In this game, the overwhelming influence of an all-encompassing computer network called Central Operating System (ctOS) is unveiled, a network that monitors all and everyone and controls almost every piece of the city’s technology and data – including key information on all of the city’s residents. Users play the game, set in Chicago, as Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker and former thug, whose criminal past led to a violent family tragedy. Seeking vengeance, he sets out on a search for those responsible by monitoring his environment, using his smartphone to hack into and manipulate the ctOS. The player thus gains access to personal data and surveillance cameras and is capable of tracking targets, changing traffic lights and controlling trains to hunt opponents. The dynamic, suspenseful game contains parkour, stealth and third-person shooter elements, a multiplayer mode to secretly hack into the smartphones of other online players, a secret agent mode aimed at pursuing certain individuals, as well as classic modes including a team deathmatch and car racing.
Statement by the Jury
Watch_Dogs is an outstanding game that places a highly topical issue centre stage. It deals with public surveillance and data transfer monitoring, how this data is used and distributed, and above all whether it is used for benevolent or malevolent purposes. The fast and multifaceted game is technically brilliant and has been implemented to the highest standards.