A big new Watch Dogs mod makes Chicago a more dynamic place

Ambushes, random encounters, and custom missions are just part of what Living_City adds into the game.

The original Watch Dogs didn’t exactly light the world on fire: critics found it a bit directionless and disappointing, set in a Chicago that didn’t feel alive. A new mod for the four-year-old game adds a ton of features that help correct that, and even restores some cut content.

Modder The_Silver has created Living_City, which livens Watch Dogs’ up quite a bit by adding features like random events, ambushes, and custom missions. You’ll be able to return to building interiors that were restricted to story missions to explore them at will, use new hacks on civilians (like giving them money or draining their phone batteries), and run into random events.

The_Silver says they built the mod over the course of 14 months, starting out with no knowledge of scripting whatsoever and learning along the way. The results are impressive, and Living_City opens up Watch Dogs to a ton of new possibilities and challenges.

What’s nice is that each individual new feature introduced in the mod can be individually disabled in a simple config file, so if you’re not into the idea of potentially getting ambushed on a Fixer Contract, you can just toggle that option off.

Here’s a trailer for Living_City, although it doesn’t really showcase much of what the mod adds:

What I think might be the neatest new feature is the new red zones in Freeroam mode. These are off-limits areas, like the restricted zones found in campaign missions, but you can sneak into them and clear them out at will. There are 19 in total, each guarded by an enemy faction. Since they’re available in Freeroam, The_Silver says you can lure cops into them to spark a fight between police and Fixers, which is exactly the kind of dynamic mischief you want to get up to in big open world crime games.

Further reading: Our list of the best sandbox games on PC

But there are also a handful of new custom missions, including a couple that restore content that was cut from the game. The new stuff lets you restore the Owl Motel, take on new contracts, and launch new investigations.

Living_City is available for download over at ModDB, where you can also find a full rundown of the new features it adds.. While Watch Dogs was a bit too dour for its own good – an issue Ubisoft corrected with the sequel – this mod provides a lot more to do and some creative ways to do it.