We’re back with a new installment of Ubisoft’s over hyped product that is Watchdogs. This time based in San Francisco, cTOS has taken over the whole country. For those that don’t know what cTOS is, it is a central computer that controls the city. It’s Ubisoft’s way of saying the world will be controlled by computers if it isn’t already. A company called Blume is at the heart of it and Marcus and Deadsec decide to take it down to regain control in the city.
As mentioned above you play as Marcus Holloway a young hacker from San Fran, who wants to be a part of the underground operation known as Deadsec. The opening scene is a tutorial to learn the basics of the game and it is basically your initiation into Deadsec. Now control wise the game is good in areas but in others, it is piss poor. But we will dawn on that later on. The story unravels and after you wake up on some random birds floor passed out drunk you then have to make your way to the Deadsec HQ, while on the way buy some new clothes. The buying options in this Watchdogs is really good and you have some really cool hip outfits to choose from.
A lot of Watchdogs 2 works from the hackers phone, you download apps to use in the game, like a map tool, a car service even a media app to listen to music while you’re running around. The best app I found was the Ubisoft Club, normally on the Xbox it will snap the app but in Watchdogs 2 the app opens from the phone and then launches. I found this seriously cool and inventive.
Throughout the game, you earn followers that download the deadsec app, with the followers you get you can use them as bots to attack Blume and take down cTOS. You can gain followers from completing missions, getting pictures of the scout areas which are landmarks you need to take selfies at. On top of gaining followers the more, you get the more research points you attain, research points are used to boosts skills and increase certain abilities you have.
Watchdogs 2s open world is pretty similar to the first where you can hack NPC’s (NonPlayable Characters) but in this one, you overload their phone which makes them faint or you can hack their emails and find out about certain missions. The best one is the ability to give them a notification which distracts them and then you can melee them or slip away unnoticed.
The driving is a big factor in Watchdogs 2 but god it is awful, it’s is so sensitive you will find that you crash quite a bit, also the physics when you crash look like dogshit, you hit a car and it looks and feels like a bumper car, also while driving you can hack drivers and steal their money etc. but you can also control traffic lights and steam pipes under the road…sounds cool right…wrong! The lights are a nice touch but the steam pipes really get annoying after awhile, I found myself driving along hacking unsuspecting NPCs and boom I hack the steam pipe and blow up half the road, now this is funny when you’re being chased by police or just want to have a bit of fun but when you’re driving over the bloody thing it puts you in a sticky situation.
I have also noted that when in combat the cover system works well unless you’re being bombarded with grenades. Gangs and police will also send dogs after you so you have to be on your toes there as well. As well as your hacking abilities you can also control a mini RV to get you access to secure areas and also a drone which gives you eyes in the sky, these are really handy when doing the puzzle sequences you gain entry to locked buildings. Some buildings also have security cameras and robots doing the rounds so investing some of your research points into abilities to help you there are also key.
During the game, you can hack anything but you can’t hack ATMs to benefit you why? I mean there is a string of missions where you take control of the cTOS ATM system and reward people with free money at the cost of the state or take their money away from them but it felt really backwards, they would rob from the poor and give to the rich…surely it should be the other way around?
There are online missions where you team up or take out other hackers but I have found these to be a little harder than the single player missions.
The sound in the game is slightly poor the music when in the car is more or less mute and the car sounds are slightly arcadey compared to a sandbox giant like GTA V. The game visually is one of the better-looking games I’ve have the pleasure of playing in recent times but the gameplay for it is slightly misguided. Combat is good but shooting is horrid, you can turn the auto aim off but it just doesn’t sound right the guns are crackly and I’ve heard bigger pops in my rice crispies. The game’s dialogue is good and is narrated well but it’s just little bits here and there that stop it from being a great game.
I’d like to thank Xbox for supplying us with the code to play Watchdogs 2, It is available on Xbox One, PS4, PC.