Watch Dogs 2 Preview: Mess With The Best, Die Like The Rest

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Watch Dogs, one of the most successful new IP released on this generation, had its share of the problems when it released. It was trying to be the next Grand Theft Auto while standing on neutral ground on hacking in today’s digital landscape. With Watch Dogs 2 weeks away from release, the latest preview build addresses many of fan complaints about it.

I actually enjoyed the original in spit of its flaws. Its story had some cool ideas that it brought to the table, but was hindered by a weak protagonist. Even though the game was set in Chicago, there wasn’t much to do besides change equipment and shop for clothes. Once you beat the game there was no need to return to the windy city. That’s where the game’s online multiplayer comes in.

Ubisoft has so far revealed two different online multiplayer modes that people will be able to play. Hacking Invasion returns in the follow up and now it’s more fleshed out. In this mode, players are assigned a target opponent and the goal of their mission is to download a certain amount of data without being detected. Players can also team up for co-op missions within this mode and explore San Francisco or partake in similar missions.

The new online mode, Bounty Hunter is tied to the police heat system and effectively takes players out of the single-player open-world experience when there’s too much chaos happening in the game. Once players are detected by police, you need to drive away as soon as possible.

From Chicago To San Francisco 

For a start, the game’s driving has been significantly improved. Even though it still isn’t as tight as I would like, it isn’t as loose compared to Mafia 3. What I love to do more is remote hack cars and use that as a way to get of tricky situations.

This time around the city has moved from Chicago to San Francisco and it’s captured to a tee. While it doesn’t have every street, it has all the street markets that i’m accustomed to seeing being a local. Ubisoft didn’t take any short cuts and it’s impressive.

One of the first things I did was drive though the Golden Gate Bridge then headed to down the marina district where the Palace of Fine Arts is located. Unlike in most open world games, I didn’t rely on using an in-game map because I know this area backwards.  I realize isn’t going to be the case for 90 percent of the people reading this, but this intention to the city traffic flow is impressive.

Ubisoft-isms    

Watch Dogs 2 carries over traits from previous Ubisoft titles. Marcus outside of hacking is a parkour master, master gunsmith and black belt in martial arts. So if you get caught and have to engage directly with an enemy you’re well equipped.

The biggest change from Watch Dogs 2 is that the hacking has evolved. During in-game missions you have access to a quick hack button that will  lets you operate drones to access locked doors.

In any scenario you’re given multiple ways to proceed. If you want to go straight in using minimal hacking, that’s a option that’s available to you. After a few enemies were taken out, enemy AI would start to get suspicious and survey the area. During my time, I didn’t see a lot of enemy variety that would force me to mix my play style. Most of the they would act like goons on a default walking pattern.

After a few times it was easy to pick off enemies and move closer to the objective. Tech abilities in Watch Dogs 2 are used to eliminate potential closed doors ahead. This could be looked doors, turned off energy grids, and to navigate through enemy patrols. All the guards can be distracted by having their cell phone go off.

Already An Upgrade  

this time with a brand new protagonist called Marcus Holloway, who’s already got more personality than Aiden Pearce. Holloway is an African American born in Oakland, California who is a member of the anonymous hacktivist network, DedSec. He’s been wrongly accused of a crime and is looking to clear his name. He realizes the system is rigged and tries to take on the big brother

“We sent 4 years developing Chicago, but after awhile we realize the most important thing was data,” Dominic Guay, senior producer said.

Inspired from current events, data is a computer profile on her likes and dislikes. In particular who you’re going to vote for, party preference, and your estimated future revenues. Certain data can predict your probability to be involved in a crime, which sets the stage for Watch Dogs 2.

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Editor-in-Chief at Victory Point. When I am not talking about video games, I am regrettably cheering for the San Jose Sharks, San Diego Chargers, and Phoenix Suns on Twitter.