6 aspects of Watch Dogs we’re excited about after seeing the new footage

watch dogs 101 video being hacked 1394239138

Check out our full written Watch Dogs review.

Ubisoft has released nearly 10 minutes of footage showing off features of their hotly-anticipated open world hacking game, Watch Dogs. The game casts you as Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker with a dark past, trying to right some wrongs in whatever way you see fit as you hack and shoot your way around Chicago’s six, massive districts (including Pawnee, apparently). Below are the six topics covered in the video.

Hacking Chicago for good, or evil

Chicago is completely networked by the ctOS system, which you can freely abuse with more than 60 hacking skills. How you use them is up to you. You can wreak havoc in anyone’s digital life by accessing their phone, email, and bank accounts. Need to shake Johnny Law and get across town quickly? Hack into the traffic lights to cause an accident and then drop a blackout to slip out under cover of darkness. You can track criminal activity to be a hero and prevent it, or to get a piece of the action. Be careful, though, because all of your actions will affect your citywide reputation.

Cultivating relationships

Hacking skills alone won’t keep you safe, though. You will also need to carefully cultivate relationships throughout Chicago’s criminal underworld in order to get what you want. You’ll need the support of friends like fellow hacker Clara Lille, “who’s as dangerous as she is seductive,” Jordi Chin, a shady associate whom you can call in when you need to solve problems, or T. Bone, who likes to blow things up.

WatchDogs Clara

Blurring the line between single player and Multiplayer

One of the more interesting features in Watch Dogs is the blurred line between single player and multiplayer. While there are explicit multiplayer modes, like Decryption Combat where squads fight for control over information nodes, or Free Roam, which seems like more conventional squad combat, other players are also able to hack into your single player game at any time. You can even find contracts on the heads of other players. When accepted, these contracts will reward you for hacking into and disrupting other players while they go about their single player game. That air of paranoia is a perfect complement to a game set in our cyberpunk near future.

The companion app adds another layer

In addition to the game itself, Ubisoft is also releasing a companion app for Android and iOS devices. Jealous of a friend at home playing the game while you’re stuck at work? Use your phone to hack into and screw with their game for one of the aforementioned contracts. You can also challenge them to a racing mode where you use the app to control the ctOS infrastructure for the Chicago PD while they try and drive to safety. 

You can hack 70 different kinds of vehicles

WatchDogs CarChaseTo get around Chicago you can hack (or just conventionally jack) over 70 kinds of vehicles. You can download the registration information of anyone’s car and have it delivered to you on demand with an app for your in-game phone that’s apparently the GrubHub for car theft. Having access to a nice ride will unlock a variety of jobs and challenges to make extra money, like being a transporter or getting fast and furious in the underground street racing circuit.

In-game augmented reality, and giant spider robots

Beyond hacking and stealing cars, your in-game phone will also be full of fun distractions to mix up your gameplay. Augmented reality games let you turn the city into “a sci-fi shooter with an 8-bit twist” or create roof-running courses dotted with virtual coins and hazards. Apparently the future of drugs is also online as you can download “Digital Trips” that let you turn the city into a burning hellscape, or fight off cops as a giant spider robot that looks right out of Ghost in the Shell.

Originally set to be a launch title for the current generation of consoles, Watch Dogs will finally be available on May 27, so you can see for yourself if it lives up to the hype.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Halfbikes, VR for all your senses, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

The Technology of Marijuana

Mobile technology is finally advancing out of the standard form we've become used to. The Samsung Galaxy Fold is one example of further innovation and possibly a redesign of how we communicate and interact with our devices. Will 5G…

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.

Call up Durr Burger and grab some lunch with our Fortnite weekly challenge guide

The Fortnite week 8 challenges are now available in season 8. One of the big challenges this week has players dial the Durr Burger number on the big telephone. We've got everything you need to complete this weekly challenge.

Get Kingdom Hearts 3 at its lowest price yet during Walmart’s Xbox One sale

Walmart reduced the prices on some new and popular Xbox One games. Kingdom Hearts 3 is at its lowest price yet, while Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2 get some stout discounts as well.

Streaming data reveals Ninja isn’t Twitch king, Fortnite still reigns supreme

Stream Elements and Stream Hatchet teamed up to produce the State of the Stream Q1 2019, a report that reveals a multitude of data. A few takeaways include Ninja not producing the best month of views, and Apex Legends' performance diving.

Get jiggy with it and find the jigsaw pieces with our Fortnite challenge guide

For this Fortnite weekly challenge, players must search for jigsaw puzzle pieces under bridges and in caves. We've got the best locations for finding these pieces so you can complete this challenge fast.

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.

The best zombie games of all time, from Resident Evil to The Last of Us

Zombies are a longtime media staple, from movies to literature to TV to video games. Plenty of zombie games are bland and boring, but a good number offer tangible reasons to care about the undead. These are the best zombie games.

Ditch the discs: The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is available for pre-order

Like it or not, discs seem to be going the way of the VHS tape. Digital gaming is quickly becoming the new norm even for consoles, and Microsoft’s new Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is now available for pre-order with three free games…

The Last of Us Part 2 finishes capturing its main characters’ performances

Calling it the most "ambitious cinematic shoot" the team has ever done, Naughty Dog revealed that the motion-capture performances for the main characters in The Last of Us Part II are finished.

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.