Hack hack revolution
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.