E3 2012 was full of fantastic looking games. Whether it was our new assassin, Connor, creeping through the snowy frontier in the hunt for another Templar or the brilliant new concept in Forza where you can not only race those stunning cars on the track, but now on the open roads of Colorado, there was something there for everyone, but one of the most shocking announcements came at the end of Ubisoft’s press conference.
Yes, of course, I’m talking about Watch Dogs. This new espionage thriller gives the player control over all things digitally connected, be it a mobile phone, a laptop or even the train pulling into that nearby station. You play as Aiden Pierce, a genius super hacker with an attitude, the E3 demo begins after a short cinematic of downtown Chicago, it’s a busy sidewalk full of people doing their general day to day business, going to work, buying groceries, hacking into all the nearby mobile phones and jamming their signals…..Wait what?
That’s right, with a simple touch of a button on what can only be described as the new iPhone 27, pierce manages to jam all the nearby phone signals allowing him to walk casually past the front door security guard with ease. Once inside pierce meets up with a “friend” and after a brief conversation in which you find out that he is some sort of hitman, and he is using himself as bait for his next target (Joseph Demarco) the two part ways leaving pierce to scout the floor for his targets associate. With another click of his new ‘UHack app’ pierce begins quickly gathering information on everybody in the room before landing on Mary Blass, the coordinator for the event and associate of Demarco’s, her phone conversation is quickly hacked into and you find out that Demarco is heading down there to confront you. As he makes his way out of the building, Pierce is stopped by one of the security guards. This is the first glimpse of combat in the game and without batting an eyelid Pierce pulls out a steel baton and beats the guard to the floor, once outside it is apparent that Pierces target is close by, this is when the full power of Pierce’s handy little gadget starts to become known. Without hesitation, Pierce hacks into the traffic light controls and causes a horrific crash with one of the cars being. You guessed it, Joseph Demarco’s! It is now we realise this game isn’t all about covert hacking as Pierce begins a shootout with Demarco’s body guards, as the bullets fly one unlucky civilian is hit and killed by Demarco’s men. It is here Pierce has a moral decision to make, does he leave the now dead woman’s husband in the car to share the same fate or does he opt to save him, in the demo, it is the latter choice that is made and once done, Pierce resumes the ongoing gun battle. After quickly disposing of the remaining guards, Pierce turns his focus onto Demarco, dragging him from his SUV and throwing him to the ground, after a brief conversation between the two, Demarco is Executed.
In Watch Dogs, it appears there will be more to the story than hunting and killing targets, you will have the option to delve into the life of random people you meet, see where they live, what they do after work, where their children go to school, and it will be up to you, the player, to decide what you do with that kind of information. Do you kill them, blackmail them or leave them to get on with their lives?
Very little is currently known about Ubisoft’s new RPG. However, hints have been made that more information will be coming in the upcoming months.