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The first Watch Dogs comes alive with a modder’s help

‘Living_City’ draws out the potential in Ubisoft’s Chicago

For most of this console generation, Ubisoft’s stock-in-trade has been the open-world game. Say what you will about execution, the company and its studios have been willing to go big with that format, and try new ideas within it.

The first Watch Dogs was both an admirable expedition and still a critical miss, sort of like the first Assassin’s Creed. It was good, not great, with most of its shortcomings exemplified by the lifeless Chicago presented by Ubisoft Montreal. So one modder took it upon themselves to loosen up the joint, and show a little more of the first game’s potential (better seen in the 2016 sequel, moved to San Francisco).

Living_City, for Watch Dogs on Windows PC, now opens up interior settings previously available only during campaign missions; delivers more random events around the user; restores a cut feature called “ambush_chance” in which hackers can surprise the player with ambushes at contact points, and several other changes.

The gist of it is that Watch Dogs’ Chicago is not necessarily bigger, but more alive and involved. This eight-minute trailer (at top) gives a better sense of the game with that mod installed.

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