Watch Dogs 2 Review | Improving what was bad, but forgetting the good

Posted on Nov 22 2016 - 9:00am by Gaf Hussain
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We now live in a world where surveillance is everywhere, and the world portrayed in H.G. Wells’ Nineteen Eighty-Four is practically a reality. The original Watch Dogs took this concept and chose the protagonist Aiden Pearce to fight back as well as delving into his back story. Watch Dogs had some great concepts, and was criticised for its dull main character, but did Ubisoft learn from their past mistakes?

You are Marcus Holloway, a hacker wanting to become a member of DedSec, a hacktivist group determined to protect the digital rights of the masses. Marcus has an easy going laid back attitude, and the voice acting is very natural. This is reflected best in the cutscenes. He is definitely the polar opposite of Aiden Pearce. I need to point out something regarding these two characters though. The fault with Aiden was he was quite dull, but, he had a goal and some backstory was immediately presented, and more was peppered throughout the game, so at no point could you say “I don’t know his motive”. So Ubisoft created Marcus Holloway, they made him “cool”, but lost all sense of motive, and hours into the game there is nothing chronicling who he is or what he has done. You could replace him with a talking lamp and it would make little difference to the game. Marcus is also a wanted man, but it never feels this way. The cops rarely show up in the open world, but when they do they are as difficult to evade as before.

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The remaining cast also suffer a similar issue, they have no depth, and you cannot imagine them existing outside of their specific roles in the game. They are interesting, but none of this is ever explored. “Wrench” is a character that I like, but at other times think is completely ridiculous. He wears a mask at all times that has light up emoticons to reflect his mood. In the context of the game its fun, but when you try to add any substance to the characters it makes no sense.

This is speckled throughout the whole game. Watch Dogs 2 doesn’t take itself too seriously, it’s out there to have fun, be a little stupid and fun. It pokes fun at current events and satirises scenarios by changing names and brands just enough to be safe from legal action, but it’s clear that they are poking fun at Scientology, Martin Shkreli and even themselves to name a handful. The story is told through these missions, cutscenes and phone calls before and after starting one. It works fairly well, but with the large variety of side content it can become disjointed at times. I found the music in the game to sometimes fit perfectly into the world presented, but other times very jarring and resisted the urge to mute it, but this is simply down to your preference.

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