Watch Dogs ctOS App Preview: Bring some hacking action into the real world
When Watch Dogs launches next month, it will accompanied by an app for iOS and Android devices. However, unlike recent games where the Single Player mode is extended onto the app, such as showing the in-game map, or scrolling through available missions, the Watch Dogs ctOS App will be built into the Multiplayer component.
Like I've mentioned in my Multiplayer impressions, one of the six online modes includes the ctOS Mobile Challenge. In this mode, players on the console can ping either random players or their friends with the app installed on their tablets. Likewise, tablet players can search for anyone with an open connection to their game. When matched, it becomes a sort of cat and mouse game, but instead of the tablet player being just the cat, he's more like a cat trying to build an elaborate mouse trap.
The goal of the console player is to drive through a certain number of checkpoints, while avoiding various traps and ambushes set down by the player, before time runs out. Sounds easy, right? Except the tablet player has some serious advantages. They essentially become a real life embodiment of Aiden Pearce, except being on the right side of the law. The app displays the entire city of Chicago, the player's location, and icons indicating traps that can be set off, such as blockers, burt pipes or causing a traffic jam. To keep things fair though, every trap is associated with a cost, and the only way the tablet player accrues more points is to drag his finger over the console player's location at all times.
But the tablet player has even more tricks up his sleeve, since they can send out various police vehicles to halt the other player's progress. These vehicles are once again associated with a point cost. The higher the point cost, the better, more armored and destructive police vehicle you can send out.
The tablet player caused an accident by triggering a traffic light, which the player must avoid
At this point, it might seem like the console players might be at a serious disadvantage here, but they can utilize their crafted gadgets to disrupt the other player. For example, causing a blackout will halt the tablet player from gaining points for a while and a jam com can stop them from placing down any police vehicles.
One of the cooler aspects of the app is that it lets players design their own custom challenges, and I was even able to make one within just a few minutes. The UI was easy enough to understand. Place a start point, however many checkpoints, set the challenge time, time of day and weather and you're set. If you want to get a little more in depth, you can also place down various time bonus pickups as well.
I wondered about the fairness of allowing people to make their own challenges, when coupled with the game's online Notoriety progression, not to mention players could easily make an impossible challenge and watch as their friends fail over and over again. I was told that custom challenges won't count toward Notoriety, and will only be shareable among friends. There is also no built in system to upload your challenges online and share them with the world, since that would require some checks and balances and moderation to ensure what people are uploading is fair and competent.
The app comes with 26 events in total, 13 of which are free ride missions, which means players are unassisted in their route to each checkpoint, and 13 GPS events, which will always show a route on the map to each checkpoint.
The ctOS Mobile App will be released alongside Watch Dogs on May 27th, and will be completely free. I was told that players don't need to own the game in order use the app, and the only requirement is that they make a UPLAY account, which itself is absolutely free.