Last year, Watch Dogs‘ creative director Jonathan Morin said that despite the many opportunities to steal cars and race them around Chicago in Ubisoft Montreal’s newest IP, the studio wasn’t interested in trying to copy 2013 titan Grand Theft Auto V. Of course, that doesn’t mean that Watch Dogs‘ marketing can’t be designed to tap the sizable market of GTA fans.
In preparation for next week’s launch, Ubisoft has released a new trailer for Watch Dogs that puts more emphasis on the vehicle gameplay than nay before. Using his customized smartphone, protagonist Aiden Pearce breaks free of a chase by messing with traffic lights, creating a ramp for neat avoidance of a police blockade, and sabotaging a pursuing car using road spikes. He’s basically a wizard (Editor’s note: our words, not Ubisoft’s).
There are other gameplay elements featured in the launch trailer, of course. The bold emphasis on hacking doesn’t mean that Ubisoft Montreal was quite ready to leave gunplay behind, so Aiden does get stuck in with the traditional mix of projectile-based weapons. He’s also shown taking a ride on one of Chicago’s CtOS-controlled trains, which can be hacked to stop and start in order to allow for easier boarding – for players who would rather leave their escape up to public transportation.
Although the game may still be undergoing reviews across the industry, the trailer also contains a few early accolades, albeit brief ones. The review embargo for Watch Dogs doesn’t lift until launch day, which can sometimes signify a concern on the part of the publisher that reviews will discourage consumers from purchasing the game. Confusion was recently caused after an early review of Watch Dogs appeared online complete with a sample of gameplay video, finding the game worthy of a 7.2/10 – a far cry from the game’s pitched quality. Ubisoft was quick to decry the review as “false,” claiming that it was the result of (ironically) a hacking attempt.
Watch Dogs is already the most pre-ordered new IP in Ubisoft’s history, but the launch day embargo and that unflattering early review understandably have a few gamers worried. Has this slick launch trailer convinced you to buy Watch Dogs, or are you going to hold off and see what critics and other players have to say?
Watch Dogs is set to launch on May 27, 2014 for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The Wii U version is aiming for a release in fall 2014.