Darknet Souls: Watch Dogs Trailer Demos Multiplayer

'Hack the planet!' I shall repeat endlessly. Like in that movie!

Some of my favourite Dark Souls moments came from being invaded. Down deep in the Tomb of the Giants, chased over the bones of colossal skeletons by the spirits of a wicked wizard then a lost paladin, oh I was so very pleased. It’s a fantastic little multiplayer touch, and one I’m glad to see Watch Dogs adopting on top of more traditional modes.

A new 9-minute trailer goes over the open-world hack ’em up’s three main multiplayer types: Dark Souls-y invasions, challenges tied into the ctOS mobile companion app, and objective-driven team violence.

This being Watch Dogs, the invasions (or ‘Online Hacking Contracts,’ if we must) are a bit more technological than murdersome. Players are sent into others’ worlds to hack their Gibson (both players seeing themselves as main character Aiden and the other as some schmoe), but it may turn violent if things get out of hand.

Today’s vid sees a hacker sneakily jacking the other guy’s cyberbanks from an inconspicuous taco truck with a fibreglass sombrero atop, a timer ticking down as the hackee runs around trying to root them out. Firing shots into the air to clear a crowd, oh that’s nice. Then the hacker get caught and things kick off into a car chase and shootout. Ubisoft has tried ‘blend in with the crowd’ multiplayer before with Assassin’s Creed but that often ends in everyone dashing about stabbing wildly, so it’s interesting to see the idea seemingly realised better in a different game.

The ctOS mode is intriguing too, letting app chaps jack into your game to set challenges and using the city’s datanet against you. Why, beyond a drone you’ll never even see them! Again, a nice little spot of ambient multiplayer, though it looks somewhat intrusive. Then Watch Dogs has the objective-driven run-around-and-shoot-with-friends stuff I imagine I’ll never play.

I enjoy the unpredictability of multiplayer but am increasingly uninterested in forming parties and joining lobbies and queueing and whatnot, so having multiplayer encounters pop into regular play is quite welcome. Dark Souls is a really good video game. I don’t know if you’ve heard that at all from anyone. Just letting you know in case you hadn’t. Okay, here’s Ubisoft’s video, talk to you later, bye.


  1. karthink says:

    “Oops, I blasted one of the civilians too. That’s not going to be good for my reputation.”

    That’s the part he’s worried about? This is funny on so many levels. Ubisoft’s insistence on turning everything into a number in all their games creates amusing incentive systems. (See also: Slaves as resources in Freedom Cry’s unlock system.)

    • Ultra Superior says:

      ubisoft games are OCDs worst nightmares.

      Those numbers are there to make you feel like a shit that can’t even properly finish the game. 997/1000 unlocked. Fucking failure.

    • Artea says:

      I was more amused by the fact that Ubisoft’s idea of hacking consists of firing a gun into a crowd of people.

      • The Random One says:

        Most hacking is actually social engineering; this is just social demolitions.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Ubisoft’s insistence on turning everything into a number in all their games creates amusing incentive systems.

      That’s why this time they don’t show you numbers they just show you that your reputation was increased/decreased.

  2. Gap Gen says:

    Is anyone interested in this? I mean, the promo videos, not the game. Seriously, who watches the Watch Dogs trailers?

    • Henke says:

      *raises hand*

      I think I’ve watched all of them. Can’t wait for this to come out! :D

      • Gap Gen says:

        (Note: That was a bad attempt to paraphrase Quis custodiet ipsos custodes)

        • Henke says:

          Oh yeah yeah totally man. Quis customdiet ipods customer! I got that. ¬_¬

          • Gap Gen says:

            I agree, everyone should be able to personalise their own Japanese parliament.

          • bstard says:

            Hey you are in highbrow town so better learn Belgian right now!

          • Gap Gen says:

            I mean if you really want to know anything that’s a string of text, there’s a website you can use. Bloogle, or something.

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            Didn’t everyone learn about Metella and Grumio when at school? They were totally at it, behind Caecilius’ back. Then vesuvius happened. “Eheu!”, they all exclaimed.

            Eheu. A word for our times.

  3. Baboonanza says:

    I haven’t paid too much attention to the Watch Dogs hype but I had assumed it was a bit more interesting than your standard sandbox running/driving game with additional ‘hacking’ of cameras and bridges, which is what it looks like in the trailer.

    What’s so exciting about this game again?

    • leslaron says:

      Glad I’m not the only one…

    • BooleanBob says:

      You are exerting below mandatory levels of hype! Correct your behaviour at once, Citizen!

    • Spacewalk says:

      I hope it lives up to its system requirements.

    • Burt Macklin says:

      The idea is interesting, but seeing it in action .. it looks very boring and smells like another cash cow with billion sequels. No full price purchase from me – but depending on reviews, I might get it for cheap sometime down the road.

      • Cinek says:

        Really? Why you think it’s boring? For me it looks quite interesting. There’s plenty of quite innovative interactions with the game environment done on a fly, and some of the features look really tempting (cross-device gameplay being one of them, even if similar things were done in the past).
        Yea, yea, often it does look like a GTA 5 on steroids, but it also seems to have something from Deus Ex: HR which for me is very good perspective :)

      • derbefrier says:

        you do realize how risky new IPs are right, its why there are so many sequals these days compared to new IPs. This is anything but a “cash cow”. It may turn into one if it proves popular but that’s only an “if” nothing is guaranteed at this point.

        • Emeraude says:

          However risky a new IP happens to be, I do think long term it’s better to actually go for a new IP than put a new coat of paint on an old one trying to overcome brand fatigue by way of re-branding instead of trying to make a product that is its own thing.

          The more we see of it, the less this game looks like the promising new IP it once looked like it could be, and the more it appears to be an Assassin’s Creed derivative with some gimmicks added.

          We’ll see when it’s out of course, but if anything it does show a failure in marketing at the very least.

          • Cinek says:

            Plenty of proofs that your first paragraph is complete bollocks. GTA franchise is the first obvious example with most recent edition of the series breaking all of the records.

          • Emeraude says:

            I fail to see how the existence of ONE IP that directly benefits from brand loyalty and built a franchise out of it happens to be a counterexample of how a new IP has better chances of standing the test of time if it actually is a new IP, and not just some re-branding of an existing one.

            Unless you happen to think that GTA succeeded because it was derivative… of which other successful IP ?

          • KenTWOu says:

            Watch Dogs is more systemic than Assassin’s Creed. It’s similar to Far Cry 2/3.

          • Emeraude says:

            @ KenTWOu;
            I may be a bit harsh, but nothing I’ve seen so far has really convinced me of that.

            Again we’ll see. All that matters is how the game plays in the end.

    • bstard says:

      It’s new, it’s on pre-order, it’s next gen bollocks, so it needs a hype. I’m already looking forward to the various angry, mad and sad reviews. Maybe though, it’ll turn out to be actually any good.

    • Shooop says:

      It’s nex-gen and involves smartphones.

      That’s it. Everything else is basically a copy/paste of AssCreed.

    • The Random One says:

      Most games wait until they’re out before public opinion switches from “Citizen Kane of all things” to “overhyped piece of garbage”. Maybe if w_dogs is delayed a tad longer it’ll raise back up as a cult classic when it actually comes out.

  4. Yargh says:

    I’m kind of upset that Ubi keep on bringing out enjoyable games, because I’m not going to get this one after all the pain and suffering caused (to me) by UPlay with ACIV and I’d really like to play it.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      I have to say I learned to LIKE uPlay.

      Unlike steam, they have customer support. Their support actually answers and helps!

      Also I find uPlay rewards system, where you can use the rewards in game, much better than stupid trading cards on steam. You can use points earned in one game on rewards in another, which is pleasant.

      When the uPlay encountered one of their game launch fuckups (one that I didn’t even notice), – I got automatically deluxe version of the game for free.

      Overall, it’s not as bad as everyone likes to say.

      To be honest, I chose to ignore origin, so I understand where you’re coming from.

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        So, you enjoy them locking away some parts of the game behind that weird metagame? You’re strange. At least Steam cards can be completely ignored.

    • bartman says:

      I sympathise but I also remember that Steam was a shambles when it first launched and now its a powerhouse and certainly an overall success and, I’d say, benefit for PC gamers.

      If they improve their service and they have games you really want to play then there comes a point where you’re cutting your nose off to spite your face. That’s why I no longer boycott steam, by the way, despite not going near them for ages after their launch problems.

      • Cinek says:

        Steam mostly benefits publishers focused on a console market – they basically get an environment that they’re familiar with where each game is linked to the account, and they don’t have to toy with things like installers, separate patch distribution, etc. That obviously benefits players too – we’d certainly see fewer ports than we do now – but please, let’s not get fooled into thinking that Steam was build purely for gamers.

        “I haven’t encountered a single bug with the game as well, which leads me to thinking that I’m just lucky.” – or you just follow the same paths game testers did. Plenty people do, there’s nothing unusual in that. Those that you see on a forums complaining about bugs are a tiny minority of overall audience.

        • bartman says:

          Did you mean to reply to someone else? Your second paragraph appears to be replying to a quote of something I never said.

    • Prolar Bear says:

      I bought the latest Ghost Recon for a very low price the other day, and it was uplay only. I came in expecting the worst, but so far I’ve been pleasantly surprised. The download speed was decent, although not as fast as Steam, and I did not have a single hiccup with the client. I haven’t encountered a single bug with the game as well, which leads me to thinking that I’m just lucky.

    • Megakoresh says:

      uPlay is the best of three, why? Steam is slow, poorly optimized, both in terms of network and system resources, plus it’s overlay is quite bulky. Origin… Well, everything is wrong with that one, most of the time it just doesn’t work at all. But uPlay… Outside of large RAM consumption, uPlay has left me very satisfied. It has a really good achievement system, where they actually matter, it has good performance, it never crashes, it launches instantly, it has decent sales and all the functions I use in a DD client. It’s good, I like it. Why do people complain?

      • VitalMoss says:

        Well, firstly, I can get games from triple-A to indie on Steam, it’s not just one publisher, and I can easily use it for most of my pc gaming needs.

        Secondly, having 5 different game launchers annoys the shit out of me, so I do my best to avoid any company that doesn’t use Steam in the first place (unless it’s just download and go, not download an entire gaming service and go…). Uplay, Origin, you name it, I avoid them like the plague (which pisses me off because I want to play Titanfall).

        When I go on steam I know what i’m expecting, my library is there, I can play my games *offline* when I want to, and when Steam servers/workshop are up, I know I can get maps easily and VAC will get a large number of cheaters.

  5. Turkey says:

    Hack that steam pipe.

    • jonahcutter says:

      Perhaps he was a plumber before he got into computers.

      And are there even steam pipes running around under city streets?

  6. Ramshackle Thoughts says:

    Insert assault rifle into trousers. Just another face in the crowd.

    • phelix says:

      Can your comment be top comment? Please?

    • Pengun says:

      Yes, considering the tone of the game they could have made a really involving gameplay mechanic here.

      One of my all time favorite game moments was a Hitman Blood Money level, House of Cards. Trying to complete the whole level with only the sniper rifle as a weapon because it came in a briefcase. Brilliant mechanic.

      • jonahcutter says:

        Yep, and long guns got carried in your off hand. And there were actual animations to even putting your pistols under your coat, so it took time (notably all of which was scrapped in Absolution).

        These realistic touches add immensely to immersion and gameplay. I wish more games depicted them.

        • Phendron says:

          Max Payne 3 did this as well, which was a nice touch until you realized that half of the cutscenes (which popped up constantly) would have Max drop his gun so he could do a dramatic hold-the-pistol-in-both-hands-and-press-against-the-wall maneuver or the like, depriving you of your most powerful weapon at the drop of a hat.

  7. Cinek says:

    I like how his team is amazingly coordinated and plays just as great as their opponents.

    Wish all of the multiplayer games would be made only of people like that. Instead after the release everything will turn into pure chaos where half of the people wouldn’t find their own ass with a map, and most of the remaining half will simply run from one point on the map to another shooting anything “red” that pops on the radar. Oh, and the part where he gets a message from a tablet user? After the release at best it’s going to be “Fuck you”, but I’m sure plenty of people will be much more creative than that in cursing on you.

  8. Shockeh says:

    It’s distressing to me that the core concept of this game and the mechanics they’ll put in I’m expecting to be great, and then it’ll be ruined by the Pokemon Collect-a-thon of copy/paste repeated effort that is Ubisoft design.

    For example, the core ACIV game is actually fantastic; The individual battles are great, running about ‘feels’ better than it has done in any previous game, and the combat is fun (although somehow got dumber from AC:Brotherhood, which still confuses me), but then the sheer number of times that gameplay is copied from area to area with absolute minimal progress or innovation all in the name of extending gameplay hours is infuriating.

    It’s like they’re happy to come close to making an all-round great game, and instead settle for ‘decent’ because that gets them the review scores they want whilst being as low-effort for the maximum retur-…

    …Oh bollocks, that is the reason, isn’t it.


  9. Press X to Gary Busey says:

    *ERROR: Hacking too much time!* This is the goddamn Viking age…

  10. Koozer says:

    So does the city run on steam power? There’s a hell of a lot of highly pressurised pipes.

    I’ve only ever had a passing curiosity about this game, but this video makes it look like an interesting GTA. Dammit marketing!

  11. shroomhead says:

    I’ve been struggling for a while to figure out what I find off about Watch Dogs, but this video has nailed it.

    The fantastic concept simply doesn’t lend itself to fun or innovative gameplay, it’s all too contrived. Cast your mind back to the initial reveal and, for me, it conjured up this cool semi sci-fi world of Neo-esque hackers who pose a serious hidden threat to everyone. An open-world in which to plan with and abuse your powers.

    Instead, actual gameplay resorts to a “press X to hack” mechanic, whereby you might as well replace the word “hack” with psychokinesis. Seeing “personal” information just by looking at people is lazy and uninteresting, as is the stand near stuff to “hack” multiplayer game. All potential strategy is replaced with triggerable action sequences just to make the game seem action packed.

    Why is there pop-up cover everywhere, why do steam valves have computer chips in them, why are the bridge controls accessible over WiFi? It’s half hearted, contrived, and worst of all, boring to look at if you ask me.

    • Cinek says:

      It’s all quite well explained in the lore. Oh, and BTW: I have no clue why do you find valves with computer chips to be something suspicious. We have these already right now, you know?

      “press X to hack” in deed is rather disappointing. I’m really worried that the whole game mechanic will make it possible to run around while blindly smashing F key on a keyboard to “hack” stuff and win quests…

      Seeing “personal” information just by looking at people is lazy and uninteresting” – and looking at your virtual phone would automatically make game interesting? No thanks, I’m already sick of Samsung adverts. Gladly they decided to skip useless parts and simply show it to you right on the screen.

    • Walsh says:

      So instead of pressing X to hack, how about this:

      Press Right arrow to take off backpack. Next, down arrow to open backpack, up arrow to remove laptop from backpack, up arrow to open laptop. Oh shit I forgot to click the control stick or press ctrl to sit down on park bench. Press ctrl to sit down on park bench. Type your login credentials, oh shit you are using a gamepad? Use on screen keyboard to enter your credentials. Next connect to an open Wifi hotspot using the controller as mouse cursor. At the command prompt, type (or enter using on screen keyboard): gimmieroot.exe [targetip] . Type SSH [targetip] and enter the root credentials. Next, type (or enter using on screen keyboard): steampipe.exe -explode “yes”.

      Yea that’s a much better experience than pressing X to hack.

      • KenTWOu says:

        Slow mo will help you make it in time :)

      • The Random One says:

        I agree, you’ll have a much better experience with Quadrilateral Cowboy.

      • VitalMoss says:

        There was a game called “Hacker Evolution” that simulated “hacking” by just using basic commands to do certain hacks. You would set target then do certain items in order to install backdoors and crack passwords and if you don’t have your connection bounced to enough different points, the firewall/computer would catch you and it would be game over. Would be an interesting mechanic.

  12. DarkLiberator says:

    Its funny how this made me pumped for the game again. I might even leave invasions on and become paranoid of every single pedestrian. There’s apparently free roam for you and your buddies too.

    The mobile app is free even if you don’t own the game, might give it a try, looks okayish, not amazing.

  13. Laurentius says:

    Nah, I still remeber AC;BF all too well. Yes i had my fun with it initially and (probably) i can say i get my moneys worth but when i stoped playing i stoped for good and actually see it as most vapid gaming experience in years. Actually i think game wiuls be more torrerable to me if it was straight up copy of GTA b/c all Ubisfot is not known to understand what to do with fancy mechanics (i.e naval combat in AC;BF) . I can’t belive all this hacking stuff won’t dissolve rather quickly from fun to play with into grindfesty and hollow like AC series has taught us.

  14. Piratesteve says:

    Well, i read there will be no such thing as DS like invasions in the game. You have to manually switch to online mode. Thats of course a letdown. But that´s what i heard..

  15. Bobtree says:

    The vehicle physics still look completely awful.

    • Cinek says:

      Yea, it is, but it’s still miles better than BS physics from GTA V where you could bounce your plane off the road and keep on flying.

  16. Niko says:

    – Your data is being stolen

  17. Megakoresh says:

    Seems ok. Ubisoft always have interesting ideas for MP, but if the recent Splinter Cell is anything to judge by, the execution has always been very poor. I think I would be more optimistic about it if it was coop. Competitively, if it’s gonna control as lousy, have as much lag and glitches as Blacklist (which also had those cool ideas for MP), it’s just gonna be very frustrating. I liked the Open World objective types, this seems interesting, driving cars around trying to complete objective and all. Few games allow you to have team on team action on the move like that, but again: it’s just a video. We’ll see how it turns out. I am cautiously optimistic about it. No pre-order or anything but if it turns out to be good and live up to the hype it created, I might even buy it at full price.