Feeds

Watch Dogs: Eat, sleep, hack, repeat

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

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Chumps stump up $1 MEELLLION for watch that doesn't exist
By the way, I have a really nice bridge you might like...
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.