Watch Dogs 2 Review

December 9, 2016

 

Watch Dogs 2 is one of the most drastic departures from a predecessor in the history of video games as a storytelling medium. Watch Dogs 2 has the player taking control of Marcus Holloway, a hacker in San Francisco that has been burned my crime-predicting algorithms. Marcus joins up with a group, DedSec, in an attempt to reform the way that society functions in this tech-heavy era.

 

The first Watch Dogs was a dark and soulless game. Everything from the plot to the protagonist was overly grim and took itself far too seriously. Enter Watch Dogs 2. A colorful world full of exciting and unique characters. Watch Dogs 2 manages to tackle many serious issues such as race and the unethical use of drugs while still being full of charm and humor. There is a level of sincerity and authenticity in the characters. Specifically, one scene shows the main character nerding out over a trailer for a movie that he highly anticipates. It is those moments that humanize the game in a scarcely seen way. 

 

The core of what makes Watch Dogs 2 so special is the gameplay. Many games boast the "play how you want to play" method, but rarely does it ever play out like that. In Watch Dogs 2, that approach is a reality. Players can go into missions and strongholds guns-blazing or use stealth to subdue all of your foes. However, I played that entire game firing a weapon or taking someone down via melee under twenty times. Utilizing hacks in very interesting ways, I was able to explode electrical boxes to knockout enemies, forge evidence to cause police to swarm an enemy stronghold, or, my favorite, reconstruct information to give the illusion that an NPC is an informant in a gang which causes said gang to send hitmen to kill the individual. 

 

In true open-world fashion, Watch Dogs 2 is rife with side missions and activities. Surprisingly, the side content is varied and exciting. In fact, more often than not, I found the side content more enjoyable than the main story mission. This leads to my primagry issue with the game. The main story missions become bland and repetitive towards the second half of the game. Even the narrative structure takes less interesting turns towards the end.

 

Watch Dogs 2 is some of the most fun I've had with a game this year even if the main story becomes a bit repetitive and bland.

 

 

 

 

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