Escapist News Now: Watch_Dogs Story Preview

Watch_Dogs Story Preview

Andrea Rene visited Ubisoft and spoke with Watch_Dogs Lead Story Designer Kevin Shortt about who protagonist Aidan Pierce is and how moral choices are incorporated into the game.

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Glad to see there's going to be some actual ambiguity with the morality.

can't go wrong with moral ambiguity ;)

The game looks interesting, a bit less bombastic than a GTA or Saints Row.
What am curious about is this News Now show. Is it going to be a new recurring show, is it for previous, is it interviews, is it news (as its name implies)?

This game is looking really tempting. I guess I'll spend a little while longer trading food for games.

I'm with Triaed; What's the deal with Escapist News Now? Is it a trial run? Is this an attempt by the Escapist to become more of a frontline news source?

Triaed:

What am curious about is this News Now show. Is it going to be a new recurring show, is it for previous, is it interviews, is it news (as its name implies)?

Thunderous Cacophony:

I'm with Triaed; What's the deal with Escapist News Now? Is it a trial run? Is this an attempt by the Escapist to become more of a frontline news source?

Escapist News Now has been running well on our Youtube channel for a few weeks now. There's usually 2-3 episodes a day. It's developed and styled more for the Youtube crowd, but we wanted to test the waters on our main site. The Watch_Dogs preview just happened to be a good gap crosser and introduction for new folks to the series. Most episodes will be more straight news oriented though.

Slycne:
snip

The waters are tested and the boat floats. Looking forward to more episodes. Now, to Youtube!

Everything looks so interesting, yet for some reason I just somehow don't care about this game... And I have no idea why.

Good to see the pretty reporter though.

Watch_Dogs is beginning to look a lot less like another GTA clone now.

The idea seems to be to combine a GTA-style sandbox with a meaningful personal story that isn't about saving the world or some other entity bigger than your character. That seems good, I just doubt that it'll be as nonlinear as the trailers make it out to be. Either they made every single NPC and defined them as unique (which I doubt), or they use random generation and good AI. While random generation can be a buggy thing, it can work and be configured to only give outputs that make sense. But the AI that goes with the randomly generated descriptions... the sheer number of possibilities is incredible. It'd take a lot of time to script all of the different possibilities (and don't you go telling me about "unscripted AI" - there is no such thing yet).

There's also the question of how exactly the gameplay will work. Judging by what I've been able to see on YouTube about this game, the movement sems cumbersome and slowish. That isn't exactly the best thing, but it can work in the context of the game if done right, but it could turn out to be the Kane & Lynch 2 problem where it's made to look like shit and as a result, plays like shit. How will hacking and all other the cOS stuff work? How many button presses are required to get to where you want?
From what I can gather the only weapons you can carry around and store are pistols. Now, that's not inherently a bad thing. But is there enough variety in that department? Because if there isn't, the shooting part could get pretty samey very fast.

While I really want to play this game the first thought that came to me at the "done some things that negatively affected him and his family" part was *eye roll* 'Oh great, another dead wife and/or kids'.

OK, that was an interesting experiment. I see this is cut from a longer show. I should say ripped out of a longer show as it doesn't really start or end, there's no intro, or outro, or indeed any sort of context for where the interview is occuring. It's only that tiny link to youtube that tells you where it's from.

If you're going to test the water, try something better put together than a sponge.

As for the interview itself, fairly non-descript show-type interview with a large amount of background noise. Can't really say much about the interviewer yet, other than she looks good in front of a camera, and can memorise a list of questions. She needs an Escapist "e" logo on the mic though :)

I will go and check out the youtube show though.

Oh one final thing, the name "Escapist News Now" just makes me think of the previous ENN show, Escapist News Network.

Matthi205:
Either they made every single NPC and defined them as unique (which I doubt), or they use random generation and good AI.

I seem to recall an interview where they said they specifically created over 4000 distinct NPC's with their own messages, calls, backgrounds etc. The others are then probably randomly generated or are general enough to be repeated. I'll try to find the interview.

Matthi205:
From what I can gather the only weapons you can carry around and store are pistols. Now, that's not inherently a bad thing. But is there enough variety in that department? Because if there isn't, the shooting part could get pretty samey very fast.

It's an open world sandbox, the bog-standard assortment of weapons is almost guaranteed. I myself like the idea that you can only carry and conceal pistols, sort of like Sleeping Dogs.

I, for one, welcome our new News Now overlords.

OT: Ever since E3 2012 I've been soaking up everything I can about this game because, among other reasons, it is pushing some very sensitive power fantasy buttons for me.
Mostly it's the urban sleuth thing, where you have immense power and wielding it in plain sight but without anyone noticing. That is, until you beat someone down with a night-stick.

The whole grey moral choices makes this title even more appealing, as I'm not the first person to think binary choices are now cliché.

Will we get to see unedited demo footage in the near future?

Chrono212:
Will we get to see unedited demo footage in the near future?

Go on YT, search "watch dogs", set sort according to time of upload, flip a page or two.
Captcha: say cheese. Indeed Aiden, say cheese to that camera there :D

Slycne:

Triaed:

What am curious about is this News Now show. Is it going to be a new recurring show, is it for previous, is it interviews, is it news (as its name implies)?

Thunderous Cacophony:

I'm with Triaed; What's the deal with Escapist News Now? Is it a trial run? Is this an attempt by the Escapist to become more of a frontline news source?

Escapist News Now has been running well on our Youtube channel for a few weeks now. There's usually 2-3 episodes a day. It's developed and styled more for the Youtube crowd, but we wanted to test the waters on our main site. The Watch_Dogs preview just happened to be a good gap crosser and introduction for new folks to the series. Most episodes will be more straight news oriented though.

Dude, I usually come here -instead- of Youtube because of how much more I like the Escapist's videos. And I imagine there are many who feel the same. I'd appreciate seeing the earlier ones posted here if possible in archive form.

I find it odd that they would think that players would always choose the dark side.

Now I'm just basing my observations on a couple of games that have displayed player statistics of the "moral choices" present, and from what I've seen most people choose the "good" option.

At least for the first playthrough.

hooblabla6262:
I find it odd that they would think that players would always choose the dark side.

Now I'm just basing my observations on a couple of games that have displayed player statistics of the "moral choices" present, and from what I've seen most people choose the "good" option.

At least for the first playthrough.

The problem with the "Evil" option is that, most of the time, it's just irrational. It doesn't make the slightest amount of sense. Now, if you could be a real villain, being good to people until you have positioned yourself and can afford being rude to them, that would be interesting. But most of the time, the evil option doesn't make the slightest amount of contextual sense.

Something like the "Renegade" actions in Mass Effect 2, where you could punch that pesky reporter -- that's more in line with what "evil" is supposed to mean.

But even if you make the choices reasonable (evil easier, good more in line with morals), you still run into a problem that most game designers seem to not grasp: The biggest rewards are reserved for the biggest saints and the biggest villains, respectively. You can't actually play as a villain, being good while you rise to power and then turn evil.

Wait, does Andrea still work for Machinima? I remember seeing her in that "thank you for all the money" video they did.

OT: No matter what I see from this game I can't get hyped for it. Just tired of open world games I guess...

Still getting GTA V day one though.

 

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