Watch Dogs compares the game’s city to GTA5, says the focus is on density

Friday, 27th September 2013 15:14 GMT By Dave Owen

Watch Dogs is set in a fictional version of Chicago, and creative director Jonathan Morin has compared its scale to that of Grand Theft Auto 5′s Los Santos. It may not be as big in terms of sheer mileage, but Morin promises the world of Watch Dogs will offer “huge density.”

“One thing I wanted to promote with Watch Dogs was density, a lot more than scale,” Morin said in an interview with Eurogamer. “We have a big city but one thing a lot of games aren’t exploring is the shared density of it.

“[In Watch Dogs] you can stand still and profile people for ten minutes – you’re playing without moving, almost. I think that’s even more important to me than just adding size to it. I don’t want size just becoming a space between A and B. We have a huge world but it’s more about the density.”

So the comparison to GTA5 really serves to show the different approach that Watch Dogs is taking. There’ll be no aerial vehicles in the latter, as the world isn’t vast enough to justify them like it is in GTA.

“GTA5 has a huge world but it has flying, it has jets so it serves that purpose,” said Morin. “You don’t have a jet unless you have the space to fly into. Us, we have huge density, so if we double or triple the scale then you’re going to start hitting repetition because we wanted to aim for the density first. We wanted the game to be the right size for that density, so it’s a matter of balancing what you want to achieve.”



  1. VibraniumSpork

    Interesting. It’s good that Ubi are getting in front of this issue early-on; the next-gen sandbox genre is going to be facing some pretty stiff comparisons to Los Santos.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. viralshag

    This is something I was curious about and raised the question in one of the forums.

    I had a feeling the scale wouldn’t be matched but as long as there’s a lot to see and do that’s fine.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. VibraniumSpork


    #3 1 year ago
  4. monkeygourmet

    Splinter Cell
    The Division

    Ubisofts games are all becoming exactly the same from a gameplay perspective…

    free running, blending in, chases, cover, style over substance combat…

    Really becoming boring. Even new innovations with tablet intergration are filtering across their product range with gay abandon.

    Great having new IP’s and all that, but if they all play almost identically, it’s kind of missing the point.

    Over saturation, big time.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. daytripper

    I haven’t been impressed with the latest next gen footage, expected a bit more despite a cross gen release

    #5 1 year ago
  6. VibraniumSpork

    @4 I see where you’re coming from but they’ve likely spent millions developing these (in most cases) incredibly smooth and efficient play mechanics. Wouldn’t make sense to leave them languishing in one franchise when they can port them over to help improve others.

    And hey, GTA V’s an amalgam of past GTAs, RDR, LA Noire and Max Payne’s mechanics yet it’s still become more than the sum of its parts.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Fin


    The Crew
    Valiant Hearts

    Ubisoft are the best publisher at the moment, by quite a stretch.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. monkeygourmet


    I know, and this is exactly one of the reasons I have a mild fear of the next gen.

    Hugely expensive games and engines where they have to wring every last drop of fun and creativity out of before it becomes cost effective.

    I mean, AC got boring for me after Brotherhood. I feel physically sick thinking these games are coming out every.fucking.year…

    Now we can add watchdogs to the list…

    I see where your coming from with GTA, and as much as I love 5, the cracks in that are showing too. If that was released yearly, it would get old, very quickly indeed.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Hcw87

    It can be half the game GTAV is, and even then it will be awesome. GTAV is on a whole other level to every single other game released this generation.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. monkeygourmet


    The Crew and Valiant Hearts are unproven yet. Look fun, but the ‘meat’ of their releases are the ones I mentioned, and those are indeed almost identical from a gameplay perpsective.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. VibraniumSpork

    @8 No arguments here. AC in particular has *almost* been milked to death, though the AC4 expansion has somehow renewed my interest after the lacklustre Failcannon that was AC3. Could just be smoke and mirrors but from what previews I’ve seen so far it does feel to be trying something new. We’ll see!

    You’ve called it on Watchdogs though. We’ll get more of that game year after year after year…what worries me more about that one is that Aiden Pearce appears to have zero charisma -_-

    #11 1 year ago
  12. monkeygourmet

    Even the thought of squatting on top of a ‘crows nest’ on a pirate ship and seeing the words:

    “Synchronization Complete!” in AC4 : Blackflag

    Actually makes me want to vomit…

    I’ve ‘sync’d’ enough goddamnit!!! Please, have mercy… And that fucking eagle squawk as I plummet into a cleverly placed hay stack on the deck of the ship… Why is there hay on a ship?!

    Have mercy Ubi!!! No more!!!

    Diving off a pirate ship should NEVER be something that makes you feel bored!!! How have you done this to me?!

    And a Shark attack… How can that be boring?! I’ll tell you… Because i’ve just killed about 1 million of the little fuckers in Far Cry 3 and GTA5…

    No more AC PLEASE!!!!

    #12 1 year ago
  13. DrDamn

    It’s not like you are being physically forced to play each and every one of them sequentially, back to back, without food and drink, whilst listening to a bagpipe rendition of We Are Sailing is it?

    You can get the GTA effect by just by one of the titles every 4 years and being pleasantly surprised at how much has changed. If they continue to sell to other people who are enjoying them then you reap the benefits of investment without having to pay for each. You also get the benefit of choosing the type of setting you prefer for that type of game, because they are offering you a choice. The glass is half full!

    #13 1 year ago
  14. YoungZer0

    Ah, it has already won me over. Los Santos is a boring city and so far sci-fi Chicago looks like it could make the wrongs of GTA V right.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. VibraniumSpork

    @13 “It’s not like you are being physically forced to play each and every one of them sequentially, back to back, without food and drink, whilst listening to a bagpipe rendition of We Are Sailing is it?” – ;D

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Erthazus

    I agree with MONKEY so much that i don’t want to be in this discussion. He says everything what is in my mind. No more shitty adventure games like AC pleace.. Gosh. blergh.

    but I will say that Rayman: Legends was awesome. Everything else is the same piece of shit.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. monkeygourmet


    People use that arguement all the time:

    “It’s not like you are being physically forced to play… xxx”

    and do you know what I have to say to people who say that?

    Nothing… Because you are right! :)

    Buuuuuuuut… It still doesn’t help the fact that when you look at it, a game like AC hasn’t really changed since Brotherhood… Now, you can always argue; ‘Nintendo or xxx games (edit so not to go off on a Ninty tangent!) don’t change either’, but for a title that has those kinds of legs, it has to have almost perfect gameplay to start with.

    AC for example is worn out now IMO… That game only needed about 3 to run it’s course. Free running has been done to death and the futuristic vibe has become dull as ditchwater.

    The gameplay is still exactly the same broken mess it always was. Slightly fun but ultimatly unsatisfying, especially repeating the same stuff over and over again for 40+ hours…

    I prefered it when a game had a clear gameplay style:


    It seems like they are now trying to mash so mnay genres together, they are all coming out dilutted and weak.

    Splinter Cell is now stealth, action, free running…

    AC is stealth, action, free running…

    Rinse and repeat.

    I haven’t even mentioned the generally awful ‘tacked on’ multiplayer…

    I don’t really want any of these games now (apart from Division for the co-op), but AC was once my most anticipated title for next gen. It looked so good and fresh.

    Now it seems it has polluted all their titles, and the games seem to be scoring less and less and becoming more and more panned by critics.

    Everyone CAN play… But not everyone LIKES the same kind of genres or games…

    Stop mashing all the ideas together! :)

    #17 1 year ago
  18. monkeygourmet


    :D haha!

    btw… Next Rayman is a stealth/action/free running game… o_O

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Pytox

    @17 you also forgot they add uplay to each of their games now for no reason

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Lengendaryboss

    Getting real cosy you two? :D

    #20 1 year ago
  21. yeoung

    Ah, the good ole commercialism v artistic integrity debate. Aye, AC could do with a bit of revisioning. They invested quite a bit in AC3, but most of it was polish, none of it reimagined any core mechanics.

    I remember when AC1 landed it seemed like the answers to my long standing desire for an open world Tenchu-like game, thinking that no amount of slight variations year on year would dampen my excitement for rooftoppy-jumpy-stabby. Sadly though, I don’t think AC has anywhere to go seeing as Watch Dogs took the near-future era, and anything pre-dating it wouldn’t force Ubi to redesign core gameplay.

    That said, I’d buy another AC in a heartbeat if they added 3D maneuver gear, some kind of colonial webslinging, or a full fledged co-op campaign.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. VibraniumSpork

    @21 +1,000,000

    #22 1 year ago
  23. KTF26

    if Watchdogs, AC, Splinter Cell, The Division are the same
    then all games in the world are similar

    #23 1 year ago
  24. Juice_Man101

    @14 +1

    Imo Los Santos is more boring than Liberty City.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. Vic 2.0

    Sounds like they got the right idea. GTA 5 was mostly boring, exactly because you didn’t quite have enough (fun) stuff to do considering the size of the map.

    Plus, these people made Splinter Cell: Conviction, one of the greatest games of all time. Meanwhile, Rockstar’s been putting out garbage. If Sleeping Dogs is better than GTA 5 (and IMO it is, all things considered), Watch Dogs certainly has a shot!

    #25 1 year ago

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