Watch_Dogs 2 Announcement Trailer

Today, Ubisoft officially premiered Watch_Dogs 2, the sequel to 2014’s controversial Watch_Dogs. I say officially because, in more ways than one, we knew Watch_Dogs 2 would be a thing for a while. Even before the first game, they’ve been upfront about wanting to make Watch_Dogs a franchise.

Prior to the first game, the Watch_Dogs name was held in high regards, as it seemed to be a refreshing change of pace from the Assassin’s Creed games and it was the poster child for the “next generation of gaming.” When it came time for Watch_Dogs to be released,  it disappoint critics and gamers alike and was met with it’s fair share of criticisms. These criticisms include a boring character, a world small in scale, bland gameplay, especially the driving and it’s depictions of women and minorities. And those are just what I can remember off the top of my head. Although people knew there was another Watch_Dogs coming, they were willing to give the franchise another chance, noting Ubisoft has a good track record of getting it right the second time. Some examples of this include Assassin’s Creed 2 and Far Cry 3 (Far Cry 2 being Ubisoft’s first).

This brings us to today where Ubisoft unveiled, in surprisingly great detail, Watch_Dogs 2, and it looks as though they’ve decided to take some of the criticisms of the first game to heart. Placing it in a more interesting city like San Francisco, where the tech boom is in full force, gives them a lot to play with, right off the bat. Thus far the game’s dedication of SF has been widely applauded for how close to reality they are, both in terms of depiction and scale. As someone who hasn’t been to the city themselves, I’ll just have to trust the other outlets on this one. The biggest takeaway though, I feel means a lot for both the game, the franchise and other possible Ubisoft games. That is, the entire map is unlocked and mission are available immediately. No towers to unlock, no locations to synchronize, just pure exploration. It’s moving away from what tradition Ubisoft games have been and moving towards more of a GTA feel.

Not only does the city look more interesting in and of itself, but traversing around it looks to be very fast and fluid. Taking some notes from the criticism of the first game having slow movement, they’ve decided to give the protagonist, Marcus Holloway, parkouring abilities. And with Ubisoft being Ubisoft, we know they’re experienced with parkour. You can also just drive throughout the city and with the ability to hack any car anywhere at any time, that shouldn’t be a problem.

While we’re on the subject of hacking, Watch_Dogs 2 is, naturally, all about hacking and plans to out-do that of the first game in terms of it. In the first game, hacking was a very limited concept, which is especially disappointing when you consider that was the central concept that that game was wrapped around. You could only hack certain people in certain areas at certain times. Well, this time around, they’ve gone with the idea that you can hack anyone, anything at anytime. One of the questions the developers were asked about this was, “Wouldn’t that break the game?” They’ve responded by saying that there would be ways in which you’d be limited on how much you could do it, and you would progressively be able to hack and more throughout the game.

Earlier, I mentioned our new protagonist, Marcus Holloway. One of the criticisms of the first game was that the protagonist, Aiden Pearce was boring and had very thin character motivation. This time around, the new protagonist, Marcus, is a kid from Oakland, who has been a first-hand witness to modern social injustices, such as racial profiling and classism. Being the son of activist parents, he decides to join DeadSec in an attempt to right the wrongs around him through his knowledge of computers and technology. The game’s story seems as though it may touch upon some heavy topics, such as the aforementioned racial profiling and modern privacy concerns. I hope it does a better job touching upon the latter, as I felt that was a missed opportunity with the first game. Honestly, the way they described Marcus gave us more about this protagonist than then entirety of Watch_Dogs‘ story.

Oh, you forgot about DeadSec? That was the underground, hacker organization from the first game. In Watch_Dogs 2, they’re more of a bigger movement mimicked after modern hacker culture. Well, themselves along with Marcus’ goal in this game is to acquire more followers in their cause. Therefore, a lot of the hacking and side missions will revolve around gaining followers on the DeadSec social media accounts. The first game had something akin to this where things you did out in the open world would just give you a general idea as to how people felt about DeadSec. It was fairly binary, telling you if they thought you were either good or bad. This element seems like a more interesting way to go about it, but who knows?

Well, no matter how you feel about Watch_Dogs, Watch_Dogs 2 is arriving November 15, 2016 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.