One of several new products Ubisoft was showing this year at E3 2013 was Watch_Dogs, the upcoming open-world action-adventure game that was originally announced last year during E3 2012. Development of Watch_Dogs is being led by Ubisoft Montreal, with a team comprised of members who previously worked on the Assassin’s Creed, Rainbow 6 and Far Cry franchises.
"Players enter the dangerous world of Aiden Pearce, a new class of antihero whose ability to hack into any connected system could be his most powerful weapon. Whether it’s triggering a 30-car pileup by manipulating traffic-lights to trap an enemy during a downtown shootout or tapping into the city’s omnipresent security cameras to access anyone’s personal information, Pearce is capable of coercing and controlling almost every element of the world around him."
The big news this year is that the game is heading to not only the PlayStation 4, but Microsoft's Xbox One along with the current-gen consoles, Nintendo's Wii U and Windows PC. The company also showcased a bit of gameplay behind closed doors, revealing a multiplayer component that can add a bit of flair to the single-player campaign.
For this demo, Ubisoft was using a PlayStation controller (although the game was likely running on a PC as seen with most other demos). Aiden was tasked to reach fellow hacker T-Bone by acquiring a car undetected. After doing so, he carefully drove through Chicago while listening to police radio, as they were keeping an eye out for him, and park at the back door of a café. He then hacked his way in, moved through the restaurant, crossed a parking lot, and contacted T-Bone who was secretly obtaining some hardware inside a building.
Unfortunately, the cops were on to T-Bone, so Aiden had to get him out and make sure he was safely on his way. Aiden hacked into the CCTV system and directed T-Bone out of the building. Once T-Bone reached the perimeter of the building's property, Aiden came out of hiding and took down one of the security officers, making sure T-Bone cleared the premises. Shortly after, they stole a car, allowing T-Bone to get away.
To keep the police from following T-Bone, Aiden captured their attention and started running. Eventually it seemed like he was caught until he hacked into the local electrical system and short-circuited all the nearby lights and other equipment. The police were suddenly distracted, allowing Aiden to take the gun from one cop, shoot the others in slow-motion, and then jump into a boat.
The gameplay aspect took over from here, taking place in an area of Chicago called The Wards. It was visually different than the previous area, and took place in the daylight. We discover that players will be allowed to learn the abilities that they want, and that in the demo, Aiden currently doesn't have all the abilities he can hold. However one of them is called Focus.
In this part of the demo, Aiden was tasked to enter a building and plant a virus. He could enter any way he wanted, whether it was climbing the wall and entering a window or through any available door: there was no linear path. However the building was heavily guarded, thus he was forced to reach an entrance by hitting and shooting whomever was in his way without alerting the masses.
Once inside, he installed a virus that granted him control of all the cameras installed throughout the neighborhood. By gaining access, he would be able to take down his next victim without being discovered on camera by the cops. However once he found her, she got away, thus triggering a car chase until she was finally neutralized.
The demo also revealed that Aiden can buy various weapons, upgrade them and even craft his own. Once he purchased what he needed for his next job, Aiden quickly exited the weapons shop and stole a car, barely escaping the police who previously discovered that he was in the shop. Later he hacked into a local network to steal bank account information from a single mom's smartphone.
It was at this moment that Aiden discovered he was being hacked by someone. He then tracked the hacking path back to the source and went in search of the individual. We eventually discover that it was actually another player, physically seated at a PC in a dimly lit room to the left of the demo area (you could see him behind a glass window). Rather than directly approach this player, Aiden – or rather the Ubisoft guy playing Aiden – decided to join his game instead.
Why? Because player one would merely look like one of the local citizens, not Aiden. Thus, player one decided to kill player two, only he was spotted, so he stole a car and quickly vacated the scene. Player two found a car of his own and pursued, and the chase ended with player one killing player two. After that, both gamers resumed their campaigns, with player one returning to his role as Aiden.
Watch_Dogs is slated to arrive on November 19, 2013.