Hack hack rev­o­lu­tion

Watch_Dogs 2

GAX (Malaysia) - - REVIEW - by Michael Low

A hack­tivist play­ground

The sand­box ac­tion-ad­ven­ture genre, which is near syn­ony­mous with Rock­star’s Grand Theft Auto fran­chise (and de­serv­ingly so), has seen nu­mer­ous vari­a­tions (both le­git­i­mate and su­per­fi­cial) in re­cent years to the point of veer­ing dan­ger­ously into for­mu­laic ter­ri­tory. Hav­ing played our fair share of open-world games on PC and con­soles, we can safely say that the genre works best when it doesn’t take it­self too se­ri­ously and ac­tu­ally think out­side of the box in­stead of pad­ding game­play hours with unin­spir­ing side mis­sions.

When Ubisoft rst re­vealed the fol­low-up to Watch_Dogs, we were un­der­stand­ably

skep­ti­cal given the bit­ter taste of dis­ap­point­ment left in many a gamer’s mouth (in­clud­ing ours). Flawed, over­hyped and seem­ingly rushed out the door, the new IP was soon taken back to the draw­ing board, and work on a se­quel com­menced with fan feed­back in mind.

Plot-wise, Watch_Dogs 2 picks up af­ter the con­clu­sion of the rst game. Gru vig­i­lante Ai­den Pearce is out, re­placed by streets­mart hacker Mar­cus Hol­loway, who joins up with the DedSec col­lec­tive in San Fran­cisco to bring down Blume’s om­ni­scient ctOS 2.0 su­per­com­puter. The lo­cale shift to the Bay Area not only lends a vi­brant, col­or­ful play­ground to get your hack on, but also four dis­tinct ar­eas (Marin, Oak­land, San Fran­cisco, and Sil­i­con Val­ley), com­plete with rec­og­niz­able real-life land­marks.

Ex­pose the cor­rup­tion

The over­all story, while not ex­actly ground­break­ing, bal­ances the is­sue of per­sonal pri­vacy vi­o­la­tion and the darker side of tech­nol­ogy with a lov­able band of mis­fits and a – dare we say, fun – va­ri­ety of story mis­sions and side op­er­a­tions. Armed with an all-pow­er­ful smart­phone, 3D-printed ar­se­nals (we kid you not) and un­lock­able hack­ing perks, you are free to ap­proach the ob­jec­tives as you see t – vi­o­lence op­tional. Driv­ing is much im­proved, while on-foot tra­ver­sal is clev­erly sup­ple­mented by park­our moves and re­mote­con­trolled drones (for those hard-to-reach places).

One of our fa­vorite dis­trac­tions is the op­tion to work as a ride-share driver, pick­ing up pas­sen­gers with in­creas­ingly non­sen­si­cal re­quests, who will then rate Mar­cus based on his per­for­mance. Mean­while, the cus­tomiza­tion op­tions are not just limited to paint jobs for weapons and cars, as Watch_Dogs 2 of­fers a truly eclec­tic se­lec­tion of clothes – from caps and mes­sen­ger bags, right down to footwear. Also, ma­jor props to the UI de­sign­ers for stream­lin­ing what would oth­er­wise be a com­pli­cated af­fair.


Watch_Dogs 2 is ev­ery­thing its pre­de­ces­sor should’ve been.

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