I’ve just exited the halls of E3 for the final time in 2013 and one of the very last games I saw at the show was Watch Dogs. Up until now we’ve mostly seen very restricted, set-piece style missions from Watch Dogs. That’s all well and good but we’ve been constantly told that Watch Dogs is an open world game with multiple dynamic systems — today we got proof.
In a behind closed doors demo we got a glimpse into how Watch Dogs will work when you eventually play it at home and it was extremely impressive. Moving from traditional open world play (combat/shooting/driving) to hacking was seamless and seemed surprisingly accessible. Prompts appeared contextually, giving me the impression that Watch Dogs is all about the decisions you make, and trying to play smart using the environment.
There are also some incredibly unique uses of a tablet app that works in tandem with the game itself, but I’ll go into more detail on this later…
For now I want to talk about the way in which Watch Dogs is like Dark Souls.
At one point in the demo, Aiden (the protagonist) was being hacked from an outside source. ‘Cool,’ I thought. ‘This must be a more complicated Watch Dogs version of the thieves in Assassin’s Creed, who steal your cash and you have to chase them down.’
But no, it turns out that was actually another player, playing the game on another console. Like in Dark Souls, players can essentially invade one another’s game and attempt to hack one another. The goal is to steal their connectivity, their ability to access different technology points in the game world. If you are getting hacked it’s your job to hunt the perp down and kill them before they get access.
It’s seamlessly integrated into the single player and I love the concept. Hopefully it won’t get too frustrating, but I think it’s a great way to shake things up, to feel connected within the world. In Dark Souls I often got angry when I was invaded, because an invasion had the potential to completely ruin a very specific plan you had to get through very difficult parts of the game. In Watch Dogs? I think it’s something I would be more inclined to enjoy.