'Watch Dogs' E3 preview

Tuesday, 12 June 2012 01:43 AM Written by 

“Watch Dogs” was a two-year secret for the development team at Ubisoft, but they blew the roof off the Los Angeles theater when the finally made its announcement. This game looks like a new, breathtakingly original IP that could very well change the way we play games with friends.

“Watch Dogs” is set in a (not very) fictional world where all electronic devices and information are interconnected into something called ctOS. This includes cell phones, bank accounts, traffic lights, online databases, and practically anything else you can think of. The game’s protagonist, Aiden Peirce, has the ability to hack into this central hub and access and control any and everything.

The demo showed Aiden tracking down a high-ranking criminal. In order to gain access to an exclusive club, he triggered a local EMP, jamming the bouncer’s communication. Once inside, he hacks into club-goers’ phones, listening to their conversations. One clubber happened to be talking to the target, which gave Aiden the target’s location. He was then able to jam the traffic lights outside, turning them green, causing a traffic accident. Once the target left his vehicle, taking him out was easy.

This is just one example of how to use the world of “Watch Dogs.” Every NPC in the game’s world can be examined and hacked. You can even hack into their bank accounts and steal from them over time. Having access to an entire city’s infrastructure makes the gameplay possibilities practically endless.

The game reminded me of a new-age “Assassin’s Creed:” the world is your playground, and what you chose to do with it is entirely up to you.

The game’s revolutionary gameplay isn’t all that “Watch Dogs” will bring to gaming. The development team is working on a tablet app that will work simultaneously with the world map of “Watch Dogs.” When your friends are playing the game, you will be able to see them on the tablet app. Upon your friend’s approval, you will then be able to hack into your friend’s game and alter the city from the tablet, like raising drawbridges, changing traffic lights, etc. You can use your powers to help or hurt your friend.

This entire concept is not only groundbreaking, but also fits perfectly in the world of “Watch Dogs.” I can’t wait to see how the rest of this game’s development plays out next year.

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