Ubisoft has outlined some pretty outlandish plans for the inevitable Watch Dogs sequel, where it looks to be taking the citizen profiler to the next level. The profiler was a no doubt a double-edged sword, offering us superficial insights into the lives of those around us but all too often seeming shallow and repetitious.
Watch Dogs’ creative director Jonathan Morin sees the potential in this system though, with plans to push this feature and build upon the foundations laid by it for Watch Dogs 2, the aim being to humanise the people around you which he sees “as the beginning of something that is quite unique and could push the industry forward.”
Speaking at the DICE Europe 2014 event, Morin revealed how the team has plans to use the Profile to create more emergent in order to allow players to create their own unique stories within the universe. The key to this is in providing a reason for players to care about the citizens around them rather a member of a faceless mob, the trick being to find the right balance between this systemic experience and a tightly crafted story to drive players along.
"We're at that stage now. We're trying crazy stuff. We're trying not to fall into that trap of, 'Oh we've tried that in the past, it's not going to work',” said Morin. “That's the main trap - that's the barriers you can put in your mind, when you start having a franchise.”
Morin wouldn’t be pushed on the specifics of what this may entail but he was keen on the potential of pushing things forward in a way they haven’t been done before. While Watch Dogs certainly has its limitations it’s easy to see how Ubisoft could take things to the next level in terms of interaction with the city and the people around you. As it stands the experience is more on the formulaic side but if Ubisoft could expand it to include more interactivity and dynamic events then it’s clear where the possibilities lie.
What did you think of the Citizen Profiler in Watch Dogs? Do you think it was used to its maximum potential and what do you think Ubisoft’s ‘crazy stuff’ it’s trying could be?