Watch Dogs was dark and grim, the story was quite literally depressing. Most of the characters unlikeable and the game was filled with brutality. It still had its moments and we really enjoyed the game as an overall package and a new take on open world concept.
Watch Dogs 2 is quite the opposite and I am glad it is. San Francisco is bright and sunny which provides a much upbeat setting; the characters are light hearted and fun; the mood is also colorful and light. The atmosphere of Watch Dogs 2 is pure delight. But when you start shooting and killing people, all the light and funny atmosphere seems contradictory.
Compared to Dark and Intense Aiden Pearce, our new protagonist Marcus Holloway is funny and charismatic. CtOS marked Holloway as a criminal as he had the hacking skills and was at the wrong place at the wrong time. So, to clear his name and bring out the flaws in CtOS, he joins hands with DedSec.
The members of DedSec are really likeable. Filled with funny banter all of them are colorful characters. There are lots of nerdy jokes which will bring smile to your face.
The Plot and the DedSec Targets are quite relatable. Some big IT company and a social media platform, all of them are involved in some shady practices, so it’s up to Marcus to bring all this to light. Most of it is light hearted and pokes fun at Silicon Valley and major organizations but sometimes it gets pretty serious.
The game offers 3 methods of play: Ghost, Aggressor, or Trickster. You can use stealth, mark out enemies, take them out non-lethally as you slip through. Or you can be Rambo and go in all guns blazing with 3D printed guns. Utilizing your hacking skills and causing chaos which does not involve you is the third way. Combine all 3 methods and you get insane amounts of fun.
Detection system is really wonky at times, with all guards being alerted the instant one of the guard spots you, even if you take him out without any noise.
Watch Dogs 2 does not have “Stop Crimes”- the randomly generated side missions on first game but it does have some random arguments and fights taking place all around the city which you can take part in.
CtOS can be shutdown though temporarily and police will destroy your gadgets if they spot them. But the quadcopter can fly and the rover can fit through vents, opening up more ways to handle a mission.
You level up by doing research and you unlock new skills by levelling up. Everything you do gets DedSec more followers and each follower willingly offers their processing power for your operation. More followers result in more processing power and more processing power means you can research better hacks. Doing publicity stunts like taking selfie in front of San Francisco Landmarks gains you more followers.
Majority of mission structure is “break into this area and steal this thing”, which starts feeling repetitive after 15 hours or so. Some other missions are of the accessing an inaccessible area, which means looking around for scissor life or sending your rover through tight spots.
The Multiplayer is quite similar to Watch Dogs multiplayer, the always online and invasion kind. You might need to hack someone nearby or might need to take down a High Wanted Level player or be pulled into game’s various co-op missions.
Sometimes this always online gets irritating and distracting, so while completing story mission we turned it off. The bounty missions are great but do them when you have nothing better to do. And the co-op side missions are great too but the experience also depends on who you are paired with.
The multiplayer is kind of a side act compared to main story and you can disable all of the multiplayer functionality.
Performance of Watch Dogs is better compared to original game. On Core i7 4790K and GTX 970 (both overclocked) at 2560×1080 we got 35 to 40 fps on ultra and 55 to 60 on medium to high settings. We also faced some frame pacing issues, which is hard to record and show but irritating none the less.