Feeds

Watch Dogs: Eat, sleep, hack, repeat

Click click, hack, thwack.... SCREEECH! This car is whack

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Game Theory In preparation for tangling with Watch Dogs, I spent plenty of time revisiting the salty seadogs of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Presuming that one Ubisoft stealth-'em-up might have much in common with the other.

Watch Dogs

Oh, bollards to this

In many ways, the fundamental Watch Dogs gameplay of infiltrate, kill and escape is similar. Protagonist Aiden Pearce is cast almost as a descendent of Ezio Auditore or Edward Kenway – albeit equipped with modern day tools. After all, wouldn't any latter-day assassin be possessed of guns and the skill to hack security?

Of course, it's this hacking element that separates the two franchises, and a fine addition it is too. There's something satisfyingly voyeuristic (if that's not too weird to admit) about hacking into the smartphones of any Tom, Dick or Harry that happens to be wandering by.

Watch Dogs

Hack and stash

It's clear that Ubisoft has had no small amount of fun in scripting the snatched snippets of conversation between jilted lovers, borderline perverts and other characters... some of which is just plain ridiculous.

And, even if the game's overarching plot is somewhat forgettable, the fact that some of this accidental dialogue is entertaining enough to raise a smile is a feather in the cap of the company's writers.

Watch Dogs

Chicago: the Wi-Fi city

It's this feeling of being on the inside that makes the game so absorbing as you surf through a rich tapestry of stories within Watch Dogs' virtual Chicago. In the fictional version of the city, seemingly everything – from traffic lights to forklift trucks – is equipped with some kind of ultimate Wi-Fi signal.

As he walks the city's streets, Pearce resembles a disgruntled teen in that he's constantly glued to his smartphone. It's through this self-charging wonder that a constant barrage of interactive objects are highlighted.

Watch Dogs

A very, very smart phone

Each object can be activated by the single click of a button, creating some entertaining ways to hassle the local populace. For instance, there's an early encounter with thugs as you infiltrate an enemy building.

Whether you want to play stealthily or dynamically is up to you – except when the game regrettably forces the former upon you during specific missions. It remains largely your call as to whether you want to distract said thugs with the ghostly activation of equipment, or blow them to kingdom come by activating any explosives they might be carrying.

Watch Dogs

Shocking behaviour

I’m happy to report that the AI is pretty solid on the whole. Enemies will home in on your location and work in groups to hunt you down. Ubisoft has also had the courage of its convictions and has not been afraid to create an AI system that's less than psychic. This makes it possible to create diversions, thereby allowing you to sneak by, or else flank, enemies.

Perhaps the ultimate illustration of AI versus hacking comes during the many encounters you'll have with law. A modern setting demands cars, of course, and a great many (probably too many) of Pearce's missions culminate in high-speed cop chases.

Watch Dogs

The garage door remote comes in handy once again

Expect to be raising bollards, changing traffic lights and causing drains to erupt at the press of the very same "hack" button – which is a positive change away from the GTA-standard of losing pursuing cops by simply driving at full speed.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD TO DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.