7 awesome ways to cause havoc in Watch Dogs
We’ve spent quite a bit of time with Watch Dogs, the latest open world game from Ubisoft. While our review won’t be up until next week, here are 7 things we think you should try in your earliest days in Chicago.
Experiment with hacking as quickly as possible
The first few hours of Watch Dogs is classic Ubisoft. The systems and mechanics are unveiled slowly, and it’s fairly easy to fall into a routine. It is, however, well worth diverting all available skill points into the three branches of the hacking trees as quickly as possible. Early perks let you open gates, raise parking bollards and cause city-wide blackouts – but the game really comes into its own when you can start raising bridges, blowing steam pipes out of the ground and dropping helicopters out of the sky. Get creative with the powers at your fingertips, you won’t regret it.
Exterminating witnesses with brute force or outright rudeness
When NPCs see something like murder or threatening conduct they’ll try to call the police. Very naughty, and well deserving of punishment. Every time someone dials for help, shoot ‘em. Two more will call, foolish. Then three, then five – it spirals wildly out of control, and before long the streets will be crawling with cops. See how long you can last before they appear as Watch Dogs turns into a bizarre wave based shooter. Alternatively, as soon as the first person calls, saunter over, press B to rip the phone out of their hand, glare at them angrily and smash it to the ground.
Stalk somebody, just for the hell of it
Ubisoft has done its best to build a living city. If you spend your time following the shaky narrative, it’s likely you won’t notice. Get your feet on the ground and start poking around in digital shadows, you’ll start to have some real fun. If you’ve built your notoriety around causing trouble, the citizens will start looking at you as a hoodlum and act accordingly. Put this to the test by just following people around. They’ll get a coffee, look in shops, but will become increasingly uncomfortable that you’re tailing them – eventually either calling the police or partaking in some erratic driving. Either way, they ran from the wrong stalker.
Steal from the degenerates of Chicago
Ubisoft has made Chicago feel more alive than any open world before it. Being able to profile anyone around you with your smartphone makes this a reality, especially as it’s up to you with what you do with the information. Pretentious hipster barges past you blasting Wu-Tang Clan? Hack it off their phone and take it for yourself. “Cheating on wife” the Profiler claims – steal his bank details and hit an ATM. Walk into a clothes boutique and get a snooty look from the cashier? Yes, we know trench coats are lame, but that’s how we /roll/ – see what look she gives you when you rob the register. It feels good to be bad.
Get the cops on your back
While Watch Dog’s main missions and side quests give you the opportunity to experiment with some of Aiden’s hacking abilities, you’ll get the most fun out of messing around with the array of systems on your own accord. The best way to do this is to dish out some methodical murder and get a five-star police chase going. You’ll have to balance keen driving skills, tactical manoeuvring of the environment, battery of your smartphone and sense of self-preservation, to make it through more than a few minutes alive. Blowing holes in the road, causing traffic accidents and disabling helicopters with the touch of a button has never been quite so entertaining.
Hallucinogens + mind hacking = a digital trip you’ll never forget
The darkest corners of the city see shady looking gents selling Digital Trips: hallucinogenic adventures that turn Watch Dogs a little Saints Row: The Third. Our favourite sees Chicago become a hellscape, the streets ablaze, the citizens look like Ghost Rider groupies and you’re left to unleash your inner fury in a hot rod from hell. More hit & runs? More prizes! Turning into a murdering machine sends demonic cops after you; thankfully, you’ll unlock skills for your vehicle like being able to shoot soul-powered lasers from its bonnet. When the trip ends, you’ll wake up in an alley on the other side of town. Don’t do drugs, kids.
You gotta fight for your right (to hack somebody)
Every so often, you’ll be notified about an important piece of information that’s loose in the city streets. You have the option of going after it, but you won’t be alone, the game throws rival real-world hackers into the mix. Information is power in Watch Dogs, but an assault rifle doesn’t hurt either. Once you grab the info, you’ll find five other players turning their attention to ensuring your imminent murder. Events spiral out of control quickly, especially with a handful of master hackers manipulating the world around you. Watch Dog’s multiplayer options aren’t vast, but they sure are fun.