Watch_Dogs Demo First Look

We were given a behind closed doors look . . .

We’ve already seen quite a bit from Ubisoft’s upcoming current and next-generation title, Watch_Dogs. For many people, it’s one of their most anticipated games. We were taken behind closed doors to view a demo of some interesting new aspects the title will offer, including multiplayer elements.

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The demo started with the main character, Aiden Pearce, walking by a pawnshop; you’ll be able to stop in these shops to purchase items and weapons. As we walked around, we could see that some things were shown with a red X. This indicated that we were not able to hack into them yet. When you enter a new district, you must get the CTOS for that area before you’re able to hack into most devices.

We headed for the location of the CTOS and used some stealth action to get past a few of the guards. We hacked a few nearby objects to create noise and cause a diversion, then snuck up behind one of the guards to put him down. Once we infiltrated the building, we had to install backdoor protocols to get the CTOS and gain the ability to hack various objects in the district.

With the CTOS hacked, it was time to do some exploring. Aiden interacts with random citizens within each district. Doing so impacts his reputation with the general public. If you see someone suspicious, you can follow that person. You can pull up information that says how likely the person is to do something harmful, or even how likely they are to be a victim.

In the demo we were shown, Aiden followed a man with a very high probability of attacking the woman walking in front of him. When the attack began, we could simply let it happen or intervene with lethal or non-lethal actions. The choices we make influence how the public sees Aiden, which can alert police more easily and make it harder or easier to traverse the city.

If we do something that triggers police interaction, Aiden can activate roadblocks to prevent a police chase from even starting. He can even change a traffic light to cause an accident and make it easier for him to escape. The faster you act, the simpler it is to not only avoid being caught by the police, but also prevent the chase from happening altogether.

One thing that really stuck out during the demo was the multiplayer aspects. If another player is nearby, there’s a good chance you won’t even know it. Other players can enter your game undetected and initiate a hacking protocol. When this happens, you have a set amount of time to locate the hacker and neutralize the threat before he or she installs a virus on Aiden’s phone. The multiplayer looked so much fun that we can easily imagine going online specifically to hack other players.

While Watch_Dogs is a highly anticipated next-generation title, it will also be available for current-gen consoles. The game will hit retail stores November 19 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PC. Next-generation console owners will be able to pick up Watch_Dogs as a launch title when the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release later this year.

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Bryan Dawson
Bryan Dawson has an extensive background in the gaming industry, having worked as a journalist for various publications for nearly 20 years and participating in a multitude of competitive fighting game events. He has authored over a dozen strategy guides for Prima Games, worked as a consultant on numerous gaming-related TV and web shows and was the Operations Manager for the fighting game division of the IGN Pro League.