Watch Dogs dev explains how its multiplayer mode is really a “seamless online” experience

How Watch Dogs’ multiplayer will never take you out of character.

Watch Dogs developer Ubisoft Montreal doesn’t think of the game as having traditional multiplayer, but rather a “seamless online” experience.

“We don’t talk about it in terms of single-player and multiplayer,” Lead Gameplay Designer Danny Belanger said in a post on Ubisoft’s blog. “It’s all online. It’s seamless. You continue your game. That aspect, for me, is crucial because otherwise it’s a break in the experience.”

As you’ve probably seen in the recently released 9-minute video, you can play Watch Dogs online with other players in a variety of modes, but you don’t just choose these from a menu as you do in so many other games.

Other players can invade your game at any time as long as you’re not doing anything that could be disrupted (a story mission, for example), and Watch Dogs will also try to learn how much of an online experience you’re looking for.

“We have a shield,” Belanger said. “So if someone comes into your game and hacks you, you’re protected. It can’t happen. The less you partake in the multiplayer, the longer the shield. If you’re not hacking people and you’re not into that gameplay, the game will recognize and acknowledge that you’re not into that. That’s fine.” If you want, you can also toggle off the online multiplayer options completely in the game’s menu.

Another cool way in which Watch Dogs keeps this online experience seamless is that you never play as anyone but the main character, Aiden Pearce. Even online, you’ll always see yourself as Pearce, but to every other player you’ll look like a “fixer,” whose appearance is chosen from a pool of NPCs.

Watch Dogs launches May 27 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. The Wii U version, which is definitely not canceled, is coming sometime later. You can read more about Watch Dogs in GameSpot editor Shaun McInnis' recently published preview.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.

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142 comments
dudmoney9
dudmoney9

Dumb as hell question. Is inter-console hacking possible (like if i have a 360 and my friend has a ps3)? Because that would truly be seamless multiplayer. 

nuckaface123
nuckaface123

A lot of whiners on here. Does offering a multiplayer mode take away from the single player mode?

sirchick
sirchick

I can live with the graphics being worse than originally intended, but was the budget of the weapon sounds less than $100 ? They sound like paintball guns.

Matchews
Matchews

This is so epic. I love the innovative ideas here, this game is going to consume countless hours of my time. The idea of how the other player just looks like an NPC when they enter your game is just awesome. Sort of like hide and seek.

Evil_Sidekick
Evil_Sidekick

The only question worth making is.....CAN I TURN THAT CRAP OFF?


Oh wait, that was already addressed: " If you want, you can also toggle off the online multiplayer options completely in the game’s menu."


THANK GOD!!!!!!

If Dark Soul did the same, i would actually be able to play that "crap"

imfrylock1987
imfrylock1987

Oh look, a game that doesn't need multiplayer is gonna have tacked on multiplayer to go with its downgraded graphics.

origkillmachine
origkillmachine

Love this. Cant wait to see how it works. Fully intend to keep it turned on all the time.

GinsuVictim
GinsuVictim

Meh, as long as I can turn it off, do whatever you want.

fede018
fede018

If you're gonna rant about "tacked on " multiplayer, just fuck off and let us enjoy our extra hours we get with the game

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

I kind of like the the whole 1 vs. 1 hacking mode for multi-player, but my only concern is that it'll be way too hard to blend in to your surroundings while you're hacking someone since you need to be so close (unless you can hack a network of cameras from across the city and get a view on your target and hack them like that, but that doesn't seem to be the case).


If you hide in a vehicle the person finding you still only has to look in your direction before a big marker gives you away,  and if you hide among civilians your player character is far more limited in what they cna actually do to appear like an NPC (basically walk or stand still... you can't make it look like your in conversation, or reading a newspaper or drinking a coffee, which could throw off your opponent who's searching for you).  Also once your opponent fires a shot, all civilians leave the area... totally blowing your cover.


Basically your only options will be to hide behind objects which sounds really lame... so hopefully there are more options at your disposal that I'm not seeing.

Razor10000
Razor10000

i like games like watchdogs for singleplayer, but i will definitely enjoy multiplayer

rockinpapa
rockinpapa

Can't understand why everyone seems so disapointed with multiplayer, for me it looks like it's worth checking out and these multiple modes will make me want to occasionally return to it, but it's obvious that in Watch_dogs the same as in many this type of games multiplayer has a smaller part than in FPS games for example, so most of the time the option of hacking will be off. 

chuckles471
chuckles471

A seamless feature I can turn off, is all I care about.  Good.

mattcake
mattcake

Multiplayer in predominantly single player games is like 3D - they keep forcing it on us for some reason and we just keep saying no. Get the message.

Sohaim
Sohaim

hahahah, No. i am not buying this overpriced game ubisoft, go charge absurd amounts on another country, i aint paying 130 reais on this shit no matter how much u hype it, playing Dark Souls 2 on pc with mods by durante for 80 reais, thank you very much, i might buy this when its 40~70% off.

playstationzone
playstationzone

Well i dont thing Multplayer be any better so stick to single player anyways more fun than playing this online.

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

I'm good as long as I can just play singleplayer. These features sound kinda curious, but I'm completely uninterested.

BelaidKL
BelaidKL

The multiplayer modes look cool and function far better than I anticipated back at E3... Plus, albeit they're similar to what's come before, I imagine the gameplay mechanics of Watch Dogs will make them feel fresh again.. I for one will try it out.. Just gonna turn off the online components when I'm playing through the campaign.. Would be annoying to be hacked when going from one mission to another.. Besides that, I'm all for longevity in games.. And this, probably, provides it

Merseyak
Merseyak

here is what will happen with the hack games multiplayer it will be hacked within 24 hours lol

kingcrimson24
kingcrimson24

this MP looks impressive , i'll try it out for sure 

normanislost
normanislost

Looks pretty good to me but the proof is in the pudding

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

You have to give it a go. Sandbox games are all about the moving from place to place doing different things all over the city. This gives you an excuse to do something apart from story.

The only problem is if it is too invasive, like you can't get from point A to B at any point without being invaded. Then will be the time to turn it off.

Could be great. I'll probably suck badly at it but oh well.

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

I'll turn off the invasion element anyway, but I'll enjoy the team battles.

dani_i89
dani_i89

Multiplayer always waters down the experience of a single player game. Always. Games like Mass Effect, Bioshock, Deadspace, Assassins Creed have suffered the fate of mediocre or worse multiplayer and now this....

More does not equal better. Developers should be paying close attention to CD Project Red.

stationplay_4
stationplay_4

why is everyone hating on the multiplayer? it looks cool to me. and you can turn it off so there's no reason to be a whiny bitch. 

fuqhalo
fuqhalo

@Evil_Sidekick  you CAN play in offline mode in DS. You can disable online mode. But why would you want to?!

Ali_Asif
Ali_Asif

@Evil_Sidekick  You mean Dark Souls doesn't have that option. That's just sad. Watch Dogs FTW.

Ali_Asif
Ali_Asif

@imfrylock1987  What's funny about this comment is "downgraded graphics". Guess you haven't seen the new 9 min gameplay trailer huh? 


Also nobody truly cares about graphics anymore than they do with the gameplay.

yuukorin
yuukorin

@imfrylock1987  How does this game not need multiplayer? In a game about interconnectivity and hacking other people, it would be illogical not to have it. If there is no multiplayer in a game with the slogan "Everything is Connected", you know something is wrong with that game.


Plus, how is the multiplayer "tacked on"?

Ali_Asif
Ali_Asif

@origkillmachine  Or it'd be really nice to make some new online friends while I tail them, hunt em down, gun them or have them get away and then laugh about it all the way. 

patrick423
patrick423

@GinsuVictim  There is a Firewall where you can turn it off/on to prevent players from joining your game.

yuukorin
yuukorin

@nl_skipper  Well, I think that there will be a lot more options than you think. Your avatar looks like a typical NPC, which already makes the search harder for the opposing player. Actions like drinking coffee or reading a newspaper would be useless since the opponent is capable of rapidly profiling everyone around him in a few seconds - you would be detected by his phone no matter how innocent you look.


I think the options for cover are a lot less limited than you say - you can hack form inside cars and from rooftops, and a large part of the game is what they call "dynamic cover", objects that can be hacked to create hiding spots. 


Hopefully some of the objects you can craft in your single-player game can also apply to multiplayer - imagine for example a jammer that prevents Aiden from profiling you for a certain amount of time, etc.


If your opponent fires a shot, you can also pretend to run away, only to hide out at a more discreet location. 


I think there will be a lot of options available since the game is marketed on the idea of choice and having many different ways to reach the same goal (different routes - stealth, hacking, force, different dynamic hiding spots, different gadgets, etc...)

Zloth2
Zloth2

@mattcake They are getting the message... that most people DO want multiplayer.  I wish it weren't true but it is.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@Sohaim  That's actually the same price it is globally,  well a couple dollars more, but not as much as you're making it out to be...  it's actually a lot less than many EU countries and Australia

Sohaim
Sohaim

@dani_i89 i agree with u, the games you mentioned dont need a multiplayer and should not have it, it does water the single player down, i wish they would stop this shitty practice and just focused on the main experience, if the game is good people will play it, lol i am playing Final Fantasy X again on the ps3 LOL(HD remaster, that 1080p *-*)

Stebsis
Stebsis

@dani_i89 And what is the difference between games you mentioned and games like Watch Dogs? The games you mentioned weren't meant for multiplayer experience from the beginning. Ubisoft has approached Watch Dogs, like all their games these days, as a game with some kind of multiplayer content and it has been designed around that from the beginning. It's not watering down single player because there is nothing yet to water down especially from us gamers standpoint, and how do you know it's going to be mediocre or worse mp? Have you played the game yourself? If not don't start assuming things. And you're taking CD Project Red as an example that more doesn't equal better, when with Witcher 3 they're giving world much bigger than Skyrim with stuff happening all the time around the world etc. It seems like all they've said about it is how they're just putting more stuff in it than other games. A better example would be some indie dev

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

@dani_i89  ME3MP was rather the best element the game presented.

bouff
bouff

@stationplay_4 I'm looking forward to experimenting with the multiplayer, it looks fun. Just wish my GTA buddies was getting this on PS4

Sohaim
Sohaim

@nl_skipper  its not globally, some places like russia its cheaper, but thats not my point, every single PC game here costs 99 reais(physical, steam most of the time is 85 reais), Steam has a conversion table 60 dolars=99 reais, they priced AC that way, everyone does, except activision who always price their shit for 109, thats ok, but 130 reais, no no no no and no, its a big thing YES, brazil income is NOT the same as other places, pc prices are ok NOW and it was not always like this, thanks to Steam that changed, now we pay Fair prices without IOF and dolars surprises, and now Ubisoft thinks it can follow activisions trend, i am not alone in this, everyone i know will ignore this game at this price, we voiced our thoughts to ubisoft, they closed the thread, and ignored a shitload off people on facebook, so thats a NO buy, why should i pay 130 reais on that game? the thing that Ubisoft is trying to do is get pc games prices close to Console ones, now that they have a division here in brazil thats what they are trying to do, console games are 200 reais, both digital and physical, so this move by ubisoft is a big thing, because if other follow this trend, it will be bad, also, titanfall physical:99 reais, Dragon Age Inquisition Physical:99 reais, why would i pay 130 reais for the Standard digital version of Watch Dogs(Deluxe costs 150 reais LOL)?

dani_i89
dani_i89

@RC-Sev @dani_i89 Mass Effect is a story driven game. It's not a multiplayer shooter. That's like saying COD's best features are it's RPG elements. You are wrong, and you are part of the problem.

stationplay_4
stationplay_4

Ohh sorry I see you have played the game already.

Sohaim
Sohaim

@eidoriansekken @Sohaim @nl_skipper  wat??? what that has to do with anything i just posted LOL? and as a matter of fact, i am fun ;D, now that i am married i dont go to many parties as i used too ;x.

dani_i89
dani_i89

@ladies_man_xxx @dani_i89@RC-Sev No, YOU are part of the problem. The kind of problem that wants more and more pointlessness without understanding what it actually does to the game. But nooo, "I just want to casually play with my friends". There are games like that for people like you...it's called COD. Get laid? Really? That's your basis for my point of view? I'm not old at all, and playing mixed single/multiplayer games a child on N64 was awesome. It was so simple and just fun. Now everything is just about giving the people more, and in some aspects, also giving them less.


Lol you must be throwing your money at ES Online.

normanislost
normanislost

"ME3 could of had a better ending without the time and funds put into creating multiplayer"

Hahahaha what a load of crap the story was written before the game development started with or without multiplayer the ending would of still been exactly the same

At least if you're going to try and argue how multiplayer detracts from a single player try and use an example that would actually harm the game instead trying to blame pure bad writing on it.....

dani_i89
dani_i89

@stationplay_4 Ohh aren't you a clever one? You must be very proud of yourself. If history hasn't taught you anything (refer to above examples) then you are pretty stupid. Tacked on multiplayer mixed in a rich single player experience is a recipe for a pointless, cheap, desperate experience. There is only one example that actually gets it right, and it is a shooter (shooters are generally exempt from this rule...not in all circumstances though). This is a trend in which funding, time and 'effort' are expended, essentially for droves of sheep who just want quantity, and not quality. ME3 could have had a better ending without the time and funds put into creating multiplayer...


I love CDPR