If it’s true that we’re defined by the company we keep, then Aiden Pearce is arguably a pretty seedy guy. That’s because the star of Watch Dogs knows people. People on his speed dial who can make bodies disappear. People who can hang out at a Sunday barbecue as easily as they can hack into the most secure networks. His besties are veritable lunatics. Of course, when you have a past like Aiden’s, these are the sorts of individuals you tend to attract. Get a glimpse of these characters in action in this new video.
Just like Aiden himself, these friends occupy a moral gray zone: a hazy, murky place where the proverbial line shifts and dances around, where all ethics are defined in the moment. Indeed, these are the same types of “friends” who had put the hurt on Aiden’s family back before he became the man he now is. And now that Aiden’s on the path of revenge (and, perhaps, redemption), he’ll need a little help from other less-than-savory people he’s met on his life journey.
Enemies? Allies? It’s often hard to tell the difference. We sort through Aiden’s tangled relationships with the help of our own friend: Lead Story Designer Kevin Shortt. Following are some of the major players in Aiden Pearce’s hunt for the people responsible for his family’s pain.
You might remember the scatterbrained, dreadlocked T-Bone from an earlier preview. “He’s kind of a distracted, crazy guy who’s very tech-savvy,” Shortt says. (Shortt also describes T-Bone as a “flighty, crazy hippie.” Awesome.)
“T-Bone is key to helping Pearce find the people responsible for hurting his family,” Shortt continues. Of course, T-Bone also has his own issues he’s trying to deal with. He’s not just running from a barber – he’s also running from his own past. “He made a mistake in his life and some people died because of it so he’s been wrestling with that. I wouldn’t say he’s messed up, but he’s scattered and he’s affected by the things that happened in the past. He and Pearce share that. They deal with it in different ways, but they share that past and it bonds them in a way.”
We’ve already seen a hint of that shadowy past catching up to T-Bone when a group of men out to kill him have him cornered, forcing him to call on Aiden for help. In order to maintain these kinds of relationships there will need to be some give and take, so expect more story-driven gameplay missions like this. We’ll see even more T-Bone following the launch of the game in the DLC single-player campaign starring the eccentric hacker with a penchant for blowing things up.
When your plan runs into some… complications, you call a fixer: the type of guy who you hire to make a problem go away – whatever the problem is. That’s where Jordi Chin comes in. We first met him in the gameplay demo that came out of our E3 2012 press conference. More recently we encountered him (and did some rather illegal work for him) in our four-hour demo. He’s to-the-point, has a wicked sense of humor, and comes with the solutions to all your problems – so long as you can pay him. Along with their financial relationship, Jordi and Aiden share a complicated friendship. Shortt explains: “Pearce uses him a lot, to the point where they kind of become friends, but they both know they could kill each other if they wanted to. They like each other but it’s strictly business. If Pearce doesn’t pay Jordi the right amount, Jordi will not help him out.”
Among all of Aiden’s acquaintances, Shortt picks Jordi as his favorite. “It’s hard to pick one, but I gotta say there’s something about Jordi that always makes me smile every time he comes on the screen,” Shortt says. “He can be quite violent and ruthless in what he does, and yet he’s always got this quirky humor that goes with it. He’s a pretty lovable guy, even as dangerous as he is.” From what we’ve seen, he just might be our favorite too. We can appreciate a morbid sense of humor.
Clara Lille is perhaps as much a mystery as Aiden himself. While Shortt doesn’t want to spoil her secret past, he offers up a few tidbits about Clara: “She’s a dangerous woman who can weave her way through any system and expose every secret you hide. She might be an ally… but she might just as easily ruin Aiden.”
Aiden meets this mysterious French-Canadian woman early on in the game and they form a deep bond, but beyond that Shortt was wary of saying anything too revealing. “She has a bit of a dark secret that she’s holding onto. You’ll find out eventually through the course of the game what that is.”
And the rest…
“Jordi, T-Bone and Clara are just a high-level shot of some of the people you’ll end up seeing,” Shortt smiles. “There are many more.” Aiden’s journey causes his life to collide with a wide range of people. Some might be allies, some might be enemies and some might be both, depending on their moods or Pearce’s wallet. These even include an “old friend” who re-enters Aiden’s life and makes it a whole bunch more complicated. In the video above we get a quick look at two other characters – Anthony “Iraq” Wade and Dermot “Lucky” Quinn – who will play important roles.
All these friends and associates have a real impact Aiden’s development as well. “The people Aiden crosses paths with have an opinion on what he’s doing. Their actions affect how he thinks.” And it’s not just people: Aiden also crosses paths with the shadowy DedSec – a hacker collective out to enlighten the citizens of Chicago to the dangers of the CtOS. (We’ll have more on DedSec soon.)
Aiden’s family also plays a role in the story. As you might guess, they aren’t completely behind Pearce’s self-destructive, compulsive behavior. “Pearce is determined to find out who’s responsible by any means necessary. He doesn’t know who did it; he only knows his family was seriously hurt. He becomes obsessive about it. His family says, Let it go. We’re moving on. But Aiden can’t.” It’s this borderline fanatical Aiden that we meet when Watch Dogs begins, but we’ll have to play the game to see where his thirst for vengeance takes him…
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ESRB Rating: MATURE with Blood, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol