In Ubisoft's Watch Dogs, you play a high-tech hero (or villain, depending on your reputation) looking to take advantage of Chicago's ctOS system, all in the name of getting even with the criminals that killed your family member. Throughout the game, you'll be able to unleash high-tech havoc with the push of a button.
However, as original as the game is, it actually has quite a bit in common with Ubisoft Montreal's hit series Assassin's Creed. Sure, you're not on the high seas and singing shanties, but consider this…
Characters subdue enemies with quick takedowns
Like Altair and the other assassins, Aiden Pierce is quite nimble when it comes to taking down enemies. Where the Assassins had the benefit of using hand blades to quickly get the jump on someone, Aiden prefers a long metal baton that he can use to subdue an enemy before he’s aware of what happened. Even though Aiden isn't as lethal as those characters, he does leave bad guys in crumpled heaps.
In addition, like the Assassins, Aiden has a number of firearms he can use to take out baddies from a distance. Sure, an assault rifle may not be as old school as a blowpipe, but it's equally effective, save for the loud noise it makes when firing. That could get some attention if you're not careful – but hey, you can always line them up in your sights.
Characters use distractions to escape
When pursued by enemies, it always helps to have a distraction or two handy so you can make a clean getaway. In the Assassin's Creed games, you could easily blend into a crowd or take cover inside a bale of hay or another object, provided your pursuers didn't see you.
With Watch Dogs, Aiden's tools are way more technological. When being chased by Chicago PD or other foes, he can call upon blockers and traffic lights to create distractions. In addition, he's able to duck around alleyways and still access his phone to do something to throw them off, like blow a nearby circuit. Finally, the benefit of ducking into a vehicle can really pay off, provided you're quick enough to park and stay out of harm's way. Otherwise, you better have your foot on the acceleration panel.
Tons of collectibles
In Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, you'll spend a good amount of time sailing the high seas, seeking treasure and visiting deserted islands in order to dig up a new piece to a map or some other random loot. Edward Kenway is all about using navigation to find these beauties and adding trinkets to his collection.
Although he uses his means for a different purpose, Aiden Pierce possesses his own sense of navigation. With the help of his phone's profiler system, he can easily track down would-be targets and save them from harm, and also grab bank information so he can make a quick withdrawal from a nearby ATM. For good measure, he can find a few secrets as well, including hidden Easter Eggs that Creed fans will find fascinating.
Nimble and quick
Both the Assassins and Aiden Pierce look like they can leap over railings and traverse through a city with ease, even with enemies hot on their tails. The free-running aspect works well in both games, letting you push folks aside while engaging in a foot chase with an unfortunate target.
It's here, however, that Aiden has a bit of an advantage, as he can use secondary objects, like circuits, to throw an enemy off-balance, where the Assassins have to use good old-fashioned ingenuity – and maybe a surprise attack from above – to subdue their targets. Regardless, they're both very effective, and probably the last guys you want to face in a fight.
They both use computer networks
Finally, even though Black Flag is a pirate adventure from the 1700s, it still ties into today's computer network. In this game, the user has access to the Animus-powered Abstergo system in order to weave through Edward Kenway's memories, and on occasion, will find ways around it to get closer to the general objective. Even though it's Templar technology, it's quite useful.
Aiden's approach is more hands-on, but effective in its own way. Using his smartphone, he can access a number of devices around the city, ranging from traffic lights to security cameras that give him an optimal lay of the land. From there, he can plan accordingly and eventually access the servers, where he'll need to solve a quick puzzle to reach more secure sections.
Both the Abstergo system and ctOS share common ground, and characters can utilize the technology to their advantage. Granted, Edward never lays a hand on it, because, well, he’s digital.
Become the ultimate hacker with the official Watch Dogs guide!
Watch Dogs is available now for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC, and coming soon to Wii U.