Ubisoft released a new trailer for their upcoming open-world action game, Watch Dogs, as well as finally giving us a release date. Watch Dogs got a lot of people interested at last year’s E3, myself included. Not only is it nice to see a new IP in a market that seems to be drowning in sequels, but the game looks really interesting in itself.
So far we just know the basics of the plot. You play as Aiden Pearce, a man on the run after being framed for murder. Now he’s out for revenge, presumably by working his way up the chain of command until he reaches the mogul who set him up. This will all be set in a open-world Chicago where I image there will be plenty of side activities for Aiden to get his vigilante justice on.
Although we only know the bare bones of the story, what really has people excited is the gameplay premise. In this slightly futuristic Chicago, the city’s electronics are all controlled via a Central Operating System (CtOS). Everything from your phone calls & purchasing history to the city’s power grid & bridges are controlled by this system. And since Aiden is an expert hacker, he’s able to use these systems to his advantage. In the demo shown at E3, Aiden was able to look up people’s histories to talk his way past the guards, monitor conversations & control streetlights to rig a multi-car collision all with the use of his handy smartphone.
I love the idea behind this game. Although set in an alternate reality, this world isn’t too far removed from our own. That sort of data interconnection and augmented reality isn’t that farfetched anymore. Ubisoft seems to be going for less of a dystopian society that most settings use for this sort of technology, & I hope they examine it more on a cost-benefit mindset. I hope it makes us think about what the dangers are of being so reliant on technology that could fall into the wrong hands.
Also, on a small sidenote, I really like Aiden’s design. Not so much how the character himself looks, but I love the trench with the hat & mask. I’m hoping for a realistic hero (or anti-hero).
Watch Dogs will be out on November 19 in North America & on the 22 for Europe. According the to articles I’ve read it’s being released on all consoles as well as the Playstation 4 & supposedly “other next generation consoles,” which I assume to mean whatever the next XBox is. You can place a pre-order now & several special editions are planned. The three announced so far are the Special Edition (which includes three bonus missions) a Vigilante Edition (which comes with your own copy of Aiden’s hat & mask) & the Dedsec Edition (which has a figurine of Aiden, an artbook, the soundtrack, a map of Chicago, four collectible cards, three badges, and the three bonus missions — but no mask or hat). I have to admit, the Vigilante Edition sounds pretty cool… even if I do think I look ridiculous in a baseball cap. Depending on the price the mask may be worth it. But when I checked the game’s site it didn’t have any news on these editions so they may not be available to order yet.