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Watch Dogs 2 Review: : (PC): : Upgraded Successor

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Watch Dogs 2 had lukewarm hype before it’s release owing to the predecessor’s failure at not being able to capture the crowd and Ubisoft has done better than expected this time around, especially due to the fact that the game finally has a unique character of it’s own. Unlike it’s predecessor, Watch Dogs 2 hits all sorts of notes and is filled with life in every nook and cranny of Ubisoft’s San Francisco and does more rights than wrongs to keep the player invested for quite some time.

Watch_Dogs 2

Detailed Review

Watch Dogs 2 revolves around the life of Marcus Holloway, an adept hacker who teams up with a group of hackers to take down the citywide surveillance system ctOS 2.0. Just as many would expect, a software/hacking based game would be tough to imagine without tagging along big companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook etc (Which have their own name in the world of WD2) and the way the story unfolds involving all these huge companies and a corrupt government absorbs you into the game and makes you want to move further ahead.

Marcus, as a character is much more expressive and might be relatable to quite a chunk of population out there with his jumpy and enthusiastic attitude along with most of the tropes that modern society follows, ‘THE SWAG’ as we all know it. Even those who can’t relate to him would find him as an interesting character for a game world, and would be much more appreciative of him going forward in the story. Apart from that most of the story missions that you’ll be playing are filled with the same light mood and a funky style to go along with.

(+)  Once Upon A  Time In San Francisco

Coming to the city, it is very difficult for me to judge this section since I don’t live in San Francisco, but that doesn’t stop me from admiring the exotic looking hills, bridges, the sea and bustling crowds.

The best thing about the city though is the fact that each and every NPC has a story, ranging from mundane conversations to naughty little chats, it makes you feel like you are a part of a living and breathing world.

The game would average between 20-30 hours if story is what your focus is, and the world of Watch Dogs 2 is littered with all sorts of things to do- co-op missions PvP, go karting etc, so if you ever feel bored or just want to have some extra fun, you can still keep yourself busy with these activities.

The gameplay has been much more polished- the shooting has been improved a lot and the parkour mechanics feel like they took half of Assassin’s Creed and left the other half. The hacking elements have mostly remained the same with the addition of some elements here and there.

The addition of RC car and copter helps the game a lot in not only giving us more than one option of playing the game, but also giving the gameplay another dynamic of exploration. The short respawn times of the RC car and chopper help in keeping the momentum going.

Apart from that there is a huge and diverse skill tree, which consists various unlocks that aid you in various aspects of the game- escaping from police, accessing new areas and quicker ways to infiltrate enemy strongholds. But if I am to be completely honest,  the game can be completed without upgrading anything, in fact even though I upgraded many things, apart from the story missions which give you the upgrades directly, I never found myself using them in 99% of the cases (Except of course the passive abilities).

(-) A Bumpy Ride

Apart from that the driving still is poor. The car collision physics are borderline bad and the way the cars handle for an open world game is ridiculous. The bikes though are somewhat more realistic and much more easier to drive apart from the fact that you can’t fall off a bike even if you are totally parallel to the road. This along with some other weird stuff, make the game feel odd at times for the realism it is going with.

(+) Real Cops

Another thing I liked about WD2 has to be the police AI. It is much more pressurizing and more difficult to get rid of when compared to other modern open world games. It really makes you feel that you are being chased- Police use various techniques such as surrounding your vehicle with other cars and then blocking all passages which slow you down considerably. But for as good as it’s AI is, it has the same problems as all other modern open world game, IE, the police do not follow you off road which is practically the easiest way to lose police.

(+) Fast & Furious Chases

The best part about Watch Dogs 2 though has to be the multiplayer, mind you, not the co-op, the PvP. The co-op is fun for some time, but soon gets tedious and the missions just make you infiltrate a base with a partner, which is not challenging at all. PvP on the other hand feels exhilarating- two players following you in an open world along with the police is quite a challenge and allowing you to run wild in the open world is something that really absorbs you into the game and captures the feeling of movies such as Fast & Furious. Also the fact that you, either as a hunter or a tracker can use all the hacking abilities at your disposal on the opponent just makes the PvP all the better. I spent more time on PvP than on the story out of my 37 hours of playtime. I couldn’t really get into the last mode- Invasion, so I would prefer not talking about it.

Co-op is fun at first, but loses steam after some time

Last but not the least, I have to say this, Watch Dogs 2 did not make me feel like a hacker if I am to be honest. Pressing contextual buttons for hacking is not the same as hacking. I have had the same problem with many modern games. The best example in recent memory would have to be Quantum Break. In that game again, for most of the part unless you were using the Time shield or Time Dodge, while in combat, the other parts just had contextual buttons for using time as a power which was disservice to such an interesting dynamic. I would have liked it if there were puzzles to solve in the story missions at least, which would make me feel like a hacker, but I don’t have much of a gripe with that because I understand that puzzles could have spoilt the pacing of the game, so it’s not that big an issue.


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