Watch Dogs may only be a few weeks away, but the game is still keeping a few secrets under wraps. One such section where details are few and far between, is in the multiplayer department. Originally, it was thought that savvy players could actually invade someone else’s game and make life hell for the less prepared. But it won’t be that hostile in cyberspace.
At a Ubisoft event last week, Digital Trends got the chance to quiz Creative Director Jonathan Morin about how online match-making would work in an online world where players were encouraged to hack each other off.
“In the case of the one-on-one type of situations, if [a player] fits the criteria under the hood, then he’s available,” Morin explained. This all refers to the fact that player games can be invaded by other folks online, with all those shenanigans taking place in a sectioned off part of Chicago. So in other words, a digital version of Escape from New York/PE.
In “Online Hacking”, players will have to track down an invader, who will be keeping a close eye on them as they install backdoor access onto their cellphone. Once this begins, the target needs to find and eliminate the intrudulation with extreme prejudice before their phone is 100% hacked.
There’ll be a second game as well, dubbed “Online Tailing”. In that slice of cracking, players need to find a player, follow them and remain discreet. If a player cottons on to the fact that they’re being tailed, then game over man.
While it sounds fun, some players will understandably not want to take part in those activities, due to being either anti-social participants or not wanting to face multiples losing games. “I think there are a lot of people that are really competitive that will get a lot into [earning experience points], and you want to encourage that, but you don’t want to push away those that only want to do it from time to time,” Morin explained. “You want to be careful there.”
An algorithm will also be present, determining how often a player gets invaded, and will take a “do unto others” approach. “If you get invaded, [the shield] activates itself, so you have a break for a while,” Morin said.
If you’re not a player that’s overly excited by that, or you don’t invade a lot of people, then this shield will grow … but if you invade, it shrinks.
The four other game modes require you to accept an invitation from the game to join. The most traditional of these is the “Online Race” mode, which features up to eight players racing a variety of vehicles. The twist? You can hack the city of Chicago itself as you play, and try to sabotage others with traffic jams and even by raising the odd bridge.
Beyond that, expect four more gameplay modes in the form of a co-op deathmatch called Decryption, a tablet-neccesary hacktivity called ctOS-Mobile and a free-play mode in Chicago where you can go completely bananas. “It’s not a free realm with missions or modes or stuff like that. It’s more like the kind of mode we had to test the systems online,” Morin said of this mode.
We realized it was quite fun, and we [asked ourselves] why would we remove the option once we shipped the game?
Why not keep that in and let old school people get together and find their friends, almost make rules with pen and paper and say let’s follow those rules and try and see if it’s fun. It’s almost a game design R&D place. You remove all of the content, just keep the systems in and let the player see what the hell they are going to do.
Watch Dogs is out on May 27. Finally.
Last Updated: April 29, 2014