Much-awaited upcoming video game Watch Dogs from developers Ubisoft will have a reputation system, where the city of Chicago (where the game is set) will see its citizens reacting in an unfavorable way if the player is reckless.
Players who control protagonist Aiden Peace must ensure that they will not be "harming innocents, driving like a madman", and even the media will not spare such players. But if the players are well behaved, they will be "received with cautious optimism," said a post by Ubisoft on its official blog.
"The media will still report on you, but maybe not in such a negative tone. It will be more questioning. Is he a good guy? Is he a hero? Is he a terrorist? They are going to start raising these kinds of questions," said Kevin Shortt, lead writer.
A reputation meter will monitor the behavior of players. However, players will not lose anything even if they play bad. It will neither affect the player's friends and allies, and nor will it lead to any refusal when buy your stuff from stores. But they might call up police if you are very much in the news.
"The reputation system isn't really a good-versus-bad kind of system. We really wanted it to just be the citizens reflecting back on you and what you're doing so that you think about it more. The game doesn't suddenly tilt one way if you get a bad reputation. It doesn't make it exponentially harder. It should just make you consider your actions and what you're doing," explained Shortt.
The game will give a "good" player, who suddenly starts shooting, a chance to redeem themselves. But they have to work on it by doing good deeds which will take time. They can "do the crime detection a lot and you save people," said Danny Belanger, lead gameplay designer.
Players are given the chance to choose what they want to be in the game, and allow the city to respond to their behavior. Players will also face several situations with moral ambiguity; for instance they will be given the chance to steal money when no one else notices.
"With the profiler system we have – and the voices you can hear and hack into – we're making everything more grounded in reality. We're making you feel a living city around you. We're making you realize there are consequences to these sorts of things. It's up to the player what they want to do in that regard," Shortt said.
He also explained that points for the reputation system were not placed purposefully, so that it will help players make the choice of action.
Watch Dogs will not face further delays: Ubisoft
Ubisoft has also stated that the game has gone gold and promised there will not be any further delays, after its first reveal at E3 2012.
"It's exciting to be gold. But it'll be more exciting when people are playing. For the fans it means that it's true. It means there will be no such thing as another delay. But for us, it's not done until they actually have it in their hands," said Jonathan Morin, creative director in a blog post.
Morin also called upon players to play the game the way they want to. He also asked them "To explore the different ways of playing. To not necessarily follow the instincts they know from other games. To find your own fun in it. That's how Watch Dogs is meant to be played."
Watch Dogs will release on 27 May for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.