I liked the first Watch Dogs, but I certainly didn’t love it. I feel as though this was the general feeling when the game launched over two years ago. Watch Dogs was a competent open-world action title that promised far more than it delivered, often trading in its interesting “hacking” premise for mundane shootout with a lead character that was as deep as a puddle. Watch Dogs 2 is well aware of that, and is shifting things up in a big way.
First up though, the reveal trailer. It’s a little lengthier than the leaked one from yesterday morning, but doesn’t really entice as much as the new details around the game do. It does, however, show full well that Watch Dogs 2 is taking things a little lighter in terms of tone.
You’ll play as Marcus Holloway, a young black man from Oakland just over the bay in the new setting, San Francisco. Holloway isn’t a criminal by any stretch, but he has been racially profiled in the past for a bunch of crimes he didn’t commit, forming a rather strong anti-establishment sentiment within him. It’s because of this that he joins Dedsec, the hacking group from the first title that brought Chicago to its knees through CtOS. The same interconnected system that is now running San Francisco.
Holloway is a lot more agile than Aiden Pearce, bringing with him a host of parkour moves that help you get around your new unlocked from the start playground far more fluidly. But Watch Dogs isn’t about scaling building like Assassin’s Creed, so it’s good to know that Ubisoft has looked long and hard at the vehicular system that was pretty subpar from the first title. Vehicles react better to physics, they handle more uniquely between types and generally make long drives more a pleasure than pain.
Ubisoft also revealed that your hacking abilities have been bolstered significantly. Holloway is able to hack anything from cars (in a very cool Driver San Francisco type of way) to any and every NPC. He also has two tools at his disposal that help him get more hands-on jobs done. The Quadracopter from the trailer will let you hack and survey areas from up top, with a nifty little remote-controlled bot lets you call elevators and set traps from the ground.
Ubisoft is promising a lot more depth to the way you can approach situations this time, even going so far as to confirm that the entire game can be played non-lethally. Hacking is truly going to be the emphasis here, and you’ll be able to use your abilities to circumvent firing a gun at every turn. Of course if that’s not how you roll, there’s a plethora of 3D printed weapons available too.
And hey, as per Kotaku there will be actual dogs this time too. Neat.
Watch Dogs 2 is bound to get a much closer inspection during the Ubisoft press conference on Monday, but is already slated for launch on November 15th. Considering this is taking the spot of the now not so annual Assassin’s Creed, I’d expect that date to stick.
Last Updated: June 9, 2016