Information about Ubisoft’s Watch_Dogs has been making the rounds for the last year, so I didn’t know what new features to expect when I sat down in the small room that Ubisoft had created for their closed door preview. Fortunately for all in attendance, we were shown more of the open world gameplay and some of the seamless competitive multiplayer aspects, which are things that had not been extensively covered previously.
First we were shown how Aiden gains the ability to hack and profile people in a given area. In the area that Aiden was in, there was a CTOS control facility that that needed to have its digital backdoor hacked in order to freely hack other things in that region of the map. This open world free roam showed how there were a variety of solutions to each situation. Aiden can profile NPCs, enabling them to show up on his map. He can hack a variety of objects in order to distract and use stealth or go in guns blazing.
Aiden can craft a variety of objects using parts obtained from pawn shops around the city. In his infiltration of the CTOS control facility we were shown a homemade IED that he could remotely detonate via his smart phone. Following his access of the facility, Aiden was free to profile the various citizens of that area searching for victim and criminal probabilities. He tailed a woman who had a high victim probability and hacked a camera down an alley to identify the man who would commit a crime against her. At this point, it was up to the player character to decide what they wanted to do.
Continuing the demo we were shown more of the open world hacking that was possible, including using a chain of security cameras to access a laptop and credit card information inside of an apartment. Hearing a baby crying in the apartment, the player demoing the game allowed the audience watching to decide whether he should hack it or not and of course the room said ‘hell yeah’. It’s a game, so we can feel completely ok with stealing the credit card information of a young family, though it’s unclear what the repercussions of this action will be in the grand scheme. They did mention Aiden having a reputation that will be affected by various actions.
There are dynamic events that can occur in the world as well. When Aiden visited a gun shop to purchase weapons and ammo, a news broadcast on the TV revealed him to be a wanted criminal. Upon seeing this broadcast, the shop owner slowly worked his way towards the panic button and Aiden needed to escape from the police that were coming after him. This resulted in a spectacular chase featuring some of the features that we have already seen like hacking barricades and gates to evade police detection.
Finally we were shown the piece de resistance of the Watch_Dogs preview which was the seamless competitive multiplayer. Without the need to switch game modes, Aiden was notified that he was being hacked. He had a limited amount of time to locate the hacker and disrupt the hacking attempt. Profiling citizens until he located the human player who had infiltrated his game, Aiden was able to stop the hack. This was followed with Aiden seamlessly entering his opponent’s game and hacking him. We were also shown a very brief preview of the real time tablet play, in which a tablet player can seamlessly hack in to technology in the environment around you to either help or hinder Aiden. I cannot stress the word ‘seamless’ enough. The lines between single player and multiplayer aren’t just being blurred, they’re being obliterated.
Watch_Dogs is coming to current gen consoles on Nov. 19th and will be a launch title with the next gen. Keep it locked to PlayStation LifeStyle for any more Watch_Dogs news as we hear about it.