Watch Dogs (stylized as WATCH_DOGS) is an open world action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It was released on 27 May 2014 for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, with a Wii U version planned for release in the fourth quarter of 2014. Set within a fictionalized version of Chicago, Illinois, the single-player story follows a hacker and his efforts to seek revenge after the accidental death of his niece. The open world design lets players freely roam Chicago, which includes the urban city, open countryside and slums.
The game is played from a third-person perspective and its world is navigated on-foot or by vehicle. Players control Aiden Pearce, a highly skilled grey hat hacker who can hack into the CtOS, a centralized system which manages the hyper-connected city of Chicago. Players can choose to play either against the law, or for it—as a criminal, or a vigilante. An online multiplayer mode is also provided in the game, allowing up to eight players to engage in both co-operative and competitive gameplay in a recreation of the single-player setting.
The story of Watch Dogs follows Aiden Pearce (Noam Jenkins), a skilled hacker and former thug. Eleven months after his actions led to the death of his niece, Lena, Aiden seeks to bring his own form of justice to the culprits by manipulating Chicago's CtOS, or Central Operating System, a supercomputer that controls every piece of technology in the city and contains information on all of the city's residents and activities which can be used for various purposes.
The storyline of Watch Dogs game is built around the concept of information warfare, data being interconnected, and the world's increasing use of technology—questioning who exactly runs the computers they depend on. The game is set in an alternate reality version of Chicago, Illinois, which is one of many cities to feature a supercomputer known as CtOS. In the game's universe, the Northeast blackout of 2003 was found to be caused by a hacker, prompting the development of the CtOS. Creative director Jonathan Morin has stated that the main story of the game is 35–40 hours long.