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Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs has certainly grabbed our attention, and that’s because Ubisoft is mixing an open world shooter with some intelligent gameplay that relies on hacking. But how integral is hacking to the whole experience?
The answer to that question is “very,” in fact, hacking seems to permeate every aspect of the Watch Dogs’ experience. Ubisoft has revealed this in a new video detailing the game called “Hacking is Your Weapon.”

 


Hacking isn’t just a feature of the game you can use occasionally to get out of a sticky situation or to complete an objective. Hacking forms the basis of everything you do in the game, even to the point where you need to go and infiltrate the all-seeing city computer system before you can even think of doing anything else.
As the video explains, the city is controlled by a single piece of software called CTOS. You need to hack into that in order to gain access to everything from surveillance cameras, transport, and utilities, to emergency response systems, communications networks, and the futuristic predictive crime monitoring setup. It’s not just a single hack from any location, though, you need to hack CTOS per district using a virus uploaded from within territorial control centers, which are sure to be heavily guarded.
Once achieved, all hacking is carried out from your smartphone, and the missions you are given will involve hacking building security, monitoring surveillance cameras, intercepting calls, stealing passwords, and tagging and tracking individuals. In total there are 75 different hacks you can perform, and it looks like figuring out which ones to use together will be a challenge, as well as offering multiple ways to solve the same problem.
Watch Dogs
The predictive crime monitoring system looks to be Watch Dogs’ answer to playing good or evil. It will see potential crimes before they happen, giving the player time to react to them either by stopping the crime or letting it happen. Each decision will surely have some knock-on effect. And if you get into trouble, there’s always Focus Mode, which from the brief footage we see of it being used in the video, looks like a form of bullet time allowing you to make decisions and carry out actions while the world around you moves in slow motion.
Clearly Ubisoft has used hacking to make this into a sandbox game. There will be objectives set, but how you achieve them is flexible and is sure to have some interesting results. I bet Ubisoft is just as interested as we are to see the varied ways players go about solving the problems they have set.
Watch Dogs is launching on PS3, Xbox 360, PC, and Wii U in the middle of November, and then PS4 and Xbox One before the end of the year.

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