Ever since it was first shown at E3 back in 2012, anticipation levels have been through the roof for upcoming open-world techno-thriller Watch_Dogs, and with less than two months to go before it gets released over here, now’s the time to know a little bit more about the making of the game, and those involved in bringing it to a console near you.

Some of the key figures in the making of Watch_Dogs sat down and answered some questions on what is sure to be one of the most talked about games of 2014, so read on to find out more, and keep an eye out below for the brand new game trailer, too!

What would be a short introduction to the game story and its main character?
Answered by: Jonathan Morin, Creative Director
You are Aiden Pearce, a man shaped by violence and obsessed with surveillance, who monitors his family 24/7 in secret to protect them from something that happened in the past. Unfortunately, his family will get endangered once again. Pushed to his limits, he will take justice into his own hands and confront a corrupt system using every weapon available to him. Aiden will become a modern Vigilante Hero – not a hero from the 70’s with a cape, but a real human being that will deal with all the repercussions of his actions.


What makes WATCH_DOGS different from other games in the genre?
Answered by: Jonathan Morin, Creative Director
WATCH_DOGS will redefine how you interact with an open world. For the very first time, the city will become your weapon and to support that, our simulation of Chicago will offer unprecedented dynamism. This will have real impact on your experience.
First, you will have real-time control over the city’s infrastructure: traffic lights, drawbridges, communications, L-Train and more. Using these will create ripples throughout the city that will impact the people around you and how you reach your goal. The media will talk about your actions affecting your relationship with the game world. It will bring city simulation to an all new level.

Secondly, you will have access to every mobile device, laptop and computer. Invading everyone’s privacy will organically lead you to all sorts of stories and gameplay experiences.
Players are used to following the icons in open world games because they define where the action takes place. In our game, the action will shape itself as you discover it. This system gives us brand new ways to deliver content to the player. It feels far more real and offers way more possibilities. In the end, the world will be full of surprises which will bring improvisational play to the next level.

For example in our open world demo, if Aiden had chosen to focus on another person, the gameplay experience would have been completely different. Aiden Pearce is a man who lives by his wits. So the player will have to use his wits too, not only to choose the best approach to a challenge but also to improvise when he faces the unexpected. I think what set us apart is the level of control the player will have on his surroundings and how it will help him face an unprecedented amount of emergent gameplay situations.


How does the Chicago of WATCH_DOGS compare to real-world Chicago? How important was it for the studio to accurately depict Chicago in the game?
Answered by: Jonathan Morin, Creative Director
While we took liberties with our version of Chicago to better serve gameplay, it was fundamental for the team to deliver a credible reflection of this fascinating city. The atmosphere of Chicago is something we took very seriously. We went there several times to take pictures, record our citizens’ dialogues and chat with the Chicago Police Department to better understand the place. In the end, people on the streets will talk like real Chicago people, the city sound ambiance is literally source material from the real places, the music will respect the rich history of the city… Even the weather is a real representation of the place!

Another key element for us was to have an accurate depiction of landmarks and architecture. If you’ve been to Chicago, you will have many déjà-vu moments. And not only it will look and feel the same, but you will be able to access historical facts on the places. We also made a lot of research on news facts about Chicago and its inhabitants. The stories the player will be able to tap into as he monitors everything and everyone will also be a reflection of the real Chicago of today. For our team, everything is in the details and we believe the addition of such little things is part of the reason why the response to our game is so strong. In the end, players care as much as we do about details within their experiences. So it is extremely important for us to make sure we deliver on their expectations.

How important is realism in the game?
Answered by: Jonathan Morin, Creative Director
Realism is core to our game experience. Many games have car accidents, gunplay and explosions, but most of time I feel that the essential part is missing. For me, every real life incident comes with real human drama. So in WATCH_DOGS, you will feel the gravity of each situation you play. This goes beyond realistic graphics, weather and mood. It means everyone involved in any event should matter. Everything you do as a player will have consequences on people’s lives.

The media will talk about your approach to these events and it will have gameplay consequences. So when you play the game, you will have to consider people around you before you make a choice. In the end, it all depends on how you see things and why you play games. You won’t be judged, but your actions will not be ignored. So for all of this to be right, we are working really hard to make sure our game feels real in its graphics, mood, AI, sound, animation, simulation and story. What matters to us is to deliver the serious tone we are aiming for because we believe it is part of what makes our game relevant.




Did the studio consult with any type of experts such as technology or cyber-terrorism experts on Watch Dogs?
Answered by: Thomas Geffroyd, Producer Brand Experience
The hacking and security communities thrive on sharing information. The WATCH_DOGS team began by doing a lot of research obtaining an amazing amount of information and doomsday scenarios. As we progress in the production of the game and start being more focused on realization, the need for consultants has grown, not only to make sure we were still within the boundaries of "possible" but also to be as precise and authentic regarding the use of technology and the people using it. We have started relationships with world class specialists, and we’ll be talking more about that in the months to come.

How big is WATCH_DOGS’ open world?
Answered by: Jonathan Morin, Creative Director
One thing I will say in regards to scale is that we are very passionate about the density of our experience. So not only do we have a big city to play with, but everyone in it has something to offer. To us, the scale of the world is something that needs to be considered at every level. Adding space is one thing, but what we really want is to offer new simulation layers gamers have never experienced before.

Answered by: Dominic Guay, Senior Producer
In WATCH_DOGS, players will have many opportunities to explore Chicago. Actually, the way we are building the city, we consider its various dimensions: the street level, interiors, but also how Aiden can explore remote areas, back alleys, even the building’s rooftops. Also, Chicago has a large underground city that we are leveraging. Finally, remember: players can explore the physical side of the city of Chicago, but also its entire digital layer, invading the privacy of its citizens. As such, Aiden can get into interiors physically, but also by tapping into his ability to access and control any computer in the city.


WATCH_DOGS will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC from May 27th, and Wii U from a later date.