Watch Dogs is now out; here’s our Watch Dogs review.
Something which is often lost in the trailers and snippets of in-game footage of Watch Dogs is that at its heart it’s an open world game not simply a linear story with lots of freedom. This isn’t Deus Ex, it’s Grand Theft Auto with a smart phone.
This new footage aims to address that gap in presentation. It’s 15 minutes of a player wandering about the world and playing non-mission content.
We see how you’ll need to break into a CTO facility to gain control of a district’s phone network. This is extremely similar to Far Cry 3’s radio mast feature. In that game, too, you gained surveillance data of an area by controlling an outpost. The CTO facilities are different from the radio masts but the core idea is the same and shows something of a lack of imagination on Ubisoft’s part.
From there we’re introduced to Watch Dogs’ reputation system. You’ll build a positive or negative reputation depending on how you take down opponents. This then dictates how other systems in the game will respond to you. Police may be more aggressive, your face may appear on more wanted posters, and so on. In this playthrough we see how a gun shop owner recognises you and presses a silent alarm all because you’d been too aggressive in the past.
I’m becoming quite torn when it comes to Watch Dogs. On the one hand it does look like an open world game where you have a great deal of choice and opportunity when it comes to interacting with the world. You can control many elements in the environment and twist them to your benefit when they’ve originally been designed for some other purpose or, even, as devices that were meant to impede you. Yet, with this footage and other examples, the game seems a little sterile. I don’t have much love for Aiden, for one thing. I’ve not been hands on with the game yet. That may change me mind. Certainly, following a hands-on at Gamescom, Tim was a convert.
Watch Dogs is due out 22 November.