Watch Dogs 2 on Xbox One – The DVDfever Review

Watch Dogs 2

Watch Dogs 2 sees you take the protganist role of Marcus Holloway – following on from the first game’s Aiden Pierce – as the action moves from Chicago to San Francisco, hacking the city’s ctOS (central Operating System) as you go, completing the missions to gain followers, which leads to obtaining research points which allow you to upgrade your skills and also unlock further missions within your hacking group, DedSec, plus a stack of additional ones which are optional, also available via the DedSec app on your phone, courtesy of your friend, Wrench (can I get one of these apps on Android? 😉 )

Along the way, you can take control of lights, other vehicles and blow up manholes, causing the whole section of that street to explode, but when that happens… be somewhere else. All too often did I find myself inadvertently setting one off while driving too close for comfort and ending up brown bread.

It’s very similar to the first game’s almost-as-good-as-Grand-Theft-Auto stance, which is a good thing as that was a whole load of fun, with so much to do in the game and so many vehicles to drive in a truly open-world environment. You can hack into CCTV cameras and chain from one to the next as you did in WD1, in order to let yourself into a restricted area, for example, but whereas in the first one I was frequently crafting a lure and then throwing it to distract someone’s attention so you I sneak past, this time, I’ve saved time by waltzing in my yoyo (well, Thunderball, as it’s known) and smacking baddies upside their face to simply incapacitate someone, or in one case (below) I walked into an area and simply walked past the guard without being challenged. I later realised I was traipsing around this location before I trigged the mission’s start, which may have been the reason for that (although when I died and respawned, suddently, the guards were much more on-the-ball). That said, when I DID start the mission proper, the place was full of dockers standing around, so this certainly helps in the feel of an open-world situation.

However, you know those games where you just can’t open a door because, while it’s drawn into a wall, it just won’t open? Yes, that happens a lot here, too, but in the case of this mission, when I spent ages trying to find a way in and assuming it would require Jumper, my remote-controlled robot vehicle – very reminiscent of something basic from Robot Wars, and making it leap impossibly from a set of packing crates stacked on top of each other. Given how a few attempts resulted in adject failure, as did everything else I tried, I looked up a walkthrough video and found… I could simply walk through the open door right in front of me(!)


Watch Dogs 2 – GLITCH – Walking straight past a baddie! – Xbox One (1080p HD) – DVDfeverGames


Some random observations:

  • There’s a lot that’s similar to last time, so I won’t repeat that, other than to repeat one of my favourite ways to injure or kill the bad guys is to accessing the CCTV cameras, finding those individuals who have explosives strapped about their person (also see above video) and then setting them off! BOOM! 🙂

  • There’s, otherwise, very good AI when it comes to escaping from bad guys, or the police (same thing, really). It’s very difficult to shake them off.

  • Aside from stealing cars, you can use your mobile to hack and take control of ones either parked or being driven. However, while I can control some cars, there are still some others that I can’t, and I can’t figure out why. Other road-based alterations you can make including taking control of the lights (although I just drive at speed, anyway), and blo -wing up manholes… but make sure you’re not driving over them at the time, or you’ll also go up in smoke!

  • There’s a different mission structure this time round, with a series of main missions and a ton of side extras, rather than doing the missions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and so on, before moving on to 2.1, 2.2… as per the first game. That said, the main missions have several parts to them so it’s similar in that way; it’s just not spelt out the same. Again, however, I can’t repeat levels just completed.

  • Watch Dogs 2 is one of many games which has had some problems upon release, but I received my Xbox One copy 2-3 weeks after release and I must assume it’s been patched appropriately, as I didn’t have any major gameplay problems. Graphics are an issue at times. Mostly, it’s stunning in 1080p high definition, but there have been times when I’ve fallen into a hedge (example below), and since only the outside of it has been ‘drawn’, I can walk about in the empty space inside.


Watch Dogs 2 – GLITCH – Falling inside a hedge – Xbox One (1080p HD) – DVDfeverGames


More observations:

  • You can even be brazen and threaten everyone with a gun created by a 3D printer, but I found the heavy-handed approach is a bit lazy to be used all the time, and it’s far more fun just to punch someone in the face with a fist or your aforementioned thunderball. It is possible, apparently, to complete the game purely by hacking alone, but given the number of baddies after you, you’ve got to engage in some hand-to-hand action, surely?

  • Every person you see can be ‘hacked’ to extract money or information from, and while I haven’t done it yet, you can also apparently modify their personal info with a view to having them arrested. In fact, there’s so much you can do in this game that I feel I’ve only scratched the surface, with many more hours of gaming time to come.

  • Similarly to last time, there are too many controls sometimes, which led to me accidentally pulling out my gun in a public place when I didn’t mean to, freaking everyone out and making them call the cops!

  • Personally, I don’t go in for multiplayer, but if you do, then there’s a a co-op mode, which Wikipedia describes thus:

      “Players can meet and interact with other random players. They can explore the open world and complete missions together, which will also help players to gain followers. The game features an emote system, which allows players’ characters to communicate with each other through basic gestures. The game can be played completely online or offline. It also features several competitive multiplayer modes:

      • Online Invasions: Online invasion is a one-versus-one competitive multiplayer mode, originally featured in the first game, in which a player joins another player’s single-player session and installs viruses on their DedSec system. The invading player must escape after a virus is successfully planted, while the original player must find and kill the invading player.

      • Bounty Hunter: Bounty Hunter is a new mode introduced in the game. If an online player creates too much chaos in the world, the mode will be initiated. Police, alongside one to three other players, will join the player’s game with the hope of killing the hunted and claiming the bounty, which gives them experience points. The hunted could either strike back at the hunters by killing them, which gives them greater rewards, or escape from them until the bounty expires. The hunted, meanwhile, also can be assisted by another player if that player chooses to join the hunted. Players can manually place a bounty on themselves using the in-game smartphone.”

Overall, Watch Dogs 2 is a huge amount of fun and a must-buy. No doubt, a third game will come in due course, but like how the Jurassic Park series keeps creating new parks and then everyone gets eaten, in reality, this would stop right there. And, so, no third city would install ctOS unless it was completely hacker-proof… but I’m daft for applying reality to videogames… so please make a third and we can enjoy some more!

Check out more videogame footage on the DVDfeverGames Youtube Channel!

Watch Dogs 2 is out now on PS4, Xbox One and PC, and click on the packshot for the full-size version.


Watch Dogs 2 – Stealing another car mission – Xbox One (1080p HD) – DVDfeverGames


Important info:

  • Publisher: UbiSoft
  • Players: single player; co-op multiplayer
  • HDTV options: 1080p
  • Sound: DTS 5.1


GRAPHICS
SOUND
GAMEPLAY
ENJOYMENT
9
10
8
8
OVERALL 9

Directors: Danny Bélanger and Jonathan Morin
Producer: Dominic Guay
writers: Madeleine Hart, Jesse Scoble, James Russell Lees, Ethan Petty, Jared Schincariol, Diana Rose Sherman, Lucien Soulban and Leanne Taylor-Giles
Narrative consultants: Maurice Broaddus, David Maynor and Alexis Nolent
Narrative designer: Cameron Labine
Music: Hudson Mohawke

Cast:
Marcus Holloway: Ruffin Prentiss
The Wrench: Shawn Baichoo
Sitara: Tasya Teles
Josh: Jonathan Dubsky
T-Bone: John Tench
Horatio: Michael Xavier
Dusan: Christopher Jacot
Miranda: David Collins
Lenni: Ashlie Atkinson
Jimmy Siska: Billy MacLellan
HR Advisor: Susan Glover
Shirley: Amber Goldfarb
Congressman Thruss / Additional Voices: Marcel Jeannin
Haum CEO: Robert Montcalm
Brody: Ken Proulx
Agent Fuentes: Mark Camacho
Mary Catskill: Anana Rydvald
Teresa Moretti: Nadia Verrucci
Waitress: Lydia Zadel

Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2019.
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