Probably one of my most anticipated games.
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"Watch Dogs on PS4: we visit Ubisoft in Paris to see the killer next-gen open-world game"
“The experience is magnified,” says creative director Jonathan Morin, when we ask him about the difference between the PS3 and PS4 versions of Aiden Pearce’s vigilant adventure. “There’s a lot of assimilation that we do that can’t be achieved on current-gen. It’s about making sure everything feels coherent in the dynamic of the atmosphere, something that takes a lot of juice. But it makes a huge difference in your impression of how everything correlates with each other together, like the entire wind system.” Ah yes, those gorgeous gusts.
Watching the weather systems in action, which are governed by the sort of advanced physics only PS4 could pull off, we’re reminded of that bit in American Beauty with the floating shopping bag… uh, without the existential mid-life crisis and leering over a starkers cheerleader covered in rose petals.
Watch Dogs is so much more than subtle next-gen graphical trickery, though. This is an open-world experience that combines shooting, surveillance, hacking, driving and Assassin’s Creed-inspired parkour into a thrillingly cohesive whole. It’s also a game that utilises a variety of sophisticated AI systems to forge an expansive environment that potentially feels more connected and emergent than even the best of Rockstar’s work. The GTA developer transformed Red Dead Redemption’s Old West into a coyote-attacking, stagecoach-saving, six shooter-duelling landscape that constantly felt alive thanks to random dynamic events. And Watch Dogs deploys similar strategies to make Pearce’s Chicago bristle with an immersive unpredictability.
“It’s really about building systems that can coexist to create unique moments,” Eric Baillargeon tells us. The AI and gameplay lead programmer has been suitably impressed by PS4 and stresses the console’s developer-friendly interface has helped bring Watch Dogs’ connected world to life. “The added resources of PS4 make our job easier in some aspects, like animation and sound. It’s when we thread the driving, shooting, combat and hacking systems together that the connection that makes the game so unique comes to the fore.”