Physics and FX much improved since E3, says creative director
All hail Watch Dogs creative director Jonathan Morin, who appears to be trying to reply to every single fan query on Twitter - a task equivalent to catching individual rain drops during a thunderstorm. Posting over the weekend, Morin let slip details on everything from the intricacies of a hold-up to how the game's tech has improved since E3 2012. Here's a digest.
The quality of Watch Dogs' visuals has proven controversial - some pundits object that the original, E3 2012 demo looks a damn sight prettier than last week's open world trailer, which I've republished below. Pressed on the subject, Morin argued that Ubisoft had never claimed that the announcement footage would be representative of the console versions - it was screened prior to the unveiling of Xbox One and PS4, after all. He also suggested that there have been improvements on some fronts: the game's "physics [are] far better now", apparently, and "many global FX are better (day/night cycle & volumetric fog for example)".
As of the weekend, Ubisoft has yet to nail down the game's final resolution. "Same data and same game," said Morin, when asked about the difference between the Xbox 360 and PS4 versions. "As for resolution I said we are still tweaking them on each so nothing final." The Xbox One and PS4 versions look "identical" in terms of animation, he added.
There's a little more intel in terms of core mechanics and the systems that power Chicago. For instance - when you're accosted by the police while rocking Heat level 1 ("Heat" being a measure of the intensity of enforcer hostility), lead character Aiden will raise his arms in ostensible submission, buying the player a window in which to consider an escape strategy. Melee is contextual: you can't just run around hitting peaceful civilians, though you can shoot or drive over them if you're inclined to misbehave.
There's an on-demand delivery service for cars, none of which are licensed, and players can't ride bicycles. Players can buy new outfits but they can't buy individual pieces of clothing, so if you're thinking of matching that trenchcoat to a pair of jogging shorts, think twice. Players will be able to free-roam once they've completed the storyline.
Last but not least, there's some more info on multiplayer. As you hopefully already know, players can infiltrate each other's games as civilians in order to hack the main character and build "notoriety", which unlocks new abilities. Besides the default NPC camouflage, there are apparently abilities you can use to further disguise your activities. Sinister. Aiden might retaliate by using Focus mode, which slows time, but this isn't a win-all tactic.
More as we get it. Read our most recent chat with Watch Dogs producer Dominic Guay for insights on the plot, characters and Chicago's many secrets.