Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs developers consult with internet security firm for more realistic hacking

Ian Birnbaum at

Ubisoft Montreal is making an effort to present players of the upcoming Watch Dogs with a more realistic depiction of hacking than usual. The studio behind Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed is recruiting help from internet security firm Kaspersky Lab to flesh out the “sexed-up” depiction of hacking found in, oh, every Hollywood movie ever.

“[Kaspersky Lab has] really hardcore experts there on hacking. We send them some of our designs and we ask them feedback on it, and it's interesting to see what gets back. Sometimes they say, 'Yeah, that's possible, but change that word,' or, 'That's not the way it works,'" Watch Dogs Senior Producer Dominic Gray told Joystiq.

I'm overjoyed that the dreaded hacking minigame will be a restrained animal in Watch Dog’s futuristic Chicago setting. Unlike other games, hacking won’t be a word puzzle or a series of tubes that unlocks a secret room or a treasure chest full of gold. Hacking is Watch Dogs protagonist Aiden Pearce’s bread and butter, his main weapon in daily life. The challenge for players won’t be successfully beating a Frogger emulator, but in shooting a guard while they jump into an alley and hacked traffic lights stop traffic long enough for their explosives to go off.

"It's not about the minigame that will let me open the door, it's the fact that I'm making a plan,” Gray said. “I'm making a plan of how I'm going to chain hacking, shooting, traveling the city and driving to achieve an objective."

As someone who is routinely terrible at hacking minigames, this news could not be more welcome. A 100% true depiction of hacking, of course, probably wouldn’t make for a fun game, so I expect there to be plenty of liberties taken. Anything that keeps us out of Swordfish territory, though, can only make for a better game in the end.

Watch Dogs will be released this November. Check out our full preview here.