E3 2012: Ubisoft reveals new IP ‘Watch Dogs’

Today, at Ubisoft's E3 press briefing, the company revealed a new, ground-breaking IP that we literally had no idea was in the works.

The game is called Watch Dogs, and it is an open-world action-adventure that "blends cutting-edge technologies and sophisticated game design into a realistic and living open world where players must use any means at their disposal to take down a corrupt system."

Watch Dogs enters the dangerous world of Aiden Pearce, a "new class of antihero" who has the ability to hack into any connected electronic system.  It's a game that focuses on the concept that all people can be identified and tracked based on their electronic interactions, be it through the internet or their cell phones.

You know how we're all so dependent on our electronics?  Well, companies track our every movements.  They track what we browse online to what we purchase with our credit cards to who we call on our cell phones.  Watch Dogs plays on this concept of us all being connected to one giant circuit, and relies on this concept for its primary focus. Pearce is capable of coercing and controlling almost every element of the world around him, be it traffic-lights to trap an enemy or tapping into the city's security cameras to access anyone's personal information.

Watch Dogs goes beyond the limits of today’s open-world games by giving players the ability to control an entire city,” said Jonathan Morin, creative director, Ubisoft.  “In Watch Dogs, anything connected to the city’s Central Operating System becomes a weapon.  By pushing the boundaries, we can provide players with action and access to information on a scale that’s never been seen in a video game before.”

The gameplay shown to us during Ubisoft's E3 briefing simply looked fantastic.  It featured smooth gameplay and stunning graphics.  In the demo we saw Pearce hack into cell phones to hear what other's were talking about and sneak into the venue of a targeted enemy who he was sent in to "send a message to others".  After causing a wreck by controlling the traffic lights, we saw some action-packed sequences that involved a bullet time-like slow motion feature.

Eventually, we took out all of the enemies and killed the targeted enemy.  It was then that a big reveal was made.  Highlighting Ubisoft's focus on connecting gamers, Watch Dogs was actually a multiplayer game.  When the game zoomed out from Pearce it revealed that another player was controlling another character who was sniping from a roof top.

It wasn't quite clear what this other player was doing during the demonstration, but it's definitely an interesting concept.  I'm sure we'll see more as we visit Ubisoft's booth throughout the week of E3.