Review: WATCH DOGS 2 (2016)

Press ‘E’ to hack the world.

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Watch Dogs 2 (or Watch_Dogs 2) is the second entry to Ubisoft’s attempt to create a GTA rival. The player takes on the role Marcus Holloway, a common guy (with out of the world hacking skills) who was targeted by the ctOS and flagged for a crime he did not commit. Throughout the game, Marcus tries to bring down Blume and the ctOS by hacking his way through various missions.

Is It Worth?

In my opinion, yes! I played the first Watch_Dogs and am familiar with the problems it had and the things it missed out on. Watch_Dogs 2 looks to fix those things, which in my opinion, is how a company should work. They listened to fan feedback and created a game which is fun and worth a try. That being said, remember this is Ubisoft which means that micro-transactions are a part of the game and they want you to buy the season pass and other DLC as well.

A little about the Gameplay

Playing as Marcus Holloway in the beautiful San Francisco, the world is yours to hack. The game allows you to hack gates, camera, and vehicles and also to call the police or rival gangs if you don’t want to get your hands dirty. The best part of the game is hands down your RC and drone. To anyone starting the game, buy these two as soon as possible. I believe that most of the missions in the game can be finished without entering the play area if you know how to use the drone and the RC.

For those who prefer a more ‘hands-on’ approach, you can always equip your weapon and go through the goons leaving dead bodies in your wake. However, Watch_Dogs 2 is most fun when you’re hacking your way through problems, not blowing them up. Frankly, Marcus looks good with his laptop, not his sniper rifle. That being said if you wanna blow shit up, the game lets you do that.

The game also follows a standard skill tree system, where completing missions gives you research points that you can use to upgrade your skills, weapon handling, hacking speed, etc. No need to fret if you choose something wrong as the game gives you enough research points to be fully upgraded by the time the final mission rolls in.

The Good

1: The cast. I feel that the biggest problem with the first Watch Dogs was that it had no memorable characters. Ezio, Tommy Vercetti, Trevor, CJ, etc. are all identifiable characters who made their game memorable. Aiden Pearce was nowhere close to them as he had zero personality and could have been a blank placeholder.

Marcus Holloway, on the other hand, is full of personality and vibe, which makes the game infinitely more enjoyable. Along with him, the rest of Dedsec is just as fun. Josh, Sitara, T-Bone (returning from the previous game) — and my absolute favourite Wrench — are truckloads of fun. These are people I would love to be friends with, IRL.

2: The setting. Watch_Dogs 2 exists in the beautiful city of San Francisco. And when I say beautiful, I mean fucking gorgeous. The city is teeming with life and you can spend hours in various places looking for landmarks and monuments. Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz prison and the Silicon Valley are just some of the places you can go and have fun at. Play the game in 1080p full HD and watch yourself be blown away.

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3: The fun. Watch_Dogs 2 actively makes fun of everything pop culture. It pokes fun at Martin Shkreli, Donald Trump, Google, Facebook, Space X and everything else. They don’t take names of course (Google is Nudle, Facebook is !nvite and so on) but it’s so much fun that you just can’t stop laughing. Also, the game does have Ubisoft San Francisco office, in case it is not enough meta for you.

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“Talk to me in 21st century memes.”

The Bad

1: Not enough mission variety. It is not game breaking, but most of the game boils down to ‘go there, hack that, run away’. I believe that is something unavoidable in a game about hacking, about a few missions with different structures would have been more fun. There are a few racing missions in there, but not enough.

2: The story. Taking down Blume forms the overarching narrative of the game, but when broken down into smaller parts it does not seem to have any direction. The missions are broken down into parts, but each part is more about a character/company to be taken down. Tying in a little bit better would have been better!

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3: The antagonist. Dusan Nemec as the main antagonist fails to make an impact. As the CTO of Blume, he does not seem intimidating enough even when he effectively takes down the entire Dedsec single-handedly.

Conclusion

Ubisoft have breathed a new life into the Watch Dogs series with a fun new cast and great setting! Even if the sales numbers are not as high as expected, I would recommend this game as it’s the step in the right direction. Watch Dogs 2 has laid down a great foundation, and future entries should use this as the inspiration. That being said, please do not make it into a GTA clone. Watch Dogs has its personality and does not need to be anything else.

Games Rewired has given you the truth. Do what you will.

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About prtk21

Just a bear living it out in the sunshine state! Find me socially @evilbhalu (Twitter) and @evil_bhalu (IG) !
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