Dave and I have spent many an hour larking around in Watch Dogs 2 co-op, it’s not only an excellent game, but it’s great fun to cause chaos in an online playground with your best friend, but Ubisoft aren’t content with having just two friends against the world, and are adding to this by opening co-op to four players — the mind boggles at the carnage that I could cause with Dave, Greg and Derek riding shotgun.
It’s not all happy co-op play though, Showd0wn is a new competitive mode that puts you into a 2v2 match that takes place across 15 different areas. Matches flow seamlessly from one to another in one of three different modes, Steal the HDD, Doomload, and Erase/Protect the Servers.
There is also some new DLC on the horizon too. No Compromise includes new operations to tackle, which pits Marcus and the DedSec crew against the Russian Mob. Originally the DLC was going to include the Showd0wn multiplayer content, but Ubisoft decided otherwise.
“There are two main drivers behind making Showd0wn free for all of our players,” says Watch Dogs 2’s live producer, Kris Young. “The first is that we want everyone to be able to participate and play it. We really wanted to have as many people as possible playing the mode for a better challenge, better matchmaking time and quality, and a healthier, more active community.
“The other is community feedback we’ve received since we announced the original plans,” Young says. “Our community asked for more multiplayer content, and that’s also a reason why we’ve decided to make Showd0wn accessible for free for all players, while replacing it with more single-player content in No Compromise.”
The No Compromise DLC launches May 18 on Xbox One.
Still yet to get your hack on and join Dedsec’s misadventures in San Francisco? Did my glowing review not quite convince you? Surely you saw that Watch Dogs 2 picked up our Action/Adventure GOTY in the 12 days of TiXmas? No!… well I guess there’s no pleasing you, but Ubisoft may just have the tease to show you just why you need Watch Dogs 2 in your console.
Starting January 24, you can get three hours access to Ubisoft’s recreation of the San Francisco Bay Area – and that’s access to the full game – no penned off area or a portion of the storyline. You can play co-op, multiplayer or just immerse yourself in the campaign.
Naturally progress is saved so if you do pick up the full game, you can continue where you left off. So what are you waiting for? Get that date in your diary and get three hours fill of one of the best games of 2016.
I’m a huge fan of the open worlds that Ubisoft create. From stalking the rooftops in Assassin’s Creed, or creeping through alleyways as Mr Fisher, to surviving the wilds of Far Cry. I’ve absorbed myself in the tales they’ve told and loved (just about) every minute of it. It will come as no surprise then that I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the first Watch Dogs, but when the sequel began to start its hype train I was left standing at the station – its direction and lead character did nothing for me. Had Connor from Assassin’s Creed come back to haunt me and tarnish yet another series?
You play as hacker Marcus Holloway, aka Retr0. The game starts with his initiation into DedSec, breaking into ctOS to wipe his records. Marcus is quickly recruited into DedSec and joins their crusade to wake the people of San Francisco to the true reality of BLUME’s ctOS 2.0.
The story spans from BLUME to Belltower, with lots of corporations caught inbetween. DedSec is at the centre, exposing their dirty secrets, with their style and exposure of corrupt companies drawing distinct similarities with the real world Anonymous group, which I’m sure the Ubisoft team took inspiration from. The storyline is excellently paced and packed full of side missions, it even plays it close to recent events in America with a story about a seemingly unpopular politician coming close to taking control.
The missions are varied and have a swathe of humour to them. Each can be tackled any way you see fit within the limitations of the skills you have unlocked – with later missions quite challenging if you haven’t taken the time to tool up your skills and gadget mastery.
The city of San Francisco is well crafted and while far from the hustle and bustle of a real city, it’s many sights and sounds will lure you into a metropolis that appears to live and breathe. DedSec themselves are an odd bunch that I found strangely alluring, I unwillingly began to grow rather fond of each member and felt like I was an integral part of the team rather than just a punk kid who recently joined. Their personalities quickly stamp a very different direction to the game making the events of Watch Dogs a vague memory – great if you didn’t get on with the first. Their conversations seem more ‘real’ too – the discussion on who would win between Alien and Predator is one I’ve shared with my friends on more than one occasion.
The only juxtaposition is the weapons, not so much the guns themselves but the merciless killing. DedSec are trying to wake the city to their reliance on using digital devices and how companies are using their data. This seemingly friendly crusade doesn’t seem to warrant a ‘guns blazing’ approach – but hey – you get to play the game your way, although a system like Dishonored may have helped make lethal force more of a consideration rather than a “fuck it, I’ll just kill all these guards” approach.
Get into a gunfight though and Marcus won’t be able to take too much heat before dropping. Moving in and out of cover is smooth and is as simple as pointing at where you want to go and holding down the A button. Enemies will call for backup and even flank your position – often the best approach is to tuck up somewhere and send in your drones. The Quadcopter allows you to fly around scouting the area, and once unlocked, drops bombs from the sky. Meanwhile, the jumper RC drone should be your first choice for hacking computers and collecting key items from restricted areas.
Hacking is smooth. A lock on is required before you can select one of four options – dependent on what you’ve unlocked. Mayhem can easily be caused and it’s a lot of fun especially when you join a buddy online for some co-op missions – sending cars off the road as you hack them can have hilarious results, especially when engaged in a five star felon police chase.
The co-op of Watch Dogs 2 shares a lot with Assassin’s Creed Unity’s co-op – which in my book is an awesome prospect. Many of the missions are similar to the main game, but have so much more potential when there are two of you running amuck. Mainly I just enjoyed larking around with a mate – causing as much trouble for him as I did for my enemies – sending cars into his path or hacking his vehicle just at the right moment.
Heading online solo, you can invade other players, which makes a return from the first game. New to Watch Dogs 2 are bounty hunts where you help the police take down a wanted felon, it’s all good fun, but I enjoyed my time online far more with a mate.
The only real gripes I have with the game are the puzzle mechanics and the driving. I really enjoyed the puzzle mechanics of the first game but this has been watered down, which is a shame. Towers are replaced with power line puzzles that must be completed in order to unlock access to junction boxes. Routing the power to unlock couplings is fun enough; I just found them far too easy – even when there was a time limit.
The car physics? Well let’s just say that while far from bad, they are firmly rooted in the arcade genre of driving. Hand braking round corners is fun enough – just don’t try to do it on a bike, the results are far from pleasant. If driving really isn’t your thing then there’s a handy fast travel system that can jump you close to your objective.
There’s a ton of content outside of the main game too. From standard side missions to taking selfies at key landmarks and driving the streets via Driver SF as a taxi serving the citizens, which includes some funny stories. There are lots of collectibles to find that will increase your abilities – each one hidden away in a hideout or behind a sequence of junction boxes that require hacking. Each activity has been well-thoughtout and is far from tacked on.
DedSec are a colourful bunch, as is the backdrop the game is set against. The bad guy is an absolute bastard, an awesome bastard that is pitched so perfectly I wanted to like him as much as I liked Marcus and his crew. Watch Dogs 2 is a very different game to the Watch Dogs, and while it nods to characters and elements of the original outing, anyone hung up on the first game should leave their bag at the door and take to the sequel in the knowledge that Ubisoft has very much learnt from their mistakes – a bit like they did with Connor!
Just when I thought I might have my nominations for TiX’s GOTY categories rounded up, Watch Dogs 2 has blasted itself to the top of my consideration list. For a game that lost me in its marketing, I must commend the team on a job awesomely done.
After a few teething problems at launch, Watch Dogs 2’s seamless multiplayer experience should be rolling out across Xbox One later this evening after the first phase of deployment went live at 16:00 for PlayStation 4.
The full experience will give players the following multiplayer options:
Invite friends to co-op or search for new co-op partners
Hack into a rival hacker’s world
Find targets for Bounty Hunts or trigger a bounty on themselves
If this deployment proves successful, the team will then unleash the second phase – Nearby bounty targets and Prime_Eight rivals – that can be hunted without needing to enter matchmaking via the in-game phone app. The second phase will also introduce friendly DedSec hackers that can be recruited to help you complete DedSec events.
Keep an eye out for our review on TiX soon – SPOILER – it’s bloody brilliant!
The reviews are flying in… on PlayStation 4 that is. At the time of writing, metacritic has 39 PS4 reviews of the latest Ubisoft title and 0 on Xbox One – anyone care to take a stab at which is the preferred platform?
God is a Geek gave it 90 praising that “every aspect of movement and adjusting to your equipment has been improved ten-fold since the first game”. TheSixthAxis matched the score and found that there’s “a ton of side-content that’s entirely new to the franchise”.
Even the lowest score, at 75 by SpazioGames, found Watch Dogs 2’s new hacking abilities to be “two of the most joyous news in the field of hacking, that you should definitely build as quickly as possible, are the jumper and flying drone.” (please excuse the use of google translate).
Having been wrongly profiled by a citywide operating system, Marcus Holloway is now seen as a criminal risk. After closer investigation Marcus reveals rampant corporate corruption and manipulation of the public and because of this he and his fellow hackers, Dedsec, wage war against the system with the aim to return the power to the people.
Watch_Dogs 2 is due for release on the 15th November. For further information about this trailer and other Watch_Dogs 2 related information, check out the Official Site.
Launching November 15th, Ubisoft have unveiled what lies behind the Watch_Dogs 2 season pass, which gives PlayStation 4 owners 30-days of exclusivity on the three DLC packs included in the pass. The pass is bundled with the Gold Edition of the game or available separately for £29.99.
The packs will extend the adventure with extra missions, new enemies, co-op challenges and the usual customisation extras that find their way into DLC packs.
T-Bone Content Bundle available December 13th on PS4 – so around Jan 11th on XO.
Human Conditions available Spring 2017
No Compromise available Spring 2017
The Psychedelic Pack and Root Access Bundle will be available on launch and feature new outfits, skins and the Zodiac Killer mission.
The team at Watch Dogs 2 have decided to put a series of videos together titled Remote Access, which will take us on a journey behind the scenes highlighting the different aspects of the up and coming game. The first episode takes a deeper look in to the main character Marcus, Dedsec and what their motivations are according to scriptwriter Lucien Soulban, Ruffin Prentiss (Marcus), Shawn Baichoo (Wrench), Tasya Teles (Sitara), and Jonathan Dubsky (Josh).
Watch Dogs 2 is currently scheduled for release on November 15th on Xbox One and PC but in the meantime if you want further information on the game, check out the Official Website.
So E3 as always was filled with exclusive gameplay footage and sneak peaks at what’s to come and Ubisoft came up trumps with unseen gameplay footage of Watch Dogs 2. Along with this was a Hack Everything Trailer, giving you a real taste of what’s instore in the next Cyber Hacking adventure.
In Watch Dogs 2 you take the role of Marcus, a member of the Dedsec Hacker group, as he jumps, rolls and hacks his way around the streets of San Francisco. From the clips we can already see that the fluid movement and parkour is on par with the Assassins Creed series, maybe even better so this is definately one to look out for if jumping from building to building and hacking is your thing.
Watch Dogs 2 is avaiable to pre-order now and will be released on November 12th.