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

Friday, 27 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.”

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25 Comments

  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

    @2 http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v244/LOLgirl247/gifs/fistbumppow.gif

    #3 1 year ago
  4. monkeygourmet

    Watchdogs
    AC
    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

    @4

    Rayman
    The Crew
    Valiant Hearts

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

    #7 1 year ago
  8. monkeygourmet

    @6

    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

    @7

    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

    @MG
    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?” – http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/19550420/images/1340163943195.gif ;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

    @13

    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:

    Stealth
    Racing
    Action
    Platformer
    etc…

    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

    @16

    :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

    @16/18
    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

    @monkeygourmet
    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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    With the recent leak of older, pre-alpha footage of the The Division, rumors over the game’s contents have been swirling, and today we have a video for you discussing said rumors. Once of the rumors pertain to the game is that it contains 50-100 Player Dark Zones, which are PvP areas. Supposedly, these areas also […]

  • Here’s a look at MGS5: The Phantom Pain emblem creation, limited edition bionic arm

    A look at how to create your own emblems in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was demonstrated in the latest Kojima Station broadcast, along with a look at the bionic arm replica included in the limited edition. A Venom Snake emblem will come with the limited edition version of the game, parts of […]

  • Elite: Dangerous coming to PS4 once Xbox One exclusivity period ends

    Elite: Dangerous was announced for Xbox One at GDC 2015 yesterday, and those disappointed over the lack of a PlayStation 4 announcement will be pleased to know it’s in the cards. According to Frontier boss David Braben the space-sim will head to PS4 at some point, once the console exclusivity deal with Microsoft has expired. […]

  • Here’s two new The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshots to salivate over

    Two new screenshots from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have been released, and they are gorgeous as always. The screenshots follow the two released over the weekend. You can look at the new images in full HD glory over on Only Single Player. CD Projekt Red is at PAX East this weekend showing off the latest […]

  • Microsoft looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One

    With Windows 10, Xbox One users will soon be able to stream their games to PC. Microsoft is also looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One, according to news out of GDC. Speaking with Polygon at GDC 2015, Xbox program director Mike Ybarra said the company is also looking into the ability to stream […]

  • Free! Vindictus Lann Revamp codes worth €25

    We have 400 Lann Revamp codes worth €25 to giveaway for free to VG247 readers. All you need to do is enter your details in the box below and you’ll be given a code to redeem in game. The codes are for warrior character Lann and offer a 7 day unlimited Inner Armour pass, battle […]

  • US eShop update: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli and a demo version of Azure Striker GUNVOL. Your full update is below. eShop Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars – Wii U, 3DS – Cross Buy OlliOlli – Wii U, 3DS – Cross-Buy Proun+ – Proun+ […]

  • Rock Band 4 confirmed for Xbox One and PS4: supports old instruments and 2,168 songs

    Harmonix has lifted the lid on the long-rumoured Rock Band 4, stating it will support 2,168 previously released tracks and last-gen instruments on PS4 and Xbox One. The game will be out this year. Harmonix has yet to reveal specific features for the game, but it has been built with a completely new engine. As […]

  • First run of Rodea the Sky Soldier copies on Wii U come with Wii version

    The first print run of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will come with the Wii version packed in, NIS America has confirmed. The publisher confirmed today in a press release that anyone who buys the first run of the retail version of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will find the Wii […]

  • Unreal Tournament 4 lets modders sell cosmetic items to players

    Unreal Tournament 4 is a game built with the help of the modding community. So it’s only natural that it will feature a marketplace where all cosmetic items can be sold. Epic Games has confirmed that it will allow modders from the community to sell the cosmetics items they’ve created on the game’s marketplace. The […]

  • D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is coming to PC – rumour

    SWERY 65 has shown off D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die running on PC at GDC this week, teasing that a possible port may be on the way. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is SWERY 65′s latest project. An episodic detective affair, D4 came out on Xbox One last September and utilised Kinect as its main […]

  • Valve’s Lighthouse, VR controllers and more explained

    Valve’s less-talked about prototype VR controllers and its Lighthouse technology have been shown in more detail. When HTC announced Vive, the VR headset it’s working on with Valve, it mentioned “base stations” and ergonomic controllers. Now we know what they meant by that. The controllers are still in prototype phase, and will look better when […]

  • Listen to two professional Counter-Strike players explain why Dust2 is so popular

    Hear what makes iconic Counter-Strike map Dust2 one of the most popular maps in shooter history from two former eSports players. Sal “Volcano” Garozzo and Shawn “FMPONE” Snelling are both retired professional Counter-Strike players who are currently working as designers. At GDC this year, the pair hosted a panel titled “Community Level Design for Competitive […]

  • Core Morpheus hardware locked in, no plans for wireless version

    Sony has finalised the core hardware for its VR headset Project Morpheus, and does not currently plan on releasing a wireless version. SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida spoke to Gamespot at GDC and confirmed that the core hardware of Morpheus is “pretty much done” but that “lots of tweaks and improvements” are still being […]

  • Watch the full Phil Spencer keynote from GDC 2015

    The full GDC 2015 keynote of Xbox boss Phil Spencer is now available to watch. In case you missed last nights’s Phil Spencer keynote at GDC 2015, the whole thing has been made available to watch on YouTube. The address is titled “The Future of Gaming Across the Microsoft Ecosytem,” and it’s where Spencer announced […]

  • Elite: Dangerous won’t be “dumbed down” for Xbox One

    The Xbox One version of Elite: Dangerous will in fact be the same as the PC one. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier came out on stage last night at GDC to announce the game making its console debut on Xbox One. Some have feared that the port would not provide the same experience as the PC […]

  • Virtual reality: by gum, it’s really happening

    Virtual reality has exited the realm of peripheral gimmick and turned into something that just might go mainstream. VR has an uphill battle ahead of it. The tech is going to be expensive, and there are a number of problems that need to be solved before it could be considered an inclusive technology (motion sickness, […]

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor takes Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2015

    And the winner is: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor beat out Alien: Isolation, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to win Game of the Year at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards 2015. Elsewhere in the awards, Ustwo’s mobile hit Monument Valley was a stand-out favourite, with wins in the Innovation, […]

  • Alien: Isolation was prototyped in third-person – video

    Alien: Isolation is one of the most effectively scary triple-A games in years, but it didn’t start off a perfect creation of pure terror. Creative Assembly prototyped Alien: Isolation in third-person perspective before they nailed down the final approach. The developer revealed this during a GDC 2015 presentation, and it’s a good reminder that games […]

  • Madden 15 added to EA Vault

    Madden 15 is now included in EA’s all-you-can-eat subscriber service. Madden 15 is the ninth game to be added to the EA Vault, a stash of games available on demand for EA Access subscribers. It's still Madden Season for EA Access members – Madden NFL 15 is now in The Vault for all members. Go […]

  • Source Engine 2 doesn’t have hidden costs or royalties – but is Steam exclusive

    Three major engines went free at GDC 2015, and each of them is monetising in a different way. There’s been a heck of a lot of discussion about development tools and the costs associated with them during GDC 2015. First Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be free, bar royalities on successful releases. Then […]

  • Final Fantasy creator hates sequels

    Final Fantasy, a byword in prolific franchises, was created by a man who hates sequel. Final Fantasy games are famous for being reinvented with each core release, and it was not until series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi began to withdraw from the franchise after Final Fantasy 9 that we started seeing regular sequels and spin-offs. Speaking […]

  • Guardian complaints led to the closure of Destiny’s Loot Cave

    Destiny players are to blame for the shuttering of the much loved Loot Cave. Early in Destiny‘s history, many players got hugely excited about the “Loot Cave”. Accessible shortly after starting the game for the first time, this high-volume spawn point allowed players to stand in one place, taking out waves and waves of low-level […]

  • Xbox and PC games boss Phil Harrison to leave Microsoft – rumour

    Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business VP and EMEA head of games Phil Harrison is rumoured to have thrown in the towel. Microsoft has not issued a statement on Harrison’s alleged departure, despite repeated questioning by press at GDC 2015. Instead, word comes via multiple sources speaking to GamesIndustry at the show. According to the rumours, Harrison […]

  • Metal Gear Online commentated trailer explains stuffed dog – but not invisibility

    Metal Gear Online developer Kojima Productions has provided significantly more insight into how the multiplayer side of The Phantom Pain works. Metal Gear Online is the online multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Konami hasn’t shared a great deal about it yet, but we did see a very cool Metal Gear […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Xbox One trailer shows off space MMO

    If Elite: Dangerous looks this good on Xbox One we have nothing to complain about. Microsoft revealed Elite: Dangerous is coming to Xbox One this year during its GDC presentations today. We don’t know very much about the port, but I suppose we ought to have expected it; Frontier Developments has a very close relationship […]

  • Battletoads to appear in Shovel Knight Xbox One

    A Battletoads remake must be on the horizon. Right? Right?? The Battletoads will appear in the upcoming Xbox One version of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games revealed today. The Battletoads drop in for a fight! Shovel Knight is headed to Xbox One and meets up with @RareLtd brawling trio! pic.twitter.com/OCQIuWbH3W — Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) […]

  • The Division pre-alpha footage leaks, Ubisoft says it’s well out of date

    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]