Watch Dogs will be a ‘systematic’ game

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Grease IS the word

When Watch Dogs was shown off the first time last year, it looked good. Damn good. Too good in fact. How could a scene involving a character hacking traffic lights to cause a massive car accident not be scripted after all? Well according to Ubisoft Montreal, scenes such as that won’t just be unscripted, they’ll be systematic.

Speaking to GamingBolt, lead game designer Danny Belanger explained that everything shown so far was part of a more dynamic gaming world, and not scripted in any way. “There are many questions about the systemic or scripted nature of the game. Many people have doubts that we’ve scripted everything we shown,” Belanger said.

This is truly a systemic game – a good example is our E3 2012 demo with the car accident done by hacking the traffic lights, it depends on the amount of vehicles present at the intersection when it is triggered.

Belanger also mentioned that when causing such incidents, it was all dependent on the current flow and speed of traffic, determining whether players could be responsible for a simple fender bender or a re-enactment of a Blues Brothers pile-up;

Our goal is to give a lot of interesting tools to the player to modify, affect the simulation and let him be creative in using them to achieve his goals.

We are building an AI that supports stealth and shooting with the transitions required between the two states. This means that the player can take advantage of not being seen to engage into gunplay when he decides.

With this angle, using technology becomes a core component of our game.

Belanger explained how players could use the technological environment around them, such as cameras, to help them take down enemies. Or they could ditch the cell phone and just gun rush anyone that crosses their path. It’s up to the player, Belanger said.

We also have a full range of weapons at the player’s disposal – from basic pistols to grenade launchers, these can be used anywhere the player wants and it can create quite the mess when a fight breaks out in downtown Chicago. It becomes even more interesting when you add the range of city hacks and vehicles the player can use in combination with his arsenal.

I’ve still got my tinfoil hat on, regarding the scripted and dynamic nature of this game. But seeing as how it’s got a big brother theme that has been weaponised, it’s kind of oddly appropriate for this title.

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Last Updated: July 8, 2013

Darryn Bonthuys

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