'Watch Dogs' Hacks Chicago To Bits And Bytes

May 28, 2014

Watch Dogs came out of nowhere two years agoat E3. It's rare that a game of this caliber could be kept such a secret, but when the demo of Watch Dogs rolled on the big screen at the Ubisoft press conference, it instantly became the hit of the show. Even though it wasn't completely clear just what the game was it was still awesome. It's been just about 24 months since the game was announced, and the gaming marketplace now has two powerhouse consoles that seem tailor made for a massive game like Watch Dogs, and a hungry audience just waiting to dive in. So,is all the hype worth it? Can this brand new I.P. live up to the expectations? It may be a lofty order, but Watch Dogs will be a cornerstone that will help define the first year of these new consoles.

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft

Watch Dogs comes to us from Ubisoft Montreal, the same studio that gave the world Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers way back in 2000. Oh, and they have also worked on some other little titles like the Prince of Persia and Assassin's Creed franchises, as well as the recently released Child of Light. With an extensive pedigree that includes some of the most beloved and respected franchises of all time, an open world experience like Watch Dogs seems like an ambitious, yet surmountable endeavor.

In the not so distant future, Chicago is completely run by an interconnected network called the CtOS. The CtOS control virtually everything in the city, from doorways to traffic lights, and it's protected by a virtually impenetrable security system. Aiden Pearce is one of the few hackers good enough to be able to break in, and exploit the system. Fortunately, Pearce has chosen the path of the people, and has set out as a vigilante to protect the city. However, after crossing the wrong people, Aiden's niece ends up being killed in a car accident that he blames himself for. Watch Dogs begins as the story of one man's journey to avenge his family, but progresses into something much bigger.

Aiden Pearce has the city of Chicago at his fingertips: he can go anywhere, and do just about anything. Like most open world, sandbox games Watch Dogs offers a hearty story, coupled with countless way to get distracted. When you're not trying to chase down the criminals behind your niece's murder, Aiden can do everything from hack bystanders for their bank account info, play hero by stopping crime, or blow off some steam trying to master the art of the drinking game. In Watch Dogs the Windy City is your oyster, and it just depends on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go.

Gamers that are looking to hack the CtOS this week will need to fire up a PlayStation 3 or 4, Xbox 360 or One, or a Windows PC. A Wii U version of the game was initially announced, and is still confirmed to be coming out, but it will hit stores later this year. In addition to the big screen releases, Ubisoft is also releasing a ctOS companion app for iOS and Android that will allow users to influence other peoples' games by calling in helicopters and roadblocks. The app even has its own progression system, and unique challenges that should keep players busy while they're away from their consoles.

Watch Dogs is what next generation sandbox gaming is going to be all about. In Aiden Pearce's Chicago, everyone has a name and a face, and they even have some uniquely defining characteristics, like hobbies or police records. The days of seeing the same NPC over and over again are gone, and with Watch Dogs Ubisoft has given players the first true glimpse into what the newest generation of consoles have in store for the future of gaming. Watch Dogs is smooth, offers a ton of game play, and even has a compelling story - what more could you ask for? Whether you want to blow through Aiden's campaign, and get to the root of the technology that's running the city, or just spend some time playing AR games and taking "digital trips" through the city, Watch Dogs offers one of the most expansive and enjoyable experiences that you can find on the latest consoles, or really any console for that matter.