Watch_Dogs: 7 Things You Need to Know

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Watch_Dogs: 7 Things You Need to Know


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. Read on, then submit your questions in the comments below!

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.



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.


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.
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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7 Author Replies

  • Whoops! They left some facial motion capture dots on the hacker girls face.

  • @2 I think that is the game UI when you look at people’s profiles

  • Watched the video which isn’t showing the PS4 version…
    Cause those command input are X, B, LT, RT…

  • Glad to hear that the game will have a single/multiplayer overlap! I really liked how “Dark Souls” combined its single player and multiplayer. I look forward to see if it will be something similar.

  • @2 & 3
    I thought those were piercings on her face? lol But what do i know.

  • @6 they are, that was the joke…. don’t know what @3 is talking about ha

  • O M FREAKING GROSH! i’m more exited for the combination of the ps4 and this game than any game i can remember.

  • This game keeps sounding better and better. Something in me is hoping the multiplayer is like a mix of Assassin’s Creed hunter/hunted gameplay mixed with some GTA4 type modes. PS4, can’t wait!!

  • I’ve wanted an open world game set in Chicago for such a long time. Everything I hear about this game sounds great and looks to reaffirm my decision to want to pick up a launch ps4.

  • GenialityOfEvil

    Aiden Pierce isn’t your typical videogame protagonist. “Aiden is a man with a dark past who has made questionable choices,”

    Someone hasn’t been paying attention for the last 10 years.

    • Okay, it sounds like I could have described this better :) In short, he’s very much an antihero – he’s not a boy scout with an edgy look, but a guy with legitimately questionable morales and motives. At least, that was my takeaway.

  • @7 oh sorry they are piercings, i thought there were part of the UI or something

  • I’m looking at Watch_Dogs to feel more like Sleeping Dogs, but just more accessibility & interests to look at. Pretty sweet that not everything has to be done in a stealthy way either, kinda like getting up-close & personal.

    Hope you guys talk about this on the podcast – which hopefully goes up later today.

  • passivefamiliar

    will ps3 and ps4 online play overlap though? thats the real question, this early in the ps4 lifespan i would hope they can make it possible. but i know its unlikely

  • The most interesting note in this article is that somebody got to touch the Dualshock 4…..lucky.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m into Watch Dogs, I just feel that I already knew this information.

  • jormungand_blood

    “Aiden Pierce isn’t your typical videogame protagonist. “Aiden is a man with a dark past who has made questionable choices”

    Ehm… sounds like a typical videogame protagonist to me.

    • My takeaway: Aiden is not a good guy, one way or the other. In many games the protagonist is edgy or dark, but he’s basically a good guy. Aiden is much more questionable – he’s not good or bad, but very morally grey – and the player has a LOT of control over their interpretation of just how dark he is.

  • I’m happy I can play offline if I so choose

  • Is it possible to stealth our way throughout the entire game? Please say yes!

    • It certainly looked like you can use stealth pretty consistently, especially if you make smart use of the hackable objects in the environment to distract or avoid enemies

  • Watch Dogs and GTAV are my most HYPEDDDD games this year. Open World Games are the best. hope this Gets good Reviews by Release date.

  • @ 18 GhostMachine1 – I agree…yes please say yes…and I also agree with KrisButtar….offline all the way…this game is promising but I dont know if I’ll buy.

  • I am definitely going to get a PS4 for this game and inFamous: SS.

    One recommendation, if the tittle of your post says that there are 7 thins we should know, you should number them. It’s better for the reader.

  • Good stuff! I’m so excited for this game!! Just a heads-up for fellow gamers in the comments section, websites like Revision 3 and IGN have really good previews of NEW gameplay for this game, go check it out!

  • First day buy ps4 I can’t wait for this looks like it may be the best open world game ever (gta 5 is why I say may) but this is such a cool unique idea and it looks fantastic!

  • This game looks amazing.

    No blogcast this week Sid, what’s up?


  • I forgot to add that last weeks blogcast was to quite. I listen to all of them on my Vita and have never had any problems hearing you guys speak, but last week was very quite. I had to hold the Vita up like a phone if I was not using ear buds. Thought you would want to know.


  • Hey Sid,

    Thanks for elaborating a bit on Aiden. I couldn’t help but agree with others comments…I threw in myself, “Okay, he’s a hacker…I guess that’s a ‘lil different.”

    Your reply was much more insightful and I appreciate that.

  • So for the multiplayer can we think of something like gathering different players to make a massive DDOS attack on some advanced machines / towers in order to enable access to some secrets?

    Just wondering… :)

  • For some reason I feel an Infamous 2 style online would fit well into this game. Though @ 27 that sounds like it would be fun too. Maybe even something Dungeons and Dragon’s like, (stay with me ) where you have multiple players all trying to accomplish one task, while One other player acts sort of like the Dungeon Master of Chicago deciding what to throw and you and when.

    I just don’t want it to be something innovative that comes off being pointless.

  • You always go full Batman.

  • Can the player choose to have same-sex relationships with Aiden in the game? or a mix?

    I really liked Alpha Protocol and the different choices, but being forced into opposite-sex relationships was one of the major irritations for me in that game.

  • @30 I didn’t even know this was possible as I didn’t get very far in the game (or maybe it was because people were yelling about Mass Effect too loudly at the time). I like having options, but as a game developer I know an option that like creates an exponential amount of addition work, so if there is only one path as far as an in-game relationship is concerned, I’m okay with that.

    “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!).”

    Has this video been made available to the public yet? So far I’ve only seen the videos like the ones on the official Ubisoft website which didn’t have a PS4 exclusive video (they do have a PS4 exclusive wallpaper though =).

  • Please disregard that, it has been officially posted –

  • ps4 im hype for you

    Thank you Sony I wish you the best

  • TehFineztJokerX

    Definitely hyped. Pre-ordered this game and now to wait till PS4 is up for pre-order =D

  • hello i realy cant wait for this game but i need to know few things

    you hack you can fight but what can you do whit the money you steel?

    buy new guns in store or clothes custiize

    you saying it like real life thing game?

    then we axpect we can do more then you say?

    we can robber a back or jewely
    we cen use money go to the stor but guns end custumizesion stuf to custumize your guns reddot laser sight
    or but car cars custumize it or but clothes en make you own you?

    tell me i see you can steel money en kill en drive but we whant to know more then little thing

    you said this is a game like in real life

    so we axpect we cen go to a store en we can buy en custumize the guns we can buy the car custumize it
    we buy clothes cen we make our own persoon?

    end cen we drive chopers cen we buy house make it a safe house we cen sell thing we cen make are own store?like guns shop drugs shop or car shop
    you cen steel car guns or what ever int he game so you cen upgrade you store like gta ?
    i wish im a game disinger :(

    plz respond on this

  • go to game & louge on facebook

  • fallow me end a mate at facebook join us esk thing thing beter about a game maby we can help them to make beter games

    go to

    ty tell you friend en leave a comment

    gr harscombat en the game end lounge

  • @ number 2. I think they are ment to be piercing. Seeing as she looks herd core. Cheek and lip piercings. Already pre ordered this game plus drive club and a shiny new PS4. Cant wait. Hopefully the PS4 will support remote play for the vita right out of the blocks, and not have to wait for an update!

  • I’m a big fan of open-world games like ithis, but I have to say, Watch_Dogs doesn’t look all that great to me. I’ll continue to watch it, and follow it, because I really do want to be impressed with it.

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