This post was originally posted on my old website Slannxe Gaming. It was first published January 2, 2017.
If you’ve ever played the first Watch_Dogs game, the core concept is still here. Hack everything; and in Watch_Dogs 2, they really do mean it. It was hard to find something you couldn’t hack. Cars, scissor lifts, street lights, and even big gas tanks were hackable. This really let you be more strategic in how you played out your missions, and even certain missions you got time to set up an ambush, moving cars around and forklifting explosions everywhere.
The main story is pretty simple. You play as Marcus, a black dude that got screwed over by Blume, the big CTOS company that returns from the first game. Marcus joins up with Dedsec, the hacktivist group in sunny San Francisco.
You meet some cool side characters like Wrench, Josh, and Sitara, and even see some old faces from the first game. All the characters have a lot of personality to them, including Marcus. This was something that was lacking from Aiden Pierce in the last game.
The side missions are a ton of fun, and honestly I liked doing them more than the main quests. While you do these missions, you gain followers which are essentially just experience points. The game has a very modern feel to it, with everything you do being some sort of social thing. Like taking pictures in important locations.
Like a true Ubisoft game there are a massive amount of collectibles. You have money sacks, spray paints, and hacking upgrades spread all across the city. I always found myself diverting from my path if I saw a collectible nearby. None of them are even remotely essential to beat the game, but it’s always fun to have stuff to pick up.
The multiplayer aspect is back. I wasn’t a huge fan of it in the first game, and it’s essentially the same concept in Watch_Dogs 2. Hack into another players game, steal data, don’t get caught. What’s frustrating about this is whenever you really don’t want to get hacked by another player, it seems to happen. You’re fighting off police, looking for collectibles, or just trying to get to your next mission, it just becomes a bit of a nuisance. That being said, every once in a while I did find another player in my game and I would hack them. It was funny hiding in a car and seeing the other player running around trying desperately to locate me. You can also team up with friends and run around the world together, but for me personally I didn’t ever want anyone in my world with me. I did not want two Marcus’ running around.
So ultimately Watch_Dogs 2 got me addicted to playing a video game again. It has been a long time since I sat down and played one game for a long time. It was a lot of fun exploring San Francisco. Everything felt brighter than the previous entry, and the characters felt more grounded. My favorite part of the game was getting the flying drone. Being able to fly up and spot out enemies and make a game plan for each missions was awesome.
I’m really excited about the next installment. I don’t plan on buying any of the DLC they have planned for the game, but if I hear some good story DLC is released, I will be jumping on it for sure.