Sequel takes place in a vibrant open world filled with wacky hactivists, which makes for a lively gaming experience
As a proof of concept for a cyber-drama take on Assassin’s Creed, complete with all-encompassing hacking abilities, the original Watch Dogs really worked. Where it faltered was … almost everywhere else. The chief complaint being that its protagonist, Aiden Pearce, was a bland and unlikeable guy, someone that you never sympathised with despite his dark, guilt-ridden Max Payne-esque past. Indirectly responsible for the death of his niece and the comatose state of his sister, Aiden’s resolution was to go out for revenge. A lot of people had trouble getting on board with that.
In Watch Dogs 2, developer Ubisoft Montreal not only takes the foundations of the original to build a good, fun game around its core ideas, it also births a great lead character, Marcus Holloway. He’s the most likeable Ubisoft lead since Ezio Auditore of Assassin’s Creed II, Brotherhood and Revelations. This sequel also leaves the drab, rain-slicked streets of grey Chicago behind. In its place, we get a glorious rendition of San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area; the overpriced suburbs of Palo Alto and the warm city offshoots of Oakland – it’s all beautifully replicated in one of Ubisoft’s most colourful and vibrant open worlds.