Orwell Looks Like The Fun Parts From Watch Dogs

When I first laid eyes on Orwell [official site], all I could think of was Mr. Robot’s Elliot Alderman, or how cool I felt when I social engineered people in the Mr. Robot mobile game. I had a flashback to the first time I ever played Watch Dogs and was promptly disappointed because all I really enjoyed doing was “hacking” the people around me and getting into their private lives. So yeah, I’d say I’m pretty excited about this game. The first episode is now out for free, and the rest will follow (paid) weekly.

It’s pretty creepy, to be honest, what you do in Orwell, as you dig through a character named Cassandra Watergate’s personal information, social media, instant messages and all that. You? Well, you’re a part of The Nation (read: The Man) as part of a new security initiative called Orwell. Your task? Figure out who’s responsible for a recent bombing in the name of They Took Our Jerbs And Terrorism Is Bad. And from the look of things, the people you’re tasked with investigating (harassing?) certainly don’t seem as though they’d have anything to do with what’s actually going on.

From what I can tell it’s a harrowing look into a reality where Big Brother is always watching, so, like… now? Don’t look at me like that. We should all be more careful online, especially when this game is so prescient about how things can be in real life.

If you want to try it, the first episode of five is available free on Steam now. If you like what you see and want to purchase the game in its entirety, it’ll be £6.99/€9.99/$9.95 for the whole shebang. Episodes will follow weekly on Thursdays until November 17th.


  1. gwop_the_derailer says:

    Has Orwell become the new Frankenstein?

    • LogicalDash says:

      Orwell is the name of the author, the dictator is named Big Brother

      • aldo_14 says:

        That’s sort of the point (meta analysis of what Big Brother is and maybe isn’t aside) – ‘Frankenstein’ is the name of the mad scientist who made the monster, not the monster itself.

        • Don Reba says:

          ‘Frankenstein’ is the name of the mad scientist who made the monster, not the monster itself.

          This is an oft-repeated misconception. In reality, the scientist’s name was Franken, and he called his monster Tein. And so we refer to it as Franken’s Tein or “Frankenstein”.

          • WyldFyr says:

            Can you give a source???

            I have a copy on my bookself ( B&N books, 2003), and it says “Frakenstein” … oh yeah, and I read it too, introduction foreword and all…

          • gwop_the_derailer says:

            You had me frantically rifling through Wikipedia for a while there.

            You Monster.

          • Kitsunin says:

            Look in the dictionary, the bit about Franken’s Tein is, strangely, right after the word gully.

          • cpt_freakout says:

            The Well of Or, built in 1984

        • MetaSynapse says:

          Knowledge is knowing that Frankenstein wasn’t the monster.

          Wisdom is knowing that Frankenstein was the monster.

      • Turkey says:

        You’re thinking of Orwell’s Big Brother. The dictator is the monster.

  2. April March says:

    Looks very interesting, but also about as subtle as an elephant in a china store.

    I wonder why is it that all game in which you play an evil agent of an evil citizen-snooping fascistocracy insist on underlining how EVIL they are instead of letting players come to their on conclusions about that. I’d like a game that let you try to play it as a “nice” cop, then lambasted you when this methodology fail. It’d be a lot more effective if instead of inhabiting a peeper by default you were allowed to try and fight the system from the inside, then slowly started to perform as the system intended you to as you realized you could play more effectively that way.

    That’s probably a long rant based on a minute-and-a-half long video of a game that just might work in the way I described, but there you have it.

    • Premium User Badge

      subdog says:

      Nah, the game (at least what’s shown in the demo) is a bit more subtle than that. You spend most of the game looking at publicly available sources of information- blog posts, social media timelines, news reports, etc. It’s only when you start listening to private conversations that it starts to get iffy, and even that can be justified in that you’re only listening to conversations of a suspected terrorist bomber.

      The state is certainly not presented as benign, just banal.

  3. Don Reba says:

    Weekly? This is how episodic games should be done!

  4. grrrz says:

    well the demo is basically a tutorial and so far you’re doing police work following a narrative; and sometimes can choose how to interpret things one way or another. I suppose the way you interpret things will be what the game will be all about (and I suppose at some point you will be able to turn your evil surveillance tool to those who built them, because they will be linked one way or another to the “case”). so far I’m not enterily convinced, but it could get good.

  5. Freud says:

    If they capture the whole evil is ordinary people doing their jobs aspect of it, this might be good.

  6. Premium User Badge

    subdog says:

    This is pretty great and I look forward to more, but I hope the future episodes are less “guided” than the demo.

  7. Jalan says:

    There were fun parts in Watch Dogs?

    Tiny joke aside, I’m looking for a serious excuse not to buy this right now.

    • cakeisalie says:

      I was going to make the same throwaway comment! I got Watchdogs free with a graphics card, uninstalled it after an hour or so – a turgid and uninspired GTA wannabe.

  8. Harlander says:

    It’d be less on-the-knuckle if the macguffin was a system for modelling morale, loyalty and quality-of-life called simply The Computer.

  9. feedingear says:

    feeding | ear – composer from Orwell here.

    Can safely say it quickly gets a lot more challenging as the assistance goes away/becomes very minimal once you begin Day 2, and it is certainly no black and white/good v bad plotline :).

    You can hear a preview of the score here if you so choose.

    link to soundcloud.com

    • grrrz says:

      thanks for the input, it’s certainly not black and white so far. (by the way nice ambiant soundtrack, nice conterpoint to the cleanliness of the interface).

    • Premium User Badge

      subdog says:

      The frustration wasn’t that it was black and white- the main target was pleasantly multi-faceted and the game respected a nuanced interpretation of her character.

      The frustration was that it was just her character. Several other characters in her orbit were waving enormous obvious red flags and I wasn’t given the option to focus on them even a little bit.

  10. RafkoTheBrave says:

    Ha ;D it looks like a 16-bit watch dogs! But still better than any ubisoft game ;D