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PAX East 2013: Ubisoft Shows The Other Side of Watch Dogs

Source: Matt Hawkins
March 27, 2013

At Ubisoft's PAX East booth last weekend, one of the biggest draws was Watch Dogs, the highly anticipated open world title that puts the player into the shoes of a hacker, one who is in the midst of a society that is all too connected (and very much resembles the world of today).

The game was one of the legitimate standouts of last year's lame duck E3 conference. And, most recently, it again saved the show, this time for Sony's PlayStation 4 non-unveiling. Henceforth gamers were eager to get a brand new glimpse of the game, enough to stand upwards of an hour, just to watch non-interactive demo that lasted less than four minutes.

And what did the faithful get for such an effort? A trailer that’s more or less exactly the same one as last time, just seen from a slightly different perspective (and which was just brought online and can be watched below):

The player assumes the mantle of Aiden Pearce, who once again is an uber hacker extraordinaire. He roams the streets of an alternative version of Chicago; in that world, every major city is run by a central operating system called ctOS. It keeps extensive tabs on absolutely everyone's identities and activities. Which Pearce takes advantage of, to either put some extra cash in his pockets or to elude the authorities.

It has been made clear since day one that Pearce is strongly against "the man," so it's interesting to see him from the enemy's viewpoint, while also adding extra context to stuff we've already seen. One gets the sense that the final game will be all about multiple angles, both figuratively and literally. Furthermore, the brand new trailer also introduces a third party to the proceedings, which was present in the last one, except we just didn't know it.

Still, the new trailer was a bit of a let down to PAX attendees who were expecting a bit more. There is much that is not yet known about Watch Dogs; it's premise alone is so difficult to fully comprehend that many are desperate for more information. Watch Dogs is certainly not the first game to use hacking as a primary gameplay hook, but it most certainly looks to be the game that dives head in the deepest.

It's also the most mainstream attempt at creating a game that revolves around hacking, a decidedly hardcore concept, even though such folk have been popularized in recent movies and TV shows. Hence why, along with all that anticipation, there's also a heavy dose of skepticism.

So all that, plus how it's easily on the top of everyone's must play list for 2013, which otherwise looks rather barren… Watch Dogs has a lot to live up to. And that E3 2013 trailer had better be gangbusters, and then some.






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