Watch Dogs 2 Review

Introduction

Watch Dogs 2 is an action adventure open world game developed and published by Ubisoft. It was released for consoles in November 2016 and came to Google Stadia in December 2020.

Review

Everyone wants to visit San Francisco. See the bay area. Go over the Golden Gate Bridge. Well step into the boots of Marcus Holloway, a hacker for a group known as Dedsec and see the bay area in all of its glory, as you take down the evil capitalist organizations that are pushing for a future of tech advances and social media!

I surprisingly got heavily invested in the story that this game paints. You start out as a group of conspiracists, looking to bring “fear mongering” to the public, according to the big famous companies of Silicon Valley. But you slowly start shedding the truth on a bunch of companies and get the people rallied. The game is very witty in nature honestly, except there are a few parts that are heavy. But for the most part, it stays witty. Like stealing a robot car from a movie set and driving it around the town. It had me smiling a lot more than it didn’t, which I was not expecting at all.

Marcus is actually a well written character, but his supporting cast are all loveable in their own way. My favorite was Wrench, easily. A weirdo who’s covered with a ton of tattoos and wears a funny mask and has spikes over all of his clothing. The amount of laughs I had with this cast of characters and their dialogue between each other were more than I thought I would have. On one mission you have Marcus and Wrench discussing who would win, Alien or Predator? Then they really get into a deep discussion about it. There’s even references to a lot of pop culture throughout it all. I was always going “hey I know that one!”. The set pieces were awesome as well. From doing an obstacle course as a robot, or driving a spider tank. There were so many parts where I was on the edge of my seat having a grand old time!

The gameplay is an open world playground with a surprising amount of things to do. When I first started the game, I went around the world, seeing what sort of mischief I could get into. I immediately noticed you can fast travel to literally any point in the game. Now call me weird, but I didn’t like that. It felt like there was no reason to explore the world and see the sights. But I saw enough of them as I was doing the activities in the world. From racing boats, to motocross racing around the city, to being an Uber driver, there was just so much to keep me entertained.

I really enjoyed being an Uber driver too. There’s a collection of characters you drive around the city, and not just random pedestrians, who all have their own story. From the thrill seeker who wants you to hit massive air in your car, to the person who needs your help finding their robot. I was expecting just a taxi service minigame, but I got so much more.

There is combat in the game, but it relies kind of heavily on you being sneaky. Which was really weird. It felt like I was playing Assassin’s Creed, without playing Assassin’s Creed. There were a collection of guns I could buy to help me out in combat, but I honestly only brought about two, then just stuck with them, as I didn’t have guns that much. When I did, I had a heck of a time aiming for them. It just didn’t feel right. So I stuck to melee combat for the most part if I could.

As you do activities and missions, you gain levels. Instead of experience you gain “followers” to your cause. When you level up you end up getting skill points that can be used on a multitude of skill trees. These can be useful to you depending on how you play. They give you the ability of speed boosts while driving vehicles. Or being able to hack drones around the world, or hacking things around the world to help you get away in police chases. Though enemy gangs will follow you as well. But in all honesty, I barely used any skills I unlocked.

The game is also very co-op friendly. You can run around with a partner if you’d like and get into chases or just mess around. But unfortunately even if you turn all the online options to private, the game will still randomly throw you into online events even if you don’t want it too. The amount of times I had to die or go to the option menu just to leave an event was too many to count. I got so angry! Why just MAKE you do that, when all I want is the story? It was fun at first, but again, eventually it’s just annoying.

Rating

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Exciting Set Pieces
  • Awesome Supporting Cast
  • Lots Of Fun Activities

Cons:

  • Fast Travel Everywhere Immediately
  • Gunplay Isn’t Great
  • Getting Thrown Into Online Activities Against Your Will

Summary

I felt the need for an open world Ubisoft game, and this delivered on everything! The missions were exciting, the dialogue was funny, and Wrench was there! I enjoyed most of my time with this game, minus the online stuff. But other than that, it’s a fun ride that I recommend.

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Game & Developer Information

Developer/Publisher Website: Ubisoft
Developer/Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £49.99/€69.99 Europe / $49.99 North America
Trophy Information: 56. 40-platinum 1 / Gold 1 / Silver 20 / Bronze 34

Watch Dogs 2 – Launch Trailer | Ubisoft [NA]

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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