The original Watch Dogs was a game that I really, really wanted to like. But despite the game having its moments and pretty good premise. Ultimately the main protagonist, Aiden Pearce was one of the most unlikeable characters I had played as in quite some time. The game took itself way too serious. Thankfully, Ubisoft learned from their mistakes and in Watch Dogs 2 kept what worked from the first game and made some fantastic new changes. Keep on reading to see why Watch Dogs 2 is a game that is well worth your time.
Likeable Characters Make Things Much More Fun
The overall tone of Watch Dogs 2 is much different to the first game. It is much more fun, loose and entertaining and the character you play as, Marcus is such a cool and pop culture savvy guy. That you cannot help, but really like the guy. He is framed for something that he did not do and he along with the rest of the DedSec crew wants to take down this huge corporation and show the world what they are really like. It is not just the character you play as, Marcus who is great. Wrench, Sitara, and Josh are just as fun.
The relationship between the crew is really what made this a game that kept me coming back. They have such great chemistry and just hearing them shoot the breeze with each other really does make them come across as real characters. Honestly, the relationship between your crew is a major highlight of the game. As well as the main characters, hearing the NPC’s go about their daily lives and interact with each other is also a hoot.
Now the actual story of the game (no spoilers here) as we said is mainly about you trying to clear your name all the while taking down one of the biggest corporations in the world. The city of San Francisco feels much more alive than the Chicago of the first game. The overall story is a lot of fun, even though you can see where it is heading a mile away. The story of Watch Dogs 2 gets going really fast and as the game makes you feel a connection to the characters so early on, you will find that you get really invested in the story.
Hackers Gonna Hack
Watch Dogs was all about hacking and as you would expect so is Watch Dogs 2. The hacking in the original Watch Dogs was very basic and simple, but in Watch Dogs 2, Ubisoft has kicked it up a notch. A hacking minigame will still appear when hacking needs to happen, but it happens in the game now instead of a new separate window popping up. You may have to hack a camera and then run to another part of the street or building to hack another one. You need to hack security systems, phones, cars and pretty much everything you can in order to complete missions.
As well as standard hacking you have two new toys that can help you get to areas unnoticed and those out of reach. First of all, we have the Jumper RC Car. This is an RC car which as you would expect by its name, can jump. You can use this to get to areas that you cannot reach or if you want to remain in the shadows and be undetected. Another new way of hacking is your drone. Now this is really cool as you can certainly get to places that otherwise would be inaccessible.
I really liked to take as many enemies down through hacking as possible. Be it making something explode close by or even having a car that was parked “accidently” run into someone. Coming up with creative ways to take an enemy down without actually getting your hands dirty is something that was a great deal of fun. It also helped me feel like I was in the right as I was “technically” not killing anyone with my own hands……. Which brings us to the next point.
Get Your Gunplay Out Of My Game!
By far the weakest aspect of Watch Dogs 2 is when the game forces you to use guns. Now to be fair I managed to make it a little way into the game before gunplay was something I had to do. But once the bullets start flying, Watch Dogs 2 feels just like any other third-person cover shooter and if I am being honest a rather weak one at that. I was trying to not spill any blood with my own hands so I mainly used a stun gun. But the option to open fire with actual guns and kill people was always there.
Another issue I had with the game when firefights came into play was the enemies. It does not take too long for very powerful enemies wearing armor to come after you. If you get in a situation with a few of these guys after you, you will die and most likely have to do a rather large section of the game again.
In all honesty, the gunplay is a small part of the overall Watch Dogs 2 package. But for me, the game would have been a lot better without it. Or at the very least maybe making the enemies not quite as tough as they were.
Driver San Francisco
While the story is something I really enjoyed. I also had a lot of fun with the side missions. From hacking people’s phones taking selfies and all other kinds of shenanigans. The side missions were something that never actually felt like a chore. Sure some of them are very similar, but the personality of Marcus and the people you encounter make them very enjoyable.
The major highlight of the extra missions though was the Driver San Francisco missions where you pretty much play as a Uber Driver. I loved the tongue in cheek name, Driver San Francisco which is clearly a nod to the Driver series of games. These missions felt like someone at Ubisoft said “What if we put Crazy Taxi in this game?” and then someone said ok! I am glad they did as I had a lot of fun flying around San Francisco. If anything it made me wish that they put some more in depth driving missions in the main story.
Watch Dogs 2 Gameplay Video
Watch Dogs 2 Final Thoughts
Watch Dogs 2 is a fantastic sequel. Ubisoft really did do a great job in making this just such a much better game than its predecessor. While I was not a fan of the gunplay. The rest of the game more than makes up for that. Watch Dogs 2 is one of the best surprises of 2016 as I really was not expecting a whole lot from this. I really expected more of the same if I am honest. Instead what I and everyone else got was a really fun game that was just a lot of fun to play through.