Watch Dogs PS4 preview – your most wanted PlayStation 4 game laid bare
Ever since it stole the show at E3 2012, the sandbox Watch Dogs has topped ‘most anticipated’ lists everywhere, even before we got a glimpse of those next-gen consoles on which it will look so beautiful. And after another stellar showing at this year’s LA trade show – both at Ubisoft’s press conference and in a behind-closed-doors open-world demo – we’re more certain than ever that this supremely slick PS4 effort will manage to live up to its tremendous potential.
Watch Dogs PS4 preview
Very few new IPs have been met with the sort of unabashed enthusiasm that greeted Watch Dogs’ initial reveal, and it’s easy to see why. Rocking a style and seamlessness you’ve rarely seen from a PS3 game (even though Pearce’s adventure is bound for current-gen consoles, too), this stealthy sandbox has a very good chance of blowing away absolutely every other title in PS4’s early software lineup. Via the game’s hacking, you’re given a mechanic that ties together a virtual environment more intuitively than anything you’ve seen from an open world before.
An obsessive vigilante, Aiden’s initial attempts at surveillance grow from spying on his family to watching people on a much grander, Sliver-style scale… minus the pervy leering at Sharon Stone in the tub. It’s this obsession with electronically peeping on his city that fuels Watch Dogs’ central thrust – that the metropolis you’re keeping tabs on with gaming’s most advanced smartphone is such a beautifully crafted, diverse recreation of Chicago is a bonus.
It’s this obsession with electronically
peeping on the city that fuels
Watch Dogs’ central thrust
“We went there a lot,” admits creative director Jonathan Morin about the studio’s research trips to the Windy City. “Our artists went crazy taking photos. We even had people from the narrative and design teams who spent time with the police and saw how crime works there.” Now that’s meticulous research.
Watch Dogs PS4 preview. Subscribe for more PS3 & PS4 videos.
New city areas and mission types only whet our appetite further. Keeping a vigilante peeper on a hacker pal known as T-Bone, Pearce briefly drives through downtown Chicago until he reaches a coffee shop. During the journey, there are many moments where the confident visual fidelity of a top-tier PlayStation 4 game shines through. Pockets of steam rising from the pavement on a biting autumn night, and shimmering reflections on cobbled roads as rain slathers the streets demonstrate the Canadian developer’s eye for impeccable incidental details.
Pearce eventually hacks into a Wi-Fi hotspot that enables him to infiltrate the network systems of an apartment T-Bone is nosing around. It’s yet another example of persuasive sleekness running through the game, with the camera filtering into a wire-frame mode to show the building’s innards.