Unlike some people, I did enjoy the original Watch Dogs, you can even read my original review of the game here. That being said, I was looking forward to a sequel but when I seen the preview at E3, I kind of just went meh and my pre-order of the game went out the window. I did however pick this game up on sale last year, gotta love those holiday sales, and this was basically the first game in my huge backlog of games that I decided to play. Keep reading to find out if I ended up enjoying Watch Dogs 2 or if it was just a disappointment.
Moving completely away from the first story, there’s a small cameo by the first games hero / anti hero Aiden Pierce, but other than that it’s a new story in a new city. This time you’ll be playing as Marcus, expert hacker and wannabe member of DedSec. He’ll get his chance to be in DedSec and once he does you’ll hack your way through San Francisco trying to take down Blume. There will be some snags along the way where the DedSec group loses all faith in what they’re doing and it’s up to Marcus to show them that they can be awesome hackers and expose Blume to the people and then the weirdly placed gang wars that take place between all of this. Will the hackers win in the end? Will Blume be exposed for who they really are? All that will be answered by the end of the game in a neat little package of closure.
Yawn…(SPOILERS): I won’t say who, but there is a death in the game somewhere by the end of the game and unfortunately it didn’t have the same impact that Ubisoft thought it would. If you want to kill off your characters, you have to make the player have some sort of emotional connection with them. If there’s no connection then the player doesn’t care and it makes no sense in the story except to add a “revenge” type goal in the overall plot.
I really wish I could say that I enjoyed the change of pace from the first game to this game, but I didn’t. There were a lot of things that were removed from the game, like the morality system, basically making this game a hacker version of GTA. Shoot random people on the street all you want, run them over, do some funky stuff with their phones, none of it matters because you’re always the hero. I thought that at least to some degree the morality system in the first game at least kept you in check just a little bit. Moving away from that, the overall story was very bland and felt like complete filler content. Each mission was similar to the last and it took all I could to not bash my head against the wall out of boredom as I played. The whole playing as a part of DedSec thing wasn’t as fun as I thought it was going to be and the main members of DedSec were basically useless. Not to mention that Marcus was an overall bland character that wasn’t even fully developed, there was no reason to have any kind of emotional ties to any of these characters at all and it ruined the game.
This game is based on fictional events and fictional characters…blah blah blah… Ubisoft says this in just about every one of their games and this time the little disclaimer was laughable. Why was it laughable? Because Nudle is totally not Google, New Dawn is totally not Scientology, and Congressman Thruss is totally not Trump. Seriously Ubisoft? The people playing your games aren’t stupid it’s easy to see the connection and whatever message is that you’re trying to pass off.
The playability of this game is much like the first and I didn’t really see that many changes to it to say that there was an improvement. Luckily this game ran bug and glitch free which was nice because that would have been a total downer especially seeing how the rest of the game played out. The only weird thing I found in this game was the money system. The only way you got it was from hacking a bunch of random people in the street and picking up money drops. This was a weird system and throughout the game I found myself always low on cash and have to run out to pick up said money bags and start hacking random people on the street in order to afford things because the Pawn Shop where you sell stolen goods from cars was absolute crap.
Your main weapon of choice…a yo-yo. What! I know, who would have thought that a yo-you could be a deadly weapon, but this game totally makes it into one. When you want to silently sneak around and melee instead of pulling out your gun and going on a rampage, you’ll be using a yo-yo to bash people in the head and strangle them with the cord. Who would have thought of such a thing…clearly Ubisoft.
The graphics are something that I have to give the game some major props for because San Francisco looked beautiful. The landscape of the game was beautifully crafted and it made the city come to life. That being said, I probably wasn’t the only one who thought that some of the people around the city and even the members of DedSec looked a little wonky. This was surprising since I didn’t notice a lack of realism in other Ubisoft games making me think if I just missed it or maybe this game just missed the mark when it came to facial expressions and other normal human things.
Now to the fun part, the trophies for this game. There are currently a total of 54 trophies for this game with the inclusion of one DLC pack. Seeing that a season pass was sold with this game, I’m thinking that DLC will add to this total even more, but for now it’s just 54. To break it down for you, there are 50 for the main game and a newly added 4 for the first DLC content. All of the trophies are super easy to get and you’ll just have to play the game, which can be painful at times, in order to get them. There is one random based trophy that makes you take a picture of someone vomiting on the streets of San Francisco, because apparently that’s a thing there and people just randomly vomit on the street, that will have you ripping your hair out as you try to find that one random person vomiting and search for hours upon hours to do so. This by far was the hardest trophy in the game and everything else just progressed easily.
The first game had multiplayer so it could only be assumed that this game would too. What this game also had was co-op so that you could play with a friend or a bunch of random people. While most of the multiplayer from the original game was gone, there was still the hacking which was pretty fun as I watched someone blow up an entire street block and every car that they could find trying to find me while I hid behind a potted plant. I could just imagine that person’s face with it was revealed that all that time I was hidden basically in plain sight. Priceless. Then there were the bounty hunts in which you could be the hunter or the hunted, both were rather meh and I only played those until I got the trophy for them. I found the co-op missions to be a repeat of basically the same thing over and over again, find a thing, hack this, and steal this. There was nothing original other than you got to play with some random person. There are also DedSec events that will basically only trigger when you’re in co-op and hopefully you and your co-op partner are on the same page because if not it’s a recipe for disaster. Thank you to the huge amount of random people that I played with in order to get the multiplayer out of the way.
Overall I give this game a 2 out of 5.
+ Beautiful graphics that really bring the city in the game to life.
+ Bug and glitch free gaming experience which is always nice especially when the game isn’t the greatest.
What’s Not So Great:
– Bland and boring story with bland and boring characters that you have no connection to and by the end of the game you could care less about.
– Missions are repetitive and you’ll feel like you’re playing the same thing over and over again because you basically are.
– Too much emphasis on the co-op mode that isn’t really all that great unless you want to play the same type of mission over and over again like you already are doing in the main game.
Even though the first game got a lot of hate, the sequel didn’t improve on anything and even made it worse. The story was boring and uneventful especially since the cliffhanger ending of the first game was just left there for who knows when. This game was basically turned into a hacking version of GTA. If I wanted to play GTA, then I would play GTA. I came into this game thinking that there was going to be something monumental that made this game stand out from the rest but was sadly disappointed. There’s really no reason to even play this game and I’m going to say to skip this one and be cautious about getting a third one because it’s sad when they run out of ideas after only two games.