Watch Dogs

New Watch Dogs trailer shows a powerful, hyper-connected Aiden Pearce

Patrick Carlson at

A new Watch Dogs trailer has me nodding my head at all the right moments: Trenchcoat, check. High-powered pistol, check. Noomi Rapace look-alike, check. Ubisoft Montreal's upcoming open-world, near-future vision of hackers and vigilante justice in Chicago still looks gorgeous, but we're also getting a glimpse of some of the other characters who will populate our anti-hero's world.

The new trailer gives us another look at the interactivity Watch Dogs has been promising to bring to its open, sandbox universe, as the main character Aiden Pearce again uses a mobile device to influence his surroundings. He's disabling street lights, accessing road barricades, and in what has become a familiar—but still unsettling—mechanic, Pearce eavesdrops on random Chicago citizens he passes on the street.

The new trailer clearly celebrates the control Pearce seems to have over his environment. I look forward to discovering what the limits of these powers actually might be, especially within the scope of Pearce's own story. Electronic surveillance has become—especially in recent months—one of the most significant issues in contemporary culture. Depending on how Watch Dogs deals with the paranoia implied by its own premise, it could have a kind of relevance that we might never have predicted just a few years ago.