What is Watch Dogs?Although there's still no official word on a Watch Dogs release date, we're still very intrigued by how good the game will be when it launches - especially on Xbox One, PS4 and even Wii U.
Watch Dogs is a brand new IP from Ubisoft, the creators of games like Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
Most likely turning out to be a cross between a high-tech GTA 5 and an Assassin’s Creed game, Watch Dogs is set in Chicago in the not-too-distant future.
The game was originally intended to be an Xbox One and PS4 launch title, but was pushed back to 2014 because it wasn’t quite as perfect as Ubisoft wanted.
Now we have to wait until Spring to get our hands on Watch Dogs, but until then we can console ourselves with all the news and gameplay footage we have so far.
Watch Dogs Hands-on from E3 2013Ubisoft had an extended demo of Watch Dogs available to see behind closed doors at E3 2013, and we were lucky enough to be one of the few to be granted access.
Our first impressions in our hands-on Watch Dogs review were that the architectural detail of Chicago is very realistic and the weather effects are particularly impressive.
“If we have any reservations, it’s that a lot of the game mechanics echo those in the Assassin’s Creed games, though with more emphasis on hacking, surveillance and GTA-style driving, and less on the parkour stuff.”
Watch Dogs Release Date: When is Watch Dogs coming out?Originally intended to be a launch title for theXbox One and PS4, Ubisoft suddenly delayed the Watch Dogs release date to sometime in Spring 2014.
We’ve yet to hear of a concrete release date for the hacking-based, open world title, but Watch Dogs will launch for Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC as well as the PS4 and Xbox One.
"Our ambition from the start with Watch Dogs has been to deliver something that embodies what we wanted to see in the next-generation of gaming. It is with this in mind that we’ve made the tough decision to delay the release until Spring 2014," said Ubisoft in statement after announcing the delayed release date.
"We know a lot of you are probably wondering, ‘Why now?’ We struggled with whether we would delay the game. But from the beginning, we have adopted the attitude that we will not compromise on quality. As we got closer to release, as all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place in our last push before completion, it became clear to us that we needed to take the extra time to polish and fine tune every detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience."
Release Date Update:
According to one online retailer, the Watch Dogs release date could occur in late April. Portugese retailer Fnac posted an April 30 release date for several of the Watch Dogs listings.
This date is a little odd though, as it falls on a Wednesday. However, the site listed April 30 as an expected delivery date, so we could be looking at an Friday April 25 UK release date with the game shipping over the weekend. It could also mean the game is released worldwide on April 29, as games usually launch on a Tuesday in the US.
In fact, at the time of writing (February 7) the retailer is still to change the exstimated delivery date on any of its Watch Dogs listings.
Watch Dogs News: What we know so farSony identifies Watch Dogs as a defining next-generation title
Speaking to TrustedReviews, Sony Computer Entertainment Managing Director Fergal Gara said Watch Dogs could be a defining game for next-generation consoles.
"[Watch Dogs could] define next-gen gaming really push some boundaries. A title like Watch Dogs, the anticipation is so high around it; pre-orders are already very significant and very strong for PS4."
Sony has a highly optimistic outlook for Watch Dogs, but the company was still disappointed it couldn’t be release as a launch title for the PS4 and Xbox One.
"It is a slight disappointment [that Watch Dogs has been delayed]. The timing isn’t as we had hoped. We have said we are for the players and we would rather they have a great game slightly later than a good game early."
The PS4 creator also believes that Watch Dogs could be the first in a hugely successful next-gen franchise.
"It would be a terrible shame if a game like that – which could go several rounds, Watchdogs 1, 2, 3 and could define next-gen gaming and really push some boundaries – it would be a shame if a title like that came out and it was only good when it could be great."
Read more: Watch Dogs could define next gen gaming say Sony
Watch Dogs Wii U still in the works despite the cancellation rumours
In late January 2014, word came that GAmeStop was cancelling pre-orders of the Watch Dogs Wii U edition because Ubisoft had made the decision to abandon the game.
Reports emerged that Italian GameStop branches were not only cancelling orders, but also informing customers was because the Wii U Watch Dogs had been scrapped.
Another report from a "reliable Kotaku source" also claims the US GameStop was also cancelling Wii U pre-orders for the game, which heightened the speculation.
However, it turned out that the cancellations were the result of an internal GameStop glitch and not an indication of Ubisoft cancellation. Pre-orders across the world are still in place, and the Italian ones were to be restored within the next 24 hours after their initial abolition.
Rather bizarrely, Ubisoft declined to comment on the suggests the Wii U version of Watch Dogs had been scrapped.
"We have nothing to comment at the moment," said a Ubisoft spokesperson.
In an interview in 2013, Watch Dogs creative director Jonathan Morin said the Wii U version actually looked better than the Xbox 360 and PS3 editions.
"I would say the Wii U version is pretty much in between what the current gen is and what the next gen is from a version standpoint", said Morin in an interview with CVG. "It's hard to position it. i would tend to say it's maybe a bit closer to current gen than next gen for certain things, but it's a beautiful game on the Wii U and it's cool to play it just on the GamePad."
Watch Dogs Storyline: What happens in Watch Dogs?Watch Dogs is set in Chicago and you play as Aiden Pearce, a highly-competent hacker and former thug. Pearce is seeking justice for a violent family tragedy (similar to Max Payne) and does so by monitoring and hacking those that surround him in the city.
You’ll need to manipulate Chicago’s Central Operating System, known at ctOS as it controls the majority of the city’s technology and information as well as holding data on all the city’s residents.
Manipulating the ctOS can be done via Pearce’s smartphone, meaning you’ll be able to access security cameras, download personal data, control traffic lights and public transport form the palm of your hand to achieve your goals.
Being able to control parts of the ctOS means "the city is our weapon", one of the game’s defining catch phrases.
Ubisoft has created Watch Dogs’ storyline in part as an "homage to humanity".
"You’re going to see mundance, funny situations, see very dark secrets, we really want to make sure we pay homage to humanity, and we’re not critiquing them 100 per cent of the time. That would be bad," explained Ubisoft’s Creative Director, Jonathan Morin.
Watch Dogs – DedSec trailer:
Watch Dogs Gameplay: What type of game is Watch Dogs?Watch dogs is a sandbox game that will allow you to explore the various layers of Chicago, from the rooftops down to the city’s dangerous underground system. However, you will have to hack Control Centres in order to access citizen profiles and the ctOS in each district, similar to the towers you have to scale in Far Cry 3 and the Assassin’s Creed series.
"When you’re doing an open world game, I think one of the best practices is to connect your fantasy, the fantasy of the game to the world itself," said Jonathan Morin, Ubisoft’s Creative Director.
"For example, us, we’re talking about monitoring the entire city of Chicago, it makes no sense whatsoever if you don’t have to do something in the world to eventually get access to the system. It’s how it works in real life, and it also connects the player with the world a bit more with its progression."
Watch Dogs will also use a Reputation System that is based on the media’s perception of Pearce and the way the player completes the missions and side quests, including the amount of citizen casualties you wrack up.
"Every time you intervene and how you play, your Reputation is going to sway in different ways, and that’s now going to have an impact on the entire city and [how] they will perceive you,” added Morin. "It’s not a judgement call on how oyu play. There’s a lot more depth in that to our system."
Elements that seem particularly GTA 5-like include the driving sections. Ubisoft partnered with the Ubisoft Reflections studio, responsible for the Driver series, to influence Watch Dogs. Watch Dogs actually features over 65 vehicles each built using a top physics and handling engine.
There has yet to be any playable game demoes at any trade shows in 2013, but there have been several Watch Dogs gameplay trailers released by Ubisoft, which you can enjoy below.
Out of Control gameplay trailer:
Gameplay Series Part 1 – Hacking is your weapon:
14-minute long Watch Dogs gameplay trailer:
Watch Dogs PC System RequirementsIn early October Ubisoft released an initial system requirements sheet for Watch Dogs, only to revise them a week later.
You’ll need quite the gaming PC to even get Watch Dogs started.
Minimum PC system requirements are as follows:
Supported OS: Windows Vista SP2 64bit, Windows 7 SP1 64bit, Windows 8 64bit
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 @ 2.66Ghz or AMD Phenom II X4 940 @ 3.0Ghz
Video Card: 1024 VRAM DirectX 11 with Shader Model 5.0
Sound Card: DirectX 9 compatible Sound Card
This product supports 64bit operating systems ONLY
Recommended PC system requirements are as follows:
Processor: Core i7 3770 @ 3.5 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0Ghz
Video Card: 2048 VRAM DirectX 11 with Shader Model 5.0 or higher
Sound Card: Surround Sound 5.1 capable sound card
Supported Video Cards at the time of release include:
nVidia GeForce GTX460 or better, GT500, GT600, GT700 series;
AMD Radeon HD5850 or better, HD6000, HD7000, R7 and R9 series
Intel® Iris™ Pro HD 5200
Watch Dogs TrailersAny additional Watch Dogs trailers we will insert here for you to stave off the excitement with until the spring release date.
Watch Dogs demo from E3:
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