Home Gaming Gamescom 2013: Watch Dogs

Gamescom 2013: Watch Dogs

3 min read


Ubisoft’s hack-tastic open-world Watch Dogs is easily one of the year’s most anticipated titles. Many people seem to think that Watch dogs is little more than a re-skinned, modern-day Assassin’s Creed. Those people are wrong.

We got to have a look at the game at Gamescom – and what we’ve seen is rather intriguing. We got to look at bits from the traditional single-player experience, as well as some of that invasive multiplayer.

The hands-on demonstration starts off with protagonist Aiden Pierce, hacker extraordinaire in a lower-class, ramshackle industrial bit of Chicago. Before he’s able to hack in to civilian phones and computers in the area, he needs to break in to and hack the Central Operating System (ctOS) database and implant a digital backdoor before he’s granted unfettered access to all things digital.

To do that, he’d have to physically break in to the compound housing the database; guarded as it is by guys carrying rather large guns. There are quite a number of ways Aiden could do this. He could, like a ninja, sneak in; hack one of the cameras, giving him a less restricted view and tagging enemies – and then piggy back from that camera to another, eventually able to plot a route without being spotted – or he could just run in, shoot everybody, and hack away. One thing that does make the (less fun, in my opinion) gung-ho approach a little easier is that Aiden can enter a sort of bullet-time, slowing down time for more precise shots. You probably want to avoid that route though; Aiden’s no bullet sponge – and just a few shots bring his lifeless body to the ground.

Once he’s done that, he can now scan people’s cell phones, computers and just about every other connected digital thing for information – like people’s banking info, which can be used to illicitly earn cash, or other logs of information that could trigger side-quests or might be helpful in your main objective.

We also got to take a look at the handling of cars (and bikes!) within the city and it all seems to control quite nicely. While in a vehicle, hacking still plays a significant role, and you can change traffic lights to slow pursuers (usually cops) by causing massive traffic jams.

We then also got a look at one of the multiplayer features in the game. At one point in the play-through, a message popped up saying that Aiden himself was being hacked and that he’d have to tag people within certain proximity to find out who the offending hacker was; turns out it was somebody else in the room, who’d hopped in to the game just for some multiplayer shenanigans.

If you do get happen to get hacked successfully, a little revenge mission is added, allowing you to infiltrate the other player’s game and hack him right back. It’s all a little bit of a pointless, but fun, distraction really, as it’s purely for bragging rights.

More than just a future Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs seems to borrow elements from Splinter Cell and Far Cry as well – becoming a slower, more methodical, thinking-man’s open world game.

Last Updated: August 29, 2013


  1. Admiral Chief Raider of Tombs

    August 29, 2013 at 15:36

    Question, can you disable this invasion?

    While fun, this is a game I’d like to play alone first


    • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      August 29, 2013 at 15:38

      Yeah, you don;t need to be “online.” It’s optional, and only happens between missions too.


      • Admiral Chief Raider of Tombs

        August 29, 2013 at 15:45

        Cool. I wanna sandbox MY style. Not someone else’s style


      • Unavengedavo (aka. Frik)

        August 29, 2013 at 15:49

        I just want to know if you push one button to hack or whether it is more like Uplink?


        • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

          August 29, 2013 at 15:50

          It’s simple button-press hacking; nothing like uplink at all (I LOVED THAT GAME)


          • Unavengedavo (aka. Frik)

            August 29, 2013 at 15:52

            It would have been epic if it was like Uplink!

          • RinceThisNintypoo

            August 29, 2013 at 15:59

            Would be nice if they made it a bit like Dark Souls, loved the PvP in that!

    • John of Vault 11

      August 29, 2013 at 15:53

      If this was EA they probably would not allow you to and then try to justify it by saying that it makes the gaming experience better when it’s always online.
      In my experience when an always online game bums out suddenly because you lost connection it doesn’t make the experience all that great.


  2. John of Vault 11

    August 29, 2013 at 15:45

    I really know very little about watch dogs. My gaming backlog is stopping me from trying new games.


  3. RinceThisNintypoo

    August 29, 2013 at 15:57

    Has no one seen the story similarities between this and Person of Interest? Either way, definitely going to be picking this up!


  4. Jonah Cash

    August 29, 2013 at 16:00

    My PS4’s first title!!! Or the sheep in me will get Fifa 14….. Ah what the hell, I will get them both!!!


  5. Rock789

    August 29, 2013 at 16:17

    This is definitely on the ol’ radar for my next-gen console… Been interested in it ever since I first heard about it – looks like a ton of fun! Seen quite a few gameplay vids too, and it always looks spectacular – very fluid and smooth transitions from walking around to hacking to fighting to driving to walking around again. Can’t wait to get started.


  6. Double-O-Six and a half

    August 29, 2013 at 16:27

    This is my one “must get” after blacklist… I’d even be prepared to wait on BF4, it looks like its going to be quite something…


  7. mariano guntin

    September 3, 2013 at 09:13

    In case of GTAV “accident” break the glass and take this.


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