Watch Dogs 2 is out on the 15th of November, and I've got some stories to tell about it.
For right now, get up to speed with some handy facts and features of the upcoming open world action game from Ubisoft.
San Fran Setting
The first Watch Dogs was set in Chicago but the sequel hits the west coast for some sun in San Fran. You’ll getting to speed around a compressed version of most of the Bay Area, with a slice of Silicon Valley also included for good measure.
The change of geography is about keying into the culture of hackers and software folks who created the modern tech companies of the area. Maybe some of the characters might even be the next tech billionaires!
Aiden be Gone
There’s no two ways about it, Watch Dogs’ Aiden Pearce was a bore. Happily he’s out of the frame for the sequel, with new lead fella Marcus Holloway in the frame.
He’s young and sprightly and prone to cursing, and also a massively skilled hacker who falls in with the DedSec crew. From what I’ve seen he’s pretty fun and actually has a personality, while the game goes out of its way to confirm just how different he to Aiden in the opening minutes. We’re talking about an Altair to Ezio kind of transformation here.
Seamless Multiplayer Works
It’s easy to write a phrase like ‘seamless multiplayer’ but the reality rarely lives up to the words. In Watch Dogs 2, you’re constantly part of a somewhat shared world, able to chance upon other players (marked in purple) as you wander.
And joining adventures with them is as simple as a button press, you don’t even have to leave the game and load up new content. You’re suddenly paired and can go on doing your current mission, or seek out other mayhem. Player invasions return too, but the co-op element is a great new addition.
Drones are Deadly
Drones have become one of the coolest things around in the real world, and Watch Dogs 2 has followed suit. You’ll quickly pick up a little jumper drone in the game, and later level up to also pack a foldable flying model.
Rather than performing the same actions they actually work brilliantly together - the flying drone is perfect for scouting and tagging enemies but the grounded fella is actually much more interesting. He’s able to sneak into buildings and even hack terminals, all while you sit cross legged in a safe place. Plus he jumps and can insult enemies.
Social Media Rules
A surprising amount of Watch Dogs 2 is about social media, but not in an obnoxious way. Marcus has the ability to gain followers online from performing main and side missions and even taking selfies.
Yep it’s a popularity contest but these followers are also a vital part of the work of DedSec. You see once they download a certain app, the hacker group uses the combined processing power of their smart devices to speed up their own work. That’s a very neat idea, and sure maybe it's something companies are already doing!
That’s five takeaways from my hands on session with Watch Dogs 2. There’ll be more coverage including an exclusive interview with creative director Jonathan Morin on the way.
Watch Dogs 2 is out on the 15th of November, 2016.