We all knew it was coming, and Ubisoft promised our first proper look at Watch Dogs 2 today. As promised, Ubisoft hosted a reveal presentation that officially announced Watch Dogs 2, along with outlining its first features, improvements and tweaks in contrast to the previous game.
As rumoured, Watch Dogs 2 will star a new protagonist within a new location, replacing Aiden Pearce and Chicago from the original Watch Dogs. This time, players will take control of Marcus Holloway, a younger hacker who operates as part of hacker collective, DedSec, once again fighting against the oppressive technology of the smart city ctOS system. The sequel now takes place in San Francisco, primarily the Bay Area, which was chosen by Ubisoft for its important place in technology.
The hacking mechanics have been immensely expanded in Watch Dogs 2 as well, as has the capabilities with which Marcus can explore and influence the world around him. Marcus can fully rely on tools and long-distance hacking methods to undertake many missions, since he now sports a quadcopter drone and a long arm that allow him to perform various tasks remotely, as well as scout areas for him. Marcus also appears to be a better hacker than Aiden, since he can now take control of vehicles, even potentially driving them remotely (apparently, any car in the game can be hacked now), and can even influence people to a degree, creating distractions by performing even mass-hacks that can do things like make all of the NPC cellphones go off at once. This also piggybacks off of supposed new and improved NPC A.I., with Ubisoft Montreal wanting the world to feel alive, even when players stand still, referencing things like dogs potentially chasing after people of their own accord, fights breaking out, conversations between NPC’s unfolding, and NPC’s potentially even calling the police on other NPC’s and not Marcus!
Ubisoft Montreal has tweaked the game to be more flexible with different varieties of player styles as well, with the sequel now allowing players to make use of stun attacks and other such non-lethal methods, making it possible for players to complete the entire game without ever killing a single person, if they so choose. Players can still be aggressive and go in guns blazing and destroying the environment around them, but the fact that choice and play style is being accounted for in Watch Dogs 2 should already make it a bigger draw to many would-be players in contrast to its predecessor.
Ubisoft didn’t address the game’s online and multiplayer elements very much, beyond confirming that they are there, though they did speak of wanting to expand the seamless online gameplay that was pioneered in the original Watch Dogs. The one example they gave was Watch Dogs 2 allowing players to encounter their network friends during play sessions, and interacting with them to immediately activate a seamless co-op mode, allowing two players to undertake missions and other such challenges together. Beyond that however, Ubisoft declined to comment much on these gameplay elements, and it’s probable that we’ll have to wait until E3 proper to hear more about them, with Ubisoft confirming that Watch Dogs 2 will definitely be a part of their E3 keynote next Monday.
The announcement presentation concluded with a release date, which confirms that Watch Dogs 2 isn’t far off, and will be launching on November 15th of this year. While the presentation didn’t say so, Ubisoft has since clarified that Watch Dogs 2 is in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, with the demo showcases all being done on the PlayStation 4 build of the game.
Keep poking into Eggplante for all major news and updates on Watch Dogs.