E3 2012: Who Watches the Watch Dogs?

Watch Dogs is a new open-world game from Ubisoft, and judging from its demo, looks to have to be potential to compete with the other open-world game from Rockstar.

In Watch Dogs, you take on the role of Aiden Pierce, who gets by with a gun and a cellphone… and hacking computers, security cameras, traffic lights and jamming cellphone signals. It sounds really voyeuristic, and actually might be if not for the story hinted at in the demo.

A more sinister plot than plain old voyeurism might be afoot in Watch Dogs, but you can watch the trailer below to make your own assumptions.

It’s the attention to detail in Watch Dogs that pleases us. I mean, it’s only natural that a game with so much focus on surveillance and stealth do so, but they do it with aplomb. The game engine brings everything about each area into focus, right down to how the sunlight gleams off the surface of a well worn sidewalk, or how steam floats gently down from vents in the ceiling. It’s real enough to draw you into the very streets Aiden Pierce is running in.

Don’t worry though, Watch Dogs is more than just a pretty face. As mentioned previously, Ubisoft has got the attention to detail in the game down pat, even in the gameplay.

For starters, players get the descriptive low-down on every individual they pass by. This includes a ‘violence probability’ meter, just so you know who to pick on. One of the passers-by whose info came onscreen was noted to be a Krav Maga instructor. While other ground-breaking open-world games had little on each NPC, Watch Dogs turns them into NPCs you actually could care about.

Later on in the demo, Aiden (or you, rather) manages to cause a massive traffic accident at a T junction by simply pressing a few buttons on his cellphone. He is later caught in gunfight. The game is played in third person, though you have an option to zoom towards the barrel of your gun while in combat. Players also have a finite amount of ammo, and we feel the game is crafted so that you’re encouraged to utilise more subtlety and stealth to get where you want to, as opposed to certain open-world games that let you go on a trigger happy rampage.

This is one game you should be watching out for. In the meantime, stay tuned to more Watch Dogs updates on RGB.

Watch Dogs is scheduled for a 2013 release.