bill-swift - June 23, 2012
Ubisoft's Watch Dogs emerged from E3 as one of the top surprises of the show and instantly rocketed to the top of many wishlists and most anticipated rankings. That's why the release of a single new screenshot of the game is generating interest everywhere, including this space.
Part of it is the company behind the game testing how much of a slow drip of info and assets they can get away with while sustaining interest in the game that's still many months, if not years away. Another reason for the single screenshot drop is it helps put Watch Dogs more in the category of high art. Supposedly if we spend hour and days drinking in the details of a solitary screen, we'll appreciate just what the game is attempting to do.
I've been around like enough to be leery of games that generate spectacular screenshots because it's so easy to be disappointed. In this case, with Watch Dogs, this screenshot doesn't move me one way or another. The demo at E3 and gameplay footage and information that's been gathered about the game have been enough to impress me as much as a surprise game can impress. Watch Dogs has so much more going for it than the minimalist approach of a single screenshot might suggest.
On the other hand, feel free to investigate every pixel of the screen for clues. Numbers, patterns, embedded shapes, negative spaces and all sorts of compositional decisions might actually reveal important elements of the game. It should all be that much sweeter when you have a controller in your hand (on whatever system it may be) and Watch Dogs is on a screen in front of you.