Hacking Your Way through ‘Watch Dogs’

Watch Dogs

Developed by Ubisoft Montreal and released towards the end of 2014, ‘Watch Dogs’ is basically an action adventure game that is set in an “open world” setting. ‘Watch dogs’ was set up in a world that resembled the city of Chicago (but is mostly a fictional representation of it). The “open world” design of the video game added to the enchantment of the game by allowing the players to explore the world of “Chicago”, which includes (but might not be limited to) the industrialized city as well as its slums, and the countryside.

The player plays this video game from the third person perspective. The player characters traverse this world either by vehicles (cars, bikes, etc.) or on foot.

The Plot behind ‘Watch Dogs’

‘Watch Dogs’ is an online video game that is set in the fictionalized city of Illinois in Chicago. (Although the developers and designers of the game have mentioned that they travelled Chicago for the designs, this is, of course, still a very much fictionalized version of the place.) The main story of the video game follows a hacker named Aiden Pearce after events that had led to the accidental and tragic death of his niece.

It all started when Aiden Pearce and Damien Brenks (Aiden’s mentor) executed an electronic bank robbery; Aiden transferred the funds through his smartphone. However, during the transfer, both of them accidentally found an odd file, signifying another hacker in the mix. When Damien tried to find out who the hacker was though, he gave them both away in the process. Aiden tries to talk Damien out of it, but can’t, and in the end stops him by leaving himself.

Aiden fears for the repercussions that might affect his family (which consists of his sister Nicole and her two children Jackson and Lena), and so tries to get them to safety by pretending that they’re driving towards a surprise trip that he has planned. Unfortunately, two hit men hired to kill Aiden intercept the car, and in the ensuing gunfire, Lena is caused to fall into a coma from which she dies shortly after.

A year later find Aiden a vigilante roaming the streets of Chicago. Known as ‘The Fox’ or ‘The Vigilante’ on the streets now, Aiden hunts down Maurice (the hit men who fired the gun and caused the events that had subsequently killed Lena) and interrogates him about his contractor for that job. But it turns useless, and Aiden releases him to Jordi Chen.

During further investigations, he’s found by Damien who wants his help to find the hacker from before. But Aiden refuses, having cut ties with Damien since the incident and wishing to continue that status quo with Damien. However, Damien forces Aiden to comply by kidnapping his sister Nicole (although Aiden manages to save Jackson from the safe fate as his mother).

The Gameplay of ‘WatchDogs’

In ‘WatchDogs’, players get to compete in a variety of missions (in sequential scenes) and are given a set of objectives for each task and mission. Players must complete these in order to move forward. Aside from the missions though, players can freely traverse and explore the world within the game. Exploration of the world called “Chicago” isn’t restricted within the game, but the player will “unlock” more areas to explore as and when he or she completes each task and mission.

Players play the role of the vigilante hacker, Aiden Pearce, and play the game through an in-built “smartphone” within the game. This smartphone has various applications, like (the most important of which are) “crime prevention system” and “profiler”. The profiler application allows the player to retrieve all the information about any civilian within the city, and the crime prevention system application notifies the player character when a crime might happen in the nearby area. Some of the applications can directly react with the game’s environment as well.