Who’s Watching the “Watch Dogs”? We are.

Want information about “WatchDogs?” Get in line. Ubisoft is being as tight-lipped and shady about their new title as their protagonist Aiden Pearce. Looking like a modern version of comic-book characters The Question or Rorschach, Pearce seems to be a surveillance and technology nut. Motives? Unknown. Objective? Unknown. What everyone does know is what Mr. Pearce can do with his smartphone and a telescoping nightstick. God help you if he gets his hands on a gun too. How do we know this? Well, Ubisoft showed a rather impressive demo of the game at E3 this year and talk hasn’t stopped since then. Check it out.

The first thing everyone wanted to know was just what system that game was running on. The graphics are stellar. From the rain glistening off the buildings, to the wind blowing clothes around and even the lighting. It’s reminiscent of the graphical magic of “Red Dead Redemption.”
Character animations look remarkably smooth as well. The conversation between Aiden and his companion was like watching two actors hash it out on set. Combat animations are glorious. From the shooting, to the sliding over car hoods and rescuing innocent bystanders. Of course, it’s entirely possible that the entire thing was scripted for purposes of the demo to the public, so one has to assume it won’t be that awesome during gameplay. Regardless, it still looks about ten levels of awesome.
Very classy, Aiden.
Aiden seems to only need one tool for this entire game, his smartphone, which he pulls out just as much as an antsy teenager at the mall waiting for a text from a crush. No one suspects the dude in a trench coat looking at his phone. Apparently everyone should now because using just his phone Aiden can stop traffic, disrupt telecommunications, hack into phone conversations, background check individuals in any environment and I’d be surprised if he didn’t have “Angry Birds” and a wicked-awesome HD camera on that thing too.
Preying on our dependence on technology is a stroke of genius and honestly scarily realistic. Aiden’s tools are simple, of course a multi-purposed hacking tool that can do all of the above might be a tough thing to find. He doesn’t seem to need a gun unless his opponents have them.

The question remains, though: Just who is Aiden Pearce.

When the Vault talked with Adam Sessler at E3, he was very excited about “WatchDogs” and what it could mean for the industry. However, he brought up a good point. Are all of Aiden’s tools and abilities going to be used as gimmicks and become old fast, or will they be crucial tools that can be used at the player’s discretion? Worse, will they only be available when the game allows them to be used? The answer will dramatically change how the game is played and how fun the game itself will be.
After only seeing the demo, no one is quite sure how open-ended the game will be or how many tools Aiden will be able to use to escape those following him, and how much you’ll be able to play as his pursuers. At the end of the demo, the audience was able to see Aiden running from the police through another person’s eyes. Who is this person? Will we get to play as him? How often? So many questions, and not enough answers. Maybe that’s how Ubisoft wants it.
Keeping with their apparent theme of sci-fi thrillers like “Assassin’s Creed” and “Ghost Recon: Future Soldier,” “WatchDogs” will fit in nicely with Ubisoft’s line-up.
I will never trust anyone on the street with their phone out again.