One of the biggest wow moments of this year’s E3 came at Ubisoft’s media briefing, where they unveiled a brand new, “Assassin’s Creed-sized” IP called Watch Dogs. Jaws were on the floor as this stunningly realistic world slowly revealed its first few secrets.
You could forgive E3 attendees for overlooking Watch Dogs because it debuted during Ubisoft’s annual cringe-fest that is their media briefing. For whatever reason, Ubisoft always feels compelled to hire a professional comedian to pander to the audience and try to fill the empty space between game demos, and without fail, it’s always a disaster. This year the very funny Aisha Tyler was hired to host, but her rapid-fire sass was hampered by Ubisoft’s insistence on bringing in YouTube personality Toby Turner to make uncomfortable, unfunny banter with her. Sheesh, Ubisoft, after last year’s painful-to-watch disaster, I was really hoping you’d learned your lesson. ⁄endrant
Regardless of the circumstances, nobody missed the impact this astonishing new game made on the landscape. Because it’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Watch Dogs is set in a living, breathing open world metropolis, where shadowy information brokers and intel operatives operate on their own level of reality, hacking people’s lives as easily as they hack machines.
Ubisoft Montreal is leading the development of Watch Dogs, which tasks players with bringing down a corrupt system. You play as antihero Aiden Pierce, a talented hacker who can make almost anything happen by manipulating the technology we all take for granted. Aiden can cause a 30-car pileup by hacking traffic lights, or find out anything about anyone by hacking security cameras and personal records. Watch Dogs is built around the notion of a city running off of its own Operating System — the “CTOS” — which promises to gives players the power to control an entire city.
Ubisoft swears that despite the distinctly next-generation look and feel of the game, it’s being built for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. But given that there’s no release date yet (not even so much as a year) makes it feasible that this could make the jump to next-gen consoles if it’s still a year or two away.