I’ve never played the original Watch Dogs. In truth, I barely know anything about the game, aside from the fact that it’s set in a futuristic version of Chicago where people are governed and monitored by an intrusive, all-encompassing piece of software called ctOS, and that its core mechanics centre on using various hacking techniques to manipulate the world around you, with the end goal being to convince an army of stubborn, Internet-savvy sea otters that you’re their Supreme Intergalactic Leader. Somebody may have lied to me about that last part, but I’m okay with it.
Most importantly, I know that Watch Dogs was almost universally disappointing. Matthew Vice liked it well enough in his review, but popular opinion is that the game simply isn’t anything to write home about, and no amount of adorably goofy sea otters could ever change that. To be fair, Watch Dogs stood no chance of living up to the deafening crescendo of hype generated by its exciting reveal at E3 2012.
Next month, Watch Dogs 2 launches, hoping to right the wrongs of its predecessor. I was recently given the opportunity to get my hands on the first few hours of an unfinished build of the game. My thoughts on it are below.