[E3 2012 – Watch Dogs] Ubisoft…brings it?

Big-hitters Microsoft and EA really threatened to sabotage expectations for the rest of the show with their media briefings today.  Brown-grey shooters nearly impossible to discriminate from one another, QTE gameplay that privileges the spectacle of a cutscene over freedom of gameplay, and gimmick bullshit that flexes a tech muscle over a truly practical one; it was all over the place.

Enter Ubisoft, with a history of terrible press events.  Who expected them to steal all the thunder, with not only a stable of solid and exciting games but a new IP to boot!

Click more for a quick summary and a vid of the whole damned, gorgeous thing.

‘Watch Dogs’, which was teased earlier as a project called ‘ctOS’, looks and plays like nothing else from the confs.  A third-person mystery thriller at best guess, with elements of surveillance, espionage and third-person gunplay mixed in during some sequences, the core game innovation here appears to be interacting with the city around you, via all surrounding technology, like cell phones, lights, traffic signals, and more, to manipulate your environment, track suspects and take down objectives.  Hackers’ paradise, basically.

The E3 demo played on the stage involved eavesdropping on surrounding cell communications, immediately being able to access the bank records and histories of civvies all around you, and more spectacularly, triggering all lights at an intersection to turn green, causing a massive pileup.  The potential is incredible for more.  Didn’t hurt that the game looked spectacular, with speculation that it’s either running on the Wii U or next-gen devkits.  Check it out.