Yesterday was all about sequels and basically face lifts to stuff we had already seen before. Then, at the end of Ubisoft’s presentation came Watch Dogs. I’m pretty good at the Hollywood quick pitch so here it goes: “Its GTA meets Deus Ex”. How’s that for instant want-factor?
Ok its actually way more like that recent Syndicate game, but its hard to reference games that are unpopular.
Watch Dogs will see you walking around the streets of a not-too-distance-future Chicago, where your character player will have skills to hack things at will. In the demo our protagonist interrupts the cell phones of everyone at the entrance of a night club to create a distraction and sneak right in (take that Ezio with your money tossing!).
But that was merely the beginning. Throughout the demo it was clear that this game, in true GTA fashion, would involve a lot of non-lethal situations, car stealing, beating and of course gunplay. Also present was a smooth looking cover system, some pretty sweet take-down finishing moves and even a police radar that was very reminiscent of GTA 4′s system. Hit the jump for a full gameplay demo.
But what struck me was all of the after-press talk about the game and I realized it was just perfect luck for Ubisoft. Literally none of the other press releases up to that point had shown a new game, at least beyond some sort of a teaser trailer. Practically every game had been an FPS game, sequel or spin-off. In the case of Black Ops 2 it was all three! All through the twittersphere it became obvious that things were looking pretty dull this year in terms of surprises. Ubisoft, however, managed to wow the crowds greatly with impressive Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed entries, but these were more-or-less expected. Watch Dogs came right in at the end however on a crowd that was already ramped up and swept them off their feet.
What also works for Watch Dogs is that while its familiar territory (I mean, how many GTA clones did we all play in the last decade when we think about it?) it also felt like a fresh take. Could this be the next Red Dead Redemption? We’ll have to see. I have my doubts about the game being on the Xbox 360 or PS3, but without any major reveal of the next systems its starting to look like this may have been a proof-of-concept more than anything. Here’s hoping you get this one right Ubisoft, I really could use a new killer franchise to shake things up!