This is your brain. This is your brain experiencing a Digital Trip in Watch Dogs. These sound-induced mind-altering states allow you to explore an entirely new aspect of the game, with crazy new gameplay that differs wildly for each. According to Lead Gameplay Designer Danny Belanger, they were designed to give players a chance to step away from the heavy themes in the narrative and journey into a lighter, more arcade-y side of the game’s hyper-connected Chicago. During our Watch Dogs demo, we were able to get our hands on two of these Trips, but Belanger assured us there will be more in the full game.

Watch Dogs - That's A Digital Trip, Man

Spider Tank

Oh, the time we spent drifting in and out of this particular Digital Trip… Our mothers would cry out in alarm. You may have caught a glimpse of this beast in a recent video, but the team has been tight-lipped about it until now. That’s right, you can take control of a massive Spider Tank and set about bringing Chicago to its knees.

“The Digital Trips are based around different pillars of our core activities,” Belanger explains. “It fits a playstyle. It fits something people want to do or enjoy doing in the core mechanics of the game. The Spider Tank one is the one that’s more mutated. It’s just crazy.”

Watch Dogs - That's A Digital Trip, Man

Using the Spider Tank’s weapons and ability to attach itself to buildings, your goal is to complete as many of the objectives as you can before the police take you down. You’ll also be able to upgrade your Spider Tank much like you upgrade Aiden in the main game to make yourself more powerful and durable.


Feeling a little frustrated by life? Exorcise your demons (literally) by dropping into a hellish vision of Chicago and succumbing to that strange voice in your head who’s telling you to mow everyone down. Once the timer starts it’s your job to collect as many demon souls as possible by running over the fiery-faced figures standing in the middle of the street. It’s as brutal as it sounds and even more fun. Like the Spider Tank, your badass armored car can be upgraded as well.

Don’t worry; having some fun with this doesn’t make you a bad person. Laughing maniacally might, but we won’t tell if you don’t.

Watch Dogs - That's A Digital Trip, Man

But why are the Digital Trips part of the game? Are they perhaps Watch Dogs’ in-game Blood Dragon? Not at all. Every digital trip is subtly related to the core game, not just mechanically but narratively as well. Each says something about Aiden’s emotional state or relationship with the world around him.

Belanger is coy about the actual meanings behind the Trips. “It’s open to interpretation,” he says, “but they were all based on an emotion the main character has or something he’s struggling with or a character trait. There’s always something in there that has meaning. Some of them are easier to notice than others.”

For more on Watch Dogs, check out these posts:

Watch Dogs – 35 Highlights From Four Hours of Gameplay

Watch Dogs – Animating a Next-Gen City

Watch Dogs – Playing In the Open World

Watch Dogs


Release date — May 27, 2014
Developer — Ubisoft Montreal
Players will assume the role of Aiden Pearce, a new type of vigilante who, with the help of his smartphone, will use his ability to hack into Chicago’s central operating system (ctOS) and control almost every element of the city. Aiden will be able to tap into the city’s omnipresent security cameras, download personal information to locate a target, control systems such as traffic lights or public transportation to stop a chase, and more. The city of Chicago is now the ultimate weapon.

ESRB Rating: MATURE with Blood, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol
the author

Anne Lewis began her career as an editor at PlayStation: The Official Magazine, where she worked under Gary Steinman. She can now be found skulking around the UbiBlog, once more working for Gary. Alas. When Anne isn’t writing about games, she's alphabetizing her comic book collection or shooting at stuff with a bow. Follow her on Twitter: @BDRAnneLewis

16 Readers Commented

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  1. Travis on April 23, 2014
    This is awesome. It's never unwanted when you add even more features to a massive game as Watch Dogs is. But we are still waiting for any word on the graphics issue. I don't know if you aren't aware of it, but at least in my country every videogame site is riddled with ton of users who claim that there has been some sort of 'downgrade'. Could it might be true? Was the demo from 2012's a 'bullshot'? We don't know for sure. Recent footage (including the one released today) looks 'gorgeous', but probably less realistic than even the gameplay from September 2013. I don't want to talk rubbish, but, for instance, that volumetric lighting when the sun is down apparently was different before, and the current one may look beautiful, but also a little cartoonish. Of course that is just my taste. What I'm really asking to Ubi is to make an statement on what I said before. How will my PS4 version look compared to what was shown in 2012 and 2013? We (or at least myself, but most likely a lot of other people too) would appreciate a lot any answer.
    • DefinitelyRetro on April 25, 2014
      If you go to youtube and search "Angry Joe Watchdogs Interview" there's some information there that seemed to clear everything up. The footage shown in the later demos was running on a PS4 the earliest demo was running on a high end PC :) your game will look like the "downgraded" version, not that that's a bad thing the downgraded one still looks great, just not as good as the original trailer
      • Travis on April 26, 2014
        Not sure about that. They said all footage from 2013 was PS4. Basically the only material from PC was the 2012 reveal and the Nvidia video. Furthermore, Jonathan Morin said "he don't think so" when asked about differences between GFXs in one version and another, so the differences we're telling are most likely only due to weather and time of day variations.
  2. OBAMA on May 5, 2014
    Is there a job available for Moyes at UBISOFT?
  3. josh on May 7, 2014
    I wonder if anybody realizes that the Conspiracy digital trips included with the season pass are a reference to the movie "They Live"
    • Anne Lewis | Communications Associate Author on May 7, 2014
      Well Aiden Pearce is here to kick ass and chew gum...
      • Mason Back on June 22, 2014
        ..But he's all out of gum.
  4. Joe on May 13, 2014
    This is a neat idea and I'd love to see more of these "hacks" built into the game. Something like changing your character model to an NPC's (like you could do with cheat codes in the old GTA games) would seem to fit perfectly as a "Digital Trip", though I have my skepticism something like that was actually included in the game.
  5. Abhishek Sachan on May 21, 2014
    Who would get time for those trips when there're already such activities and missions to do..Anne! Are these trips must to progress in the game? Or they're optional?
    • Anne Lewis | Communications Specialist Author on May 21, 2014
      Don't worry! They're completely optional. That said, they are a TON of fun. I recommend giving them a try even if you don't plan on spending much time with them. The Spider Tank trip is my favorite.
      • Ethan on May 26, 2014
        Does the Spider-tank digital trip come with the game, or do you have to buy the season pass to access it?
        • Anne Lewis | Communications Specialist Author on May 27, 2014
          The Spider Tank trip is one of the four that will be available in the game on day one.
  6. Frederic on May 28, 2014
    The digital trips are awesome! There is a huge potential for coop in some of those games! Do you think to ever implement coop mode in some of them? "Alone" for instance would be amazing to play with friends!
    • Ern on May 31, 2014
      If you were to play "alone" with friends it wouldn't really be alone and the point of the trip
    • N-DAWG on June 1, 2014
  7. Brett on May 30, 2014
    Are you planning on adding any more trips to the game?

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