Uncategorized

“WATCH_DOGS 2:” A Second Chance for a Doomed Series

While Ubisoft occasionally produces a really good game that sells millions of copies, they have an overall bad reputation with gamers, becoming the butt of internet memes and jokes. 2014’s “WATCH_DOGS” was no different, as it was a very ambitious game that felt incomplete and lacking in several areas, including story variety, character depth, and flawed gameplay mechanics.

Because of its predecessor’s failure, many gamers were hesitant about pre-ordering “WATCH_DOGS 2,” which was first announced at Ubisoft’s E3 event earlier this year. As a result, overall sales were down as gamers held out for game critics to offer their opinions.

While many expected “WATCH_DOGS 2” to be a terrible game, it was actually better than anticipated. Developers at Ubisoft had obviously taken notes on what was wrong with the first game and made every attempt to fix them.

The game takes place in San Francisco, California in the present day. From the very first tutorial mission, players can see an almost 180-degree turn in the atmosphere of this game from the first. Where the first game had a very dreary environment with a character who was bent solely on revenge, “WATCH_DOGS 2” presents an almost comedic, satirical atmosphere. Massive corporations like Google and Facebook are replaced with Nudle and !NVITE, respectively.

The game has a surprising amount of character depth, and not just from the protagonist this time. Marcus, an up-and-coming hacker going by the code name Retr0, has it out for Blume, which fans of the series will recognize as the creator of ctOS. The program is built to keep track of everyone’s activities and whereabouts, as well as maintain a record of criminal records and predict crimes before they happen. Marcus was jailed for a crime that he had not committed yet, and thus has it out for the company behind the system.

Dedsec, the hacker group that Marcus joins at the very start of the game, consists of several supporting characters, all of which are very dynamic and are given intricate backstories as the main story progresses. Dialogue from the characters seem unique to their personalities and accurate with the time period. While most developers are behind on modern day “slang” and internet culture, “WATCH_DOGS 2” hits both right on the mark.

Most gamers have compared the game to “Grand Theft Auto V,” and while they do share some strikingly similar themes and gameplay mechanics, both have very distinct differences. For example, the campaign for “Grand Theft Auto” and its staple online multiplayer mode are completely separate. In “WATCH_DOGS 2,” they’re integrated. While exploring the world or completing story missions, gamers are likely to encounter other players who can either help them in their exploits in passing or hack them to earn in-game money and points.

In a modern-day industry where the standard is to remove huge chunks of a game and sell them off as downloadable content packs, or DLCs, the base game for “WATCH_DOGS 2” provides enough activities for players to enjoy for hundreds of hours. Hundreds of story missions and side missions are available for players to enjoy, as well as mini-games such as go-kart racing, random enemy spawn areas, and collectibles scattered across the game world that award skins for cars, guns, and drones.

While “WATCH_DOGS 2” has a season pass available, with future DLCs lined up, it seems very optional to buy it. Some games, like Bungie’s hit sci-fi shooter “Destiny,” have so much content cut out and make it mandatory to buy the DLC or season pass in order to even play the game at all. The DLC for “WATCH_DOGS 2” includes additional clothing options for Marcus, vehicle skins, and more side missions.

The game promised that players would have the choice of how to complete a mission, instead of shoving the stealth approach down gamer’s throats, and it definitely came through on the promise. The amount of ways you can complete a mission is almost overwhelming. Aside from the traditional stealth or “guns blazing” approaches, you can also call in the police or local gang members to shoot up or arrest your enemies, then go in with no opposition, or perhaps send in a flying or rolling drone to recon or quickly get past locked doors.

While sales for the game aren’t doing so well, it is a game that many players should add to their Christmas list, as it is a hidden gem that keeps up and surpasses a lot of the promises it made.

“WATCH_DOGS 2” is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and XBOX One.

While Ubisoft occasionally produces a really good game that sells millions of copies, they have an overall bad reputation with gamers, becoming the butt of internet memes and jokes. 2014’s “WATCH_DOGS” was no different, as it was a very ambitious game that felt incomplete and lacking in several areas, including story variety, character depth, and flawed gameplay mechanics.

Because of its predecessor’s failure, many gamers were hesitant about pre-ordering “WATCH_DOGS 2,” which was first announced at Ubisoft’s E3 event earlier this year. As a result, overall sales were down as gamers held out for game critics to offer their opinions.

While many expected “WATCH_DOGS 2” to be a terrible game, it was actually better than anticipated. Developers at Ubisoft had obviously taken notes on what was wrong with the first game and made every attempt to fix them.

The game takes place in San Francisco, California in the present day. From the very first tutorial mission, players can see an almost 180-degree turn in the atmosphere of this game from the first. Where the first game had a very dreary environment with a character who was bent solely on revenge, “WATCH_DOGS 2” presents an almost comedic, satirical atmosphere. Massive corporations like Google and Facebook are replaced with Nudle and !NVITE, respectively.

The game has a surprising amount of character depth, and not just from the protagonist this time. Marcus, an up-and-coming hacker going by the code name Retr0, has it out for Blume, which fans of the series will recognize as the creator of ctOS. The program is built to keep track of everyone’s activities and whereabouts, as well as maintain a record of criminal records and predict crimes before they happen. Marcus was jailed for a crime that he had not committed yet, and thus has it out for the company behind the system.

Dedsec, the hacker group that Marcus joins at the very start of the game, consists of several supporting characters, all of which are very dynamic and are given intricate backstories as the main story progresses. Dialogue from the characters seem unique to their personalities and accurate with the time period. While most developers are behind on modern day “slang” and internet culture, “WATCH_DOGS 2” hits both right on the mark.

Most gamers have compared the game to “Grand Theft Auto V,” and while they do share some strikingly similar themes and gameplay mechanics, both have very distinct differences. For example, the campaign for “Grand Theft Auto” and its staple online multiplayer mode are completely separate. In “WATCH_DOGS 2,” they’re integrated. While exploring the world or completing story missions, gamers are likely to encounter other players who can either help them in their exploits in passing or hack them to earn in-game money and points.

In a modern-day industry where the standard is to remove huge chunks of a game and sell them off as downloadable content packs, or DLCs, the base game for “WATCH_DOGS 2” provides enough activities for players to enjoy for hundreds of hours. Hundreds of story missions and side missions are available for players to enjoy, as well as mini-games such as go-kart racing, random enemy spawn areas, and collectibles scattered across the game world that award skins for cars, guns, and drones.

While “WATCH_DOGS 2” has a season pass available, with future DLCs lined up, it seems very optional to buy it. Some games, like Bungie’s hit sci-fi shooter “Destiny,” have so much content cut out and make it mandatory to buy the DLC or season pass in order to even play the game at all. The DLC for “WATCH_DOGS 2” includes additional clothing options for Marcus, vehicle skins, and more side missions.

The game promised that players would have the choice of how to complete a mission, instead of shoving the stealth approach down gamer’s throats, and it definitely came through on the promise. The amount of ways you can complete a mission is almost overwhelming. Aside from the traditional stealth or “guns blazing” approaches, you can also call in the police or local gang members to shoot up or arrest your enemies, then go in with no opposition, or perhaps send in a flying or rolling drone to recon or quickly get past locked doors.

While sales for the game aren’t doing so well, it is a game that many players should add to their Christmas list, as it is a hidden gem that keeps up and surpasses a lot of the promises it made.

“WATCH_DOGS 2” is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and XBOX One.

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