by Joseph Leray
In the wake of last month’s announcement that “Watch Dogs” (officially stylized as “Watch_Dogs,” but that’s dumb) was coming to the PlayStation 4, Ubisoft were kind enough to release another trailer for the game. If you’ve been paying attention (and if you haven’t, don’t worry — I’ll include links), you’ll realize that this latest piece of whiz-bang marketing is actually just re-packaged stuff from about a month ago.
In this most recent trailer, for example, noted anti-hero and Jim-Caviezel-from-“Numbers” clone Aiden Parker steals two grand from a tobacco exec, smashes a domestic abuser with a billy stick, and crashes a cop car, all while government officials track his movements and wring their hands.
Parker is a hacker extrordinaire, and his incursions into Chicago’s city-wise CtOS system are a big problem. He’s presented as anti-social and disruptive — to all the people on the train he derails, he’s got to be a grade-A jerk.
An earlier trailer for “Watch Dogs” shows us the exact same sequence of events, this time from Parker’s point of view — he’s just a really smart guy who knows too much, trying to escape from underneath Big Brother’s jackboot.
I’m not sure if this shift in perspective is going to play out when the game is released later this year, but it’s a neat by-product of Ubisoft’s marketing at the very least.
But, anyway, down to brass tacks: “Watch Dogs” is being developed by Ubisoft’s Montreal studio, led by creative director Jonthan Morin. It’s an open-world game set in an alternate-but-not-that-alternate future version of Chicago where the local government tracks everyone’s every move, from bank accounts to cell phone conversations.
We don’t know much about Parker’s goals or motivations, but we do know that’s a skilled hacker, which gives him unlimited information about the world around him. The hook will be to use this information to do neat things like, say, make a fuse box explode in someone’s face.
“Watch Dogs” is being developed for all major consoles — Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and 4 — and Windows, and should be out by the end of the year.