Hacksassin’s Creed: Watch Dogs’ Open World

By Nathan Grayson on February 21st, 2013 at 9:00 am.

Ubisoft’s vaguely cyberpunk open-world thriller Watch Dogs has the worst minimap in history. It’s so amorphous and blobby, like someone sneezed on the screen, and it miraculously oozed into a fully functioning UI element. I’m sorry. I know that’s not really the main issue at hand here, but it had to be said. But yes, Watch Dogs! It looked rather promising – though somewhat upsettingly action-focused – during E3, and new footage only adds fuel to the electrical fire. Which is rather the opposite of how you’re supposed to deal with those things, but this is a rare case where that’s a good thing. Well, if you like Assassin’s-Creed-style chases and magical cell phone techno-magic, anyway.

I actually like this a fair deal more than the E3 footage, if only because it seems to more accurately represent what a day-to-day stroll in Aiden’s sneakers will be like. Scan people for personal info, rob them blind if you feel like it, turn up a side mission, suddenly remember that you’re Ezio from Assassin’s Creed but in a cool jacket, etc.

I’m still slightly worried that the hacking elements will be more action game gimmicks than bold strides into new territory, but they do at least seem to be playing ball with Watch Dogs pretty nicely. Both instances of environmental manipulation produced marked effects – with barriers shredding a police car and a remotely controlled train providing a new route for escape – so it’ll be a fun bag of tricks, if nothing else.

It looks like Grand Theft Auto meets Assassin’s Creed meets Hollywood hacker fantasies, basically. I’m not blown away, but I’m working up a decent anticipatory spittle froth nonetheless. Well, assuming they change that minimap, anyway. How about you?

Ubisoft will let Watch Dogs out at the end of 2013 to coincide with the PS4′s launch yadda yadda yadda blah.

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125 Comments »

  1. Kobest says:

    I can’t see that minimap in question (Youtube is blocked at my workplace), but I can imagine it. Thank God for that minimap removal mod for Far Cry 3: that abomination of an UI element literally obstructed 1/6th of the screen. I saw that AssCreed 3 had almost the same thing which raises the question if this shitty minimap is a company policy or what?

    I’m no game developer, but is it really that difficult to put a “show minimap on/off” or “ui scale from 1 to 5″ into a game?

    Nevertheless, I’m excited for Watch Dogs! :)

    • f1x says:

      The game looks fucking awesome, got a Sleeping Dogs thing to it aswell (the chases)

      About the minimap is not that is too big, (it is a bit big, but not so much)
      the problem is, it is so damn ugly and it displays very little useful information

      • tobecooper says:

        That was my first thought too – Watch Dogs remind me of Sleeping Dogs.
        “The dogs have awakened!”

        • aldo_14 says:

          Likewise. I had this odd nagging sense of familiarity until he started running, and then it’s ‘aah, Sleeping Dogs’. Which is fine – I thought Sleeping Dogs chase scenes were ace.

          • Monkeh says:

            Totally looks like an even more awesome Sleeping Dogs, which is great good in my book.

      • Groove says:

        It might be that I’ve missed a lot of AAAs of this type, but this looks pretty amazing to me.

        I just hope it’s actually open and emergent. Having the perp run down a certain path I can deal with, so long as everything they did to escape was just an example of what you could have done.

        • UmmonTL says:

          I think what Nathan was referring to when he said “amorphous and blobby” was the yellow circle with the jittering dots which seems to me like it’s just a marker how far the guy you’re chasing has to get away to escape. And next to the minimap are the 5 Dots that look like a wanted level.
          All in all it looks very much like a GTA with Assassin’s Creed style climbing and a hacking ability. Obviously this will be pretty much a power fantasy but I hope they make the character at least somewhat vulnerable so he really has to rely on the hacking to survive/escape from larger firefights. Finally it will be really interesting to see what sort of setups you can do with hacking (especially in co-op) to reach your objectives. It needs to inspire creativity and not give you a simple IWIN button.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Looking at the yellow circle of doom that’s the police detection radius I think, as there was a % counter going up the longer he was in it until they caught onto him.
            Also, rewatching it, there’s some nice HUD elements, like someone calling the police has a marker and progress bar on them so you know how long until they call, and there’s was definitely a bullet-time meter in the top left.
            I also liked how he didn’t need to shoot to scare the guy off, if that’s a recurring thing that could be excellent.

            I wouldn’t expect to see someone getting beaten up in these kinds of demos anyway, as they’ve always got it on the easiest difficulty/god mode on.

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            darkChozo says:

            Well, if it helps, the ammo counter shows that he has barely any ammo, and the hacking didn’t look like it did anything too ridiculous (ex. no disabling car engines or exploding cop’s radios or anything like that). It’s obviously a pretty scripted demo, but I don’t think there’s much to suggest that you’re gonna be taking down cops left and right. The slow mo was a bit interesting, though.

        • Bweahns says:

          “I just hope it’s actually open and emergent. Having the perp run down a certain path I can deal with, so long as everything they did to escape was just an example of what you could have done.”

          This.

      • f1x says:

        Next game will be “Who let the dogs out”

        Groove: It does look really nice, their premise afaik was you could enter almost any building, and interact with almost everything, lets see how that shapes out

    • Felixader says:

      In Assasins Creed 2 Brotherhood you had the option to remove or keep whichever of the UI Elements you wanted.

  2. yogibbear says:

    Do you hate me if I say I like the minimap? I mean… compared to the worst one’s out there… it actually tries to blend in and feels much more like it’s just outside your vision (being a third person action game).

    • uNapalm says:

      I agree, it looks fine to me and does a good job of blending in.

      I suppose that putting something like that at the start of an article gets people talking.

    • yurusei says:

      I dunno if it’s their intention, but it looks like those GPS maps you get on your phone.

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      c-Row says:

      It really blends in rather nicely, especially since it has no borders around it.

    • El_Emmental says:

      Same, I quite liked it. It seems to blend in nicely, and provide enough close-range informations.

    • skyturnedred says:

      I had to watch the video again, didn’t even notice the minimap the first time. Probably because it blends in so well.

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        Same here — “Huh? It had a minimap?” So yep, guess it blends in well. And that’s fine by me since I’m awful at using them and tend to have more fun when objective markers aren’t shoved in my face (though the latter fits this game well.)

    • Fox89 says:

      Maybe I’m in the minority here but er… I don’t want my minimap to blend in! I like them to stand out so they’re nice and easy to glance down at and instantly be able to understand it. I don’t want to be filtering out where the environment stops and the minimap begins in the middle of a high speed chase.

      • brulleks says:

        I reckon this one should work fine. It only blends in when you’re not looking directly at it – it’s not exactly camouflaged when you are.

  3. Premium User Badge

    amateurviking says:

    I watched this during the PS4 whatsit that I inexplicably stayed up to watch last night. It really does look the business.

    Liked the fact that there was no overt murderiness happening (crashing a couple of cop cars notwithstanding – no-one dies in car crashes in videogameland, probably).

  4. Rawrian says:

    Quick, somebody tell that detective guy to get Google Glass or similar contraption, it should already be mass-produced in the future!

    • The Random One says:

      He’s probably wearing Google Contact Lenses already. That’s where the minimap is.

  5. John Connor says:

    Mister Reese?

  6. Ravenholme says:

    That was pretty awesome, if I’m quite honest.

    I’m tenatively excited for this.

    • brulleks says:

      The usual review site’s polar extreme of oneatively?

    • norfolk says:

      Am I the only one underwhelmed by this? It looks gorgeous, but it’s so… absurd. Hack everything with a hack app! Simultaneously live as the good guy (saving chicks!) and the bad guy (chased by cops!). Don’t worry or think, just do!

      It’s like an orgy of trite movie tropes.

      • Focksbot says:

        No, you’re not the only one …

        I went through my usual range of reactions: “Oh, that’s very realistic”, “Cool! You can do that?”, “Wait, who is this guy? Should I care?”, “OK, this is feeling kind of familiar now”, “I bet I can’t really do all the things I want to do”, “On reflection, I just watched someone’s macho fantasy”, “I should really be getting on with something else right now.”

      • crizzyeyes says:

        If you think this is absurd, I shudder to think of your opinion regarding other video games.

        • Focksbot says:

          Other games create their own world with their own rules.

          The closer you get to mimicking the real world, the more pronounced the differences are, the more obvious it is when something is ‘wrong’. It’s the same idea as the uncanny valley.

          I’ve got a real big feeling that in a couple of decades we’ll look back on this whole era of gaming, probably from around the late nineties, as being absolutely entrenched in both a visual and tactile uncanny valley and find it queasy to return to. Games with simplistic systems and graphics will seem a lot more elegant in the long run. What we’ve had now for years is stepping stones towards something we haven’t yet arrived at. We’ve been amazed and enthralled the way scientists are amazed and enthralled by every minor experiment that brings them closer to uncovering some vast secret.

          • norfolk says:

            Exactly. Games are generally absurd, sure, but it’s the ones that stick to realism, then bend the rules toward macho-fantasy that really bug me.

            It’s like – you’ve created this fantastic virtual atmosphere, but make us play as nerdy Bruce Willis? It’s absurd.

      • Spider Jerusalem says:

        the rule of awesome, my friend.

  7. bit.bat says:

    What worries me about Ubisoft open world games is that more and more they seem to share the same uninspiring design decisions that turn their games into transparent mathematical equations rather than engrossing experiences.

    I hope that Watchdogs has something new to show because the overall premise is very exciting.

    • kataras says:

      Yes I agree. It sounds very interesting but somehow looks like AssCreed with a different coat on. I hope it doesn’t turn out like that.

      • RobinOttens says:

        Well I for one am a little sad that this isn’t set in the actual actual Assassin’s Creed universe. This is what I imagined and hoped Desmond’s storyline would turn into, and now that’s unlikely to ever happen.

        For the sake of this new IP though, I agree that Watchdogs would probably be better off if it felt a little less like a reskinned AC.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I worry about it just because Ubisoft and thus as a large publisher they’re probably going to take an interesting game and widdle all over it with pre-orders and DRM.

      • Kadayi says:

        Ubi abandoned always on DRM in games well over a year ago. RPS covered this in an interview last year.

  8. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    Can i repeat my GTA:Assasins creed joke here?

  9. TT says:

    The guy could use some of that glass tech.
    It looks good specially the animations character/ cloth very good.
    How are they to conciliate the matrix tech with the scripted missions will make or break the game

    PS: And yes the minimap looks like a place-holder that got forgotten.

  10. Radiant says:

    One more nail in the keyboard and mouse coffin: Tab to see the mini map.
    R.I.P Tab key.

    This game sounds wonderful; as does the directors voice.

    • Radiant says:

      Also Nathan.

      Repeat after me.
      THAT COAT IS NOT COOL.

      It’s like nyfw and lfw never just happened…

      • PopeBob says:

        To be honest, most of the coats (of which there were an unending supply) in the fashion weeks looked bloody ridiculous to me.

      • The Random One says:

        The coat was clearly stolen from the Salvation Army, but if your standard is Fashion Week the only games with well dressed characters will be JRPGs.

  11. Davie says:

    Every time I see this game I am reminded of that ludicrous Shia Labaeiouf film Eagle Eye. Somehow it still manages to look awesome.

    I especially like the little personal details when you scan people. Since it would be incredibly cheap and easy to implement I hope there’s a really huge pool of details to draw from, so you don’t see the same dozen professions over and over again.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I’d like to believe, although it’s almost certainly wishful thinking, that they’ve decided to AAA-ify bits of Dwarf Fortress, and when you see “recently won custody case”, that means there’s a guy out there with “recently lost custody case” as well, and a child with “parents recently fought over custody”.

  12. mrmalodor says:

    Looks like this will be the first game I’ll buy from Ubi in a while. As long as offline mode is in, of course.

    • Kadayi says:

      Ubi abandoned always on DRM in games well over a year ago. RPS covered this in an interview last year. You need to be online initially to register a game to your account, after that you can set it to offline mode under the Uplay settings.

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      Then again, there seems to be a somewhat important multiplayer aspect to the single player campaign in this one (I imagine something along the lines of Dark Souls), so they have a good excuse to require always-on.

  13. Inzimus says:

    mini-maps always break immersion for me, so I never use them
    as long as I can turn it off, I don’t mind
    but as with today’s FPS’s where they force a crosshair down my throat, with no option of turning it off, I’m not holding my breath

  14. Premium User Badge

    JohnS says:

    I like how you thwarted her stalker by hacking into her personal details and following her around without her knowledge.

    • Inigo says:

      Then intentionally caused the possible deaths of several police officers, and no doubt injured many more by triggering the emergency brakes on a train.

      • Kollega says:

        My thoughts exactly. I find it very odd that the man whose main superpower is invasion of privacy would use that superpower to stop crimes, not to carry them out.

      • Premium User Badge

        JohnS says:

        This seriously annoys me – games do this all the time, even games trying to tell a serious story set in the real world. Like that part in Assassins Creed where a lady had to wait inconveniently long for her books being unloaded of a ship, and you, gentleman as you are, decide to get her those books by murdering everyone on board. And then she’s all like “You did that for me?” and it’s treated as a friendly gesture. Why don’t we call these games out on this?

        Yes, I know the appeal of sandbox games is that they’re the perfect asshole simulators, but then make the tone of the game fit that asshole bevaviour, like in Just Cause or the good GTAs.

        In Dishonored, if you abused your powers back at HQ, you’d get a message like “The loyalists have been disbanded due to irreconcilable differences” (Like if you possesed someone or jumped into the bathtub with the maid), and you’d have to reload. Imagine if the game continued like nothing had happened in those instances, like every other game would do.

        Or like the parts in The Walking Dead when Clementine voiced her disapproval of your behaviour – those were really efficient at keeping me in line and making me think twice about what I was doing.

        What I’m saying is, I think a sandbox with a serious tone but allowing assholish behaviour would work, as long as the game treated you like an asshole when you acted like one.

        • Kadayi says:

          Fair points, however it should be noted that we’re not seeing the potential impact of the players action down the line in the trailer in terms of consequence. The rule with any game trailer is that they’ll always show you the most dramatic high octane way of playing Vs the way people are actually likely to play when push comes to shove (see dishonored/Hitman/splinter cell)

        • sinister agent says:

          Like that part in Assassins Creed where a lady had to wait inconveniently long for her books being unloaded of a ship, and you, gentleman as you are, decide to get her those books by murdering everyone on board. And then she’s all like “You did that for me?” and it’s treated as a friendly gesture. Why don’t we call these games out on this?

          Holy crap, seriously? That happens? That sounds amazing… at least, it would be if it were done tongue in cheek. Done seriously, it’s pretty embarassing.

        • Joc says:

          What a shame.

        • The Random One says:

          I don’t think this is bad by itself – it’s action movie logic, no one is harmed unless the protagonist deliberately harms them – but I wish more people shared your point of view.

      • LionsPhil says:

        They seem to be angling pretty heavily for barely-a-hero anti-hero, but yeah, it’s going to hinge pretty badly on how (un)sympathetic it is to the protagonist for this (and how sympathetic it is to the police trying to stop this destructive Batman-with-a-cellphone loon).

    • Vegard Pompey says:

      There is a TV series, Person of Interest, that’s centered around two individuals trying to prevent crimes through similar methods. It’s actually pretty damn good in a weird crime-procedural-meets-Batman-kind-of-way.

      Whether invasion of privacy is justified to potentially save lives is a tricky issue. I certainly wouldn’t trust a government that spies on me and claims it’s in my own best interest. But if I was this Pearce character, would I trust myself to act in the best interest of whoever I’m spying on? Maybe I would.

      It’s a morally grey issue, and not quite as batshit insane and game-logicy as all the wanton murder.

      • Kadayi says:

        Yeah footage definitely has a ‘person of interest’ vibe to it, especially with the victim counter.

      • Ahkey says:

        Thought exactly the same on seeing this.

        Missed opportunity for a half-decent licensed tie in, or mod just waiting to happen?

  15. derella says:

    I loved how this looked in the initial reveal at E3, when it seemed to be almost like a puzzle/investigation game. Of course, then the bullets and car crashes took center stage. The demo last night definitely made the action portions seem even more prominent… Which is fine I guess, or at least expected.

    I’ll be interested to see how scripted the hacking stuff is. They make it seem like there are endless options and that it is all very freeform… I have a feeling that it won’t play out like that though. Hopefully failing to hack the train before it whizzes by doesn’t end in mission failure or something.

  16. downgrade says:

    The more I see of this game, the more it looks like just another super hero open world actioner where your super power is Uber-hacking instead of electric boogaloo or super-mutations.
    Open world games have become so boring and formulaic in the last few years, that it is really hard for me to get excited about something like this. Ubi games in particular. This looks like a reskinned, modernized Assassins Creed,

  17. Laurentius says:

    So this is next-gen ? Who’s walking in modern city like this ? No-one, not even tourists. I wonder how long it will take to make a game that capture human walking right, for now, we are not even close.

    • SooSiaal says:

      Psh, everybody knows people use jetpacks in modern cities.

    • Premium User Badge

      darkChozo says:

      Huh? People walk in my city, and it’s not exactly in the third world or anything. The population density was actually about right for, say, about lunchtime.

      • Laurentius says:

        I meant how artificial walking animation looks like both PC and NPC, that’s now how people walk at all. So they can pretty acurate animate jump over the fence, but walk, changing pace of walking, starting to run still looks miserable.

        • The Random One says:

          I hear ya. It looks very weird, especially when he changed his pace after crossing the street. I guess no one manages to walk normally when they’re being motion-captured?

  18. Deadly Sinner says:

    According to the Ubisoft dude, that was actual freeform gameplay. If he’s not lying, this game has fantastic potential. It also looks like the best attempt at a “living, breathing world” so far. The NPC using the trash bin was a nice touch.

    • Kadayi says:

      Agreed. Seems like it’s the best example of a next gen game so far leveraging the extra CPU cores to handle addition AI behaviours (something I was hoping to see more of with the other games in truth). Also I don’t think I saw any repeat character models, which is again was another positive, though it unfortunately does appear that almost every woman in future Chicago either wears a hat or a ponytail.

      • colw00t says:

        Hair is hard. You notice the NPCs aren’t wearing intricate fluttery coats, either. You gotta shave CPU cycles somewhere.

    • Walter Heisenberg says:

      Can’t wait until they pull the classic Rockstar move: chase a car that is secretly invincible but you don’t know that so you dump hundreds of bullets into it as you chase it through a series of scripted events until you reach the point where Rockstar actually wants you to kill the dude. This bit of design is rampant and even more annoying in the Assassins Creed games so I expect it to be all over this game.

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      beekay says:

      Er, yes. A scripted event plays out before you; you intervene, and the criminal runs through a carefully-manicured set of obstacles which are pretending to be an alleyway. This alleyway is constructed (what a coincidence) such that you can use your hacks to catch him just before he escapes, wow, so cinematic. Then the police are after you (for christ even knows what reason) so you stop an oncoming police car in the nick of time with a retractable barricade which just happens to be in the middle of the road, because that’s what roads have. Then you escape to a nearby trainline and jump on a train, and a cutscene plays of you escaping the sinister watch of some sinister villain who is probably the/a Big Bad.

      That’s about as freeform and emergent as you can get.

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        darkChozo says:

        It’s a prerecorded five minute gameplay demo; of course it’s going to be on a script, they want to show off as much as possible and five minutes of whatever doesn’t do that. In terms of in-game scripting, the bit with the guy running off seems to be the only truly scripted bit, and that’s assuming that he’s statically placed with a preplanned escape (it’s not like his escape path was that complicated, it’s not inconceivable that it would be procedural in the real game). The camera bit at the end is also scripted, but it looks like the equivalent of a demo ending with a boss cutscene, ie. something that happens in the preview but not in the actual game.

        Everything else looks procedural. The police come because someone calls them when the guy starts shooting (you can see an icon indicating who’s calling, presumably you can stop the call a la MGS2). The police spawns seem to be timed, but I rather doubt that happens in the real game (static spawns in an open world game? Good luck with that). The alley is far from elaborate, it was a hallway with a fence and a red barrel, basically (again, carefully chose for the demo but not really scripted). The train spawns are the same as the police spawns.

        Honestly, in terms of prerecorded PR gameplay demoing, this is pretty freeform. There’s a lot of potential for a good open world game in that trailer.

  19. abandonhope says:

    Most of the contextual hactions look less like hacking than preexisting access and control. Maybe your character did all the heavy lifting during the backstory. Still, I’m curious as to why it took less time to hack a train than a camera.

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    megabear says:

    Internet Batman?

  21. DaftPunk says:

    Can’t believe how this game impressed everyone when it doesn’t look any special.

  22. dgz says:

    Console suckers will love this scripted open-worldish boredom fest.

    Ubi produces movies these days, not games.

  23. skyturnedred says:

    This is #1 on my waiting list. I always get bored with Assassin’s Creed games after a while, but I play them through eventually just to get through the storyline and to hopefully see some proper modern day assassinations with Desmond. This does look like what AC would’ve evolved to eventually.

    Haven’t played Sleeping Dogs yet, since it doesn’t run on Windows XP, but as soon as I upgrade, I will definately give that one a go.

  24. MattMk1 says:

    This gameplay looks very impressive (if you don’t stop to think too long about how many people you just maimed or killed while saving one random woman) but I have a feeling that like in most open world games with procedurally generated content, these “unscripted” goals will just end up being a semi-random mix of the same handful of elements, with every mission essentially the same.

    Snoop, hear a couple lines of dialogue, action sequence, avoid cops, rinse and repeat.

  25. Fox89 says:

    I am really looking forward to this. Open world fun, dynamic environments, free-running elements with some puzzling/investigation work thrown in if the E3 demo is anything to go by.

    And it looks gorgeous to boot. Sounds like a winning formula to me.

  26. lofaszjoska says:

    He sure showed that devilish Pro-Life Lobbyist.

    • Kollega says:

      I assume that the Pro-Life Lobbyist is supposed to be devilish because he’s also a tobacco company executive. [Either] HYPOCRICY, HO! [or] COINCIDENCE, HO! [ - underscore whichever you feel is more appropriate.]

    • StashAugustine says:

      Hopefully there’ll be a wide range of political persuasions to rob blind for no reason. I’d like to see stats on how many people steal from what professions.

  27. sinister agent says:

    Hurrah, you can be a heroic bystander!

    …then murder the cops who came to help. Even though they had no idea what you looked like and you could’ve just walked past. Hmm.

    So, this is basically Hollywood Hacking: The Game, yes? That’s alright. I suspect Ubisoft know just how high they’ve set the bar for this one, so I really hope they can make it as original as it deserves to be.

    • Shooop says:

      It’s fairly standard procedure for cops to take a person who just beat another person (criminal or not) with a night stick in for questioning. And when said person has a gun too…

      The police commissioner is not Jim Gordan obviously.

      • sinister agent says:

        Yeah, but how would they know what you look like? All they know is that there’s an armed male suspect somewhere in the area. Pocket the gun and stroll casually out of the alleyway, and you’re away.

        Sure, they could talk to witnesses and check footage and that, but by the time they’ve done that, you’ll be long gone, and probably just magic-hack all the footage away.

        • El_Emmental says:

          I think the part with the cops was intentionally added so people could see that:

          a) There is several ways to neutralize/delay the police chasing you, without killing them (nb: we’re in a video game, car accidents don’t kill unless the car explodes in a ball of fire).

          b) It is “cool” and impressive to flee and run away from the police forces, rather than unloading an assault rifle magazine in their faces. It is an interesting way to make a character look and feel powerful *without* having him kill everyone in sight.

          Regarding the game’s world, if they actually had that futuristic stuff (interconnected systems, including very efficient face-recognition CCTV) they could have:
          - identified the suspect’s (player’s) size and clothes during the chase
          - use the cached/stored video recording of the area near the first gun shots (the suspect shoot two times at the newspaper kiosk, right where the player was a few seconds before, and right where the player ran with a firearm in his hand)
          - then make a human tech in an office pick the right suspect (out of the 5-10 people selected by the AI)
          - get his face recognized (before crouching behind the car, his face is visible) and get his full ID, transmit that to all police forces in the area (including the pre-chase footage of the player).

          Also, when the “bad guy” is on the ground, neutralized, the player could have pocketed his firearm and walk back in the alley/climb on an emergency stair and wait/walk away, indeed.

          But that’s not something you show in that kind of PR event: Ubisoft decided to make the player be foolish and run in the busy street with his pistol still in hands (for no reasons), so they could demonstrate the “running away from cops” mechanism.

          • sinister agent says:

            Oh, true, true. I’m nitpicking! It is my way. It just seemed rather jarring to act in a way that appears very heroic, and then immediately murder the cops who came to her aid because it’s cool.

            Not a big deal, assuming that the finished game is less omnicidal, which I’m getting a pretty strong impression it will be.

  28. woodsey says:

    All looks quite impressive, but really, so much of this stuff always ends up just for show. No doubt we’ll stumble on this exact situation and chase some guy down an alley time and again.

    Still, the hacking powers look promising. I’m slightly confused as to why they’ve then given him slow-mo abilities instead of sticking more strictly to their premise, though.

  29. The First Door says:

    This game does look brilliant, really pretty and with an interesting theme which I’m loving the idea of. If it manages to pull it off, I can’t wait!

    Still… I did visibly twitch during the opening narration. I remember the dialogue in the E3 demo being a lot less… erm… rubbish.

  30. RakeShark says:

    This may be the first game I don’t need a mini-map for, being a long-time Chicago resident. I was able to pretty much follow the action street for street. Looks like it was somewhere along Wells/Washington (can’t be state, Lake, or Vanburen, you’d see the lakefront to the east), though I’m pretty sure they’ve turned part of it into a pedestrian street which Chicago doesn’t have under any EL tracks in the city proper. It does look like that majority of the game will be in the Loop though, I’d be surprised if they went any north of Division or any south of Roosevelt, with 90/94 being the west barrier and the lake being the obvious east barrier.

    • katinkabot says:

      Same here!!! My S.O. and I were watching the trailer last night and we were just figuring out where he was at. I hope they add some of the neighborhoods. Frankly, I’m just looking forward to playing the game for the location alone.

      • Atalanta says:

        Yeah, I’m also pretty much 100% sold on the setting alone — my boyfriend’s old apartment was functionally in the Loop, and I’m already all excited to try and find it. I doubt the city will go north far enough to include my apartment, but if it’s there, I’m definitely going to break into it and then hack my train, haha.

  31. Shooop says:

    Definitely promising. But will this be a scenario that plays out so many times it becomes mundane like the AssCreed games?

    • Milos says:

      You can bet your arse it will. You’ll just go around the city looking for the icons on the mini-map, ticking them off.

      8/17 tycoons robbed, 16/37 robbers subdued, etc.

      Swap out roadblocks for haystacks, cameras for wanted posters… we’ve all been there before. I would love it if it were really as free-form as they are trying to make it appear in trailers, but I’m not keeping my hopes up. It will probably still be a fun game, at least as fun as AC games were, but I don’t expect anything revolutionary from it.

  32. Iskariot says:

    I like the minimap. It blends in with your view of the world.
    I would like it even more if it had some zoom options.

  33. dongsweep says:

    As someone who lives in Chicago I have to say the city looks fantastic! Certainly less bums as you only see one in the video where you should have seen at least 3. It is great to see the city so faithfully recreated and to see where both my wife and I work (separate buildings). I’m stoked.

  34. HothMonster says:

    Seems like someone finally got the scale right for an open world game. Building, cars and trains usually seem disproportional to the character in these games, looks much more convincing in that clip.

  35. squareking says:

    Wow, this looks pretty fantastic. Any idea if this stuff is scripted or more or less procedural? The encounter and chase were pretty brilliant, especially when the perp fires on the meter. That was what the kids would call pretty radical.

    Also it’s neat to see a big company like Ubisoft using a free font like Dekar.

  36. piesmagicos says:

    Hrmm….looks pretty impressive but what will always bring me out of the world….seeing a hacker with the physical prowess of a parkour champion. Just doesn’t sound right haha.

  37. VanishedDecoy says:

    This has such incredible potential. A fear that I have, though, is that there won’t be much of a need to use all of the options you have of escaping danger. It’s similar to my complaint with the AC series in that, despite having all of these choices, the only one you actually need to escape a horde of guards is to simply run. I never feel compelled to think of an intricate plan of success.

  38. grenadeh says:

    I think liking “chases” depends on which AC game. The chases in AC3 were fucking retarded, absolutely no question about it. So no, I do not like those chases – where Thomas Hickey runs in a square around new york and scripted bullshit events occur to slow you down and you have to stay within 40 meters – oh also the bonus objective, don’t run into anyone.

    I’ll pass if there is more than one of these missions in the game.

  39. Kevin says:

    Seems a bit unnecessary to use identity theft to steal money from the ATM (even if it is from an asshole tobacco lobbyist). If you’ve got all that hacking power, why not skip a step and hack the ATM itself?

  40. Dances to Podcasts says:

    “magical cell phone techno-magic”

    Good thing someone’s already claimed phonomancy.

  41. myelbow says:

    Two things:

    Why is it that waaaaay back in 1993 we got a Shadowrun game on SNES a shitty 16-bit console that had more immersive “hacking” than we have seen since for the most part. With all this technology and realistic open worlds and all that crap, why have we reverted to push button hacking when I believe they all know we want something more involved. I mean hell, there are computer terminals and a programming language in Minecraft now but we still can’t get a AAA title with a good representation of computer use.

    (I understand that Shadowrun is cyberpunky and more futuristic and whatnot but please give me some form of actual involvement in the process other than “target and push button”)

    Also, does anyone find it a bit coincidental that we just read about how Montreal threatened fines and whatnot for a kid recreating the single subway station and yet here we are watching Montreal video game studio recreating a somewhat lifelike version of Chicago? Wonder if they asked permission for that? I guess things are different for the little guy.

    • crinkles esq. says:

      First Ubisoft insulted George Washington, now they’re trying to steal Chicago. I hear that they’re also installing advanced nuclear centrifuges.

  42. Paperfeed says:

    Save a girl from getting robbed, horribly injure or kill two at least two cops.