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.”