With less than a month to go until its release, Ubisoft’s Watch_Dogs is a game we’ve been watching closely since its announcement way back in 2012. As more and more information has come to light and the launch date of May 27th draws ever closer, we thought we’d break down the top 5 things we can’t wait to do, once we get our hands on the game!
Obviously, priority one is getting stuck into the story, discovering the truth behind Aiden Pearce’s motivations and take down some corporate baddies. But along the way, it looks like there’s a lot of fun to be had:
HACK AWAY OUR FINANCIAL WORRIES.
Unsurprisingly, hacking something is top of the list. After all, there are a number of narratively driven, action-stealth games out there to be enjoyed; in Watch_Dogs, hacking is why we’re paying the price of entry. However, of all the glorious things to hack, switch and exploit – the simple act of funding your life has us intrigued.
For some, being put in charge of an awesome, hacking, super tool their first stop might be acquiring information, or simple voyeurism. For us, perhaps due to the economic downturn, removing our money woes through simple means would be our first stop. Given that Watch_Dogs allows you to examine each and every person in the game’s profile, we may even take time to find a character who seems deserving of having a little of their wealth siphoned off. Maybe.
TURN THE LIGHTS WAY DOWN LOW.
Watch_Dogs looks as though it will feature many chase sequences – either trying to catch a criminal or trying to evade the law. Of all the ways to support your escape (changing traffic lights, raising bridges or opening gates), by far the most intriguing and exciting is the ability to put the lights out across the whole city, plunging you into darkness and allowing you slip quietly away, amid the ensuing panic.
The feeling of power you must experience when, essentially, pressing the ‘off’ button in a city must be immense!
GET STUCK INTO OTHER PEOPLE’S BUSINESS.
After having gotten hold of a little green and literally knocking the city’s lights out, it’s time to get nosy. As we mentioned before, every non-playable character in the game has their own profile, their own story, their own world. Using Aiden’s hacking tool, you can instantly examine anyone’s profile, including snippets of crucial information about their personality and the likelihood of them committing a crime.
Though the primary use of reading profiles is to help Aiden identify likely criminals and would-be victims, being able to just look into people’s lives, see just how fleshed out each character is and how this knowledge will affect our approach to any situation is something we can’t wait to experience.
We’ve already heard of players who, when about to shoot an enemy in the head, read that the guy was expecting a child and how it caused him to pause and completely re-think his approach. That’s just one example of how hacking and profiling might change your actions. Imagine you have an NPC desperately asking you for help, but you read that he just walked out on his wife and child – how do you react?
HACK INTO OUR FRIEND’S GAMES
There have been a number of multiplayer modes that Ubisoft have, so far, talked about (you can read and watch all about them here), but the one that has the most appeal is being able to hack into your friend’s game and take him down without being seen.
If games like Battlefield or Call of Duty took the idea of children chasing each other through the park, using sticks for guns and turned it into a game – then Watch_Dogs is taking the classic game of hide-and-seek and putting that into digital form.
Whether hacking or being hacked, having to quickly adjust to what’s happening in your surroundings to either stay hidden or desperately search for your opponent just looks awesome. In Ubisoft’s gameplay demo, they showed how the character being hacked reacted by shooting wildly into the air, causing the surrounding NPCs to panic and run – he then looked for the one person not running.
On the other side of things, the attacking player had actually taken refuge inside a vehicle, gaining valuable seconds to try and complete the hack.
This kind of cat-and-mouse gameplay looks to be an exciting aside to the main story – and also makes sense narratively as, of course, Aiden would break from whatever mission he was on if knew that someone was hacking him.
THROW SOME STONES, WATCH SOME RIPPLES.
The final of our 5 things that intrigue us, is rising to the challenge laid down by Ubisoft to challenge these systems. Push the boundaries. The smallest actions can allegedly cause far reaching ripples. We are dying to throw some ’causes’ and then chase down the ‘effects’. Will the guy who saw us pull a gun briefly, run off and tell someone else who sees it as his duty to come after us? Will the policeman we helped earlier in the game look kindly towards us later on – even if we’re breaking the law? Just how far will Chicago‘s network of CCTV cameras, open laptops and other people’s smart phones, allow us to hack without actually moving Aiden an inch?
There is a heck of a lot to explore – and pushing those boundaries to breaking point may be more of a challenge than we realise, but it’ll be a lot of fun trying!
Watch_Dogs is set for release on May 27th, 2014. Available on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
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