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Watch Dogs

Hacking Open The World In Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs city life provides players with plenty of optional distractions from the main storyline. During a demo at San Diego Comic Con, we explored the poor district of Chicago and many of these diversions.

When hacker Aiden Pierce steals from the wrong man, the criminal underworld comes after his own family. In revenge, Aiden becomes a modern day, tech savvy vigilante. As master hacker, Aiden can wreak havoc with only a cell phone, which he uses to crack open anything with a circuit board. Aiden’s hacking activities are made easier because Chicago has installed a citywide operating system (CtOS), which controls the metropolis’ entire information network, including civilians’ personal data.

CtOS is controlled by private companies that use the software for their own gains, but Aiden can manipulate the system to control traffic lights, loot cell phones for information, and remote access security cameras. Unfortunately, before Aiden can assess the local network he’ll need to break into the local CtOS operating station and gain its security codes.

Our journey through the CtOS station in Chicago’s slums started off stealthy. We were able to hack a nearby camera to get a lay of the land. From our bird’s eye perspective we could see the patrol routes for all the guards and even get short profiles on them. One guard has a criminal record, while another once survived a car bombing. In some cases, you’ll be able to hack into a CtOS station remotely, using the security camera network. Unfortunately, this time around, our line of sight to the CtOS access terminal is blocked by a parked truck, so we’ll have to set foot on the property if we want to gain access to the network in this section of the city.

Aiden finds a hole in the fence and climbs over. Then he uses his remote hacking skills to turn on a forklift, distracting a guard long enough to sneak behind him and choke him out. Aiden uses the forklift again to gain access to the roof, which allows him to get a bead on the CtOS access point. We now have access to every camera, light, and cell phone in this area of town.

Unfortunately, we’re not the only hacker in the city, and someone soon starts trying to jack open our cell phone and steal all the data we’ve spent so much time collecting. These hackers are actually other players in the real world, who are able to enter your game and hack your data. You can hunt down these hackers down and stop them by scanning every pedestrian in the area. Once we found our hacker, he run off, escaping back into his own game. Since we were able to stop him, we now have his ID and can track him back to his own game and hack him back.

Unfortunately, in our enthusiasm to catch our hacker, we accidentally killed a cop. After a pedestrian called in this crime (we didn’t hack his phone to stop the call soon enough) the police immediately rushed to the scene and started pursuing us. Now we’re being chased by a helicopter and a fleet of police SUVs. Looks like just another day in the life of Watch Dogs.

To learn more about the Watch Dog's companion app, check out our story here.

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  • Ahh Can't wait for this Game ON PS4!!!!
  • So it's like turning on the power in new sections of the city of infamous.
  • So you can hack other people in their games... I didn't know that about the game. Is there an offline mode?
  • I hope there is a setting which prevents other people from joining your game without your consent.
  • My only concern about this game at the moment..is Aiden. Not a lot has been revealed about him so far, which could just be a development choice, but I hope he's as fleshed out and interesting as Ezio or maybe even John Marston.
  • Proofreading is a wonderful thing.

  • Someone attacks my game, I don't care how much better than me they are. I am following them and ruining their virtual day somehow in righteous vengeance.
  • This game is honestly the only console game I'm looking forward to.

  • All i want to know is can i turn off the ability for others to enter my game? I would rather my first play threw keep me segregated from others while i learn the game and indulge in the story.
  • I think i will have this feature turned off for my first playtrough of the game.

  • man i cant wait to get this for the xbone wont beat gta but it'll be fun!
  • Why is this only tagged as a PS3/PS4 game? Its on xbox systems too
  • Unfortunately...
  • Have we seen current gen versions yet
  • I'm going to play the game offline so the hackers can't get into my game! Muahahahahahaha! :p

  • This is very unfortunate. I don't like this feature it should definitely be optional.
  • I thought people already hack in call of duty?


  • I want games to be private affair. Video game companies are messing with it. Other players hacking in best be optional, other wise I just might not buy this game.I was choosing this game over batman origins, but giving the privacy in watch dogs, now I'm not to sure

  • This sounds like so much fun.