Why Watch Dogs is set in Chicago

Ubisoft explains why it chose Chicago as the setting for its open world action game Watch Dogs.


Watch Dogs, the open world hacking-action game, is set in the real-world city of Chicago.

In a lengthy blog post, various Watch Dogs leads share their reasoning. Ubisoft says the primary reason was that Chicago is one of the most surveilled cities in America. That tone, paired with its history of crime, corruption, and crises like the Great Fire, made it a good fit. Ubisoft says it's also a very tech-forward city, which was necessary for their near-future science-fiction setting.

All of this ties into how Chicago benefits the Watch Dogs gameplay. A lot of infrastructure is visible from the surface, offering hacking opportunities. The vertical nature of the city complements climbing similar to the Assassin's Creed series. And the undercity, where trucks make deliveries to businesses on the surface, make for a shadowy layer for protagonist Aiden Pierce to disappear into. It also has a more distinct split between the wealthy and poor areas than some cities, so it seems like duality is a theme that Ubisoft is toying with.

Of course, it also helps that The Windy City hasn't appeared in other open world games.

Watch Dogs is coming to PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U on November 19. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions are also coming.

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