Musing: On Watch_Dogs

Hacktivists, technophiles, and science-fiction nerds are probably in tears of joy at Watch_Dogs.

Ubisoft has once again captured and captivated gamers from around the world with an action game unparalleled in its virtual interactivity. One thing that I look for in an action game is ways the character interacts with the environment. In an open-world sandbox combat game, I expect that game developers develop the setting with the mindset that the main character can use the environment to his advantage, to escape, and to defeat his adversaries.

Hence, I am not so impressed by the technology itself, but how technology is utilized ubiquitously in the environment of Chicago by the player. The manipulation of electronic advertising columns for an exotic European ride, as well as juggling around with security cameras in order to find the ideal angle, to help an NPC escape from a bunch of mooks is a worthy example to be considered. In addition to hacking that is integral to mission objectives at hand, Ubisoft’s development team have spent golden hours populating the setting with bits of trivia, from the textual advertising of a coffee shop to displaying NPC information. I will probably find myself spending many, many hours after completing the main storyline of Watch_Dogs just being a hacking tourist, and literally being an Orwellian Big Brother.

I will expect much more features of hacking and surveillance in terms of utilizing the ctOS. Ubisoft has impressed me with the Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed series – I have full confidence that Watch_Dogs will deliver and take the title for being one of the best open-world sandbox RPGs  this coming Q4 of 2013.

“Musing: On Watch_Dogs” was published on June 12, 2013, which is part of my muses. Read more about Vincent Wong’s work at .

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