Ubisoft Montreal has revealed a whole lot of new information (via Eurogamer) for the upcoming open-world hacking adventure Watch_Dogs. This includes new screens and gameplay footage as well.
The game has apparently been in development for four years. You can hack phones to read messages and tap into conversations – if anything interesting comes up, your map will be automatically marked for later investigation.
In fact, all the NPCs of the world have something interesting going on with them, even if some of it is trivial. You’ll see information on them as you pass, indicating which ones refuse to recycle and which troll religious forums. They also have their own personalities, and interestingly, it reflects on the world overall. “Every backstory, every look – it’s based on a database. Some of the population will dynamically end up in certain scenarios based upon their personalities, but you’ll never see a mugging, for example, happen in the same way twice”.
Regardless of all the happenings, you won’t be swamped by side missions, with another system regulating just what missions you get (depending on what you most commonly find yourself doing. Suffice to say, there will be plenty going on, even if you’re not involved in a main story mission.
The game’s story sees protagonist Aiden Pearce become more and more drawn into Chicago’s population. He acts like a vigilante, halting crimes (though not all side missions are such) and using different kinds of hacking to control the city.
There are essentially two kinds of hacking: Small scale and large scale. The former lets you scan civilians and disable a car’s security, while the latter has you accessing the city’s CTOS (Central Operating System). From here, you can use the security and surveillance to find new side missions and manipulate those systems to help you. One such instance involves spying on some one in their home using a local Wi-Fi hub.
The team at Ubisoft Montreal has talked about melding single-player and multi-player seamlessly. It allows you to meet human places in your campaign, for instance, where you spy on another hacker, who may be another player finishing his own objective.
“Say you’re playing alone, free-roaming. There’s a bunch of activities you can activate. Sometimes – and you won’t know when – the objective that you have is related to what someone else is doing at the same time. When that happens we merge your reality with the other person’s, and you’ll be able to see them.”
You’ll even be informed if another hacker is watching you. Creepy. Despite this melding, there is a full fledged multiplayer mode being planned.
The smartphone you carry will contain apps for accessing contacts, or even looking up songs on the radio. You can even use a version of iTunes to buy new apps and games. However, that will be with in-game money – no micro-transactions here, folks. Another interesting diversion is an augmented reality mini-game wherein NPCs are attacked by aliens and must be helped with its own leaderboards.
Despite taking 80 hours to complete everything, there have actually been a number of ideas cut from the game. Ubisoft Montreal is actually saving this for the future – and who knows, maybe there’ll be a sequel if the first game is successful enough.
Watch_Dogs is set to release for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PC on November 19th for North America and November 22nd for Europe. It will be heading to the PS4 as a launch title in Q4 2013.