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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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