Announcing that a highly-touted game – a next-gen launch title, no less – will be delayed for months is usually a sign of trouble; but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a gamer who isn’t just as excited about Watch Dogs as they were upon first hearing of its unique twist on tech-infused open world action. Even if it is coming out months later than expected.
Players will be granted the keys to the city of Chicago thanks to the ctOS network controlling almost all of its infrastructure, and monitoring the lives of its inhabitants. But as a new work-in-progress tech video shows, protagonist Aiden Pearce won’t be acting alone – and won’t even have to find the keys himself.
The star of the production video is none other than Clara Lille, a character whom Ubisoft has kept quiet about to this point. That silence wasn’t suspicious, given the emphasis placed on Pearce’s hacking abilities, made possible through his smartphone-like device.
Yet the scene – which seems to show Aiden and Clara’s first meeting – hints at a much larger story, and given what we know about the game’s cast of characters already, a particularly intriguing one.
Possessing impressive hacking talents of her own, it was implied that Clara would be just one member of a the secretive hacking group known as ‘DedSec.’ This video seems to back up those assumptions, but with the most recent DedSec trailer implying that the group looked at Aiden Pearce as something of an enemy, Clara’s cooperation with him is suspicious. Especially since it is Clara who provides Aiden with the device – known as a ‘Profiler’ – that makes him a master of hacking and surveillance.
The animation in the video itself is impressive, and a vast improvement over previous Ubisoft titles. Whether those same standards will be met on current consoles isn’t clear, but if Ubisoft is delaying release to make sure they put their most impressive foot forward, they’re off to a strong start.
Beyond the graphics, the actual story that will propel players along the main campaign has yet to be explored. Clara looks to be building a strong relationship with Aiden in the above cutscene, so the people that will appear to help – or hinder – Aiden’s efforts will hopefully be as interesting. If nothing else, they’ve got some extra time to make sure.
What do you make of Aiden and Clara’s dialogue? Are you hoping to see an espionage-laden story well-executed, or is it the open world hacking that has your hope up for the next-gen adventure?
Watch Dogs will be available for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in Spring 2014.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.