How Watch Dogs saved E3 2012
This years E3 has been said to be one of the worst in years, with companies releasing information prior to the show and games being announced in advance or delayed until next year. And in light of recent rumours that Microsoft will not be attending the 2 largest expos this year (Tokyo Game Show and Gamescom) you might start to wonder if all hope is lost.
Fortunately something magical happened in the midst of maelstrom at E3 this year. The one beacon of hope that shone across the convention floor and ignited the flames of debate around the world. “What is this last hope” you ask? It’s Ubisoft and the new IP Watch Dogs.
Watch Dogs was seemingly unheard prior to E3. The announcement itself was met with warm welcomes and cheers as the gaming industry looked at the screen stunned. Although it may have seemed like an amazing announcement at the time but it has since snowballed in my mind as the pivotal point at E3 this year.
There are many ways that Watch Dogs stunned the public one, of which was the sheer fact that it looks awesome. The graphics were stunning and the idea behind the game is unbelievably cool. The game’s plot is focussed on hacking and looks like it could be played in a sandbox fashion. The idea alone breaths new life into the generic run-and-gun mentality of sandbox games and the depth at which you can hack your surroundings may just be what the genre needs to be reinvigorated.
Furthermore the graphics were so good that it prompted the debate as to whether the game was being run on a console at all. With such impressive visuals and the speculation of just how big the world was going to be it may need to be split over several disks. This is not uncommon these days but odd none the less and lead to the assumption it was running on a new console. It was later said that the game had been running on a high end consumer PC, but the thought still lingers that this may be the first taste of the next generation of consoles we have all been waiting for.
As previously mentioned this was kept completely underwraps. Nobody had even heard of it outwith those developing it. With the number of games that had surfaced weeks prior to E3 there was very little hope to see much at this year’s event. So when Watch Dogs appeared I was overjoyed to see something I wasn’t expecting in the slightest. After all, in an industry flooded with HD remakes and reboots I welcome such innovation with open arms.
And finally Watch Dogs shows that even Ubisoft, who are well known for their recycled Tom Clancy titles and many, many sequels, have branched out to create a new and innovative series that comes with a lot of risk. This sets the bar high for other developers who will have to raise their game.
Even if you don’t agree with everything that has been said and maybe you don’t like sandbox games, Watch Dogs looks to be interesting at least. Like any new IP I wish it all the best and can’t wait to hear more from the folks at Ubisoft.