If you don’t want to get hacked while you’re busy hacking Chicago, don’t worry; Watch_Dogs’ drop in multiplayer can be turned off.
In a Watch_Dogs livestream session recorded late last week, Lead Game Designer Danny Belanger spoke a bit about the game’s multiplayer features.
“All the online activities are just part of the menu. They’re a choice. But if someone is not into that… they can totally turn it off,” he said.
If you decide to keep this option turned on in the menu, though, up to eight players can be in one instance of the game, according to Creative Director Jonathan Morin, though it’s unclear if that number pertains to the drop-in multiplayer or a separate mode.
Ubisoft has a system in place to keep users from abusing the mode: “If someone comes into your game, they can’t come in right after so you can’t be spammed in that way, unless you become aggressive and you start going into other people’s games,” Belanger says.
‘Drop in’ style adversarial multiplayer is not new to the current generation of consoles, but it is a trend that’s picked up in the last few years. Need for Speed: Rivals did something similar, making free roam drop in multiplayer a core part of the game, while still making it possible to disable it and enjoy the game alone. Dark Souls is one of the big ones, too, which allows one player to invader others in a high risk, high reward battle for more souls and humanity.
Dark Souls’ harsh difficulty justifies the inability to disable the option, but games like Need for Speed and Watch_Dogs are better for giving players the options necessary to play the game how they want.