Gamers of nearly every platform allegiance will be all set to get lost in a world of action-packed hacking next month when Watch Dogs finally arrives. Wii U owners will have to wait a little bit longer, but they should be in on the fun by next fall, as well. Although the game’s story has yet to prove itself, the creators have already made sure that future fans will have access to a follow-up story as soon as they finish playing.
The protagonist of Watch Dogs, Aiden Pearce, spends his time in the hyper-connected and incredibly violent underground world of tecno-crime in Chicago. The upcoming pseudo-sequel novel, Watch Dogs //n/Dark Clouds, takes place in the same location as the game. The book also takes place right around the same time as Pearce’s adventures, but it sounds like it will likely focus primarily on other characters in the city and how they interact with technology.
Dark Clouds is embracing the all-digital theme of the Watch Dogs universe and skipping over a print version. The novel – written by John Shirley – will be released exclusively as a classic eBook or as an interactive eBook. The interactive version incorporates videos, photos, and other media into the reading experience. The trailer explains the content director’s vision of making the tie-in material really feel like something that belongs in the Watch Dogs universe…
Shirley’s history of work on other sci-fi and noir novels seem to make him a pretty smart choice to pen the spin-off story. The Watch Dogs universe’s unique combination of cyperpunk and contemporary tech helped draw the author to the franchise.
“With hack tech in one hand and gun in the other, Aiden Pearce is a believable fusion of hacker and action hero who deliberately slips between the cracks of society to relentlessly pursue his agenda. The novel introduces Mick Wolfe, an ex-military, who get caught in a dangerous game in Chicago’s hyper connected and violent underground.”
Tie-in material like Dark Clouds can definitely be hit or miss, but the author’s close collaboration with the development team and the unique digital approach give us hope that the book will actually deliver. It seems likely that the story will probably only appeal to the more hardcore fans of the young franchise, but those players are usually the primary market for this kind of merch anyway. With movie and comic book tie-ins already delivered or in the works for a number of other properties, Ubisoft certainly seems to have a handle on the multimedia crossover market.
Will you be picking up the Dark Clouds novel or do you prefer to wait for DLC or a sequel to deliver the next adventure in the Watch Dogs universe?
Watch Dogs //n/Dark Clouds will be available on May 27, the same day the game releases for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The Wii U version is aiming for a Fall 2014 release.
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