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Watch Dogs: What We Know So Far

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I am surprised this hasn't been done before. We've had three trailers and just over a handful of screenshots with a plethora of information, yet no-one to analyse it. So here is what I have seen from the what's been revealed.

So the protagonist is called Aiden Pearce and so far as we've been told he's some kind of freelance hacker. He's probably trying to take down some network of corruption that's linked to the CtOS system but I wouldn't like to speculate (fnar fnar).

plugincontainer20130304.jpgThough just a provisional rating, the game will more than likely get an 18 (or equivelant mature rating) due to it's violence and profanity.

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The game is Watch Dogs, and Ubisoft Montreal are probably fans of Batman.

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Through the CtOS system and our 'Totally-Not-An-iPhone', we can jam telecommunications, raise and lower bridges, trigger traffic lights, rupture pipes (hopefully not Aiden's), take limited control of overhead trains, and possibly call on the powers of Odin to strike our enemies with lightning. Yeah, I don't know what those last two are.

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The mini-map (oh by the way, there's a mini-map) shows us locations of things we can hack that are nearby as well as fun activities like getting completely hammered at the nearest bar while the police try to figure out why all their sirens are playing Ride of the Valkyries. From what I can gather in the gameplay trailers, that almost square icon below the players cursor indicates a set of bollards in the street that you can raise by hacking to cause a car to crash into them. There's also a boat icon just to the left of the N and the question mark indicating that we can drive boats or at least hitch a ride to other parts of the city.

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And of course what open world game would be complete without arbitrary levels of police irritation? There are 5 points which are each triggered by the player taking increasingly threatening actions. The icon at the bottom appears to indicate what the police are likely to do to you once they find you. If you see a finger being inserted into a hole repeatedly, I'd probably just hide.

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Dynamic kill moves allow you to take down an enemy when they're in certain types of cover, you can then nick their gun in one fluid move. Looks pretty cool but dude, they probably bled all over that.

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It's a stretch to just assume this but I reckon the game will use PhysX, which means if you have an Nvidia GPU you get some pretty awesome physics going on and if you have... anything else, you get to see some pretty awesome Youtube videos.

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Hobo's are confirmed. This is part of a number of "unique NPCs" in the pedestrian setup. We've seen saxophone players, charity donation collector guys, and people generally behaving like they're actually in a major metropolitan city rather than milling around the supermarket.

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This is Ubisoft we're talking about so of course there is an economy system. It's not unwelcome on my end, so long as we don't have to become a real estate developer just to get rid of the bloody mountains of cash at the end of the game.

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When not beating up bouncers in nightclubs or shaking down hobo's for baked beans, you can wander the city freely and with a wary eye you may do your good deed for the day chasing a photographer down the street, endangering everyone around you before almost electrocuting him and then bludgeoning him in the face. All in a day's work ma'am.

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This is one that many might have missed from the PS4 gameplay trailer. When embarking on the suggested mission of doing the cops jobs for them, you may have noticed that the woman you saved appears to have called the cops on you.  While this may not seem very grateful you did barge in on her acting rehearsal. Still, if you're feeling a little dejected Ubisoft have given you a way round this little conundrum. That little icon that I have so subtly highlighted is linked to the phone of the woman, so you can actually block her call or maybe just redirect her to Microsoft's automated activation service. She'll be stuck there for hours.

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An interesting multiplayer element is that we can apparently get missions to hack other gamers. I'm not sure how this is implemented but if it's integrated into the singleplayer story then it might seem a little odd for Aiden Pearce to be hacking the phone of Aiden Pearce but I'll trust they've thought of a way round that.

As I'm limited for space I'm going to waste my last image by showing something that 3 people in the world will think is quite cool.

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She's RECYCLING!! Well actually I just thought it was cool that an NPC pedestrian has enough knowledge of the environment to put a trash item in a bin rather than just drop it to the floor because, well there are people for that sort of thing. While it seems innocuous on its own, if the AI has been made aware of certain objects in the world and knows when to use them then this could be a very positive step toward seeing pedestrian NPCs who actually behave like they've got more autonomy than a half masticated stick of asparagus.

 

Well I hope you enjoyed all the pretty pictures, the ones you could decipher through the image quality. I'd love to say more but I'm all out of baked beans.