For the better part of a year it’s existed in concept, but without much content. It plays on the complex connections of our Internet driven world to ensure that players are always connected — “always-online” — within its centralized universe. Stealth, furtively concealing its agenda from outside competitors, appears to be its primary prerogative. And while we’ve always known it was targeting a Holiday 2013 release window, the specific date has been a matter of sheer speculation.
You know, the more we think about it, it’s not surprising that Ubisoft intended Watch Dogs for next-generation consoles right from the beginning — information regarding the game, not to mention a many of its defining themes, has been a mirroring embodiment of its high-end platforms ever since we became enamored with it at E3 2012.
Sure, there’s Aiden Pearce, the smart-phone wielding cybergenius who, assuming the role of a vigilante, hacks his way into and around a future Chicago’s central operation system (ctOS), converting the city into his justice-serving/vengeance-seeking playground. But to what end? Who is Aiden Pearce? And why has he elected to hunt down the city’s greatest threats from its societal fringe, wisping through the Windy City beneath a matching ball cap, half face mask and trench coat?
Nevertheless, Ubisoft has announced the release date of its highly anticipated high-tech shooter. Watch Dogs will release on November 19, 2013, for the PC, Xbox 360, Wii U and PlayStation 3, along with a PlayStation 4 version (which we saw demoed at Sony’s February PS4 press conference) becoming available at the system’s launch. Ubisoft does say to expect Watch Dogs on “other next generation consoles” as well, which in all likelihood is a placeholder for “Microsoft’s next Xbox” until, you know, Microsoft unveils the next Xbox at its May 21 press conference.
To coincide with the announcement, Ubisoft rolled out a brand new gameplay trailer for Watch Dogs, viewable in the header above. It’s a fairly condensed trailer, coated in a sleek cinematic polish as it pulse-pounds its way through foot pursuits, enemy beatdowns, shootouts, a debris-rich explosion and some epic chase sequences.
We are granted a few insights into Watch Dogs’ story. A brief moment of the trailer depicts Aiden standing beside a grave, the character (voiced by Noam Jenkins) narrating about a mysterious “they” who “crossed a line” and vowing justice. A later part shows him discussing the dangers of “screwing around” with a character who may or may not be voiced by Arrow‘s Emily Bett Rickards, but either way suggests that Aiden will have a support team assisting his vigilantic pursuits.
But that’s par for the course for a game which — right down to personal loss, vengeful justice, and a city run on a broken nexus of power and knowledge — appears as if it aims to borrow heavily from comic book motifs. Another example: Ubisoft’s hiring of Alex Ross, the legendary writer/artist for both Marvel and DC Comics, to design a Watch Dogs poster as an exclusive pre-order bonus for the game across EB Games outlets in Canada.
Ubisoft made the announcement today, releasing the below “making of” video, which highlights Ross’ process:
With a pinpointed release date and a new sliver of gameplay footage to pour over, Ubisoft has Watch Dogs primed for yet another strong showing at this year’s E3. Come November 19, the publisher of Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, Far Cry, Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six and more might just have another acclaimed franchise to place on its roster as the next generation gets underway.
What do you think of the latest gameplay footage for Watch Dogs ?
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Watch_Dogs releases on November 19, 2013, for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U and PC, and at launch for the PlayStation 4. A version for Micosoft’s next Xbox is also in the works.