Mod of the Week: #WatchDogsIV, for Grand Theft Auto IV

Like me, you've probably spent dozens of hours in Grand Theft Auto IV 's Liberty City, but often wish there was some way to cause a little destruction and mayhem. Finally, there is! The #WatchDogsIV mod summons the sullen Aiden Pearce from Watch Dogs, and more importantly, brings along Aiden's awesome Phone of Hacking +4. Traffic lights, payphones, ATMs, security cameras, and those poles that shoot up out of the street: they're now yours for the hacking! The once utterly peaceful Liberty City is about to get flip-turned upside down.

Just about all the tricks up Aiden's futuristic trenchcoat sleeve are now at your disposal as you prowl the streets of Liberty City. Walk within range of a hackable object, and you'll get a little icon on your screen. Hold down the 'E' key, and the icon will be outlined. It works pretty much exactly as it does in Watch Dogs, right down to the little electrical tendrils that spread from Aiden's phone when he hacks something.

Naturally, triggering traffic lights is great fun, and dare I say it, causes even bigger and badder accidents than it does in Watch Dogs. You can also blow things up, though instead of steam fittings and electrical junctions, it's Liberty City's payphones that explode. (I know what you're thinking. Exploding payphones? That's utterly ridiculous: payphones don't even exist.) Those poles that pop out of the street work most of the time, and are great for keeping the cops off your tail when they come to investigate why everything is suddenly exploding.

Speaking of the po-po, it seems like the entire Chicago policing system has been ported over from Watch Dogs. Commit a crime, and a nearby citizen may call the police on you. You'll hear the call taking place, and the eyewitness will be highlighted with an icon, allowing you to interfere before the 9-1-1 call is complete. If the call goes through, the police will be dispatched and your radar will show ctOS scanning for your location. The mod even has options to make the police better drivers and more accurate shooters, if you want to make things harder on yourself.

There's more phone-foolery! You can now remotely activate car alarms like Aiden, though in Watch Dogs that was used to distract guards, and now it's mainly just useful for startling pedestrians. You can jump into security cameras, and use them to jump into other cameras, and set off other hackable objects while peering through the lens from a safe distance. And, while you can stop the trains, just like in Watch Dogs, there's not much point in doing so, just like in Watch Dogs. But, who needs to have a point? You have some new ways to terrorize the citizens of Liberty City, and that's its own reward.

The mod makes you move like Aiden as well. When you walk, you'll stuff your hands in your pockets and keep your head down, which is the best way to avoid suspicion when you're a famous vigilante the entire city is after. There are new animations for giving you Aiden's awkward sprint, as well as his patented truncheon takedowns which can be performed on anyone you're standing near. There's also a blood-round-the-edges screen effect for when you take damage, which I guess was in Watch Dogs. I'm not sure. I was so good at that game I never took damage.

I'm told that hacking an ATM will cause money to spray out of it, which will cause citizens to run over to collect it, which will naturally cause a huge fist-fight, which sounds quite amusing. I have to say, though, I drove around for ages and never spotted even a single ATM. You can also cause light fixtures to explode, scaring people, and overload soda machines, spilling cans everywhere. Basically, the mod lets you be a huge, destructive jerk in new and exciting ways, and that's what any good GTA IV mod should do.

Installation : Here's the page to download the mod , with a description of all its features and the control scheme. You'll need to use OpenIV to get the mod working, naturally. And, while the mod makes you run and act like Aiden, it doesn't make you look like Aiden. If you want his goofy trench coat and hat, you'll need to install a separate skin for it ( I used this one ).


The first PC game Chris owned was Choplifter in 1982, and since then our staff writer has played at least three other games. He has a love/hate relationship with Early Access survival games and an odd fascination with the lives of NPCs.
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