Prior to the launch of next-gen, one of the games that was on the tip of almost every gamer's tongue was Watch Dogs. It hit hard and fast with an impressive showing at E3 but following a significant delay into spring of 2014, the resounding excitement seemed to die down. With its release quickly approaching, the previous anticipation is beginning to make its return and with that, Ubisoft has already begun to look forward to a possible Watch Dogs 2.
While Watch Dogs is shaping up to be everything that the developers at Ubisoft had hoped it would be, there's always the question of how the existing systems can be built upon should a sequel arise. According to Ubisoft's VP of creative Lionel Raynaud, while the delay allowed the development team to polish and refine certain gameplay systems like hacking (check out our hands-on preview), certain ideas proved to not be as cohesive within the context of the IP-defining game.
Allegedly, some of these ideas that emerged throughout the game's development were significant enough to have affected the fundamental experience. Rather than attempting to implement them and risk throwing off the complex balance that must be maintained for an open-world title to succeed, Raynaud states that they were set aside should talk of a sequel arise.
"The consistency that we have achieved with the characters, structure and narrative would have been difficult to maintain if we put in the other ideas that we had. So where we are now is keeping these ideas safe for the next game."
This is not to say that Watch Dogs is taking it easy on its first outing. Lionel Raynaud is comfortable that this new title will "be worth a new IP." From a 100 hour full completion time to an open-world multiplayer mode, the genre of open-world games could very well see a major shift should Watch Dogs follow through with its promises. If this means that the sequel will be full of brand new ideas that further build upon this strong foundation, then gamers have a lot to look forward to.
It's no surprise that the delay stood as a great disappointment for many gamers who believed Watch Dogs would be the killer app for the next-gen launch but putting all the skepticism aside, the development time that the delay afforded Ubisoft looks to have paid off in spades. While gamers will have to wait for the game's formal release date, it's looking as though Watch Dogs could end up being one of the biggest releases of the year.
Is there a game that you feel should have held back some larger concepts that only managed to hurt the experience in the end? Are you more excited for the Watch Dogs single-player or multiplayer?
Watch Dogs is set to launch May 27, 2014 for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. A release date has yet to be revealed for the Wii U following its delay.
Follow Ryan on Twitter @ThatRyanB.