Watch_Dogs Preview — The E3 Primer

Update 5/14/13

The official Watch Dogs account on Twitter has been posting a number of pictures over the past few days, depicting a mysterious young lady in one, and a birthday wish to one “M. Pearce,” who is presumably the protagonist’s lost loved one.

The game was subject to a closed-door preview event late last week. A few journalists were invited to watch thirty minutes of the game, some of which is detailed in the five-minute video above.

New details from the preview include:

  • The game was played live with a PlayStation 4 controller.
  • There’s a bunch of references to The Wire. Given the urban setting and the source material, it’s easy to see why they are able to reference the HBO series without it seeming out of place to anyone who doesn’t watch the show.
  • Civilians who notice you are acting shady will call the cops. This gives you an opportunity to hack their phone and cancel the call, or simply knock the phone out of their hands.
  • Pearce can hack while he’s driving or riding a bike.
  • Hacking into Wi-Fi hotspots will allow Pearce to get into the laptop webcam of someone’s apartment and peer into their life, by further hacking the target’s phone, acquire his license plate number, and track down his car. This allows you to add the car added to the player’s collection of accessible vehicles.
  • In addition to his apps, Pearce’s phone has augmented reality games in it. These games are the source of Watch Dogs’ challenges, such as rooftop-racing and score-attack modes. One such game is “NVZN” (Invasion), which attaches aliens to pedestrians and gives Pearce the opportunity to “shoot” his targets for high scores.
  • There are plenty of guns in the game, which you can purchase and use to take down your targets in a violent manner.
  • You won’t be able to play through the game without using using guns, but much of the game can be done by hacking and stealth.

Looking Ahead
The promise of Watch_Dogs (and it’s an enticing one) is a game set in a beautiful metropolitan open world, full of possibilities and depth. But as awesome as it looks and sounds (and it really does), our knowledge only goes surface-deep. It’s clearly a game to watch, one that we’ll be checking out at E3 for sure.

How do you think Watch_Dogs is shaping up, and what are you most curious to learn more about?

Watch_Dogs is out November 19 for PS3, PC and Xbox 360 (and the PS4 whenever that launches).

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