Personally, I wasn’t always the biggest fan of the first Watch Dogs, but now, 2 years later, my first hands-on experience with Watch Dogs 2 may have turned me around when it comes to one of Ubisoft’s potential new flagship franchises.
From the start of our session we were met with the fact that Watch Dogs 2 shares a lot of the DNA of its predecessor, but like what Assassin’s Creed II was to the first game, Watch Dogs 2 seems like a product that has learned a lot from the missteps of the first game and takes a great attempt at providing a user experience that is much closer to the expectations that players had of the original game.Exchanging the setting of Chicago for the much sunnier and colorful San Francisco, Watch Dogs 2 introduces us to an entirely different style of protagonist, who has a completely new set of toys to play with as we cause mayhem throughout the city as a member of DedSec. Starting off with a portion of the singleplayer we were given the option to play either of the three styles, which were; trickster, stealth, and guns blazing, of which we chose the first to start off our experience.
Using wits and tricks, the array of tools to hack the world and take out enemies has heavily expanded and this time round you can do it all without a single fatality. Using a mix and mash of techniques and gadgets we were met with the task of retrieving multiple items of interest from two enemies situated in a hostile area, though, I didn’t need to go in alone. Accompanied by a second player from the team at Ubisoft, who joined our session seamlessly just a few moments earlier, we set out to infiltrate the facility and get the job done.Now, things sometimes may not go as planned, but what would a real player be if they couldn’t improvise? Despite my original decision to take the trickster route, my attempts to go in using purely gadgets didn’t exactly go as smooth as we planned, so we decided to take the stealthy approach and move throughout the area without causing any fatalities, though arguably I’m not quite sure what happened to the guy I tased that fell over a railing early on in our attempt… Collateral damage aside, we soon made our way to the objective as the game really showcased the variety in gameplay as I realised I could’ve probably finished the job in a few minutes tops, but what fun would it be if I was constantly seen? After all, stealth is incredibly satisfying if well done and despite some minor inconsistencies and bugs, Watch Dogs 2 did seem to get it right to a certain extent.