Save the Date: Watch Dogs

Event: Watch Dogs U.S. release date
Date: Tuesday, November 19

Open world games can be a little intimidating. I have yet to get through Skyrim, simply because there's so little structure that I'm a bit at sea as to where to go and what to do. So the limited information I've heard and seen about the new game Watch Dogs makes me a little anxious. Need to get into a guarded building? Take out the guards. Or hack the security system and sneak in. Or set off the sprinklers to scatter everyone standing nearby. Or distract the security guys by overriding the controls of construction equipment. Or don't even go into the building, but steal the information electronically. There's just so many options, and I worry that it'll be overwhelming.

Why, then, does Watch Dogs get a rare Save the Date entry? Cause it looks like SO MUCH FUN. Many games are split into two distinct gameplay styles: Go in guns blazing or get in and out without leaving a trace. This game offers the player a lot more tactical options, several of them dealing with clever trickery over brute force or convenient hiding places.

You play as a hacker in a future Chicago that basically runs on a centralized operating system. While this offers a lot of convenience and security, it means that once you're in the system, you're essentially granted access to the personal lives of everyone around you. Every bystander's dark secret pops up on your phone. That lady has a restraining order against her estranged husband. That guy was arrested for vandalism. As with a lot of modern games, morality is up to you. When you're not running missions, you can spend your time protecting people that crime statistics predict will soon be victims. Or you can hack into an innocent's bank account and drain their funds.

I've spent some time watching gameplay demos of this game, and it drew me in instantly. I like games that make you think out creative solutions (as long as they're not too far-fetched), and the potential to play as both a noble vigilante and a greedy cyber-thief is pretty magnetic. So let the internet keep wetting its collective pants over their GTA V selfies. While they beat up hookers with a baseball bat, I'll be stalking the streets of Chicago with nothing but a cell phone and a list of access codes.

UPDATE: The release date has been pushed back to spring of next year, which is a bummer, but at least it gives my wallet time to recover from the beating it always takes over the holidays.


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