Watch Dogs will show players the repercussions of their actions, which Ubisoft Montreal hopes will give the game a more human side.

The game’s creative director Jonathan Morin told Xbox that his studio wanted to give Watch Dogs a serious tone, and that human dramas were a big part of that.

“Video games tend to go very light on that type of subject, so we want to go deep,” said Morin.

“So if you cause a traffic light accident, we want to ask ourselves what is going to happen to the guy behind the driving wheel. We want to reach that level of detail.”

It was next-gen hardware that allowed such a granular focus, said Morin.

“We can make the player believe that when he does something, there are causes and consequences.

“I think that for the first time, players will not only be in a city, they will feel that people live in that city. After all, every city is defined by its inhabitants.

“This is one of the things that new technology gives us: the ability to go even further. For the very first time, NPCs around you are no longer robots that follow a sidewalk. They are real human beings with their own lives.”

Lead story designer Kevin Shortt said that players can hack into any phone, camera, or laptop, and so the world of [game]Watch Dogs[game] needs to be thoroughly fleshed out.

“We worked very hard to ensure players will feel they are navigating a busy city of almost three million people who have a lot of stories to tell and all living their own lives; lives that can be explored at any point through the entire game.

“Many of these stories will expose players to new opportunities that they can pursue on their own time. Real life has layers and depth, odd stories that intersect our lives. Stories that don’t always make sense… but can make us smile or cringe.”

Morin also outlined how Watch Dogs’ multiplayer would work, with online consoles automatically in one of millions of sessions that can be merged and unmerged without gameplay interruption.

“Players can free roam normally, going about their game and at some point they can either accept a contract or provoke a monitoring scan so that the next thing they know, their objective seamlessly involves another player,” he said.

“Once the situation is resolved, we are then able to unmerge both players, and they’re able to go about their game to pursue their objectives as they were.

“The beauty behind this is that we can control the pacing at which this occurs and we can give you tools to also control its flow,” added Morin.

“It is such a natural online extension of what Watch Dogs is all about in the end. If we say that everything is connected, we have to consider that everyone is connected too.”

The game's notoriety system will motivate players to pursue each other online, said Morin.

“When you hack another player, you are installing a worm in his system and then you leverage part of his strength for yourself and he knows about it. So from that point, if this person grows in power, you do as well.

“Think about it for a second: if you work hard for your notoriety and you know that out there one guy is more powerful than you because he leverages some of what you worked so hard to get, how hard will you want to retaliate to break that link?

“In a way, when you hack a player, you don’t remove anything from him aside from his pride. He doesn’t lose anything, but he knows you are more powerful because of his effort.”

Watch Dogs is due out for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and Windows PC on November 21, with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions also coming in the final quarter of this year.