scarce.

6. Voyeurism is more fun than it sounds
Connecting to “FREE PUBLIC WI-FI” is risky business in the real world, so you can imagine what’s in store for anyone foolish enough to hop on an unsecured network in Aiden Pearce’s city. Aiden can activate Wi-Fi hotspots around the city, then hack into any device that connects to it granting him access to, among other things, a webcam on an unsuspecting citizens’ computer. This enables you to score valuable data, but also peer into the strange domestic lives of Chicago’s apartment dwellers.

Watch_DogsWatch_Dogs

7. The side quests are novel and varied
Once you hack into a district of Chicago’s ctOS, you’ll find yourself swimming in an ocean of data including the city’s crime prediction algorithms. If you want to go full-on Batman, you can use the crime prediction data to track down potential “victims” from the passers-by on the street, then intervene before their lives are cut short by a hail of bullets or a baseball bat to the head. Other side missions are less grim; one of our favorite was NVZN, an augmented-reality arcade game that tasks you with blasting marauding aliens with ray guns.

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Comments

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MaxDiehard 10 May, 2013 @ 2:07 pm   1

This will be my top wanted PS4 game for sure. :)

Have you had any comments on comparisons between this and the CBS show Person of Interest? Because if that had a game, this would be it.

Mark917 10 May, 2013 @ 2:11 pm   2

Seems like Ubisoft have a nice mix of interesting mechanics going on here. I guess realism is what they’re hoping to achieve, but a lot of this stuff seems technically difficult. I hope they’re taking risks that they can handle with this project. A lot of this stuff seems a bit too good to believe. Nonetheless, this still remains to be my most anticipated game of 2013. A lot of fun will be had with everybody posting up videos, tactics and stories on how they tackled a particular problem or escaped a police chase.
Hopefully Ubisoft will deliver on their promises, because if this game fails to live up to the hype, the entire community of gamers following it will sigh with sorrow at the loss of such golden entertainment.

CreditDue 10 May, 2013 @ 2:15 pm   3

Looking forward to E3. I’m hoping to see a full multiplayer reveal and details on the PS4 version.

MASPALOMAZ 10 May, 2013 @ 2:19 pm   4

Sounds more interesting than GTA 5 to me, and yes I do think they were inspired by person of interest(great show).

Like there was just a huge robbery where banks were electronically robbed, well this game fits to it. GTA 5 ? You will use guns. Thats so 80s.

Still looking forward to the California Setting of GTA5 but Watch Dogs will probably be more fun, with a fast engine hopefully.

Sounds well cool this game;) I want to get it for the ‘PS4′ tho(even though i still love:D my PS3) & mainly because(well) ‘IF???’ i can play this on a PSVita via Remote Play off the PS4 then that would be FANTASTIC:P

akosyempre 10 May, 2013 @ 2:27 pm   6

at least a server for every country so everyone can enjoy this wonderful masterpiece :(

ipot_04 10 May, 2013 @ 2:32 pm   7

i’d rather get this on PS4 than to buy a PS3 now.
just disappointed that these kinds of games won’t be available for Vita.

Coody-Baroody 10 May, 2013 @ 2:38 pm   8

Ive not seen any new trailers/demo’s for Watch Dogs but the one I did see from the PS4 reveal show caught my eye for a very WRONG reason. It had extremely bad screen tearing in it. I wantched it in HD on the Youtube PS3 app too so it wasn’t down to the quality of the live streaming.

I know it was only a demo and wasn’t anywhere near the finished game but after all the great things we’ve been hearing about the PS4 and it being a game developers “dream console” I really didn’t expect to see ANY screen tearing in it demo or not.

Im sure it will all be ironed out come release day though.

On another completely off topic note, any The Last of Us fans eagerly anticipating the Naughty Dog masterpiece, PLEASE be careful if your looking on the internet about anything concerning it cos (Im not sure, GOD I hope Im wrong) but I saw a comment on Youtube that totally spoiled the ending for me so be careful guys! I wish I was able to UNSEE things. :(

You have been warned guys.

MaxDiehard 10 May, 2013 @ 3:05 pm   9

@ipot_04

Sony are aiming to make most, if not all PS4 games playable on Vita through Remote Play.

It’s purely up to the developers whether they incorporate it, but with PS4 coming, big things will be heading our way for Vita too. They’re the perfect pair, built to work in conjunction with one another.

Stonesthrow 10 May, 2013 @ 3:30 pm   10

Hope the sidemissions are varied and interesting.

anunnakid 10 May, 2013 @ 4:05 pm   11

Will this game work with remote play on vita, day one?

dark_angel69 10 May, 2013 @ 5:13 pm   12

This is my most wanted PS4 game too. It would been nice for the Vita to be used as the hacking device instead of just the touch pad. Use the Vita as the iPhone.

@Fred
I got a corrupt save file from Hitman Absolution. Do you have any solutions to this? When I was downloading Ni No Kuni, it was messing up the game a bit and then all of suddenly everything stopped working for ages so was forced to turn it off myself. It didn’t even have the saving icon on while it happened. Have the game completed so not a complete loss but just hate to have to do all the challenge again for the last trophy. Which PS+ could upload them saves itself without having me going offline. For a future improvement, have every time a game saves it goes straight to the cloud too.

MaxDiehard 10 May, 2013 @ 5:29 pm   13

@dark_angel69

PS+ can upload saves automatically, you just need to specify with time it does it. Same goes for autoupdates.

dark_angel69 10 May, 2013 @ 5:34 pm   14

Yeah I’m aware of that but it doesn’t go up automatically while it’s running. It never got a chance to upload for me cos was too busy playing it. Seems like hassle to change the time or do it myself so never bother with that. lol

MaxDiehard 10 May, 2013 @ 5:40 pm   15

Just set the time to when you’re inactive, so a period when you sleep. It will turn the system on, do what it does and then turn off again, when you go on next it will notify you of what it’s done. Same goes for Vita.

dark_angel69 10 May, 2013 @ 5:43 pm   16

That was the plan. I have it set for when I’m at work or gym during the day. Always turn the electric off at night so wouldn’t do it while sleeping. Never noticed the Vita do it automatically. Hada do it manual

MaxDiehard 10 May, 2013 @ 5:48 pm   17

Well PS+ is quite new to Vita, so yea.

You’ll find it in Settings/PlayStation Network/Automatic Update Settings.

And in Content Manager access Online Storage. Then PS Vita System > Online Storage. You can then specify which saves you want to automatically upload by pressing the ? by each save.

THE_FORCE 10 May, 2013 @ 11:40 pm   18

This is one game that I doubt I’ll be purchasing (or downloading when it comes to PS+).

It looks like yet another ‘mission> find someone> perform random task> flick through dialogue/cut scene> collect XP/$’….rinse and repeat – รก la ‘Sleeping Dogs’. :/

Oooh get me for being all pessimistic!

ksaxXaabbooddXx 11 May, 2013 @ 12:26 pm   19

halo

buggchaser 11 May, 2013 @ 4:03 pm   20

Intervening crimes that’s so much like Person of Interest. Awesome show. And this game sounds amazing.

I’m looking forward to this game and the fact PS4 is mentioned in this article is fun but I haven’t seen anything that makes the game on PS4 different from that of the PS3 edition except for the graphics and water physics part. I mean gameplay wise or controller wise.
I hope to find more about the differences in the next article.

NinjaPie82 16 May, 2013 @ 8:02 pm   22

Every so often a game comes along that promises complete freedom; to be able to have an idea of your own and be able to just do it, due to the fact that the game works so much like life. They always end up disappointing me, because you still have to work within the game mechanics and there’s always ‘the way you’re supposed to do it’.
I’m actually vaguely hopeful about this one, and becoming more so the more i hear/see. Please don’t let me down Ubisoft.