Watch Dogs Preview – Next Generation From a Content Perspective
If you caught the PS4 unveiling last night, you may have heard that Ubisoft’s Watch_Dogs is coming to Sony’s next-gen system. It’s an open-world action adventure just like Ubisoft’s own Assassin’s Creed franchise, but it also brings with it gameplay possibilities and features that can be considered “next-generation” from a content perspective.
In the world of Watch_Dogs, you’ll be able to traverse the massive city of Chicago and invade people’s privacy and their lives without them even knowing about it. At the same time, you can use your technical expertise to protect people, calculate their risk of becoming a victim of a crime and protect them from the criminal element. What excites me, and what should excite you about Watch_Dogs is that you’ll be able to use the hyper-connected city to control technology and use them to your advantage in a way that’s never been seen in any game before it.
More on Ubisoft’s Watch_Dogs after the break.
Having been in development at Ubisoft for the last four years, the developers of Watch_Dogs began the development cycle with the goal of creating a title that featured gameplay ideas that have never been seen or played before. Even if there wasn’t (at that time) a next-gen system to put it on, they wanted their game to be a next-gen experience from a content perspective.
In Watch_Dogs, you’ll play as Aiden Pearce, a skilled computer hacker who grew up in the tough streets of Chicago. Aiden manages to hack into the city’s ctOS with his profiler, a hacking tool that allows him to gain access to various tech devices, and uses it to become the city’s watch dog; a vigilante bent on preventing bad things happening to good people. He’s a protective man at heart so he holds the people close to him under close guard. He’s also obsessed with surveillance so one of the key things he does is hack and take over computers for information. Sir Francis Bacon once said, “Knowledge is Power” and Aiden uses information as his ace-in-the-hole.
As an open-world title, Watch_Dogs will allow you to hack traffic systems, computers, ATM’s, cell phones, and even bigger things like electronic doors, bollards, and even trains. With that said, missions go from foot and car chases, sneaking and tailing, and even major gunfights. But since Aiden can control technology, the game offers up far more ways to play what’s traditionally standard open-world missions. Outside missions though, the world truly opens up and hundreds of gameplay opportunities become available.
For example, as a vigilante you can use your profiler to survey people and calculate which ones are the most likely to become a victim of crime. You can then tail them until someone they know (it’s always someone they know who commits the crime) threatens their safety or the lives of their loved ones at which time you can interrupt and neutralize the attacker using a variety of weapons including firearms and a concealed black jack to deal vigilante justice.
In regards to multiplayer, the developers hope to blend the line between online and offline gameplay; between the singleplayer and the multiplayer experience. What that means is the multiplayer will happen as you play the single player campaign. You’ll occasionally cross paths with other players as you roam the city and other players who may or may not be on your side can even survey you in-person or with cameras and steal information from you. Of course, if you don’t want people bothering your singleplayer experience, Ubisoft will provide options to tailor your experience to your liking.
From the gameplay demos we’ve seen so far, Watch_Dogs is certainly one of the most exciting games coming this holiday season. Watch_Dogs is slated to launch on the PS3, The Xbox 360, Wii-U, the PS4, and most likely the next Xbox system.
*Update* Ubisoft has said that the PS4 version will have better graphics, more npc’s on screen at once, and is looking at making use of the console’s unique features such as sharing, social media, and more.