Watch_Dogs' mysterious multiplayer functionality is getting slightly clearer. A structured competitive mode has been briefly hinted at, but more excitingly, singleplayer sessions can start to bleed together while other players synchronously enter your version of Chicago via a companion app from anywhere in the world.
"Ambitious" might be a bit of an understatement, but don't worry, you can play offline.
Since Watch_Dogs is set in a city where every camera, object and even person is connected by a universal operating system (ctOS), Ubisoft suggests that players can hack into each other's cities while hosting an open solo game session, or by using a companion app that lets you spy on other players through the camera network - and interact with their hackable objects. As opposed to most asynchronous companion apps, Watch_Dogs promises to let you engage in real-time gameplay.
Of course, you won't have to use this functionality if you don't want to (there's no always-on DRM here). "I’m not saying you’re forced [to play online]!" explains lead gameplay designer Danny Belanger. "If someone kicks out his network connection there’s still a game there. But what we really want to do is, if you are social or involved socially, you have more variety. It’s a bigger meal, it’s a bigger buffet, you have more choice. If you want to play a guy on your tablet from your living room, you guys are playing synchronously. You’re playing the game. That adds content and value for the players."
Note that Ubisoft hasn't confirmed whether Watch_Dogs has cooperative functionality in the truest sense, or if players can physically meet and interact. I'd be surprised if more details aren't announced very soon indeed.