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Watch Dogs

Hack your way inside one of 2014's most eagerly anticipated titles

Of all the games coming out in 2014, it's fair to say Watch Dogs is easily one of the most anticipated. Ever since it blew away an unsuspecting gaming public when it made its debut appearance at the 2012 E3 conference, Watch Dogs has been lodged firmly at the top of most gamers' wish lists. And now it's only a few short months away from completion.

The game puts you in the role of Aiden Pearce, an expert hacker and former thug, who suffers a horrible family tragedy as a result of his criminal past. Now it's up to him to avenge his family and hunt down those who hurt them.

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The twist is that, as a master in all things hacking, Aiden has the ability to tap into the city's main infrastructure and connect to its network.

Just think about it. Our world is becoming ever-connected, and every major city these days is fully networked. By using our phones, shopping online, driving with our GPS and the like we're all leaving digital trails that track our every move and action. And Aiden can use these trails to his advantage.

Whereas most third-person adventures tend to focus mainly on hand-to-hand or armed combat, Aiden's main weapon is the city of Chicago itself, brought to life in amazing detail by the power of the Xbox One..

You see, in Watch Dogs the city of Chicago runs a massive network called the Central Operating System (CTOS). This enormous mainframe controls almost every piece of the city's technology, from traffic lights to security cameras, and also holds key information on all of the city's residents.

This means that by hacking into the CTOS and accessing the city's mainframe, Aiden can manipulate a wide variety of systems to track and hinder his enemies.

If he wants to scope out an area for danger before he enters it, Aiden can hack into a nearby security camera and use it to see what lies ahead. If he's in a crowd of people and is trying to locate a specific target, he can download everyone's personal information and use that to identify the person he's looking for.

If an enemy tries to escape, Aiden can also use the city's network to prevent them from getting away. By hacking the city's traffic light system, for example, he can potentially create a huge 30-car pile-up to trap his enemy.

And if all goes a bit pear-shaped and Aiden finds himself being pursued by the police, he can continue to use the CTOS to stop them getting close. If he sees a nearby train he can stop it in its tracks, board it and start it again to lose his pursuers. Or, if he drives over a drawbridge, he can quickly raise it after crossing it.

Of course, sometimes traditional combat will be the best way to get out of a situation, and Aiden has the skills to handle himself here too. Armed with a baton, he can take enemies down in devastating fashion, or alternatively players can take part in stunning shoot-outs with ultra realistic physics.

For an even more immersive experience, Watch Dogs uses Xbox SmartGlass technology, allowing you to use your smartphone or tablet as a second screen to accompany the action and adding a new dimension to your Xbox One gameplay.

With fiendishly clever hacking gameplay, breathtaking combat scenes and exhilarating driving action (the latter produced by the acclaimed Ubisoft Reflections team, the creators of the Driver series), Watch Dogs promises to be the blockbuster action game of 2014 on Xbox One.

The long wait is nearly over, and we're sure you'll agree that once you finally get to tap into your inner freedom fighter, that wait will have been more than worth it.

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