Watch_Dogs 2 Review

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Watch_Dogs 2 Review

By Joshua Rigsby, Editor

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Watch_Dogs was an open-world action game developed by Ubisoft in 2014. The game gained massive popularity pre-launch but ultimately failed to live up to expectations set by Ubisoft and consumers. It was plagued with stability and graphical issues which didn’t help its average story and lackluster main character. While still a good game, many were left disappointed because of the prerelease promises. Ubisoft seems to have listened to community feedback and built Watch_Dogs 2 into the game the original hoped to be.

Watch_Dogs 2 takes place a couple of years after the original game. The game take place in San Francisco controlled by ctos, the smart city system which has complete control over the population’s digital footprint. You play as Marcus Holloway, a young hacker newly inducted into Dedsec, a hacktivist group fighting against the system.

The player will partake in a string of fairly interesting missions, mostly following a standard format. Sneak into area, hack into thing, escape area. While dull on paper, these missions ae executed well and mostly avoid becoming boring. Where I feel the game shines the most are in the side missions. These provide diverse objectives and interesting storylines. I would personally recommend that you put a couple of side missions in between the story missions to keep up diversity.

The technical aspect of the game is solid but has some fairly large issues. The game, while definitely prettier than the original, doesn’t really wow and isn’t too substantially different graphically from Watch_Dogs. The game even reuses some animations, sound files and animations from the original game. As someone who played the first game extensively, these recycled assets stuck out to me like a sore thumb, but never was a major issue. The framerate can also pose a big problem. This only applies to console gamers, as PC owners can change the visual fidelity to fix this. When traveling at high speeds the framerate drops from a steady 30 frames to the low 20’s. I was bugged by this problem as I frequently found myself traveling on long open roads with my framerate chugging. It’s painful on the eyes and not enjoyable to play in this state. I never found it so severe I wanted to quit playing, but was a constant annoyance.

The multiplayer is interesting as it works through an “invasion” method. Another player joins your game discretely and tries to hack your character and download files. You are then charged with finding the opposing player and taking them down. A new mode is bounty hunt. In this mode when police chases rise to 3 stars and above, players may join in the chase to take you down. A co-op mode is also included which is very enjoyable. I had a great time playing with a friend and taking on multiplayer-specific missions. You can opt out of these multiplayer modes if you prefer to play alone and not be disturbed during your play through.

Watch_Dogs 2 is a fantastic game and objectively better than the original. The game is interesting and diverse with lots of content to keep you busing. I’m about 50-60 hours into my play through and still have a lot to do and am still finding new places to go. It may suffer from bugs and technical issues but it never hurts the overall package. Watch_Dogs 2 is definitely a must-buy for anyone who enjoys open-world and/or action games.


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