8 things to do in Watch Dogs before you die

The watchiest of dogs

Have you read our Watch Dogs review? Better do so, right now. Finished? Good, then I can get on with the business of pointing out some of the coolest stuff to do in the game. Some of the examples listed here are just regular features; things youd probably do anyway. Others, are lovely little Easter Eggs and cool tips to help you get the most from the game. After all, theres about 50-60 hours of stuff in Watch Dogs, so you need to know where to start.

So, follow this guide to get the best things immediately. And, if youre yet to pick up a copy of Watch Dogs, theres a handy video to show you the things youre missing out on. It's right below these words. Word of note: this video contains no actual dogs. But there is a moose

1. Cause a major traffic incident

Its the obvious thing to do, right? Youve got a phone that messes with traffic signals, you want to cause a swift car-crash or two. Or three. Or four. Depending on how psychotic you really are. In Watch Dogs, the act of causing a smash is both simple and hugely satisfying: hold the hack button on your pad of choice, and watch the carnage. The vehicles even accelerate aggressively towards each other, making each impact far more severe than it needs to be. Later in the game, hacking lights becomes an essential tool for giving police cars the slip, and getting to school in time to pick up the kids from Vigilante Class. I made that last bit up.

2. Get high, drive a Spider Tank

Winners dont do drugs, kids. However, Aiden Pearce does... and Watch Dogs is all the better for it. Youll see little capsule-shaped markers all around the city; these are very bad men offering digital trips, which play out as bizarre mini-games inside Aidens head. The stand-out is Spider Tank, where you rampage around Chicago in a tank shaped like a spider. Alone sees you liberating city districts from bizarre, Orwellian robot figures. Madness is basically Carmageddon (hurray!), and Psychadelic lets you bounce between giant flowers.

3. Spy on Aisha Tyler

Perhaps the coolest Easter Egg in the game has you--as Aiden--eavesdropping on a conversation between Aisha Tyler and her friend. It seems Aisha has been a little naughty. You find it in the main urban area, by hacking into one of the eye-shaped icons. Its not simply a character voiced by Tyler: its a virtual version of the star herself. Shes an ambassador for Ubisoft, and has hosted their previous two E3 press conferences, so her appearance in the game makes sense. Quick note: if you eavesdrop on Aisha Tyler in real life, that's called stalking, and the police will beat you with sticks and put you into a small cell for that kind of behaviour.

4. Find the talking moose

Remember those awful, battery-powered animal trophies that were popular in the late 90s? The singing trout? The talking moose-head? The dancing hamster? Well, theyre all in Watch Dogs (except the hamster--but there is a Rabbid), and you can hack them for some light-relief. No, not that kind of light-relief, you awful perv. The fish will sing down-and-dirty rap numbers, while the moose has a bunch of genuinely funny jokes to reel off. Look for them in the bar at Pawnee.

5. Track down a serial killer

Theres something rotten in Chicago. No, I'm not talking about The Good Wife, although yeah, that's ass. No, unless you actively start completing the Investigation side-missions, you probably wont even notice how dark this game can get. Once started, though, you get wrapped up in a horrifically brutal quest to find a serial killer, who leaves bodies in some of the most remote, disturbing parts of the game world. If you want to see the side of Watch Dogs that the tourists never see, aim for the magnifying-glass icons.

6. Cause a city-wide blackout

Sometimes you just want to get away from technology; take a break from it all. But getting out into the countryside is such a faff, and you cant stand the smell of goats. So why not simply black out the whole city using your phone? Ah, thats better. No more hacking or people trying to trace your signal--just human nature in its rawest form. Plus, it looks really cool. And it helps with all the stealthing. So, yknow, just do it.

7. Get drunk, lose all your money

There are plenty of mini-games to distract you in Watch Dogs. Some have you blasting virtual aliens, or acting intellectually superior by solving chess puzzles. I recommend just getting blind drunk. The drinking mini-game is actually quite challenging, and if you dont slump under the table totally pissed off your face, you can win a bit of cash. Obviously, I encourage you all to drink responsibly in real life.

8. Hack yourself

Time to get meta. Watch Dogs is all about scanning and stealing data from everyone in the city: invading their privacy and using it to your advantage. So what happens when you turn the attention on Aiden himself? Find out by hacking a camera and pointing it your character. It blurs him out, and lists all his data as unknown. Neat touch, but I wish Ubi explored this non-existent persona idea in the game. Instead, they just made Aiden a bit dull

Needs more dogs

The thing about Watch Dogs is that there simply aren't enough dogs in it. Seriously--I played the game for 40 hours, and didn't find a single hound. No dogs in Sleeping Dogs, either. Very disappointing. Might ask for a refund or something. Mind you, I'm more of a cat person anyway. So, yeah, leave your comments below.

Have you read our review of Watch Dogs yet? What do you mean 'no'. Read it, you wastrel. Bet you're crap at chess, too. Why should we help you out with our Guide to Watch Dogs' Chess Puzzles? WHY? We're far too good to you, sunshine.

Andy Hartup