E3 2012: Watch Dogs Revealed at Ubisoft’s E3 Press Conference
Watch Dogs Revealed, who controls the world?
Up until the final minutes of their press conference at E3, it was clear that Ubisoft had the most impressive show. But it was in those final minutes that Ubisoft truly out shined the rest; with the unveiling of a breathtaking new IP, developed by Ubisoft Montreal, entitled Watch Dogs.
They were very shy going into the reveal, following a narrative trailer; they referred to it as “CTOS”. It was not until they began the gameplay reveal they forcibly grabbed my attention. It begins in a busy city street, shown also on a minimap in the corner, which leads me to believe, with hopeful ambition, that Watch Dog is an open world game (not unlike Grand Theft Auto). You follow a mysterious hacker in a trench coat and baseball cap as he walks past a line of people outside a club.
The mystery man pulls a device from his pocket which apparently is his hacking device; a command wheel appears giving several hacking options in the form of different icons. The chosen method is “jam communications” which, upon execution, caused several bystanders to lose cell phone signal. The man then enters the club and traipses along coolly through a crowded club; or what seemed to me as a rave/museum. It seems as though a lot of people within already know who you are. You meet with a very whiney gentleman who complains of you leaving him standing around, and it becomes clear you’re not friends. Still, this man hands you a pistol after you make tell him of your intentions to “off” the man who is running the alleged charity event around you. From there the game goes into crazy stalker mode.
But Who Watches the Watch Dogs?
The player begins attempting to identify a hidden associate of Demarco (the man you’re trying to kill). He begins scanning the people around him, finding out their identities and their dark secrets. Once he finds the associate he then hacks into her phone and listens in on their conversation as she warns Demarco of your presence. As you try to leave you find that the associate has the exit blocked, so you quickly dispatch the guard and escape into the impressively beautiful, rainy city streets. It is then that the man in the coat begins his rampage on. Well… Everything.
The player places a scarf over his nose and mouth and begins hacking a nearby streetlight that is highlighted for its “hackability”. Upon the initial hack, there immediately follows a gruesome, and very realistic, car wreck. The physics in this game are beyond impressive, almost too impressive for a current gen console; despite the Xbox controller the demo was being played on. A cover based shootout commences in which the hacker quickly dispatches the gunmen in a real time, and partially bullet-time, fashion. As he approaches the vehicle of his target, stylishly killing all in his path, as an awesome explosion takes place at a nearby gas station. The colors and reflections of the explosion on the environment were gorgeous. He then proceeds to interrogate and execute his target.
This execution seemingly ends the prologue in Watch Dogs; giving a vague hint into what the story may hold, why this guy’s death is so important that it sends “a message”. Meanwhile, the police are gunning for you as you run to a car and attempt to make your escape; driving through the streets and jumping a conveniently placed drawbridge. Although, that ending remained in the perspective of the trench-coated man, the Watch Dogs demo shown at E3 panned away from the execution to another player controlled character on a rooftop, looking down at the carnage. This many receives orders to protect the initial hacker, and he parkours his way off the rooftop as the demo ends, panning farther out to show many more player icons across a larger map; this could possibly be either a co-op element or some sort of character swap, but we shall see.
Final Thoughts on Watch Dogs
After watching this reveal I was speechless; a new IP with breathtaking graphics. Despite not always having been my favorite; Ubisoft, so far, has my vote for best in show. Without a doubt, I cannot wait to see what this game becomes. What it seems to me is that it is a third-person, story driven, open world, cover based, espionage shooter, with possible co-op elements, and a lot of potential. I finished Ubisoft’s conference with big smile. Ironically keep an eye out for Ubisoft Montreal’s Watch Dogs.