Take a closer look at Watch Dogs 2’s Marcus Holloway

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I can’t actually believe there are people who are genuinely upset that Aiden Pearce isn’t going to be the protagonist in Ubisoft’s impending Watch Dogs sequel. Perhaps it’s because he was so lacking in personality that he acted as a cipher or avatar, acting as a blank slate on which to project their own characters. Maybe they actually like him as a character, because their favourite house plant had just died or something. Perhaps they’re just racists, happy to play yet another game featuring a terribly dull, middle-aged white guy. I’ll never understand it.

Instead, Watch Dogs 2 has a new anti-hero, a young black hacker named Marcus, who’s affiliated with the very organisation Dishclotch McHouseplant tried to take down in the first game. Here’s a closer look at both Marcus and Dedsec as an organisation.

The game itself seems to be making hacking a lot more important. Here’s what Alessandro said of the game after giving it a go at E3.

“Marcus though is a lot more capable with an overly powerful smartphone and laptop, and it’s here where Watch Dogs 2 instantly grabbed my attention. For all the complaints of the first title forgetting itself too quickly, Watch Dogs 2 seems to be making up for it with a robust and well explored version of its aggressive hacking. No more was it restricted to simple on/off functionality. Using nothing more than line of sight, I was able to remote control cars, forklifts, traffic signals and civilian phones with finesse and precision.

It’s not just a simple button tap anymore either. Watch Dogs 2 wants to make you feel like you’re in control, and a new interface for these hacking abilities does just that. Holding down L1 brought up a contextual menu for each of my dubious deeds, offering up to a maximum of four options with regards to the object I was attempting to control. With a nearby car, this meant accelerating it forwards of backwards, or outright leading the police off a wild goose chase with a series of sharp, remotely controlled swerves and turns.”

What I’m more interested in though, is the story and its very current and pertinent themes of racism and racial profiling. It’s a tricky topic to tackle in a videogame, and if it’s not handled exceptionally, could cause controversy for Ubisoft. If it is? It could be something quite special indeed.

Last Updated: July 27, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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