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Watch Dogs 2 Review: Hack the World

Watch Dogs 2 Review: Hack the World

Ubisoft creates a stunning and extremely immersive open-world filled with vivid mayhem, fun, and a youthful Mr. Robot-style hacktivist meme culture.

@DeekeTweak
Derek Strickland
Published Sat, Nov 26 2016 12:55 PM CST   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 92%Developer / Publisher: Ubisoft

Introduction

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VIEW GALLERY - 149 IMAGES

Publisher: Ubisoft

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

Release Date: November 15, 2016

Platform: PS4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC

Genre: Action, Open-World

Editor's Note: Every screenshot contained in this review with the exception of the DedSec art pic was captured in-game from the base PS4 version of Watch Dogs 2. I've noticed that a portion of the screenshots, while at native 1920 x 1080 resolution, are rather pixelated, jaggy, and lower quality. Oddly enough, the actual game doesn't look like this on a full 1080p HDTV screen, and I'm not sure what's causing the disparity in quality.

Watch Dogs 2 is Ubisoft's sprawling open-world magnum opus that represents a new leap forward for the developer's sandbox engine. The game itself is a crowning jewel in world-building, and stands as a pinnacle of true next-generation open-world action-adventure gaming.

Ubisoft are fast-approaching the master status of open-world building, going toe-to-toe with the skillful artisans at Rockstar Games. Watch Dogs 2 feels every bit as immersive, dynamic and massive as Grand Theft Auto V, propelling not only the franchise into new heights, but Ubisoft's own world-building technology.

More than anything, though, the game is built around one thing: fun. Despite all the incredibly detailed cityscapes, buildings, neighborhoods and NPCs, the Ubisoft put player enjoyment at the forefront of everything else. And given how impressive the rest of the game is, this says a lot.

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You genuinely feel like you're a kid in a candy store while playing Watch Dogs 2. That old phrase "the world is your oyster" rings with total truth here, as you're given the freedom to do what you want and how you want. While there are still some balancing constraints to ensure the game is, well, an actual game, the experience is built upon sheer enjoyment and hilarity.

In Watch Dogs 2, you can hack everything.

You can hack every car on the road, and create your own traffic accidents for chaotic fun or diversions for stealth infiltration.

You can hack cameras and spot enemies, or hack doors remotely. You can hack remote-controlled scissor lifts and cranes to reach the tops of buildings, or use your 3D printed drone to scout locations and even drop grenades on foes.

This sheer level of freedom gives the game a whole new sense of depth, allowing players tons of different ways to not only have fun, but tackle missions and objectives.

Players take on the role of Marcus, a young black hacktivist who joins up with the colorful and young hacktivist group DedSec. Instead of being chilling and sober like hacking group Anonymous, DedSec is radical, colorful, and all about targeted chaos.

While they do peddle havoc, DedSec's hacks always carry with them a sense of rebellious youth, and are aimed at "freeing the people" from the always-on world of surveillance.

DedSec's hacks and infiltrations are one-half freedom fighter and one-half publicity stunt: the game's main motivation is to recruit followers who willingly lend their computer's processing power to fuel the hacktivist group's collected power. So the missions themselves are focused on being flashy and getting attention, which they then use to "wake" people up from their heavily surveillanced slumber.

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As Marcus, players are given the tools to ply their trade to ultimately become a modern-age amalgamation of Robin Hood and V mixed together: a phone that can hack the entire city, a drone that can fly around and remotely hack, and the amazing RC drone that can infiltrate restricted zones and hack computers and terminals.

In more ways than one, Watch Dogs 2 feels like a high-tech GTA V. It matches Rockstar's blockbuster hit in a multitude of different ways and comparatively feels deeper in scope and specific themes.

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For example, Watch Dogs 2 speaks a specific message and warns about the dangers of constant always-on surveillance via ctOS and our inter-connected world becoming a hacker's playground--which, luckily for us, it is.

The game has fun with this message, opting for a more rebellious and colorful approach that merges Anonymous' somber tone with Mr. Robot's devil-may-care attitude.

Throughout the game Marcus takes part in missions that "free the people" by exposing the truth behind ctOS, always-on smart-homes, and more.

For example, one mission revolves around showing how HAUM, a company that makes IoT devices to make smart-homes more "smart", is actually selling the data they collect via always-on devices to insurance agencies and the government.

In this soon-to-be futuristic dystopia, HAUM watches people in their own homes and monitors everything from their eating and recreational habits and sells the data accordingly. People have become a kind of data commodity, with their daily lives being sold to the highest bidder; what they watch and do is sold to advertisers who target the populace with more relevant ads, and if you eat a cheeseburger or smoke in your own home, insurance agencies are notified and you have a hard time getting health insurance.

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This is just the tip of the iceberg of Watch Dogs 2's high-tech themes, and players uncover all kinds of interesting (and often satirical) corruption and conspiracies.

Despite its similarities to GTA V, the San Fran hacktivist adventure isn't derivative: rather than borrow heavily from other open-world games, it furthers mechanics, features and themes found in Aiden Pearce's original hacktivist romp.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that Watch Dogs 2 is empowered by its similarities to GTA V, not weakened by them. The game pushes many boundaries that GTA V doesn't, specifically in the strategic high-tech DIY stealth options, and the seamless drop-in co-op, which merges singleplayer and multiplayer together incredibly well.

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Game Mechanics

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The sequel is filled with a vivacious and funky-fresh feel that carries over to the basic game mechanics. The general basics not only look new and smooth, but they feel that way too.

Marcus--aka Retr0, aka the main hipster hacktivist character--is much more acrobatic than Aiden Pearce: we'll see Marcus frequently backflip and frontflip off of ledges, and perform slick slides and fluid parkour movements straight out of Assassin's Creed.

In fact, the entire game feels like a mix of Assassin's Creed and Watch Dogs in terms of its overall controls.

The see-through x-ray vision is back, functioning similar to Eagle Vision in Assassin's Creed. The x-ray vision lets you see through walls to identify enemies and powerlines for terminals, which you'll often have to trace and hack multiple paths and points to access areas.

The third-person snap-to-cover system is back, but it's much more streamlined and dynamic to allow gamers to easily slide around corners and run from cover to cover. Even still, I sometimes have trouble with the cover system as Marcus will snap to objects when I need him to run, or sometimes not even snap to nearby objects. It can be tough to tell which objects you can hide behind and which you can't.

Hacking is responsive, and rightly so, as it's so intimately connected with the game and how you complete objectives. Hacking in itself is more dynamic and fluid this time around, with a bunch of fixes to make things feel more natural. Driving is better, but not by much, with the awkward camera still mucking things up.

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Skills

Marcus gets seven different skill trees in the game, each with their own distinct advantages and functions. Some of the skills are necessary to make your hacktivist life much easier, including Create Distraction in the Social Engineering tree, which will distract any NPC in the game for a brief moment.

The best skills in this tree though are the APB: Suspect Located perk, which allows you to call the cops on anyone in the game (well, except for a cop) as well as the Gang Attack perk, which does the same thing only calls in a gang member.

Things get rather amusing and crazy when you start firing off these abilities left and right.

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Remember how DedSec is trying to increase its followers to boost its processing power? The more followers you get, the more power you can invest into researching hacks.

So the progression feels natural and actually makes sense: when you reach a specific follow threshold, you're awarded a specific number of Research Points which are spent in any tree of your choice.

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You'll want to choose wisely at first, however, as there's technically a finite amount of Research Points in the game.

These skill points are also strewn across the world and require ingenuity to grab. For instance, some skill boosts are on top of a building, requiring you to hack a scissor lift to reach, and some are hidden in vents, which can be grabbed by the RC Jumper. Some points, however, require specific perks to unlock, like the RC Jumper's extra high jump perk.

Hacking

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The entire Bay Area is pretty much connected, meaning you can hack almost everything in the game: NPCs, every car in the game, cranes, scissor lifts, gas pipes, etc.

You can hack a gas mane on a busy intersection and explode half a dozen cars, hack the cars themselves and move them in specific directions, use your RC Jumper to infiltrate zones via vents and hack nearby terminals to unlock doors, and a ton of other different areas.

You can hack everyone's phone and see their personal messages, conversations, and info, or steal their money and even overcharge their phone batteries to make them explode like a Samsung Note 7.

One of my favorite things to do in the game is to hack the scissor lifts and ride around town while 50 feet in the air, especially since I can practically get on top of every building.

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Hacking is very situational, and Ubisoft has done a great job making each area feel both realistic but also provide you with the tools you need to solve a particular problem. Marcus will frequently have to access restricted area to grab data or hack a router, with the areas themselves just crawling with baddies. Using the RC drone you can fly up and mark each enemy on your HUD and remotely trigger nearby hazards like vents and HVAC units to knock them out.

There's so many different ways you can combine your hacktivist skills to tackle missions, and even more different outcomes. The NPC AI isn't stupid (unless you hack them, of course) and they'll react to situations quite aptly, making the entire experience feel immersive.

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Watch Dogs 2 also has a puzzler mini-game dynamic that can be kind of frustrating at times. It's built on the hack-the-terminal-and-follow-the-path function found in the first game, and this time around you'll have to swap these little pipe icons to ensure the electricity flows through and unlocks a node.

While most of these puzzles are easy, some of them--especially the ones locking Research Points like the one at Blume Stadium--can be pretty tough.

Tactical Stealth

Watch Dogs 2 has a strong emphasis on strategy and tactical planning rather than brute force; while you can rush into specific areas and gun everyone down, you're strongly discouraged to do so. Marcus can't really take a lot of bullets, and the firefights will often explode out of control and end up with you facedown and dead.

Players are pushed to use Marcus' array of unique hacking skills and tech to complete missions, and the devs give us a huge assortment of nifty gadgets and tools to solve goals.

In many ways you feel like a kid in a candy store, not sure what to pick, with the toys themselves offering a number of different ways to tackle objectives.

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Using the RC Jumper to silently infiltrate hostile areas through vents and ducts can be satisfying, but it also takes some practice. The drone is absolutely amazing, and allows you to get the lay of the land and mark enemies on your HUD.

You can even hack enemy phones to distract them, or hack their headsets to deliver squelching feedback to temporarily disorient them. Slip by unnoticed while they're distracted, or even sneak up and take them out with a silent takedown.

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One of the best methods to distract guards, however, is the ABP: Suspect Located skill in the Social Engineering tree. With this you literally hack an NPC's rap sheet and convict them of a crime they didn't commit, sending the police to their location immediately.

This often results in a chaotic gunfight between police and security guards or gang members, allowing you a window to slip on by unnoticed. You can do this multiple times, and the cops usually almost always find a way into the restricted compound to arrest the bad guys.

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You can also use the Gang Attack skill in the same tree to call in rival gangs and start a literal gang war. It's a very bloody way to get past security, but it's still hilarious and shows just how out-of-the-box Ubisoft's thought process is with this game.

I rather enjoy calling the cops on enemies or sending in gangs to take down guards or baddies, and I think this is one of the most creative features Watch Dogs 2 has to offer.

It changes the entire dynamic and flow of the game completely, and gives you an almost guaranteed distraction that helps you get out of hairy situations.

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What's more is that there's a very distinct window for stealthiness; enemies will spot you rather easily, and you have only seconds to improvise a solution before they instantly alert all the other enemies and gun you down.

As a result, missions can often be time consuming and take multiple tries to complete. While I enjoy challenge in games like this, I do find that Marcus' marshmallow/spongy nature to be a roadblock when things go out of control, and sometimes the enemies are eagle-eyed to the point of unrealism.

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Shooter mechanics

Watch Dogs 2's third-person shooter mechanics are actually pretty satisfying, but the game doesn't really want you gunning down enemies; Ubisoft wants you to think about solving missions tactically. But there will always be moments where you have to use lethal force, so you'll want to be prepared.

The best way to tackle Watch Dogs 2 is to go at it as a jack of all trades. Now it is entirely possible to play the game without killing anyone, but it's very, very difficult because accidents happen, and the NPCs can be rather stupid. But even if you wanted to use non-lethal force in combat only, it'd still be tricky, as the baddies are pretty ruthless and will pepper you full of bullets without much provocation.

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Luckily Marcus has a nice array of potential weapons in his arsenal. Players can use the 3D printer at any Hackerspace HQ to make their own firearms, but you'll have to pay to unlock them. The most enjoyable of all these--the CTRL ALT DEL grenade launcher--is about $100K so it's not exactly an early-game item. You can also make rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles and more.

There's also these grenades that either explore or knock enemies out--or both--depending on which node you unlock on the skill tree.

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You actually don't have to pay to unlock certain weapons. Marcus can swap out any gun lying on the ground from his dead foes, so if you see a nice Goblin rifle from a SWAT team, you can go and grab it and lock it into your inventory.

Even if you die, your items and guns are still there--again, Ubisoft is focused more on fun than punishing gamers.

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Driving

Driving is improved in Watch Dogs 2, but it's still hit or miss. Some of the cars feel extremely clunky, and I understand that's by design, as not every car can be a svelte Ferrari. Every car has its own stats this time around, and you can even unlock cars permanently by buying them at a retailer. Once bought, these cars can be teleported to you via a handy car-on-demand service...but most of the good cars are pretty expensive.

Although vehicles handle differently, the driving is generally improved over the first version. Despite this boost Rockstar Games is still the king of open-world driving, and Ubisoft still has a lot to learn.

This is evidenced by one key flaw that makes driving much more complicated than need be: the auto-centering camera.

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When you're driving any vehicle in Watch Dogs 2, whether it's a car, a bot, an ATV, a four-wheeler or even a go-kart, the camera always auto-centers itself against your will. This is particularly frustrating when you're in a high-speed chase and need to turn the camera to make sharp turns, but only having the damn thing swivel back to the middle of your bumper and mess up your vision.

There's no way to toggle auto-centering drive cam on the PS4 or Xbox One, so it's something you just have to live with (but you don't have to like it).

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You can also add a hefty speed boost to any vehicle with the engine overclock skill, making for some energetic and rather fun tire-screeching chaos around the city.

Watch Dogs 2 has a smattering of little side-quests like go-kart races, dirt-bike races, and even an awesome Uber mission that involves as thrill-seeking YouTuber hiring you to blast across ramps at high-speeds throughout the city. Ubisoft has put a heavy emphasis on pure enjoyability this time around, and it shows at nearly every turn.

Immersion interruption

Any time you start a mission, the game does a loading transition that interrupts the game. These transitions actually will interrupt everything and basically reset a given area, which can lead to some frustration, but it can also save you.

For example, let's say you're in a huge firefight with the cops, but there's a "Star Mission" indicator nearby. If you run to this icon and start the mission, the cops will disappear. Sadly, any awesome cars you have nearby will also disappear, so keep this in mind.

I had just stolen the rare Frutatto Rainbow Missile before I started a mission, and the motorbike promptly disappeared after the transition interruption. So don't pull up in an awesome sports car before you start up a mission unless you're okay with losing it.

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Amazing Open-world and NPCs

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Watch Dogs 2's Bay Area is recreated with superlative detail, complemented by a set of new dynamic weather effects (atmospheric volumetric fog, rain, unique lighting and shadow effects, etc) and incredible new NPC integrations that make the game feel literally alive.

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Next-gen NPCs

The game world has such incredible depth that players can gets lost just watching the city itself: the NPCs are beyond anything I've seen in most open-world games, and go about their business like real living people.

They'll fight, shoot each other, smoke, steal cars, do jobs, take selfies, kiss, dance, sing, laugh, cry, cuss and genuinely act like people--but sometimes it's not what they do that's so impressive, but how and where they do it.

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These characters are extremely diverse and colorful and actually have their own personalities. Their interactions in the world are very organic and natural, adding an important sense of agency to any experience, regardless of where you are.

They all have names, occupations, quirks, personalities and will react different in certain situations.

But these characters are more than their individual parts, or more than each other; it's when they come together as an entire populace, when they group together and live among one another, does the magic shine through.

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The actual DedSec characters are awesome as well, even if they're a bit unrealistic and too rebellious. They do have their own spark, a kind of youthful spirit that invigorates the game and the franchise altogether, making the experience feel aligned with its overall themes. There's not really any inconsistencies here and the team's meme hacker culture is intact.

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I particularly like Wrench, who wears this humorous LED mask that actually reflects his emotions--instead of seeing his actual face, you see text-based faces on the mask itself, with things like o___o and x____x and ^___^ showing up frequently. Wrench is the fixer and is more attuned to actual hardware--he's responsible for the groups custom robot and just about all the fancy tech they use.

Sitara is the colorful artist of the crew, adding her own personal touch to the HQ hackerspaces and even the hacked DedSec Cyberdriver smartcar, which is pretty fun by the way.

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Josh is a high-functioning autistic who's actually the most grounded of the crew, and is probably the smartest of them all. He finds ways to manipulate code to infiltrate the interconnected world, as well as hacking bank accounts, servers--you name it, Josh can most likely break into it.

Horatio is street-smart, but he's also a whiz when it comes to computers and serves as the operation manager for the team. He actually had a job at Nudle, the game's satire on Google, so he learned many of Big Brother's secrets.

The NPCS themselves will interact with players in such a way that makes the game feel genuinely alive. For instance, I pulled a stun gun on a particular woman.

After looking at her hacker profile card, I saw that she's a legal handgun carrier; so when I pulled my stun gun on her, she pulled out her own gun in self-defense and actually shot me.

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This is an everyday NPC we're talking about. Not an enemy, not a cop--just an everyday woman who walked around in the streets and just so happened to have a legal permit to carry a firearm, and was totally willing to gun me down for threatening her (I only shot her with a stun gun, by the way).

I've seen gay NPCs hold hands, I've seen a man and a woman make out nearby a party, I've seen a bunch of college students sing songs and drink beer by a bonfire. Hell, I've even seen NPCs eat ice cream outside of an ice cream parlor.

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I've seen cancer patients and Parkinsons patients smoking marijuana outside of medical marijuana clinics, dazzling body-painted performance artists, flower girls, and even a guy dressed up in a donut outfit offering free hugs for a donut.

They'll use umbrellas when its raining, and even shiver when they're caught out in the pelting torrential showers. They'll cower in fear and beg if tormented by assailants, or even defend themselves with weapons if they have them. The NPCs will pick fights with each other, and even discuss their daily lives to the point where the conversations can veer off into different directions, sometimes ending with a simple handshake, a loving hug, or a brutal fistfight.

The NPCs will even fight the cops! I've seen it happen many, many times...and sometimes the cops are even ganged up on by multiple characters.

The game constantly finds new ways to impress you, whether it's the interactive and dynamic NPCs, the amazing buildings and environments, or the action-packed mechanics and rather sci-tech infused storyline.

These characters are quirky, humorous, dangerous and unique--but more importantly, they genuinely feel alive, and so does the world by association. They bring a true sense of vibrancy and vitality to the in-game digital space, merging with the amazing backdrops in a fluid and believable way.

You forget that the NPCs are just pixelations there to make the world feel real, and they genuinely take on a different dimension and scope, adding something marvelous to the in-game world.

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Some NPCs will also be scripted to do certain things. For instance, there are these crazy "bat ladies" that will smash their boyfriend's cars with a baseball bat to punish their erstwhile lovers for cheating.

I've seen this happen many times, and often the NPCs will smash the car until it's in flames, and then turn and fight others.

The cops are also absolutely crazy and hilarious, and often react in absolutely ridiculous ways. For example, I saw a cop arrest a woman, and a nearby NPC actually cussed the officer out. So the policeman let the lady go and tried to arrest the miscreant, but he ran.

Then the officer started shooting, which provoked a nearby gang member. A massive shootout ensued, and SWAT were actually deployed, kicking up the craziness to a whole new level.

It's these small things that go a long way to making the game feel alive. Watch Dogs 2 is replete with interesting and often hilarious NPC interactions, and clearly showcases Ubisoft's next-gen NPC engine.

I'm also quite amazed with the level of detail that the Bay Area has: the buildings are digitally rendered in painstaking detail, providing some absolutely beautiful and incredible backdrops.

No matter where you are in the game, the world is so filled, so alive, so genuinely immersive that you have a true sense of scale. There's beauty everywhere in this game, even on an outdated console like Sony's PlayStation 4.

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Next-Gen Open World

The game takes place over three regions in the Bay Area: the massive city of San Francisco to the west, the forested Marin to the north, and the busy Oakland to the east. Each of these regions are recreated with such vivid attention to detail that I was blown away--I still am, actually--ever time I crossed a bridge, or simply ran around any given area in the game.

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Watch Dogs 2 is so absolutely massive in scope and size that it represents a new calling for Ubisoft; it transcends what I've seen from the publisher in terms of realism thus far, and they took a slice of our real-world and placed it in digital form.

The map is big, but it's what's inside the actual map that makes Watch Dogs 2 feel magical. The world is filled with all kinds of little secrets and places to explore.

During my travels I found the real-life town of Twin Peaks, a massive computer at a park, a bunch of gnomes, a mock-Google headquarters called Nudle that had a nifty slide and an incredible building structure, reveled at the sunset gleaming off the Tidis building, cavorted around Silicon Valley, and I came across these amazing Frank Lloyd Wright-styled smart-home condos in the southwest of San Fran that even had retractable garages.

Ubisoft has fully fleshed out San Francisco with authentic locales and world-famous monuments and regions: everything from the legendary Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Chinatown, Japantown, Sausalito, the Bay Bridge, the Palace Fine Arts, the famous Painted Ladies, and so much more have been rendered in-game, anchoring the experience to reality.

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This is the type of game you could play for months and still find new things. There's so many small little details that pull you in, and you genuinely want to explore, look around, and take a bunch of screenshots of the amazing sunsets or incredible skylines at night.

The buildings themselves are incredible. Every edifice is a work of art, making Watch Dogs 2 feel like a galleria of masterpiece paintings that, to me, transcend the mock-Los Angeles of GTA V's Los Santos. Mixed with the atmospheric effects and the day to night cycle, the world looks absolutely spellbinding, and invokes all kinds of feelings as a result.

Every time you feel like you've seen something incredible, the game throws something else at you and makes you redefine your expectations.

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Seamless Multiplayer

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Seamless multiplayer is surprisingly fun and works quite well. The feature wasn't available at launch thanks to technical difficulties, but Ubisoft has ironed these out and the mode is actually pretty fun.

The modes are much like the original Watch Dogs, and have both competitive and cooperative play. Random players can infiltrate each other's games to hack or even eliminate one another. The remote hacking can be fun, especially when the other player can't find you (hide in the bushes!), and if another player is wreaking way too much havoc in San Francisco, you'll often be called in to take them down.

The most fun I've had with multiplayer are the co-op missions, aka Online Operations.

These missions are actually pretty tough and usually require two players in order to beat, especially since they involve infiltrating a highly guarded area and freeing a prisoner or blowing up some drug cargo.

These missions have optional objectives that usually involve not getting detected or keeping stealthy, so it's worth trying to coordinate with your teammate to get extra cash, followers, and XP.

Also don't forget to assign Ubisoft Club challenges to grab some extra uPlay EXP and followers.

Most of the time you'll just end up blowing everything up, shooting everyone, and then escaping in an insane high-octane chase sequence that takes you across the city itself. These missions are great and provide an awesome distraction from the normal run of the mill missions.

Final Thoughts

Watch Dogs 2 Review: Hack the World 120 | TweakTown.com

All in all, Watch Dogs 2 represents a huge leap forward for Ubisoft's open-world strategy. It's been a long time since I've been truly immersed in these types of games--honestly I haven't felt this impressed since GTA V--and I can say that the sequel competently stands toe-to-toe with the open-world juggernaut that is Grand Theft Auto.

Ubisoft has taken the formula and done something unique, mixing in their own explosive ingredients for a blast of flavor that could very well transform the open-world genre moving forward.

At it's core, the game is quite a delicious recipe made up of many well-known ingredients: one part Assassin's Creed parkour and stealth action, two parts GTA V-grade living, breathing world, one part puzzle and strategy, and finally a helping of

vibrant, vivacious style with a dash of chaos thrown in the mix.

Watch Dogs 2 puts player enjoyment ahead of everything else, with the incredibly dynamic world and realistic cityscapes and buildings coming at a very close second. Even losing disastrously in this game isn't frustrating: you're not punished for your failures, nor are you even really punished for your misdeeds.

In a way, the game feels like a sandbox sim that's based on an arcade-style sentiment that puts gameplay first and specific realism second, ensuring you'll have a blast no matter what you do.

Watch Dogs 2 Review: Hack the World 118 | TweakTown.com

At it's heart, though, Watch Dogs 2 feels alive.

Ubisoft has fashioned all kinds of interesting ways for players to hack the world, giving us a bunch of nifty gadgets and know-how to do as we please. The world itself is extremely vivid and colorful, with a new kind of NPC and hilarious--if not sometimes eye-rolling--characters that bring a much-needed spark to the drab franchise.

Ubisoft's hacktivist sequel is a massive and sprawling adventure that will keep you entertained for weeks--if not months--on end, especially if you lose yourself in the beautiful environments.

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The game has something for everyone: explosive action for the shooter fan, complete stealth for the ninja operative, and havoc-inducing hacking for the joker who likes to watch the world burn. Although it's all about fun, Watch Dogs 2 has something deeper hidden away in its depths, and you'll want to take a break from total chaos to take a closer look.

Should you buy Watch Dogs 2?

If you even have a passing interest in open-world games, then yes, you should. If you loved GTA V and are looking for something new and fresh, absolutely give the game a try: Ubisoft isn't messing around this time, and the game absolutely shines with dedication.

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What's Hot

+ Vibrant visual style

+ Impressive graphics

+ Amazing living, breathing open-world filled with dynamic moments

+ Impeccable city detail, buildings and environments are stunning and quite realistic

+ Incredible NPC interactions make characters feel real

+ Much more emphasis on stealth and strategy

+ Seamless co-op is hilarious and fun

+ New weather effects like atmospheric fog/shadows

+ High-tech themes give a semi-dystopic view of our probable future

+ Dank memes

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What's Not

- PS4 graphics aren't the best, screenshots look pixelated

- Driving can be hit or miss, auto-centering camera makes driving much harder than need be

- Snap-on cover system can be finicky at times

- Missions can be quite difficult, often resulting to trial and error

- Small immersion interruptions; cars/NPCs disappear, etc

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TweakTown award
Gameplay90%
Graphics85%
Open World (NPCs, Environments, etc)97%
Fun Factor95%
Value for Money95%
Overall92%

The Bottom Line: Ubisoft is at the top of the game with Watch Dogs 2: incredibly authentic worlds with immersive NPCs mingle with a colorful style and chaotically fun gameplay. This sequel is a true open-world gem that propels the franchise--and the genre--to new heights.

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Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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