I’ve had recent discussions with gamer friends about upcoming games, and the unsettling trend of online multiplayer taking precedence over real gameplay. If this sounds like I am coming down hard on multiplayer gaming, then you have good instincts. No one seems to care about campaigns or quality storylines any longer. One of my friends hasn’t played COD since Modern Warfare dropped. Why? Because for those of us who enjoy genuine gaming, most new games offer us very little. Remember Ghosts? Four hours of campaign. Embarrassing.
However, there have been a few games on my radar lately, Watch Dogs, a product of UbiSoft Montreal, being one of them. The premise is that Aiden Pearce, hacker and digital thief extraordinaire, is pulling a job in a fancy hotel with his partner, Damien. While wandering around the hotel with a gadget that pulls information from wireless devices, effectively hijacking personal information and in turn offering up bank account numbers and whatnot, they come across a device nearby that sets off alarms on their computers. Aiden wants to call off the heist, but his partner’s curiosity gets the better of him, and they are discovered by an unknown individual who wants to teach them a lesson.
The stranger sends a professional to take out Aiden’s niece, which he successfully accomplishes. This sends Aiden on a year-long quest for justice, and that’s where the game begins for us players. We become Aiden Pearce as he faces the hit man who killed his niece and tries to get information out of him. When Aiden finds out that the man doesn’t know who hired him for the hit, he leaves him in the basement of the crowded baseball stadium and attempts to make his way out. That’s where we take full control of the vigilant, Aiden Pearce.
In this sandbox-style world, computers are king. Much like the real world, everything is run on computer systems. And for a professional hacker like Aiden, who has code running through his blood, the world is his oyster. By focusing on electronics, such as security system panels, video surveillance cameras, street lights, or any other electronic device that surrounds you at any given point, you have the ability to manipulate the world around you and bend it to your whims. Need a street light to go out causing a pileup? No problem. Want the entire baseball stadium’s system to go down causing a blackout? You’ll get your chance.