Technology is a powerful tool. It’s hard to imagine a world today without the smart phone, the computer, or HD Television. We have come to rely on these inventions as they simplify our lives and give us access to every piece of information we could ever want at the touch of a button. The advancements we have made in the last few years alone are staggering. Some say that the next ten years will be even more rapid than the last, and the possibilities are as vast as the human imagination itself. This leads us to a simple fact: Technology is king.
What though, if that statement were more than just a metaphor? What if every facet of our lives were controlled by computers? Imagine entire cities controlled by a central hub, with every citizen’s personal information readily available at the click of a few buttons. An entire city controlled down to the smallest detail, and the only thing managing it being a simple (well, complicated) program. Life would be streamlined, and in theory, made easier for everyone.
The aforementioned revenge is exacted with the use of a simple PDA or cell phone, which Pearce uses to hack the CtOS system itself, allowing him to wreak havoc on the city’s transportation systems, as well as granting him access to every piece of personal info he would need about anyone he encounters. Examples of this hacking have been shown in a few ways. In some cases, Pearce has hacked a set of traffic lights, wreaking havoc by having cars smash into one another, and allowing him to grab a target from a vehicle and extract the information needed.
Mayhem is not the only goal for these attacks though, as Pearce will also be expected to use his skills for some more low-key operations. In a demo shown at E3 2013, Pearce was tasked with helping an ally by the name of T-Bone escape a building after being detected. To accomplish this, Pearce hacks the security cameras within the building from the outside, and then, using the camera, is able to hack and activate items within the building to facilitate T-Bone’s escape. This continues to the outside area of the building, where Pearce is able to activate a bunch of motorized walls, distracting guards and guiding T-Bone to safety.
While Aiden is at his best sneaking around and using technology against his adversaries, he is still thoroughly capable of defending himself otherwise. Pearce is equipped with a collapsing asp, as well as a small and easily concealed handgun. This means that if things get a little perilous, Aiden is capable of responding in kind. From what we have seen thus far, Pearce doesn’t shy away from violence, and if he is able to sneak up on enemies, he can then beat them down mercilessly with the baton. If sneaking isn’t possible though, the handgun finds its use.
This of course, is another key aspect of Watch Dogs‘ gameplay. With everything he does, Aiden is of course a branded criminal. If he is caught, he needs to fight his way out. And just like everything else in the game, this can be aided by technology. With the city at his fingertips, Pearce can do such things as raising a barricade from the ground to stop pursuing vehicles. On foot, he can cause a “blackout” in the area, turning off all the lights and often catching police by surprise, allowing Pearce to take them out quickly and escape.
While Watch Dogs is being presented as an intense single player experience, it is also doing what it can to extend the gameplay further with the use of a Dark Souls-like multiplayer mode. While in-game, a player will be prompted with an alert informing them that they are being hacked by another player. This means they will be tasked with hunting down their adversary and stopping them before the hack takes full effect. Full immersion within the game should still hold up as well, as both the players will see themselves as Aiden, while the other player is marked with an NPC skin.
Additionally, Ubisoft has explained that the multiplayer will not restrict you to just hacking. A player could simply enter another gamer’s world and observe them, before picking an appropriate moment to effectively grief the other. This could mean ramming the other player’s car or otherwise somehow throwing a spanner into the works. We have also been told that other mission types for multiplayer will task players with protecting another during a mission – and with the added implementation of interconnectivity between tablets and consoles, a player on a tablet can jump into your world and aid you from a top-down perspective, hacking their way to your joint success.
Watch Dogs is presently gearing up as one of the most anticipated releases for the next generation of gaming, and will be available first on the current generation Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, as well as the Wii U and PC on November 19th, 2013 in North America, November 21st in Australia and November 22nd in Europe. The game will be released for the Xbox One and Playstation 4 at the tail end of 2013.