NVIDIA 'The Way It's Meant to Be Played' 2013 Press EventClayMeow - October 24, 2013
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Presented by Colin Graham, Art Director, Animation & Nicholas Mainville, Level Designer
If you've been following Watch Dogs – arguably the most anticipated title announced at E3 2012 – you probably heard that it has been delayed. That announcement came just a few days before this event, but luckily that didn't stop representatives from Ubisoft Montreal from showing us a portion of the game. But since it was delayed and is thus still a work in progress, that is why we were not allowed to film any of it, not even take still photos.
Watch Dogs takes place in a fully simulated recreation of Chicago wherein you control protagonist Aiden Pearce who has real-time control over the city's infrastructure. The NVIDIA technology present in Watch Dogs includes HBAO+, TXAA, Enhanced 4K Support, and DX11 Compute.
With Nicholas playing the game and Colin narrating, they decided to show us a story mission that had never been shown outside the studio. Before embarking on the mission, Nicholas walked into a gun shop and Colin directed him what weapons to buy, which included a silenced pistol, an SMG, and just in case things got dicey, a grenade launcher. After crafting some secondary devices, including a noise-making device for distractions, Nicholas made his way to Aiden's contact, a rather shady fellow who briefed him on the situation.
Nicholas' objective was to interrogate a guarded witness, but the contact was there to back him up with a sniper rifle. This was actually a lot cooler than it sounds, as the sniper only took shots after Nicholas set them up, such as luring a guard out of cover with one of those noise emitters, or even using the environment to cause distractions, like remotely controlling a forklift. After Nicholas reached the witness, he got the information he needed rather aggressively, but the work was not done yet. Reinforcements arrived and were closing in on Nicholas' location – good thing he brought that grenade launcher. As he tried to make his escape, he eventually employed something we've seen in other demos – the Blackout. This device is a like a huge EMP, temporarily knocking out all the power. While that sounds overpowered, you won't have unlimited use of it – in this live demo, Nicholas only had one Blackout device to use out of a possible three he could hold. Presumably they are crafted and are most likely rare.
He used the blackout as an opportunity to escape the yard and hop into a car. He quickly had enemy cars in pursuit, so the escape wasn't done. Driving (chaotically) through the streets, Nicholas hacked various road hazards, including a steam pipe to cause an explosion behind him and a draw bridge to lose some pursuers. Eventually he was able to shake them and he got the message that his escape was successful.
Seeing Watch Dogs played live in-person was truly a treat. Rockstar may have created an outstanding sandbox experience with Grand Theft Auto V, but Ubisoft is taking that sandbox experience and adding in the formula for a truly outstanding game. The added development time will make it even better!