By now you’ve probably all seen the new Watch Dogs 2 footage showcased during its world premiere yesterday evening, and you know whether you love it / hate it / or are bored to tears by it. If you haven’t, check it out here toot sweet. Following the premiere however, Ubisoft has revealed a heap more details of what we can expect from San Francisco-bound adventure starring ‘hacktivist’ (shudder) Marcus Holloway.
The high-tech city of San Francisco is home to the second roll-out of ctOS, or Central Operating System, whereby data trawling and surveillance is in performed on every inhabitant of the city. Clearly Aiden Pearce using a backdoor weakness and bringing Chicago crashing to its knees in the original Watch Dogs was the cue for Blume Corporation to try the exact same thing in another city. Enter Marcus, a rebellious hacker from Oakland, who like Pearce is using a backdoor hack to take control of every piece of electronics in the city using just his mobile phone.
Where Watch Dogs was fairly limited it what you can hack though, Ubisoft claim nearly every piece of electronics will be hackable in Watch Dogs 2. You can hack the phones of every NPC, remotely drive vehicles and forklift trucks, cause roadblocks, or alter the cops to a particular threat. “Electric, traffic, communication, and other large-scale systems are all vulnerable to Marcus and DedSec,” says Ubisoft. I feel like we’ve heard all this before with Watch Dogs, so it’s best to take a wait and see approach with this one.
Tools of Destruction
In typically 2016 fashion, Marcus has access to a 3D printer. He’s not using it to put Warhammer out of business though, oh no, rather he’s building his own weaponry. This somehow includes drones, a taser, weapon upgrades, and that trusty cue ball on a rope which took up half the premiere.
He’s also a dab hand with vehicles apparently, and a better driver than Aiden Pearce to boot. Not hard, I must’ve totalled Ford’s yearly output in my stint in Chicago. Each and every vehicle will feel much more unique, and Ubisoft reckon it makes “driving in Watch Dogs 2 a more accessible, more rewarding experience.”
Success in Watch Dogs 2 broadly sounds like Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. As leader of hacking group DedSec, Marcus was grow his following by completing missions and taking down surveillance posts. As he conquers more areas, they commit their resources and computing power to helping DedSec. The greater your follower count, the powerful the hacks at your disposal. As you’d expect the “world is littered with missions”, each of which can be tackled in any order, or you can just plough on with the main story.
So far, so Watch Dogs, but where it differs this time around is in co-op play. With no loading screens or menus to speak of, players can seamlessly drop in and out of other people’s games and join them in ticking off the open-world checklist. Unlike the invasions from Watch Dogs it’s not totally random either, you can invite people from your friends lists to join you and play Watch Dogs 2 co-operatively.
The Golden City
Undoubtedly one of the most iconic cities in the United States, Ubisoft has attempted to recreate San Francisco in an impressive level of detail. While not a 1:1 recreation, the key aspects are there, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Area, and of course Silicon Valley. There are a total of six areas in the game, with San Francisco split into three distinct regions and joined by the surrounding areas of Oakland, Marin County, and Silicon Valley. Each is apparently unique and there are sea lions. Lots of sea lions.
That’s all for now, but it gives us a pretty decent idea of what to expect from Watch Dogs 2. I’m not seeing a great deal here that’s all that different from Watch Dogs in truth, but at least it’s got a smidgen more character and colour to proceedings.
Watch Dogs 2 is out on November 15th for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.