Watch Dogs 2 stars Marcus, a gifted hacker who hails from Oakland. He was once profiled and accused of a crime he didn't commit, which led him to work with the anti-establishment hacking group Dedsec. Marcus isn't just a hacker; he's also skilled at parkour and fighting. He favors a DIY melee weapon that's basically a billiard ball attached to a thin, strong rope. Players will be able to complete Watch Dogs 2 without killing anyone, using items like a taser to knock out foes.
Ubisoft promises Watch Dogs 2 offers more control and flexibility in hacking. Players can hack every character, every vehicle and most of the electronics in the city. Later in the game, Marcus will be able to hack groups of people, too. Plus, he can drive most vehicles.
Marcus has a few special hacking tools, including an RC car with an extendable arm and a quadcopter used mainly for scouting. Players can use the drone to fly over the Bay Area in a first-person view. Eventually, Marcus will get his hands on 3D-printed weapons, as well.
I loved the concept of the first one, and I've long been a big proponent of Chicago as an open world city. It's one of my favorite cities. But for one reason or another, I just couldn't get into it. The driving was really clunky to me. The police were just a little too invasive in the gameplay early on to me. And probably the biggest issue was never really getting to the point where the controls felt natural. Especially in quick pace situations. I unlocked the second area, then just put it down.
But San Francisco is probably my second or third favorite city I've been to in the US. And this looks pretty awesome. I love the parkour stuff, which I never got good at in the last one, while I'm a pretty devoted player of the Ubisoft Assassin's Creed stuff, so I'm not sure why I couldn't get it last time.
I'd like to see some reviews before committing, but I'm also interested in Mafia 3, taking place in the 70s in New Orleans (another good setting), as yet another open world game, which I don't have a top notch history with, that at least looks promising to me.
GameInformer did a write up on it and it sounds like they hand picked my gripes to address:
It's been two years since Watch Dogs, and while it had an original concept at play, the execution didn't completely live up to the pre-release anticipation. However, Watch Dogs' unique premise and hacking mechanics leave room for growth and potential. Earlier today Ubisoft revealed the world premiere trailer for the sequel, with the game arriving later this year on November 15. With the list of improvements coming, it might be worth keeping on your radar. Here are six elements coming to Watch Dogs 2 that we know of so far.
Goodbye Aiden, Hello Marcus
Ubisoft has left behind Aiden Pierce, the series' debut protagonist. His replacement is Marcus Holloway, an African American DedSec hacker from San Francisco. DedSec is the hacktivist group introduced in the first game, and this time around we're given a deeper look at the faction's motivations and the faces behind it. Marcus is one of many that have faced injustice because of ctOS 2.0, an upgraded version of the original central operating system that controls and surveys major metropolitan areas. As a child, Marcus was unjustly branded as a criminal by the ctOS, after it searched through his personal information and made false connections between him and a crime. Since then, Marcus became driven toward understanding that unfortunate link, and also preventing such a scenario from happening to others. He is an advocate for freedom, joining the ranks of DedSec to fight against injustice and corrupted establishments, including Blume, the makers of the ctOS.
Senior producer Dominic Guay describes Marcus as intelligent, open-minded, and charming. He is naturally sociable, and Guay is quick to explain that he's "anything but a lone wolf."
The New Setting Of San Francisco
Watch Dogs took place in Chicago, but the sequel will be set in the San Francisco Bay Area. Divided into six regions, the city includes the downtown area, Civic, Coast, Oakland, Marin, and Silicon Valley, each with their own aesthetic and flavor. For example, the downtown area is business oriented, and Silicon Valley is home to big-name tech companies as well as student campuses. The San Francisco in Watch Dogs is a haven for hackers, with less of a focus on surveillance and more emphasis on the economy of digital information and data mining. In comparison to the last game's Chicago setting, San Francisco's map is two to three times larger.
Improved Driving Mechanics
One of the more notable concerns from the original Watch Dogs was the flimsy driving mechanics, which at times made cars difficult to control. In Watch Dogs 2, Ubisoft is looking to solve this issue with more responsive controls. This approach was applied early on in development, as it was one of the key complaints from fans. "We reworked a lot of the driving to make it more accessible while keeping the depth and keeping the variations between vehicles and vehicle styles," Guay says. Furthermore, car chases should be much more dynamic, since shooting while driving is now possible.
Deeper Hacking Systems
Similar to the first Watch Dogs, city infrastructures can be manipulated, and traffic can transcend into chaos. However, some key changes are also occurring. Players can now hack and edit NPC profiles, such as forging evidence in the system so that they're listed as a wanted criminal. Depending on who you target, the individual will either be arrested whilst proclaiming their innocence, or if you targeted a member of a crime gang, they could resist arrest and begin a dangerous gunfight.
You can also remotely control forklifts and cranes to access previously restricted areas, steer cars in any direction from afar, and use a flying drone creatively to your advantage. Controlling any car remotely can be useful to block off enemy attackers, by sending a vehicle spiraling out of control to make an entryway or street more difficult to pass through. Mass hacks are now available to disrupt traffic and communications systems on a larger scale, or to see through the eyes of another hacker with network hacking.
Skill trees for leveling return, but they come with a wider range of hacking abilities and a differing approach to categorization. "We’re actually regrouping those skills under those play styles to help you choose which one to upgrade according to how you play, including Stealth, Aggressor, and Trickster. Any skill can be used in any style, but it’s going to help the player in how they customize their character," Guay says.
Outside of abilities, a new taser gun is being introduced, which can be used to incapacitate foes non-lethally. While DedSec's focus remains hacking, it also specializes in weapon manufacturing. You'll have access to a 3D printer that can create five signature weapons.
I went into the first one with seriously low expectations because of the reviews, and ended up really enjoying the game. The driving was kinda bad and the story promised a lot but kinda sucked in the end, otherwise it was a lot of fun.