Watch Out For: Watch_Dogs

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Manipulation of traffic systems in action. 

For the next several weeks I plan to do my Watch Out For blurb on stuff that came out of E3, as there is plenty to cover.  Plus, who at this point isn't so excited for the next gen systems that they can't sleep?  I know I am. 

Watch_Dogs was one of the darlings of last year’s E3, and had quite a strong showing this year too, appearing on both Ubisoft and PlayStation’s press conferences.  To be quite honest, I got sick of seeing it.  It needs to be released…soon….so I can play it.  A sentiment echoed by the gaming community especially now with all the negative press surrounding the vile NSA and it’s spying on everyday citizens.

Watch_Dogs is set in Chicago, where all tech and info in the city are overseen and controlled by the Central Operating System or ctOS.  You play as Aiden Pearce, hacker extraordinaire and former criminal who can manipulate the city’s systems with his mobile phone, allowing him to use the ctOS to his advantage.  Examples given to us were Pearce using his phone to disrupt traffic lights to cause accidents, using ctOS cameras to spy on potential targets, and even blacking out all electricity in the city.  These examples all show the dangers of too much connectivity and how even the most stringent security can be vulnerable.

  

A ctOS camera watching all.

Information on citizens is easily accessed. 

As for the multiplayer, it seems to be blended in seamlessly with the single player experience.  There doesn’t seem to be any super solid info on it, but the way it seemed was that in your game you always play as Aiden Pearce, and other players who have “hacked” into your game will appear as generic NPC’s.  They can then mess with you or help you as you see fit, but when you enter a side or main story mission the multiplayer is turned off to prevent griefing.  Seems like a cool idea, and I look forward to seeing it fully implanted.

Available for all current and next gen consoles (including Wii U and PC) sometime this holiday season, Watch_Dogs really can’t come out soon enough.  As previously stated, the dangers of a constantly connected world have never been more topical than right now, and Watch_Dogs is in a position to be the videogame equivalent of 1984.  For those of us that think videogames are as much an art form as cinema or literature, there’s much more riding on Watch_Dogs than just your average everyday game release.

 

A video from this year's E3, showcasing some of Watch_Dogs mechanics.