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The difference between Watch Dogs’ heat system and GTA’s wanted level

Watch Dogs
Watch Dogs
Photo courtesy of Ubisoft, used with permission

Since “Watch Dogs” is an open-world action-adventure game, it obviously shares some similarities with other titles in the genre including the current monster in the space, “Grand Theft Auto V.” Creative Director Jonathan Morin talked with Examiner about the differences in how Aiden Pearce attracts the attention of the police in Ubisoft’s game versus the characters in Rockstar’s latest.

“There’s definitely a few things you can do,” Morin said when asked about how “Watch Dogs” will handle differently from “Grand Theft Auto V.” “The difference between let’s say the star system in GTA and the heat system, is that the heat system is more of a memory system. Like what is the heat on you right now, which doesn’t mean you have cops on you.

“You might do bad things that climb the heat, but nobody had the guts to call the cops. If you run around with a gun, for example, someone might call the cops, but they might also be just really scared and say, ‘okay I’m not going to piss off that person right now.’

“It’s more like a meter of when the cops are called, that justifies the repercussions of what’s going to be thrown at you, as opposed to GTA it’s like inevitably you start at zero and then you carry out crimes [to raise your wanted level]. Since our game is based on technology and you have this reputation, we wanted to map the idea of media and reputation as being the systems that define what happens to you and how people perceive you. That’s why we wanted to have that disconnect between cops being called versus the heat on you right now.”

"Watch Dogs" is scheduled to be released on the PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC worldwide on May 27. A Wii U release has been pushed back to later this year.