There was a lot Ubisoft did right in the original Watch Dogs, but there was also a lot they didn’t. Some people like NAG Online’s own Matthew Vice liked it, and other people like myself are still trying to wash the bland taste of Aiden Pearce out of our mouths. Watch Dogs wasn’t a bad game exactly, it just wasn’t what most of us probably hoped it would be.
But if Ubisoft’s live stream reveal event for Watch Dogs 2 is anything to go by, we’re in for one hell of a sequel. Hit the jump for all the sexy details about the new game, and have a couple of trailers while you’re at it.
The premiere announcement (which you can watch in full right here) shows off a ton of features we can expect to see in Watch Dogs 2, including a new setting, new protagonist, new weapons and gadgets, more robust hacking abilities, and a whole bunch of badassery. But we’ll get to all that in a bit. First, have a cinematic reveal trailer.
According to the reveal, Watch Dogs 2 will be set in San Francisco, and feature a game world roughly twice as large as that seen in the original game. The reimagined San Fransisco will also apparently be a more vibrant setting than the first game’s version of Chicago, complete with all sorts of leisure activities, selfies, seals, actual dogs, and people sort of acting like people. Or as better explained in the premiere, the world will feel “almost like a simulation”. But all of this takes place under the watchful eye of the ctOS, a smart system that among other things, tethers all electronics to each other and can be used by the city, nefarious companies, and hackers for good or evil purposes.
As for the new protagonist, his name is Marcus Holloway, and he ain’t no puppy. Marcus is a brilliant young hacker who, thanks to being “profiled the wrong way,” was accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Which sort of explains why he’d go against the system responsible for said profiling. The system, man, it’s always the system. Anyway, Marcus is part of the hacktivist group we first met in the original Watch Dogs called DEADSEC, and along with their help, he’ll apparently do “grand stuff” and expose information… Ubisoft’s really not going to touch on any real plot points just yet, obviously.
From what can be gathered from the premier footage, Marcus outshines his predecessor in many ways. He’s much more proficient in parkour, he doesn’t seem all dark and broody, and he just feels like a much more natural and intriguing character overall. Check out his character introduction trailer below.
The reveal also showed off the whole reason why this series exists: hacking.
Remember how the premise behind the first game was all about hacking everything to get your way? Remember how it didn’t actually turn out that way? Yeah, Watch Dogs 2 has you covered. This time around, it seems that we’ll really be able to hack EVERYTHING. Hack everyone in the game, hack (almost) all the electronics, hack every vehicle in the game, hack the robots, hack the friggin’ dogs if that’s your thing! You’ll even be able to “mass hack,” which means you can hack whole groups of people at the same time. HACK_EVERYTHING (obligatory “hack the planet” reference here – ed). Seriously though, the hacking element seems to have been seriously revamped and actually looks like a whole lot of fun.
But hacking won’t be the only weapon in your arsenal. Along with the usual guns and stuff, a host of new improvised weapons and gadgets will also be at your disposal – including things like RC cars, quadrotors, gadgets that go boom, and a hard ball on a bit of string.
Watch Dogs 2 will be out for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on 15 November 2016. Keep your eyes peeled for a demo at this year’s E3.