Despite the few first party titles announced by both Microsoft and Sony, it appears that Watch Dogs is currently the most anticipated next-generation launch title. Ubisoft revealed the game to much fanfare at last year’s E3, and this year many of the game’s details were shown.
One detail that wasn’t shown very much during Ubisoft’s long gameplay trailer released this week is how Watch Dogs will deal with multiplayer. A tablet app was shown providing assistance to a player in a tight spot, but that isn’t the only multiplayer feature the game has.
Instead of providing separate, instanced multiplayer arena for players to shoot each other, Ubisoft has gone with a Dark Souls-style invasion mechanic that could keep things interesting throughout players’ single player experiences.
Players will be able to scan nearby to find “targets” who they can hack, placing a virus on their smartphone. Players being hacked are notified, and have only a limited amount of time to do some counter-hacking and find the invader to put a stop to it. Both invaders and those invaded will see the other player as a non-player character while still seeing themselves as the main character, Aiden Pearce, on their own screen.
Invading a person doesn’t necessarily mean hacking them. Players can simply watch others play or wait for the right time to grief them somehow (though Ubisoft claims that won’t be possible while a person is on a story or side mission). Other multiplayer “missions” will involve protecting other players.
Ubisoft has stated the multiplayer functionality can be turned off. However, as Dark Souls fans can attest, random invasions can keep players on their toes and provide just enough spice to make a single player experience great.