On May 27, 2014, Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs became the fastest-selling new franchise ever when it was released for every gaming platform under the sun. Not only notable for being one of the first truly “next generation” games, it’s also known for being set in an uncannily accurate depiction of Chicago, which naturally means that you should pair your play sessions with its namesake: The Chicago Cocktail.
This is part of an irregular series of posts called Video Games & Cocktails (VG&C), where we discuss whatever game we happen to be playing and enjoying, as well as a delicious cocktail to pair it with. These won’t necessarily be comprehensive reviews in the traditional sense, but more personal thoughts and impressions.
I won’t spend too much time getting into what Watch Dogs itself is, other than that it’s an open-world action game set in a near-future Chicago, where everything is controlled by an operating system which can be hacked almost at will. These are some reviews that fairly capture my feelings about the whole package itself: Polygon’s and Giant Bomb’s.
I wanted to discuss a more specific aspect of the game here, and that is the the unique and often thrilling multiplayer modes. This is not your usual deathmatch or capture the flag. Ubisoft Montréal has really done something special here: Picture yourself wandering around a very convincing replica of Chicago, minding your own business (or rather, the business of thousands of individual AI characters). All of a sudden, an alarm flashes across your screen: You’re being hacked!
Unbeknownst to you, another player has entered your game and has been secretly stalking you using the same tools you were using on the hapless AI. Now a frantic game of cat and mouse ensues, and you have about two minutes to find the intruder, who will be doing their best to hide from you and blend in with the crowd. Moving quickly, you’ll start profiling people walking around, looking for someone acting suspicious, looking inside cars, using the security cameras, trying to find anything that looks out of the ordinary (I’ve found that a great tactic is to shoot a gun into the air to make the pedestrians scatter. If your foe is trying to blend in with a group of people, they probably won’t react at the same time as them, and bingo!). If you can find the hacker, a chase ensues (usually involving high speed cars across the city) with the intruder trying to escape before you can eliminate them. Once they’re taken care of, it’s your turn for revenge!
But first, you’ll want something to calm your nerves.
Naturally, the cocktail that I’ve decided to pair with my Watch Dogs sessions is the Chicago Cocktail. With the detailed setting of Chicago being such an important part of the game, sipping on this delicious namesake cocktail while watching your target scramble to find you is a unique pleasure.
Here’s what you will need to make it. You’ll definitely want to get this drink together before you start playing!
2 oz brandy
1 oz Triple Sec (or orange curacao)
1 dash Angostura bitters
Champagne or sparkling wine (optional, but strongly encouraged!)
To prepare the rim, rub the lemon wedge around the rim of a rocks glass and then dip the rim into some fine sugar in a dish. Then fill the glass with ice. Into a separate stirring cup, add ice, then pour in the brandy, Triple Sec, and bitters. Stir the ingredients well and strain into the rocks glass. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with the lemon wedge.
You’re all set. Get comfortable, grab your controller, and when you get bored of playing the main game, try this 1-on-1 multiplayer mode for something very fresh and very exciting. Cheers!