For Aiden Pearce, the world in Ubisoft's upcoming title "Watch Dogs" is most definitely is his oyster. Pearce, an expert hacker, is able to access much of Chicago's interconnected online infrastructure through his cellphone, giving him control over anything from surveillance cameras to a city's power grid. Basically, his greatest weapon is the city.
Ubisoft revealed a new slice of gameplay from the open-world action title. Pearce is trying to aid one of his -- T-Bone -- who was breaking into an apartment to steal information when he inadvertently set off an alarm. Mercenaries are out to kill T-Bone, but Pearce is under surveillance by the cops, so he has to lose the police before he can aid his friend. Pearce drives cautiously so as not to attract attention while police helicopters scour the streets for his location.
The cops eventually spot Pearce's car so he floors it, trying to get out of sight as soon as possible. Pearce eventually reaches an underground tunnel to break the helicopter's line of sight. He eventually loses the cops and opts to go on foot to get to T-Bone. As Pearce makes his way toward his friend he goes into a coffee shop, where TV broadcasts show a photo of Pearce and tell viewers that he's wanted by the police. One of the customers in the shop notices Pearce and walks outside to alert the police. Pearce confronts the man, taking his phone and smashing it on the ground.
Pearce then hacks into the network building of the apartment T-Bone is hiding in, allowing Pearce to talk to him directly through web cams in the apartment. The mercenaries enter the room as T-Bone hides in a corner. Pearce hacks into one of the computers in the room to create a diversion, giving T-Bone enough time to flee the scene.
These situations can be handled in a number of ways. If you would rather go in and take a more direct approach, opting to kill the mercenaries but also drawing more attention, the game allows for that outcome, too. But it's the ability to hack into the vast amount of electronic devices to distract or even disrupt would-be pursuers.
Later in the demo, Pearce is on foot trying to avoid another police chopper, but instead of using one of his in-game gadgets to aid his getaway, the player opts to call in one of his real-world friends. So Pearce send out a call for help through his cellphone, which will be sent to one of your friends who have the game's app running on either a tablet or cellphone. Your friend can then hack into the helicopter that is pursuing Pearce, making it malfunction. Your friend can also raise street blockers to thwart police cars, too. This app can work from anywhere as long as there's a data connection.
Players can also hop into your game without warning and hack you for information. This little game of cat and mouse allows other players online to enter your game world and cause the same kind of mayhem you are to the city. But once the other player hacks you, a percentage meter begins. You have to kill that other player before the percentage meter fills. Finding the player in the city is another obstacle. You can scan individual players on foot by using your cell phone to hack their records, but this can be too time consuming. Surveillance cameras cover more area in a shorter span of time so that is also an option. The choice is yours.
And that's the major draw of "Watch Dogs" -- choice. Will you go the stealth route and hack anything and everything, or will you opt for the loud-and-direct approach? Will you call in help from friends using the mobile app or handle it on your own? Will you opt to cause havoc in someone else's game? It's this and so much more that has "Watch Dogs" among the most anticipated titles of 2013. "Watch Dogs" is scheduled to be released on Nov. 19 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC and Wii U and is rated "M" for mature.