Ubisoft announces Watch Dogs

By Steve Watts, Jun 04, 2012 4:38pm PDT

Ubisoft ended its E3 press briefing with a brief look at a new IP titled Watch Dogs, in development from Ubisoft Montreal. The game has a focus on cyber-crime and hacking, and set in a time in the near future when everything electronic--from subways to power grids to traffic control systems--has been taken over by a central operating system run by private companies. The teaser?

"You will experience the power of controlling an entire system. What would you do with that kind of power?"

The extended gameplay session showed the hero, Aiden Pierce, casually hacking into civilian systems on the street, and setting a trap for a high-powered businessman, using himself as the bait, He hacks the phone of the target's personal aide, and then hacks into the traffic system to cause an accident to involve the businessman. A gunfight ensues, and Pierce accomplishes what he set out to do. As the demo seemed ready to come to a close, it turned the concept on its head with a hint at other players interacting in the game world in multiplayer, a la The Crossing.

"Watch Dogs goes beyond the limits of today's open-world games by giving players the ability to control an entire city," said creative director Jonathan Morin in the announcement. "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."

Ubisoft's press site lists the game for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, and Internet super sleuth Superannuation tweeted a NeoGAF post from an Ubisoft Montreal tools developer that the game is running on PS3 and Xbox 360 at the moment. But the game does seem to be taking a longer look to the future than most of the company's current crop. That means it may eventually be a next-generation game, which is also the scuttlebutt from a Polygon tweet.

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