Out of all the games that were showcased at E3 2013, the one that I was looking forward to the most was Watch Dogs. My friend and I waited in line for the live demo for a total of three hours. Was the wait worth it? Most people would say no, but I left the demo with more excitement to purchase the final version.
Watch Dogs is all about innovation. At its surface, it may appear that Watch Dogs is just another open world, third person shooter, but it’s nothing like you've ever played before. To see what I'm talking about, check out the Watch Dogs trailer. It's fantastic to see that the fine folks at Ubisoft taking new ideas and approaches in video gaming.
The live demo at E3 showcased Watch Dog's main character, Aiden Pearce. In the open world demo, Aiden is looking for a central hub to unlock in which he'll gain the ability to hack into all electronic devices in the surrounding area. Hacking plays the main role in Watch Dogs. In fact, Aiden's smart phone is his most powerful weapon. After Aiden was able to successfully unlock the central hub, he was now free to do as he pleased. In the demo, Aiden decided to hack some random people's cell phones to see their personal information. While hacking into someone’s phone, Aiden learned that this particular NPC had an increased chance to be on the receiving end of a crime. The phone conversations Aiden can eavesdrop on will give him an insight on each individual and their daily life. In this instance, Aiden learned that this lady had an increased chance of getting attacked because of what the other person on the line was saying. This essentially is Watch Dog's side missions. Aiden could simply walk away and not ever see this citizen again. However, in the demo, Aiden followed this girl and she was attacked by someone. Aiden was there to interrupt the attack and it was a happy ending. But like I previously stated, if you want Aiden to, you can simply ignore these missions. I'm sure the NPC victim would appreciate that you didn't, however.
Halfway through the demo, we learned Aiden was not alone in trying to hack the world. Shortly after Aiden interrupted the crime, a warning flashed on the screen letting the player know he is being hacked by another player. Another real life player had infiltrated into Aiden's game in a seamless multiplayer action. Aiden was simply doing his thing in single player when another gamer was trying to hack him. This opens up a PvP type gameplay if you will. Aiden now has to try and locate this player to prevent him from completing the hack. What is awesome about this feature is that if the player whom is trying to hack Aiden acts normally, he will look like an everyday citizen in Aiden's game. However, if the player is driving erratically or running into people, then Aiden will know something is suspicious with that person.
In the demo, the Ubisoft employee whom was playing as Aiden was trying to find out who was hacking him. Aiden was nearing the individual, but he was in an area where there were numerous people, making it difficult to pinpoint the hacker. To resolve this problem, Aiden hacked into a video camera to get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area. Doing so, Aiden was able to locate the hacker. In the demo, Aiden interrupted his hacking attempt by going on an awesome car chase. The hacker ultimately escaped, but Aiden successfully interrupted the hack and now he wanted to exact revenge.
Aiden turned the tables on the hacker by going after the other player in his game. This was fascinating to watch a cat and mouse game within a single player game between two friends. Aiden began the hack and was originally hiding in plain sight with a mob of people. He had an inkling that he was about to get spotted, so he immediately jumped into a parked car. This served as two purposes. One, it's harder to find someone in a car then out in the open and two, if he was spotted, he was already in his escape vehicle. Well, option two took place. Upon being spotted, Aiden started the car and was off. Now Aiden was the one being chased by his friend. Except this time, Aiden had a little trick up his sleeve. Aiden was purposely not out running his friend in the car chase because he wanted to lead him into an abandoned alley way. Aiden drove to the end of the alley, executed a 180° spin, jumped out of his car and took cover behind his driver side door. Aiden took out his assault rifle and waited for his friend to come barreling around the corner and down the alley and right into his crosshair. Exactly as predicted, Aiden's friend was racing down the alley, but he wasn't expecting to see an ambush waiting for him. Aiden open fire and dispatched his friend.
For someone who hardly plays multiplayer games, I'm completely excited about the interaction between friends trying to hack each other in a single player game. Even without this feature, Watch Dogs looks absolutely amazing. It is definitely my winner for best of E3. Keep an eye out for Watch Dogs which is scheduled to be released this holiday season.