Review Roundup: Watch Dogs 2
While the first Watch Dogs might not have been what we thought it would be, things are looking good for its sequel. The first Watch Dogs 2 reviews are slowly appearing online and here's the verdict.
15-11-2016 - by Thijs Kaagman
Watch Dogs 2 gives you a beautifully crafted world, jam-packed with NPCs blessed with individual personalities, helping to make this fictionalised version of San Francisco feel important and alive. It’s a real shame about the framerate issues connected to the seamless online connectivity, because Watch Dogs 2 gets everything right, from the mechanics to the story to the world. Issues aside, if you’re in need of an open world game that feels like a much needed injection into a fatigued genre, Watch Dogs 2 does it effortlessly.
I expected Watch Dogs 2 to be a paint-by-numbers sequel -- more guns, more cars, a bigger playground. Instead, it gives players freedom to play with the world with hackmagic the way they want to, and crafts a memorable, mostly light-hearted story that's just a lot of fun. Considering the heavy subject matter woven in, that's even more of an accomplishment than it seems like. After playing a bit of the first game, I was dreaming of a better second game with a much more compelling main character. Now, after finishing the second? I'm ready for the third game, but can we stick with Marcus for the rest of the series?
Watch Dogs 2 is the game we wanted to play the first time around. It's bold, beautiful and tells a story filled with people you care about and missions that are well built, exciting and sometimes hilarious.
There are still lots of typically “Ubi” moments in the game, and the issue of nebulous, sometimes repeated content is hard to avoid, but overall this is one of the best open-world Ubisoft games out there.
Missions are varied and hugely fun, traditional combat and driving are enjoyable, while all the hacking is a delight – traffic lights to turn off, sewer openings to explode, cars to steer out of control, and opposing players to troll.
Lots to do, and a vast load of it’s a trip.
Watch Dogs 2 is about what you would expect in a sequel, as it reworks what didn’t click the first time around and expands upon what did. The game’s protagonist and accompanying cast of characters are fun to watch, and the hacking mechanics are better than ever. It’s just too bad that the overall story is forgettable, as it never really sucks you in despite its best efforts. Even so, those looking for an open-world experience mixed with fantastic hacking mechanics likely won’t be disappointed with what Watch Dogs 2 has to offer.
I’m genuinely surprised with how much I adore Watch Dogs 2’s world. Its satire works because it is always punching up, never down. As such, Watch Dogs 2 feels like it’s making a statement. Rudyard Kipling once said, “San Francisco has only one drawback – ’tis hard to leave.” While Watch Dogs 2 isn’t as faultless as Kipling’s vision of Northern California, you’ll still want to spend tens of hours wandering this virtual recreation of the famous city and on into the Bay Area beyond.