This trailer by French publisher Ubisoft was heralded as the winner of the convention by the gaming community. The trailer, made almost entirely of actual game play, is basically a short film on its own. When I started watching it, I slowly forgot I was trying to learn about a video game, and earnestly sat at rapt attention wondering what would happen next. The game takes place in an ultra-realistic version of Chicago. Trailer-gleaned-presumptions lead one to believe that this is a living, breathing city. In Skyrim, mentioned above, each small generic-vaguely-Nordic-fantasy-village, attempts to be a living city — each citizen has a “life,” they go to work, they have families… families that get oddly upset when a member gets murdered — but Watch Dogs‘ Chicago looks far more populated, more… real, and not in a “there aren’t dragons” sense of real, either.
Watch Dogs does something interesting. It creates an ultra-realistic world: realistic physics, realistic human behavior, realistic lighting and level design, but within a science fictional society. I’ll let you watch the video to see what is different about Watch Dogs‘ reality. It’s really cool, I assure you.
Some later (awesome) events in the trailer raise questions — are these events totally scripted into the game, or does the player have control over their outcome? Was there more than one way to accomplish the task accomplished in the trailer? Is each way equally cinematic? The society in the game actually presents some interesting questions re: free will and all that jazz.