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Watch Dogs preview - one of the most anticipated Wii U games of 2013

'Imagine GTA with command of Chicago's electronics'

Well, it turns out we were being watched all along. Hidden in our little Nintendo enclave, we thought we were safe from prying eyes, but we were dead wrong. Watch Dogs, the high-tech, high-concept open world adventure that stole the show at E3 2012, will be invading the privacy of a Wii U disc slot near you this winter. If you keep yourselves up to date with the Xbox/PlayStation scene, you'll already know that it's one of the most exciting sandbox games to emerge in some time. Our one-line sell would go something like this: imagine a Grand Theft Auto game in which you have the command of the entire city's electronics at your fingertips.

Aiden Abet

With this much power at your disposal the possibilities are many and the latest game trailer outlines just a few of them. It begins with our anti-hero, Aiden Pearce, strolling through central Chicago, on the hunt for mischief. As he approaches members of the public in the street, an overlay appears displaying their vital statistics - age, profession, disposition, that kind of jazz.

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Focus your profiler on the carefree-looking young woman strolling down the avenue to your right and you'll learn that she has in fact recently been evicted from her home. The bum on the street corner? He's an Iraq War veteran. Everyone in the Windy City has a backstory, and thanks to Aiden's 'connections', he has the inside track on each and every one of them.

This is an alternate version of Chicago. On the whole it's much the same as the one we know (er, based on watching Batman Begins, where it doubled as Gotham), except that Watch Dogs' Chi-Town is an oppressive surveillance state overseen by a supercomputer know as CtOS (Central Operation System). It's an enormous network operated by numerous corporations by licence of the US government, a central mainframe through which all aspects of daily life are run - from banking to telecoms to transport.

According to Watch Dogs lore, the great blackout that hit north-east America in 2003 (true story) was caused by a hacker (this bit is made up). Gripped by paranoia, the US government authorises the rise of the CtOS, trampling over its citizens' freedoms and liberties in the process. It's a rare misstep from one of the -ahem - most notoriously level-headed countries in the world.

In the middle of all this is our lad Aiden, who has a bit of a beef with the whole CtOS deal, having seen his loved ones be hurt by the system in the past. He's a vigilante type who manages to hack into the CtOS network, granting him control over the entire city's electronics. This is why his smartphone enables him to bring up details of what his neighbours had for breakfast on demand and, as the trailer shows, that's only the tip of his powers.

Aiden isn't really a hero, but he's not a villain, either - instead, he's a shade of grey and you as the player have some agency in deciding his moral decisions. Whoever it was that was behind the pad in the demo clearly isn't above mugging his grandmother for a bag of Werther's Originals, as is shown by his opening gambit.

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Dog days aren't over

Aiden passes an executive, checks his profiler and learns that he's minted, which gives our cash-strapped hero an idea. He hacks into his victim's bank account and then, cool as a cucumber, strolls over to a nearby ATM, and withdraws the best part of $500. What a card!

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16 comments so far...
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  1. 3DSRulesO.K Sunday 19th May 2013 at 10:35

    Very excited for this game, it had better be a good port with crisp graphics and no frame rate issues! Come on Ubisoft, show us what the Wii U can really do! :mrgreen:

  2. ThePsychicExtrem Sunday 19th May 2013 at 10:39

    Ubisoft have been supporting the wii u pretty well, It's nice to see us get this awesome game! I'm getting this on PC, but the WIi U could be the definitive version

  3. ultimatebuffalo Sunday 19th May 2013 at 13:33

    Ubisoft have been supporting the wii u pretty well, It's nice to see us get this awesome game! I'm getting this on PC, but the WIi U could be the definitive version

    what planet are you living on that 6 year old tech can produce the definitive version over PC PS4 next box ? maybe better than ps3/360 but you can't really compare an outdated machine to a high end gaming pc :p

  4. Kesskuron Sunday 19th May 2013 at 13:58

    He meant in terms of the interface what with the whole game being about hacking complimenting the gamepad nicely

  5. Waldy565 Sunday 19th May 2013 at 16:31

    I will read the preview, but THIS (imagine a Grand Theft Auto game in which you have the command of the entire city's electronics at your fingertips.) along with Ubi's success with Far Cry 3 has me pretty interested! Or do I go with there other series, Assassin's Creed? Or maybe get some of my top genre, platforming, with Yoshi's Yarn or Luigi U? Or maybe some multiplayer madness with Game and Wario? Or some more Nintendo-dy swashbuckling adventures with the only home console Legend of Zelda game I haven't played to date, Wind Waker HD? WHY YOU MAKE ME CHOOSE NINTENDO?!

  6. Loopydoodle Sunday 19th May 2013 at 17:22

    Curses! Now I want this game too... :D

  7. olrodlegacy Sunday 19th May 2013 at 17:30

    I'm calling this as this year's ZombiU, ie a brand new franchise that is a huge success on Wii U. This will be top of my Christmas list.

  8. Abe hikura Sunday 19th May 2013 at 18:56

    I want to see some Wii u footage, I've tried to avoid seeing any High-spec/next gen videos

  9. Mr Roboto Sunday 19th May 2013 at 21:54

    If we don't get the new GTA game then Watch Dogs will be a great alternative, as long as the port is as good if not better than the PS3/360 versions.

  10. Andy Monday 20th May 2013 at 08:18

    OMG this looks so good, i can't wait untill this is released :D :D

  11. DragonEleven Monday 20th May 2013 at 08:22

    As long as they do a good job of it, this could be the game to solidify the Wii U's place as a next gen console for all those people who question it... as it will be the first game on all the next gen consoles that will make the most of what each console has to offer.

  12. sir bowser Monday 20th May 2013 at 09:35

    if you own a WII U then you must buy this game. Its time to show rockstar and EA that WII U owners do buy quality games, even tough they are not made by Nintendo.

  13. retrogeezer Saturday 25th May 2013 at 11:01

    I agree, just hope the final product is as good. Ubisoft are the best 3rd party developer out there at the mo for the U. Zombi U great game, Rayman Legends on it's way, Marvel Avengers, Rabbids Land, Assassins Creed + Splinter Cell series. Well worth the money.

  14. S0raBuzz Sunday 26th May 2013 at 21:19

    Is there any word yet on what will be on the Gamepad? If they just stick a map on it like they did with ACIII then I'll probably get the game on PS4.

    The Gamepad perfectly suits the game though, the most obvious idea is to have Aiden's phone's interface which would add a great deal of depth and immersion to the game. If they put actual effort into using the Gamepad to make the whole experience better then I'll get it on Wii U without a second thought.

  15. Alex Filipowski Friday 7th Jun 2013 at 09:42

    Can't wait for this game!

  16. Eric Sellers Saturday 8th Jun 2013 at 05:52

    So I get to choose whether I'm a jerk or a hero?
    Sweet deal; color me sold. I'm getting this, and villains beware the power of my smart phone.XD

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