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- ❝ Everything is connected. Connection is power.❞
Watch Dogs (stylized as WATCH_DOGS) is an action-adventure stealth video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It was scheduled to be released on November 19, 2013, but was pushed back to May 27, 2014 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One consoles. A Wii U version of Watch Dogs was released on November 18, 2014.
Set in a fictionalized version of Chicago, Illinois, the game centers around Aiden Pearce, a highly skilled grey hat hacker who can hack into any device within in the city, taking hold of the entire city's infrastructure, either to obtain and control information or to destroy such devices completely at specific times. The sequel to Watch Dogs, Watch Dogs 2, was released on November 15, 2016.
The storyline of Watch Dogs explores the impact of technology within our society; bringing to the forefront the concept of information warfare, data being interconnected, and the world's increasing use of technology — questioning who exactly runs the computers they depend on.
The game is set in a contemporary fictionalized version of Chicago, Illinois, which is one of many cities to feature a supercomputer known as CTOS (Central Operating System). In this version of Chicago, everyone and everything is connected. The city's overarching network controls almost every piece of technology in the city; banks, security cameras, traffic lights, communication hubs, and even key data on the city's residents and activities have been complied into the system and can be used for various purposes. In the game's universe, the Northeast blackout of 2003 was found to be caused by a hacker, prompting the development of CTOS.
In the campaign, the player controls a vigilante named Aiden Pearce, who possesses the singular ability to hack into various electronic devices tied to the city's central operating system, the CTOS, through his Smartphone, via an application dubbed the "Profiler". Pearce has graduated from adolescent street thug to brilliant hacker; his hacking and social engineering skills ensured he made plenty of underworld contacts, while his aptitude for antisocial behavior have driven him towards a multitude of clandestine activities and scams.
Former mistakes he committed in the past costed the life of his six-year old niece Lena Pearce. Aiden then vowed to protect his remaining family, using the technology and the CTOS to punish those responsible.
In 2012, Aiden Pearce, along with Damien Brenks, hacked into the Merlaut Hotel, owned by Dermot Quinn, in order to siphon peoples' bank accounts. Quinn, otherwise known as "Lucky" Quinn, thought he was being hacked for a video of Chicago's mayor murdering a woman named Rose Washington. He issued hits on Aiden and Damien to scare them into submission. While driving with his niece, Aiden Pearce's car tires were shot by Maurice Vega, a hitman hired by the Chicago South Club. The car drifted, and shortly after, rolled upside-down. This killed Aiden's niece, Lena Pearce, and set him out for revenge.
Eleven months later, Aiden had tracked down Vega and interrogated him for the name of his employer. Vega claimed he didn't know their name and stated that Aiden was walking into something he couldn't handle. Aiden then raised his gun to shoot him, but the clip was empty. Vega then attempted to attack Aiden, who subdued him with his baton. He then met with his associate, Jordi Chin, who confesses that he purposely emptied Aiden's clip and had called the police to cover up the deaths of several Black Viceroys. Aiden then leaves Jordi to take Vega to a secure location while he escapes the stadium.
After resting at his motel hideout, Aiden went over to his sister Nicole's house for Jackson's birthday. The exchange was relatively amicable, but then Aiden noticed Nicole acting distressed on her phone and hacked it, overhearing someone threatening to break into her house. After the call ended, Nicole hastily fastened the locks. Aiden expressed concern but Nicole tells him that he can't fix everything and orders him to leave. Aiden then tracks the number of the prank caller and pursues him. While in pursuit, he gets a call from Nicole, apologizing for her outburst and asks him to come back, and realizing what he's doing, insists that he let it go. Eventually he catches his target and hacks his phone, learning that someone put him up to this. He gives the information to his DedSec contact, BadBoy17, in hopes of figuring it out.
After Aiden breaks into the CTOS center in the Loop, BadBoy17 is able to begin tracking down the source of the call. Meanwhile, Aiden has his first face-to-face encounter with Lucky Quinn while carrying out a fixer contract for Jordi. BadBoy17 soon asks Aiden to meet him in person. Aiden agrees and discovers that BadBoy17 is actually Clara Lille, a female French-Canadian hacker masquerading as a male. Clara updates Aiden's profiler with DedSec level system hacks and initiates an official partnership between the two. Eventually, Clara pinpoints the source of the call to an apartment complex. Aiden follows the lead and discovers that his former partner Damien is the one who ordered the harassment of Nicole. Damien tells Aiden to meet him before blowing up his apartment. Aiden meets Damien, who is heavily intoxicated, and Damien reveals that there was a third hacker at the Merlaut job, other than Aiden and himself. As he was crippled in the aftermath of the Merlaut job, Damien proposes that he and Aiden become partners again. Aiden, however, rejects him, since he blames Damien's "going too far" for Lena's death, despite Damien pointing out that Aiden's own investigation had "hit a brick wall".
Troubled after his encounter with Damien, as well as the realization that he needs Damien's information, Aiden visits Lena's grave and reminisces about a previous visit with Nicole. Aiden is then alerted by Jordi that a gang member from the stadium, Raul Lionzo, has survived and is incarcerated and is likely to reveal Aiden's identity to anyone who wants it. After interrogating Lance Brenner, using Jordi as sniper support, he discovers that Angelo Tucci is planning to get Aiden's identity from Lionzo. Aiden eventually tracks Tucci down, after manipulating his niece Helena, and kills him before he can kidnap Lionzo.
In order to prevent Lionzo from revealing his identity, Aiden conspires with Jordi to sneak into Palin Correctional Center — the prison in which Lionzo is being held — and intimidate the gang member. Once Jordi has alerted his contacts inside the prison to the plan, Aiden pretends to turn himself in. Once stripped of all of his weapons (although he was allowed to keep his phone due to a corrupt guard who owed Jordi) and placed in a cell, Aiden escapes. Aiden proceeds to sneak around the prison, hacking the security as he goes, until he finds Lionzo in the exercise yard. Lionzo, however, is lead to the basement by some corrupt guards and beaten while they demand to know the vigilante's identity. After neutralizing all of the guards, Aiden threatens Lionzo with an extended sentence if he reveals his identity to anybody. Aiden then retrieves his gear and escapes from the prison.
After the prison break, Aiden is again contacted by Damien. Needing Damien's information, Aiden reluctantly goes to a meeting place and waits for Damien. Instead, Damien calls Aiden and hacks the area's TVs to show himself in Nicole's kitchen. Enraged, Aiden arrives at Nicole's house and after physically assaulting Damien discovers that Damien has kidnapped Nicole, although Jackson got away, and threatens to kill her in order to blackmail Aiden into retrieving a hard drive which will lead them to the third hacker. Damien then gives Aiden a hard drive full of data from his investigation and leaves. Worrying about Jackson, Aiden locates him by tracking his tablet's signal. After neutralizing the fixers chasing Jackson, Aiden joins his nephew on the train and arranges for Jackson's therapist Yolanda Mendez to take care of him until he gets Nicole back, although he lies to Yolanda and says Nicole is taking some time to grieve alone. Aiden is also alerted a possible lead in finding Nicole as Jackson, using a drawing on his tablet, tells Aiden that the men in the house were talking about Racine Boat Restoration. After hacking the CTOS center in Brandon Docks, Aiden breaks into the boat restoration facility in an effort to find its owner Robert Racine. After hacking an office computer and the security cameras connected to it, Aiden overhears a phone conversation between Racine and Damien and discovers that, while Racine did kidnap Nicole, he doesn't know anything of use. Aiden then kills Racine and gets in a heated phone conversation with Damien, who refuses to let Aiden speak to Nicole.
Upon returning to his motel room, Aiden finds a video in the flashdrive Damien gave him; however, the file is corrupted. Already frustrated, he pulls a gun on Clara when she suddenly enters his room. Pulling it together, Aiden asks for her input on the video. Checking the file, Clara tells Aiden that the file is permanently corrupted, and he needs the original in order to view it. After showing Clara the IP address Damien gave him as well explaining his current situation, Aiden prevents Clara from leaving the room because he hears car screeches. Both take cover and Aiden detonates explosives in his room as armed men shoot at them through the window. Clara escapes through the back door as Aiden returns fire and detonates more explosives in order to remove all evidence of his investigation. After killing an attacker holding Clara hostage, Aiden defends her as she makes her way to her car, killing all of the attackers before reinforcements show up. Once out of danger Clara calls Aiden and arranges to meet him at a dock. Aiden also receives a mocking call from Damien who is indifferent to Aiden losing his entire network and simply tells him to solve his problem. Damien then allows Aiden to speak to Nicole. After reassuring her that Jackson is safe and trying to calm his sister, Aiden is cut off by Damien, who refuses to let them speak again until he gets results.
Having lost his base and all of his equipment, Clara informs Aiden of the Bunker, the first CTOS testing site which is a blind spot in the system through which none of Aiden's activities could be detected. Using a nearby surveillance camera's footage, Aiden discovers that a man named Tobias Frewer knows how to control the bridge to the Bunker. Clara informs Aiden of Tobias' history as a Blume employee and directs him to Tobias' Crafting Shop. The two visit the shop but discover that it is locked. After tapping into a phone conversation and tracking Tobias' phone signal, Aiden learns he is in an illegal poker game. After neutralizing the Fixers also after Tobias, Aiden joins the poker game and identifies Tobias. Paranoid, Tobias flips the table over and flees, leading Aiden to give chase and tackle Tobias to the ground. After Aiden threatens him with his own gun, Tobias informs Aiden that the Bunker lacks power and, after some encouragement, gives Aiden the remote to the Bunker's bridge. After telling Aiden to come to his shop if he needs anything, Tobias leaves.
After hearing that Maurice gave up some information to Jordi, Aiden activates the bridge to the Bunker and restores power to the island by activating the three generators scattered around the island. Aiden then takes the elevator, disguised as a shipping container, to the Bunker. Clara soon joins him and the two agree to not divulge the Bunker's existence to anyone until Aiden completes his investigation. Together the two restore power to the bunker and enable it to get back online. After tracking the IP address Clara discovers that the address originated in Rossi-Fremont, the district where the Black Viceroys hold power.
After hacking the local CTOS center, Aiden ventures into the Black Viceroys' compound and shuts down all three security terminals in order to make infiltration easier. He also discovers that the Viceroys had rerouted all of the CTOS activity in the area, something made more suspicious by Blume's lack of action in repairing the damage. Aiden also concludes that Chicago was drastically underestimating the Viceroys as a simple street gang when in reality they were smart and organized (a charade unbeknownst to Aiden was intentional). After hacking the CTOS tower in the Viceroy compound, Aiden leaves the district. On his way to the Bunker, Aiden receives a call from Tobias who informs him of an arms trade being orchestrated by the police.
Upon his return to the Bunker, and after a brief discussion about teamwork with Clara, Aiden uses his CTOS access to look inside Rossi-Fremont's cameras to gain a deeper insight into their operations. He discovers that they utilize cross wiring and are heavily armed, confirming Aiden's earlier suspicion that the Viceroys are not a typical street gang. Eventually Aiden observes Delford "Iraq" Wade emerge from a server room which requires a security card, which is hidden in his dog tags. Aiden and Clara watch as Iraq meets with both his cousin, Tyrone "Bedbug" Hayes, whom he briefly threatens,and a Chicago South Club member. The Club member puts Lucky Quinn on speaker. Quinn angrily questions Iraq over his stealing of Quinn's guest list, although Iraq dismisses it as a business collaboration. Once the call ends a Viceroy explains to Iraq the meaning behind one of Quinn's phrases, angering Iraq, who proceeds to bash the Viceroy's skull in with the briefcase containing the guest list. Iraq then dismisses the henchmen and returns to his locked server room.
After witnessing these events, Aiden forms a plan to get inside the locked room. Theorizing that Bedbug is close to being eliminated due to incompetence, Aiden plans to blackmail Bedbug into sneaking into the locked room by getting evidence of him making his next mistake. Aiden also receives another call from Damien who allows him to speak to a significantly more calm Nicky after mocking him over his recent car chase, referencing his battle with the Fixers hunting Tobias.
Aiden arrives in Bedbug's neighborhood and begins to follow him as he makes contact with numerous associates. Slowly Aiden begins to build up a cache of audio logs and videos proving that Bedbug is disloyal to Iraq. Eventually Bedbug gets a call from his informant Gary "Rabbit" Diggs. Aiden hacks a nearby surveillance camera and overhears the conversation between the two. Despite Rabbit trying to negotiate telling Bedbug that Iraq intends to kill him, Bedbug turns violent and pulls a gun on Rabbit. Aiden intervenes by causing a regulator to burst, interrupting the execution and giving Rabbit time to hide. Bedbug, suddenly enraged, orders Viceroys in the vicinity to kill Rabbit on sight. Aiden, wanting to hear about the assassination plan, makes contact with Rabbit and offers to guide him to safety in return for information. Rabbit agrees and either escapes, giving Aiden information in the process,or is seen and attacked, meaning Aiden must hack his dropped phone to get the information. Either way, Aiden learns that an ambush has been set for Bedbug in the closed down Sienna Brick Factory, better known as "The Bricks". Aiden, seeing an opportunity, goes about setting up a trap for the hitmen so that it looks like Bedbug has murdered fierce criminals, which would lead to Iraq trusting him and gaining prestige in the Black Viceroys.
Aiden calls Jordi in order to procure some explosive IEDs and arranges to meet him along with "his boys". Aiden then meets Jordi and "his boys", in reality two corpses Jordi wishes to dispose of, and, after testing the explosives, "the girls", on Jordi's truck, places several explosives around the site of the ambush. Using both the explosives and his own equipment, Aiden proceeds to kill all of the hitmen as well as their reinforcements. He then joins Bedbug's position in The Loop, where he exposes to him his blackmail (Aiden does not show himself to Bedbug). Aiden then informs Bedbug by phone that he "is gonna be [Aiden's] eyes and ears inside Rossi-Fremont". Bedbug tells him that the only way to approach Iraq is at an auction, where Iraq and Quinn will be. Clara then tells Aiden that she can copy Iraq's RFID chip if he gets close enough.
Clara has then localized the briefcase containing the guests list. Aiden tails the owner, finds it in a Club-owned old marina, and takes pictures of the list. He decides to take the name of Nicholas Crispin, an American man who moved to Europe 12 years ago. As he doesn't want him to blow his cover, Aiden finds Crispin in a car dealership in Mad Mile (after hacking the local CTOS control center) and kills him. He then goes to the Infinite 92 club where he meets "The Poppy Special", an escort girl intended to be Crispin's. Aiden tells her that he isn't Crispin and that he will find a way to save her.
Aiden can now attend the auction. Using Crispin's ticket, Aiden enters the auction, where he briefly meets Iraq. Aiden hacks Iraq's dogtags, allowing Clara to obtain Iraq's RFID. Lucky Quinn, however, was aware of Crispin's death and ordered his men to go after and kill Aiden on sight. Aiden, however, gets past the Viceroys' security guards and escapes. On his way out, he calls the police and informs them about a shootout in Brandon Docks, at the auction. The police then save all of the sex slaves.
Yolanda Mendez calls Aiden after his job at the auction. She tells him that she is worried since Jackson went missing. Aiden traces him in northern Mad Mile and kills all the Fixers after him. Jackson, however, is terrified because of Aiden having killed a large number of Fixers under Jackson's eyes (who was watching the scene from the security cameras). Aiden drives him back to Mendez's house, where Jackson speaks (although briefly) to Aiden for the first time since Lena's death. There, Yolanda threatens Aiden with calling the police if she doesn't have any news of Nicole soon.
Aiden can now continue his job at Rossi-Fremont. He leaves a bug in a bin in a bar not far from the compound and calls Bedbug to tell him to pick it up. Sneaking into the building, Aiden enters a small room then hacks into the cameras to find Bedbug. Aiden guides Bedbug to the server room, which he opens thanks to the key Aiden hacked from Iraq at the auction. Bedbug starts downloading the data, but hears some noises and panics, while he has only downloaded 23% of the data. Iraq and his bodyguard find Bedbug inside the room. Iraq threatens to throw Bedbug out the window. He, however, notices the bug from Aiden and orders his men to find Aiden. After Aiden loses the Viceroys' henchmen, Bedbug calls him to tell him he still alive and that Iraq mentioned a Rose Washington on the video. Convinced that Bedbug knew nothing, Iraq spared him. Aiden then agrees to cut him loose.
Upon Aiden's return to the Bunker, Clara informs Aiden that she is unable to decrypt Iraq's data. She then tells Aiden about Raymond Kenney, a former CTOS pioneer, and thinks that only he is able to decrypt the data. Aiden then goes to the Wards, where Kenney's last signal came from. Thanks to the computer he found, Aiden and Clara find out that Kenney hides in Pawnee. Aiden kills every fixer in the area, and wipes the hard drive. Two fixers aware of Kenney's whereabouts, however, escape in a fire truck. Aiden chases them and kills them, then goes to Pawnee to find Kenney.
As Aiden arrives in Pawnee, he must first hack into the local CTOS center. Having CTOS access in the area, he finds Kenney's signal coming from a computer in the local marina. Aiden uses it to track another signal from "Ray", which comes from an abandoned CTOS station in the mountains. Aiden hacks the terminal and finds an audio log, which gives Ray's position in a bar in Pawnee. Aiden goes there and finds a man who goes by the name of "T-Bone Grady". When Aiden asks T-Bone if he knows Kenney, he challenges him to a drinking game. As Aiden succeeds, T-Bone punches him out of the bar. Aiden briefly handles him with his baton, but T-Bone, who is actually Raymond Kenney, paralyzes Aiden using a taser. Aiden wakes up in Ray's safehouse, and he tells him that he can't help Aiden in Chicago because the CTOS was programmed by Blume to idenfity him, as Kenney is a wanted man. Ray tells him that if Aiden can upload his virus in the Blume database, it will wipe Ray's signal from the system and will allow him to go to Chicago. T-Bone then shows Aiden his safehouse, with armed robots that he crafted in case he was ever attacked. T-Bone offers Aiden a deal: if Aiden does him some favors, T-Bone will help him. Aiden must first steal a truck containing hardware that was taken from him by the local Pawnee Militia.
T-Bone then asks him to tail a Blume helicopter that is heading towards a Blume compound, as Aiden needs the ID of a Blume security chief in order to break inside their headquarters. Aiden finds the two chiefs in a camping lot and copies their IDs. He then proceeds to kill a few Militia men heading for the Blume HQ. T-Bone then tells him that he has created a virus that should wipe any file about Kenney on the database. Aiden then heads from the Blume HQ. He sneaks inside the area and uploads T-Bone's virus into the database. However, through cameras, he accesses a meeting between Charlotte Gardner and Damien, who offers to exchange Kenney's whereabouts for total access to the CTOS. Feeling that Kenney is uncovered, Aiden escapes the compound and races to T-Bone's hideout, being assaulted by the Militiamen. T-Bone has then no other choice but to blow up his hideout, while being covered by Aiden. Both escape the hideout, and Aiden and T-Bone head for their next stop, the Bunker.
T-Bone, otherwise "the legendary Raymond Kenney", is at first skeptical because of Damien's deal, but finally agrees to help him. Aiden heads then for his next stop, Rossi-Fremont, after requesting sniper support from Jordi. Aiden enters the building, wipes out any resistance, and hacks into Iraq's server. On his way out, he encounters Iraq in person. Iraq escapes on the rooftop, followed by Aiden. He ultimately kills him after eliminating his remaining security. Aiden then escapes the compound and then heads back to the Bunker, to see what he got from Iraq.
However, as soon as they get the data, it is stolen by another hacker, JB Marcowicz, aka Defalt. During the hacking breach, Defalt sends an audio file that shows that Clara was hired by unknown men to trace Aiden and Damien after the Merlaut Job. Aiden asks her who did it, but because she doesn't know anything, he tells her to stay away from him. Aiden is then forced to turn up at Damien's meeting without data. Aiden tried backing Damien into a corner, pointing out that without the blackmail, Blume would most likely send fixers after him. Damien then allowed another phone call with Aiden. However, believing his protégé was not taking him seriously, Damien has a fixer waiting in a WKZ truck broadcasting images of Aiden's vigilantism on all the large TV screens, effectively blowing his cover. Escaping the police, Aiden sends to T-Bone a piece of audio from the call with Nicky, that might give her position. T-Bone then informs him that he found where Defalt lives. They, however, get nothing and must escape waves of Fixers sent by Defalt.
T-Bone then figures out that Defalt works as a DJ in a night club, Dot ConneXion, in the Ambrose Theater. Aiden counters Defalt's hacks and finds him. Defalt, however, notices him and triggers a blackout in the club, allowing him to leave. Aiden chases him and encounters other Fixers on the rooftop. Aiden downloads back all the data that was stored on Defalt's person.
T-Bone then informs him that he got everything and that he worked on the audio piece to find a name: Brent Ulster. Aiden goes to his place of work, a wastewater treating plant in Brandon Docks. He rescues Nicky and drives her (along with Jackson) out of town. On their way out, Aiden must dodge incoming police forces, sent after him because Mendez called 911 on him. During the chase, Nicole ultimately learns that her brother was the Vigilante. Aiden and Nicky say their last goodbye, before she leaves Chicago.
T-Bone then sends an audio piece revealing that the one who ordered the hit was Lucky Quinn, leader of the Chicago South Club. Aiden goes to the Merlaut Hotel, "where he fucked up his life", where Quinn organized a benefit. Aiden sneaks by the security, kills the Club hitmen, and reaches Quinn's offices. Aiden then faces Quinn, who is protected from Aiden by a bulletproof window. Aiden, however, hacks his pacemaker, causing him to collapse due to a heart attack. While dying, Quinn shows to Aiden the footage of mayor Donovan Rushmore murdering Blume former employee Rose Washington. Quinn used the video as blackmail to control the mayor, and fearing that someone was looking for it, ordered a hit on Aiden and Damien after their job at the Merlaut, while actually they were only looking for money. Aiden then hacks Quinn's pacemaker, killing him, and downloads the video. Aiden escapes the police forces after leaving the hotel. On his way out, Damien calls him and tells him that Clara called him (Damien), offering to exchange the reality (that Clara worked for the Club) for Nicky. Aiden then races to Clara, who's putting flowers on Lena's grave, to see her get shot by the Club hitmen sent by Quinn. Aiden kills all of the hitmen and downloads an audio log from Clara's phone, on which she talks about first seeing Aiden and Jackson playing chess in the park, after Lena's funeral; and explains her reasons for helping him "heal" from Lena's death. The message ends with Clara saying that if they cannot talk when "this is all over", she can "at least disappear. That's something [she's] good at." Aiden then calls T-Bone to tell him the bad news, and that he is coming back to the Bunker.
As he enters the Bunker, he encounters T-Bone who's packing up, saying that he has to leave if Iraq's blackmail is uploaded to the public. Aiden leaves the Bunker and receives a call from Damien, who tells him that he has completely unlocked the CTOS. Dodging the police forces and the CTOS (hacked traffic lights, steam pipes, blockers, etc.), Aiden calls T-Bone to tell him about Damien. Aiden tries to hack into the CTOS, but he can't get past the firewall. T-Bone tells him that there are three weak points and that he has to upload a virus T-Bone created so it would disable the firewall. After Aiden did so, he goes back to the CTOS control panel. Before hacking in, Aiden receives a message from DedSec, who offers to install a breach in the CTOS if Aiden waits 30 seconds before hacking in. DedSec promises that they "will be the watch dogs". Aiden, however, declines and hacks in the CTOS to get to the satellite. Aiden then disables the CTOS, triggering a citywide blackout, and giving him Damien's location, a lighthouse east of the city. Aiden goes there and confronts him. Jordi, however, arrives and tells him that he has a new contract, and ask Aiden to drop his gun. Aiden then uses the Profiler to blow up the lighthouse's light, knocking Jordi down and throwing him over the railing. Aiden grabs a gun and then quickly shoots Damien in the head. As the city lights come back on, Aiden reflects on the past events. He started out trying to avenge a little girl's death, only to end up weeding out criminals and corruption and it changed him as well. Remarking that everything is connected, Aiden then embraces his role as the Vigilante, vowing to protect, and if necessary, to punish. Credits then roll out, with various WKZ broadcasts, informing that Rushmore was found dead, that Mendez was writing a book on the Vigilante, and that Blume is working on an upgrade to the CTOS: CTOS 2.0.
After the credits, Aiden receives a final call from Jordi, who has survived. He gives him Maurice's location, and tells him that he can do whatever he wants with him. Aiden finds Maurice in a garage, and has the choice to either leave him be or to shoot him. Whatever the option Aiden took, more credits roll out, as the game ends.
Watch Dogs' combat system combines the game's core cover-based third-person shooter mechanics with stealth components and parkour. The player's means of offense are a range of weapons; both projectile and melee; the lethality of weapons is very high, as in reality, though the primary defensive capability is from hacking. Players take control of Aiden Pearce (voiced by Noam Jenkins), who can hack into different electronic devices connected to the central operating system of the city (CTOS) using the multiple applications, namely the profiler, on his smartphone, allowing various methods for the player to complete numerous objectives. This feature holds sway over a majority of the game.
A very limited number of missions will require the player to kill or attack opponents, leaving the choice of whether to engage "with guns blazing" or with a more quiet, stealthy sneak-through approach to any given situation solely on who is playing. Both methods of operation have their advantages. Choosing aggression over stealth will create a negative portrayal of Aiden in the media. This path makes it more likely that civilians will call 911 if they recognize you or for the police themselves to give chase. Opting for the alternative approach, wherein the player performs non-lethal takedowns and conceals their weapon in public, will reduce the attention Aiden recieves. Completing the game almost entirely through stealth is doable. Stealth is also integrated with the driving mechanics, for instance, players might opt to "stealth drive"—wherein the player has the ability to park and turn off their vehicle in order to possibly evade detection from patrol cars and search lights in a locked-down area.
- Main article: Vehicles in Watch Dogs
Ubisoft had confirmed that over 65 vehicles, each with their own unique physics, would appear in Watch Dogs. In the case of cars, these vehicles range from average small hatchbacks and superminis up to exotic sports cars and large, heavy trucks. Land-based vehicles are not the only medium by which players may travel; boats are a form of transportation in the game, as well. Aircraft, unfortunately, cannot be flown by the player in Watch Dogs.
- Main article: Weapons in Watch Dogs
Watch Dogs features several different types of weapons which Aiden can use when backed into a corner or in order to augment his hacking abilities. Weapons and ammunition can be purchased from stores or picked up from killed enemies. Weapon types range from compact handguns up to shotguns, .50 cal sniper rifles, and grenade launchers. Aiden can also craft IED bombs and frag grenades.
Many weapons in Watch Dogs appear in other Ubisoft games. As an example, all of the following weapons appear in Far Cry 3, another Ubisoft game: D50, Vector ACP, M1911, MP5, U100, SVD, AK-47, P416, and the GL-94.
Watch Dogs features a variety of co-operative and competitive multiplayer modes played either by console-to-console players or console-to-tablet players. Console-console play works more in the traditional sense of multiplayer having a minimum of 2 players to a maximum of 8 playing across the same console platform (ex. Xbox 360 and Xbox 360, PS4 and PS4, PC and PC, etc.) in these modes all players still see themselves as Aiden Pearce on their screens but the other online players look like random civilians, making it feel like each player is the one and only Aiden Pearce. Console-tablet multiplayer works with one console player on any platform and one player using the free multiplayer companion app on a tablet or iOS device.
This mode features two players, one of which is the hacker invading the other player's game and the target or the invaded player. It starts by one player accepting a contract via the profiler. That player will then become the hacker and be merged into another player's game. The other player has no idea that someone has invaded their game. The job of the hacker is to approach the target discreetly by using social stealth (blending with civilians and driving with traffic) to get close enough to hack them and install a backdoor virus on their profiler. When the hacking process is started, the invaded player is then be alerted that they are being hacked and that someone has invaded their game. Their job now is to find the hacker to stop the virus upload before it reaches 100%.
In a similar fashion to Online Hacking, the player accepts a Fixer contract to breach another player's game, the twist is the player dropped instead has the task of finding and following the target player throughout Chicago without being detected, the player wins if he manages to tail the target to 100%, partial success happens when the target detects the player and the player either flees or kills the target and failure occurs if the player is killed by the target.
This mode has a maximum of 8 players split up into two teams that will fight over a nearby computer file and decrypt it. The player that holds the file will decrypt it slowly but will go faster if ally players are nearby. Enemy players can wirelessly steal the file if they are nearby for a long enough period of time, or they can pick it up if the fileholder dies. The team that decrypts the file 100% wins.
Online Races allow up to 8 players to racing cars from a fixed start to a fixed finish. Cars have nitrous boosts.
Players can wander around Chicago by themselves or with other players and cause chaos.
The tablet player can challenge a console player in a checkpoint race where they hack the city and can call in police to wreck Aiden Pearce before he can reach all the checkpoints.
Development for the game began sometime in 2009, after the initial specs for a different game focused on driving, potentially in the Driver franchise, were scrapped with certain parts of that project repurposed into material for Watch Dogs, including the original plan's driving physics. A new engine, called Disrupt, was built at Ubisoft Montreal specifically for the game, which is fine-tuned to handle complex physics, emergent systems, and model physical forces such as wind and water intricately.
Ubisoft prioritized development of the PC and next-gen versions of Watch Dogs. The game's creators also worked with the Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab to make the in-game hacking more realistic.
Ubisoft Montreal's creative director Jonathan Morin said of the game's use of information as a plot point, and how it allows players to control the entire city through its hacking mechanics: "[going] beyond the limits of today's open world games." Lead designer Danny Belanger said that the concept of a "smart city" led the designers to the idea of connecting everything and incorporating it in gameplay. A team of over 130 employees worked on the game one year; currently, over 600 employees and a total of 6 home studios worked on Watch Dogs. Ubisoft Reflections, the team behind the Driver series, provided a suite of vehicles with "state-of-the-art physics and handling" to explore the intricate roadways of the large Chicago sandbox.
The game was officially unveiled during Ubisoft's press conference at E3 2012. The game demo shown at E3 depicts the game's protagonist, Aiden Pearce, attempting to assassinate Joseph Demarco, a media mogul wrongly acquitted on charges of murder.
After the trailer of the game was leaked a day before its conference at the 2013 E3, Ubisoft's head of sales and marketing Tony Key said that "If half the people have already seen it, then it's half as effective." and "when things don't hit when they are supposed to it causes a lot of inefficiency and generally lowers the impact." Keys also added that the game's introduction a year ago was one of those very special occasions that's difficult to replicate. Following E3 2013, the game was featured in a segment on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
With the continued partnership between Ubisoft and Sony, Ubisoft announced that the Watch Dogs will have additional four missions for the current and next-gen Sony consoles, the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, the completion of which will unlock a new outfit customization for Aiden Pearce.
Ubisoft also continued its third-party support for Nintendo by announcing Watch Dogs for Wii U.
- A 23 cm Aiden Pearce Figurine
- DEDSEC Edition Collector box
- Watch_Dogs Artbook: artworks and illustrations that inspired the game
- Original soundtrack of the game
- Watch_Dogs map of Chicago
- Set of 4 collectible cards: discover Watch_Dogs iconic chara
ough augmented reality
- VIGILANTE Collector box
- Aiden Pearce’s iconic cap
- Aiden Pearce’s mask
- Original soundtrack of the game
- Additional single mission - Palace Pack
- Exclusive single-player campaign – Puts the player in the role of T-Bone.
- Conspiracy! – a new Digital Trip which sets the player on the hunt for cyborgs
- The Untouchables Pack – Go oldschool with some classic Chicago mobster film gear including a 1920s Mobster outfit and a M1 SMG (in North America, the Untouchables Pack will only be available with the Season Pass)
- Additional single-player missions, outfits and weapons
- One week early access to all Watch Dogs DLCs
Watch Dogs was announced at E3 2012 press conference and was met with rousing, positive reception, and was praised for its "next gen"-quality graphics and received numerous Best of E3 2012 awards. At the following year's E3 convention, with a new trailer, a live PS4 demo, and the reveal of brand new multiplayer and companion gaming modes, Watch Dogs was again lauded by fans and critics alike, and was chosen by a number of press outlets as one of E3’s most impressive games across both current and next-generation platforms.
Watch Dogs was met with generally positive, albeit less enthusiastic, reviews. Overall review scores were commonly 8/10s. On aggregate review websites GameRankings and Metacritic, the sites respectively gave the PlayStation 4 version a 82.88% and 82/100, the Xbox One version 77% and 77/100, and the and the Microsoft Windows version 76.75% and 81/100.
During its first few days of release, Watch Dogs drew controversy due to its handling of females, people of homosexual orientation, and of color. Speaking about its handling of females, Arthur Gies from Polygon said in his review that "[f]emale characters in Watch Dogs are victims, to be kidnapped or murdered in the interest of plot or character motivation and are almost all overtly sexualized," while Kirk Hamilton in his review for Kotaku UK said of minorities: "[t]his game feels aimed squarely at the predominantly male video game demographic ... only one black character gets anything resembling character development; the rest exist simply to kill or be killed, or occasionally to engage in sexual assault while on camera." Paste Magazine's Gita Jackson also expressed harsh criticism of the game's portrayal of minority characters and NPCs, saying "while it shows us minorities when discussing crime and gunplay, this suggests that poverty and violence are the only contexts in which minorities exist in the Chicago of Watch Dogs... I would not go so far as to call this racist, or even to think it was done with malintent, but it does strike me as dishonest."
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- Sheridan, Connor (2014-02-10). Watch Dogs Delayed On Wii U. Kotaku. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- Ray Corriea, Alexa (2013-05-10). Watch Dogs can be completed almost entirely through stealth, won't force killing. Polygon. Retrieved on 2014-04-17.
- Watch_Dogs Gameplay Demo - IGN Live - E3 2013. Retrieved on 2014-04-17.
- Kaye, Darryl (2013-06-29). Development On Watch Dogs Began In 2009. GamingUnion. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
- Stuart, Kieth. (2013-05-09). Watch Dogs preview: multiplayer, story details and more. The Guardian. Retrieve 2013-06-12.
- Ubisoft working with Kaspersky Lab to make Watch Dogs' hacking more true to life
- Watch Dogs and the Real Power of Secrecy
- E3 2013: Assassin's Creed IV, Watch Dogs Get Exclusive PS3, PS4 Content
- E3 2013: Watch Dogs and 13 other third-party games coming to Wii U and 3DS
- Mallory, Jordan. (4 Jun 2012) "Watch Dogs' announced, looks futuristic". Joystiq. Retrieved 4 Dec. 2013.
- Gies, Arthur (May 27, 2014). "WATCH DOGS REVIEW: SPOOK COUNTRY". Polygon. Retrieved on June 3, 2014.
- Jackson, Gia (May 9, 2014). "The Chicago of Watch Dogs vs. The Chicago of Reality". Paste Magazine. Retrieved on June 3, 2014