The Unexpected Familiarity of Watch Dogs

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May 4, 2013
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This time last year, Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs was busy gobsmacking gamers plugged into the E3 2012 conference. The open world action game seemed to come out of nowhere, quite a remarkable feat on Ubisoft’s behalf considering how rare a commodity secrecy is at the biggest video game expo of the year. Watch Dogs left the conference dripping with ribbons, the darling of 2012, unequivocally.

This year, without the luxury of a thrilling reveal trailer, or the excited, vague mutterings around ‘next-gen,’ Ubisoft had to follow up on Watch Dogs’ initial hype with hard evidence of its originality, stylishness, and indeed, ‘next-gen-ness.’

And, deliver it did.

Watch Dogs is something of an anomaly, insofar as it looks and feels next-gen native but is still being released on current generation consoles, part of what will presumably be a short-lived cross-gen era for such ambitious titles. How the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or Wii U will be able to cope with the sheer size of Watch Dogs, I’m not sure - one can only presume that Ubisoft Montreal has learned a few optimization tricks from working with next-generation hardware.

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