So, let's talk about this intriguing new IP from Ubisoft that debuted at the end of their 2012 E3 conference.
Platforms: PS3, 360, PC
Ubisoft's press network officially says PS3, 360, and PC. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said it's coming for "PS3, 360, PC and, er, we'll see", hinting at a possible next-gen release as well.
It appears to be an open-world sandbox game with specific missions, a la Assassin's Creed, but this hasn't been confirmed yet. Multiplayer is also unknown at this time. The gameplay demo shows off some driving and cover-based shooting sequences; it's not clear how central to the gameplay this will be.
Ubisoft Press Conference Video
This is the feed from Ubisoft's press conference. It combines the two trailers below (but with an altered ending), along with some exposition from Ubisoft staff members.
Game Demo Video
This is the gameplay section of the E3 press conference, except the ending is from the perspective of Aidan as he escapes over a raising bridge.
This video contains the first two minutes of the Ubisoft press conference, which details the backstory of the Watch_Dogs universe. No gameplay included.
The game is set in an alternate present where computer systems control nearly every facet of major cities, from traffic lights to subway lines to electrical grids to cell phone networks. Those computer systems are controlled by major corporations, which use data mining to collect vast amounts of personal information and behavioral statistics on people.
The protagonist, Aidan Pierce, appears to be some kind of vigilante who is targeting a multimedia artist named Joseph DeMarco, for reasons that are not made clear in the demonstration or trailer, other than to send some kind of "message". Aidan has the ability to hack the aforementioned computer networks, and this is demonstrated as a major gameplay feature.
Throughout the gameplay demonstration, Aidan jams cell phone networks to cause a distraction; accesses various pieces of personal information about people in a club; listens in on a phone conversation; hacks traffic lights to cause a collision at an intersection; and hacks a bridge to cause it to raise and elude his pursuers. (The demo briefly shows the ability to control trains, but this is not used. It also appears that Aidan hacks a nearby gas station to cause it to detonate, but this is unclear.)
After a brief shootout in the streets, Aidan successfully assassinates DeMarco. As police helicopters close in, "Intrusion Detected" appears on the HUD, and the gameplay shifts to the perspective of a hacker on a nearby rooftop called Bixxel_44. After watching Aidan's escape, Bixxel gets a phone call from an unknown caller, telling Bixxel to "track Pierce and protect him, at least for now", which appears on the HUD as a gameplay objective.
Radio communications from other hackers are heard providing information on Pierce's movement, and the trailer ends by zooming out on a 3D grid of the city, showing the locations of other hackers. Whether this is hinting at some kind of multiplayer gameplay or some kind of group dynamic within the single-player remains to be seen.
This is easily my Game of the Show for E3 2012, and it's been getting a lot of hype. I'd like to hear what everybody else thinks of it.