Watch Dogs App Brings Smartphone Players into Hacker Warfare

It’s both incredible and alarming that every time Watch Dogs appears at a convention, it manages to steal the show with a fantastic developer driven presentation that explores one of the many aspects of the game. Incredible for obvious reasons, but alarming because for a game that is coming out in a little more than two months, very few people outside of Ubisoft have actually gotten a chance to play it.

That being said, Watch Dogs once again impressed at PAX Prime 2013 with a demo that showed off the game’s interaction with the Watch Dogs mobile app for some unconventional multiplayer action.

Once a player downloads the Watch Dogs mobile app to their smartphone or other mobile device, he or she can pull up a real-time map of the in-game city of Chicago and select from a list of markers that represent actual players and their locations in the game. By selecting one of them, a challenge is issued to the in-game player.

The challenge shown at PAX was a race challenge that tasked player character Aiden to reach several checkpoints in the city, via any means necessary, in a limited amount of time.

Sounds easy, and under normal circumstances it would be, but the mobile player has a couple of tricks up his or her sleeve to make things difficult for Mr. Aiden Pierce.

The mobile player controls a police helicopter with their smartphone’s touchscreen, and can track Aiden’s movements with a searchlight to constantly have the AI-controlled police on his tail.

More interesting, though, is that on the mobile player’s map, there will be several spots that can be hacked with the press of a button to cause all kinds of destruction. Over the course of the demo, we saw the player controlling Aiden have to deal with suddenly rising barricades, bursting steam pipes, and bridges that closed as he got close.

Another layer added to the challenge is the fact that the more cops and civilians Aiden kills as he tries to make it to the checkpoints, the more access the mobile player has to traps and extra police forces. Think of it like GTA’s star system, only another human player is deciding where to place the roadblocks and where the best ambush points are.

It all seems very cool, but again, it begs the question of why — a little more than two months away from Watch Dogs’ release — could this not be a hands-on demo?

Regardless, the Watch Dogs mobile app and its accompanying challenge mode look to be great additions to what’s shaping up to be one of the most promising games of 2013. We can only hope that Watch Dogs delivers on its potential once its released on all console platforms and PC on Nov. 19, 2013.


Don’t miss the rest of our PAX Prime 2013 coverage all weekend and next week!

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