You thought the Ubisoft presentation showed you everything? You were wrong.
By now you've probably watched the E3 presentation of Watch Dogs. If you haven't, you should do so right here. It was easily the most visually impressive demo during this year's conference and one that was truly a surprise for just about every attendee.
But there's a lot that's not seen in the presentation. Behind closed doors, Ubisoft reps showed off the same demo, but introduced new gameplay elements and player options, further demonstrating the game's versatility. Follow along with the presentation above and we'll tell you where the behind-closed-doors demo differed.
6:15 - As Pearce approaches the gallery via the street, he taps into one of the security cameras outside. He's able to see from the camera's perspective, giving him a view around corners which would otherwise be outside of his frame of vision.
Shortly after tapping into the security camera, Pearce hacks into a nearby cell phone conversation. It's an inane conversation, a wife asking about when her husband is going to be home, but both sides are clearly audible. In terms of intelligence gathering, this will likely be a big focus for Watch Dogs, but to sell the illusion it'll require the recording of dozens of meaningless conversations for every meaningful one.
10:36 - As Pearce escapes the gallery to set up his ambush of his target, instead of standing on the street to take control of a traffic light, he goes for another vantage point. In the recorded presentation we can see some construction scaffolding on the right side of the screen at around 10:36. In the behind-closed-doors demo, Pearce vaults up onto this scaffolding, Assassin's Creed-style, climbing up to the elevated train tracks. Once on the tracks, Pearce hacks into a nearby security camera to give him a vantage point of the traffic light below him activates the trap from that same vantage point. As the cars crash, Pearce is able to use his higher elevation to make short work of the guards.
13:37 - At the end of the presentation, Pearce's cell is mysteriously hacked by another force. While the developers aren't saying whether this is an indication of co-op or another playable storyline, the behind-closed-doors demo was able to show off something else entirely. Pearce is able to make his getaway by hijacking a nearby car and speeding from the cops. He's not only aided by his vehicle's speed, but also by his technological savvy, letting him disrupt traffic lights so that he can stay ahead of the cops. This looks like it will truly be an open-world game.
After the demo - The behind-closed-doors demo ended with a quick look at a companion app for Watch Dogs which will be coming to mobile devices alongside the game. Inside the app, players will be able to tap into the game's world, researching their targets and finding secrets. You'll even be able to affect other friends' worlds, making their lives easier or harder depending on how much you like them.
Watch Dogs is, unfortunately, still a ways out. If I had to guess, I'd say we're looking at a late 2013 title which will likely launch on the next generation of consoles from Microsoft and Sony. The game was demonstrated on the PC (Ubisoft wouldn't share the specs), but there's no way the stuff we saw in the demo could run on modern-day console hardware. A scaled-down version, perhaps, but not the real mccoy.