If You Haven’t Heard About Watch Dogs, You Need To
Even though Ubisoft tried to sabotage themselves during their own conference by laying the awkward on cringe-inducingly thick by hiring Tobuscus to ruin everyone’s day, the publisher left a huge impression on gaming pundits by committing the unthinkable: revealing a new IP.
Preceding the reveal, a video was shown that described the unsettling concept of massive networking leading way to the ultimate dehumanization of society; a world in which we leave “digital shadows” that can be accessed, assessed, and used against us even if we never learn anything happened to us.
Watch Dogs picks up the ball with what could have easily been another entry into the cyberpunk genre yet opts to distinguish itself by tethering this grim hacker tale to our modern reality. The game’s biggest draw is that, unlike other open-world titles, you can harness the city and its technology as weapons. We see our Jensen-channeling protagonist create an opening by using his smartphone to burn out all other phones in his radius to distract a crowd. More deadly, we were also privy to our not-so-hero manipulating traffic flow to cause a catastrophic pile-up, boxing in his prey. Of course, such an action had unforeseen consequences, calling into question if morality comes into play.
A bigger surprise yet than the game not having a number following its name was the news that some form of co-op multiplayer runs concurrently with your single-player quest; online companions taking on support roles while indirectly affecting your mission…meaning you may not even know that anyone was helping you.
Watch Dogs is hours old in our minds but even still, Ubisoft’s IP has earned our rapt attention.