Yes, you read that right, Watch Dogs multi-player has been hacked, but not the way you’d think. Ubisoft has finally lifted the veil when it comes to the multi-player aspect and it’s rather unconventional. As it stands right now, in multi-player, there will be a gamer that will be playing the role of Aiden Peirce. What makes this very interesting is that another player that is playing Watch Dogs will be able to hack into that game.
Senior Producer Dominic Guay has said “There will be no menus or lobbies. We plan to do it in a very organic way as they play through the adventures. The way it works is that the player is in the city doing his own thing and at some point he gets hacked. Aiden tries to find out who hacked him using cameras around the city and prevent the other player from hacking his game by killing him [the hacker] or chasing him down – however he wants to handle it”
The moment that the hacker is found out and dealt with; the player that suffered the hack can freely return the favor, thus starting what seems to be a high-tech game of cat and mouse.
Dominic went on to say “Basically, I am getting a contract to hack into another player. I go into his game, he doesn’t expect me to be there and he sees me as any other character in the street, so if I’m careful, he will just think I’m an A.I. I hack into him and then he tries to find me. It’s a meta game of sorts where you can plant a virtual virus into other players”
But with much of the game concentrating on hacking, when roles are reversed, it can be very stressful as well.
Dominic went on to say “The first time that it [the hack] happens, it’s like a ‘wow’ moment that it just occurred. If people like it, they begin to get more engaged in it and do it more often. But, the first time you hack into other people, you become vulnerable to being hacked back”
But what exactly is to be gained from going around and hacking other people exactly? Well, it seems that upon a successful hacking, your notoriety within the fixer world. This suggests that there seems to be a leader board incoming.
Guay went on to state “If you want to go on top of that pyramid, then you don’t let someone successfully hack you. You want to kill them and keep them from fleeing back into their own game. If you don’t care about that, you don’t lose anything from being hacked, Even if the other guy kills you, you are just going to respawn and continue with your mission. We don’t want to make it something that hurts you. We want to make it something that adds to the game”
But what if you aren’t interested in this aspect, and find it a bit annoying being killed during an intense mission? Well, you will be able to simply opt out of the experience.
“It will happen to you at least once, because we want to give people that experience, but you don’t have to be a part of the meta game. If you decide that you just want to try it, then you can just hack someone else and the opt out is cancelled”
Currently, Ubisoft has it so only one person can hack you at a time but it was hinted that perhaps there will be certain missions or contracts where other players can tail you and spy on you.
Another multi-player aspect involves a mobile app, that will be available for iOS and Android and released along side the game, on November 19th. This will give a second player the ability of either aiding Aiden or hindering his efforts.
Guay had this to say “We wanted the companion app to be more than just looking at stats or checking up on friends. We wanted real game-play. The player can literally control the entire city from the palm of his hand so there is a top down view. It is basically what Aiden can do with his own phone. You can see the grid – the digital side of the city – and you can do anything that Aiden can do from the ground”
This all sounds incredible but what about those who have a friend to play with? Watch Dogs will have a co-op mode! How will it work? For example, say a player is in a sticky situation being chased by cops . Well, he can simply send out an S.O.S that is send to immediately broadcast to everyone on his friends list that are using the app. The friend is then able to either accept or decline the request on he/her mobile device or tablet. Upon accepting, they are immediately brought into their friends world, with a top down view on everything that is happening.
Guay had this to say about the experience “Help can come in the form of hacking into a police chopper that is following Aiden, hacking into a digital stream within the city so that they can communicate, or even redirecting police cars. It’s a friendly way to help each other. You can do it at a distance or you can do it with someone in the same room”
Another way is a competitive mode that has no affect on Aiden’s adventures in the single player campaign.
Guay said this “The way it works is that Aiden will be given certain objectives to complete on the ground in the city, and the other player on the companion app plays the police forces, dispatching cops around, or controlling the police helicopter with the touch pad. He can access various things in the city, all with the goal of keeping Aiden from accomplishing these objectives”
Guay has said that the app will allow players to do more then what is in Aiden’s in-game ability, from hacking a police chopper to multiple hacks at once. Guay has stated that this progression may cost money, however, they are still looking into that option. He has confirmed however that the core aspect of the app will be free to play at launch.
All of these multi-player modes sounds ambitious and great on paper, and hopefully Ubisoft can pull it off flawlessly. But that isn’t all of the features as Ubisoft are currently working on a new mode that could see many players join together for a competitive mission, but there will be no official word on it for at least a couple of months.
Guay has said, regarding the new mode “We want to show it, before we talk about it. We are also looking at different types of DLC for players to connect to one another. We also hope to improve the companion app further down the road as well, so we have a lot played to keep players interested”
Watch Dogs will be available for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 on November 19th, with a Wii U version being released November 21st. A Playstation 4 and Xbox One version is also planned for release, however, there is no confirmed date but it is assumed that it will be either the 19th or the 21st.