Who Watches The Watch Dogs?

UPDATE: New video of just gameplay, without someone wittering over the top of it.

IGN, as it happens. And you can see footage of some GTA-type wandering about in Watch Dogs below. The handsome corporate gaming site was the first to get to grips with Ubisoft’s action-hacking game about the timeless love affair between phones, surveillance, guns and explosions in urban areas, and it looks quite good. Like the tennis.


We’ll all be able to furtively finger our cell in the pocket of a dirty trenchcoat come November 22nd.

I ask one thing of this game: No more than a minute of cutscenes at the start. If you can somehow manage that, Ubisoft, I will be happy. Probably.


  1. Rollin says:

    Sounds a lot like Person of interest.

    • staberas says:

      Never seen it is it good ?
      Also i’m pumped for this game since e3 … WHAT its releasing in November?!!!! ! Nooooooo

      • 08xmt says:

        It’s serviceable, but I feel like the concept is way more intriguing than the series ever manages to be.

      • Ross Angus says:

        I mis-read something about Person of Interest in the Radio Times which implied that the two main characters (both male) were attracted to each other. Watched it for the next couple of weeks, looking for sexual tension.

    • Vegard Pompey says:

      It’s basically an unorthodox Batman-inspired crime procedural, created by Jonathan Nolan, who wrote the last two Batman movies. It plays on modern anxieties like the fear of surveillance and terrorism and yes, I would say it is worth watching. The drama is a bit lacking but it’s consistently exciting and the second season, which just finished airing, has been nuts.

      • Tom De Roeck says:

        Isnt Jonathan Nolan one of the writers for the batman comic anyway?

    • Alexrd says:

      My thoughts exactly.

    • gmale9000 says:

      Yes. I’m surprised more people aren’t touching on this. Bad journalism.

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      Yep, been saying this since the very first trailer, and it’s getting more and more blatant as we reach the release date.

  2. BreadBitten says:

    I like what I’ve been reading about this game recently but all this talk of various systems and simulations has me concerned that the end result will be a game that feels more mechanical than organic. I hope my fears are proven wrong.

  3. sabrage says:

    Hackcess.” Oh, the cringe.

  4. LionsPhil says:

    Still holding out hope for this one.

    The irony of vigilante-pre-empting a vigilante action, though. Ho ho.

    Also I will be surprised if this makes release without the publishers getting squeamish about the character being able to build homebrew bombs.

    • Tom De Roeck says:

      entertainment should be able to reflect on society. If this is what our society is up to right now, then why the hell not.

      Id rather have bombmakers playing this game than actually blowing stuff up in either case.

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      The feature that they didn’t show was that if you had tried to stop him, batman woulda swooped down to dispense some good-old-justice.

    • FF56 says:

      Adam Sessler asked that in an interview and according to the guy it doesn’t look like they will change the game just because of recent events

  5. dee says:

    the more i see of it, the more it looks like “hacking” is just a word for “use” at a distance.

    • baby snot says:

      I was holding out for a moment that would remind me of Brendon Chung’s Quadrilateral Cowboy but no dice.

    • Jupiah says:

      Pretty sure that was intentional on the part of the developers. They don’t want you to worry about stupid hacking minigames, they want you to focus more on how you are going to manipulate all those hackable objects in order to form a plan of attack.

    • darkChozo says:

      To be fair, for what he’s doing, the equivalent real-life process probably isn’t too far off from pressing a button on your phone and having stuff happen. If we’re assuming that these are standardized devices with known vulnerabilities (maybe only known to Trenchcoat Batman, but still), you wouldn’t necessarily need more than to run a program to get things to work.

  6. MattJames says:

    same footage: link to youtu.be but more of it and without some wally talking over it

  7. Schmudley says:

    I feel like I don’t want to get too excited about this. It seems like open world games have gotten a bit flat recently – like AC3, which really wanted to be a cinematic, rail-roaded experience and only seemed to use the open world as a place to drop things that your character had to walk up to and press X to collect.

    I’m hoping Watch Dogs will be better than that.

  8. Flakfizer says:

    Ubisoft? How are they planning to screw customers this time?

  9. Thermal Ions says:

    “Designed to take full advantage of the PS4 and next Xbox, and that ‘s where you’ll want to play it.”

    Have IGN not heard of a thing called a PC? Or maybe they’ve an inside line that the port will be crap :(

    • Rollin says:

      I think it’s just a review for herpaderp console gamers and not the PC master race. Here is the translated version for PC gamers:

      “Any old PC will run this game, but if you’re awful and have a console you’ll have to upgrade. Even then you will have something inferior to most PCs, so you’re probably better off getting one anyway.”

      link to masterchan.org

  10. Dowr says:

    PC Gamer also watched the Watch Dog’s. Their video preview isn’t quite as annoying as IGN’s.

  11. phelix says:

    Why those massive icons above the baddies? I have a nagging feeling this is going to be a game of chase-the-glowing-markers.

    • Yargh says:

      it’s an app for his Google Glass headset, in the near future you will be able to spot ASBO sporting chavs at a glance.

  12. Turkey says:

    Nice nod to The Wire with the two characters throwing rocks at the surveilance camera.

    Looks like a cool Human Revolution sort of a game. Still not entirely sure why they had to make it open world, though. Seems to me that would only dilute the experience and make the mechanics kinda tedious.

    • Wedge says:

      Ubisoft? Tedious mechanics? Couldn’t imagine that happening.

  13. Wut The Melon says:

    So… the second IGN video said it was a ‘preview’, but I guess that must’ve been a typo and they actually meant ‘advertisement’? “This game will take FULL advantage of the (hyper-cool) next-gen consoles!”

    Then again, I haven’t seen anything by IGN in the past couple of years, so maybe it’s normal for them to do ‘games journalism’ that way.

  14. SuicideKing says:

    Rollex, obviously.

  15. povu says:

    Is it just me or does that gameplay video not look like proper 720p? Looks more blurry than it should be. Sloppy video compression?

  16. Bweahns says:

    That’s a really cruddy looking video. Visually the game doesn’t look anywhere near as nice as the scripted videos I’ve seen before.

  17. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Yay, an action+stealth game without an emphasis on neck-stabbing! I also particularly liked the NPC responses to being watched by a camera and to news on the TV, and I hope they’re not just scripted one-offs.

  18. LimEJET says:

    I’m a fan of using WiFi and such to remotely access computers and networked surveillance cameras, but forklifts? Really?

    Also, the driving physics seemed wonky. I hope they do something about those.

    • jonahcutter says:

      Yeah I snickered at that too.

      If they bother justifying it, it will probably be an umanned robo-lift tied into the control grid of the city (or whatever the big brother network is).

      • darkChozo says:

        Part of the backstory is that there’s a supercomputer behind the city, doing the standard city managment/hypersurveillance routine. I think I’ve seen something about having to hack into network nodes before being able to hack into everything, so it’s not super-unbelievable, just moderately so.

    • LionsPhil says:

      It has flawlessly working biometrics, too.

      I think you’re going to have to set your brain for “Hollywood”. Think Die Hard 4. (Caution: do not think about Die Hard 4.)

  19. Bobtree says:

    I’m already sick of the “chirp chirp” hacking sound, and the vehicle physics look like crap.

  20. jonahcutter says:

    So you’re a vigilante out to fight crime… and can murder any unfortunate security guard who happens to be in your way. Got it. Now if murdering guards and cops instead of non-lethally negating them has serious in-game repercussions, that would be innovative.

    It all looks potentially fun. But distracting guards by pushing a button is nothing new. Instead of throwing bottles or rocks, it’s now forklifts and gates. The camera stuff could be cool, especially if you have to use multiple cameras to track and follow people. Not just use it once per target to find them a half a block away, and then they’re tagged by a floating icon above their head that leads you around by the nose.

    And I like that a paranoid city under constant surveillance (Crime fears? Terrorism fears? Creeping totalitarianism?) allows you to waltz into a shop and buy automatic rifles. Although, that might not be too far off where the U.S. could be within a decade, depending upon who we put into office. It’s got that near-future, semi-satirical cyberpunk vibe that the original Robocop had.

    I’m a sucker for anything cyberpunk-y though. And sneaking across rooftops. And back alley chases. And trenchcoated operatives. So I’m looking forward to this. Or perhaps looking forward to being semi-entertained in a vaguely unsatisfying and hollow way.

    • StashAugustine says:

      They’ve teased a reputation system where wantonly murdering cops and guards will make citizens fear you and being a good guy will make them like you to the point they won’t call the cops on you.

  21. sinister agent says:

    I like that you can move quickly and quietly at the same time. Tense, slow stealth is great and all, but gets old, and doesn’t make very much sense if you’re playing as a trained/experience sneaky person – even I can move pretty quietly without slowing to a crawl.

    Also seems to fit the general feel of the game. Methodical, but fast. Still quite promising.

    I hope they make it easily moddable. It would be another terrible waste if not.

  22. Jupiah says:

    Again with the magic chokeholds that knock people unconscious for hours. I’m used to just suspending my disbelief about that in games set in the past and present, but in a game set in the near future couldn’t them give the guy some kind of high-tech taser or ultrasonic gun that could believably put someone to sleep for more than a few minutes without causing brain damage?

    Other than that though the game looks pretty fantastic, sort of like a mix between Hitman and GTA in gameplay. I particularly like how the police in this game world are competent enough to take pictures of you and broadcast them on the television, leading to spontaneous police chases if someone recognizes you. That’s really awesome, I hope they put in some kind of disguise and fake I.D. system to help you get around that and it’s not just a gimmick used for a few story missions though.

  23. DonJefe says:

    Apparently I am the only RPS reader that thought this looked very promising.

    • blackmyron says:

      Nope. I’m actually looking forward to this game as well. Between this and SR4, I have plenty of good reasons to ignore GTA V’s existence.

      • DonJefe says:

        Well, GTA V is the reason that I can ignore SR4 but apart from that we agree ;)

        • darkChozo says:

          Pfft. Real men buy and enjoy all three. And then become professional paupers.

  24. wireless says:

    “One of the first thing to take advantage of next-gen technology”

    Or, you know, PC.

    I love how the talking IGN guy completely doesn’t mention it at all.

    “Coolest things on any platform”

    Like…PC? “No PS3 DUH.”

  25. eclipse mattaru says:

    They’re promising a city larger than in any GTA, more variety in missions than in any Assassin’s Creed, a population made up of hundreds of unique characters each with their own backstory, two different styles of multiplayer and, according to some other recent preview (I think it was in PC Gamer), they’re also developing a completely state-of-the-art system to render weather effects. Kind of a TressFX for wind and water, if you will. All of that in a console they’re still learning about.

    Yeah, I don’t imagine how this game could possibly backfire.