Instead the team prefer to have the city itself reflect your actions, meaning it sort of 'rates' your reputation. Ubisoft want to show you the "lasting impact" of your tinkering.
Player character Aiden Pearce is kept intentionally a little bland so as not to 'force' a certain kind of mind-set on the gamer, although he has quite a rich history to dive into.
"He’s neither a very good guy nor a very bad guy,” said Senior Producer Dominic Guay. “He’s somewhere in the middle there. He’s got his flaws.” Ubisoft want us to project ourselves onto Aiden so that we make choices we feel we'd actually make, instead of just going along for the ride because that's what Aiden wants.
"You don’t want to make him so defined that you’re not him as the player. It is true that the player projects himself into him, but he does have a personality, a background, and his vision on things,” said Guay. “But, the player is really going to be the one in charge in making decisions and in how he wants to do the things in the game.”
The Ubisoft team has spent the last 4 years researching all kinds of privacy related technology and laws to bring this alternate Chicago to life. The other thing they've made sure to focus on is the density of the city, and not just the expanse of it. We can travel a little outside the city limits, revealed senior producer Dominic Guay.
If we happen to use our vigilante campaign to help the everyday person then the city will reflect their appreciation as time goes on, but if we're quite the menace then they'll be agreeing with the authorities and cursing us out.
"The game gives you a lot of freedom. We kind of rate your reputation. The people get an opinion of you in the city and it’s looped back to you,” said Guay. “We’re letting players play the way they want to play.”
“What we realized was more important is to give you a feedback of how you impacted the city. What you’ve done in the past, all the things that you’ve done as you play the game, how will that have a lasting impact on the game? That will reflect back to you.” A good example of this would be Arkane's Dishonored, which showed an ever suffering Dunwall if you just indiscriminately killed everyone in sight as opposed to only striking at your targets.
No moral preaching: “We won’t boil it down to ‘the princess is saved’ or ‘the princess is dead.’” Guay concluded. “We’re going to make it more about ‘this is the Chicago that you’ve created.’”
Watch Dogs releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC November 19th in the US, 22nd in EU.
Ubisoft explains more of Watch Dogs' Chicago, 'loops back' your actions
12 June 2013 | By Simon Priest