Ubisoft, most well known for its Assassin’s Creed franchise, has been working on a new title called Watch Dogs for some time now. The latest trailer for the new game showcases Ubisoft’s interpretation of a modern Chicago, alive with all the hustle and bustle of every day city life. The trailer makes a point to highlight the player’s ability to interact with the surroundings. Every citizen has an identity, every electronic device can be “hacked”, and every action carries some sort of consequential weight to it. Players will have to avoid notoriety from the police, the news media, and even the criminal underground of Chicago. Of course, all of the players’ actions are under the blanket of “for the greater good;” however, it seems as though the game itself will push the player to really think about what effect his or her actions will have on Watch Dogs‘ Chicago.
Given Ubisoft’s experience with the crowd generation and interaction aesthetic utilized for their Assassin’s Creed games, Watch Dogs will likely rely upon the same principles, although the game promises to expand upon these using the hacking system. Aiden, the main character can hack into almost any electronic object and manipulate it to his own will. This includes messing with traffic signals, data-mining from phones, and accessing bank accounts. These features will hopefully bring some innovation to the sandbox feeling of the game.
Watch Dogs was originally set to release in November with the consoles it was intended for; however, it was pushed back to May of this year. Ubisoft stated that it would not compromise on the quality of the game in order to meet a certain date, and therefore the delay was necessary for their vision to reach fulfillment. In a later statement, reasons were provided that attributed the delays to needing more time for testing. For a game with such a huge scope, the delays were probably for the best. In most cases, it is worth waiting out the extra months for a game developer to finish up what they need to give players the best possible product. It’s easy to get frustrated with a delay, especially one as long as Ubisoft has given Watch Dogs, but it’s also absolutely necessary to guarantee that the game will showcase the best version of itself to the players.
With the release just on the horizon, Watch Dogs has the potential to bring some exciting new innovation to the newest generation of gaming. While current generation players are currently experiencing the excitement of games like Battlefield 4, inFamous: Second Son, and Titanfall, it is difficult to say whether any of the games out now have the depth that Watch Dogs appears to have based on the trailers. Certainly all the first person shooters out currently offer nearly infinite gameplay experiences through multiplayer, but as it stands now, the only really noteworthy plot-based games out now available for the current generation are inFamous: Second Son and Assassin’s Creed IV, with Dead Rising 3 worth an honorable mention. Although the current generation is not even a year old, it’s about time some really good plot-driven games pop up on everyone’s radar. Hopefully Watch Dogs showcases just that in it’s “living” Chicago setting.
Opinion by Michael Foster