There’s something of a split regarding Watch Dogs, as to whether it’s the next big Ubisoft franchise or whether it’s more of a one-off. The original received mixed praise, as it had a brilliant mixture of action, driving and puzzle gaming, but it was also marred by a lot of technical issues at launch. WD2 will be the title that either plants the series firmly in the hall of gaming fame, or finally sinks it. Early indications are that the game has been overhauled in all the areas that matter.
More of the same?
Information is slowly coming out about Watch Dogs 2 and so far, things actually look very promising. The first game was praised for taking an interesting new spin on ideas like surveillance and city combat, by making cameras the friend of the player, instead of the foe. No more hiding from cameras or disabling them, instead you seek out cameras and use them as your tools, hacking them and using them against your enemy. The second game will keep this mechanic, so it may feel a bit samey, but two major changes should go some way to relieving that issue. The first is a change of protagonist, from Aiden Pierce to the new Marcus Holloway, though details are still thin on the ground as to why he’s so great. We’ll also see a move from Chicago to San Francisco, which should allow for a more varied and vibrant backdrop.
New city, new gameplay
Fortunately, there are some other new factors in Watch Dogs 2 which will hopefully make the game feel distinct from the first instalment. First and foremost is an improvement to the hacking element, which was great fun in the first game and made it feel like GTA with magic. Now you’ll be able to hack many more objects, in order to take out or distract enemies. Overall, it seems hacking will be a bit more offensive. This wider range of interaction is supported by more vehicle types, which was inevitable for a sequel, including dirt bikes which should be great fun for urban exploration. Melee combat is updated too with customizable weapons, though early footage of Marcus using a billiard ball attached to a rope is a little silly. Graphically, the sequel looks set to stun, with San Francisco offering more color and variety and the game having a very sleek appearance. Hopefully there won’t be issues with textures being reduced at launch, as with its predecessor. Last but not least, the inclusion of co-op multiplayer promises to make this a notable game for spreading a bit of urban chaos!
Watch this space!
Watch Dogs 2 should be an excellent game, provided that it isn’t marred by launch issues like the first. Ubisoft releases are always something of a gamble, despite the size and clout of the studio. However, early indications are good- this game will have better graphics, more color, more variety and multiplayer. So long as it builds on the strengths of the setting, it should make for a fun instalment.