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Watch Dogs 2 review
by Julian Mitchell-Israel

Overall: 7/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Story: 6/10
Music: 7/10

This game is truly a blast to play. As you go running around the streets of San Francisco and the Bay Area, you level up your hacking and physical skills until you’re able to take on almost any threat. While not as comprehensive in mechanics, NPCs, or story diversity as GTA, it follows a similar model of open world exploration in a modern city. Where it really shines is the hacking mechanics, something I haven’t seen in any other game. It is simply thrilling to get to peer into every random NPC’s cellphone, back bank accounts for funds, explode grenades from a far, change street signals to cause car accidents and block your pursuers, and use your tech wizardry to solve all kinds of puzzles. Where the game falls short is it’s lack of creative freedom it gives you in really doing the missions however. While you of course have a certain amount of freedom in if you want to do a mission through stealth, hacking, or rampaging your way through guns-blazing, that is about where the freedom stops. It’s never really about environmental manipulation, and by endgame feels less strategic than it could. Still, though, the core mechanics are excellent and just as GTA-series games do, it has phenomenal replay value. I’m still playing it long after completing the story as a fun relaxing game with infinite side missions. 

The story, sadly, falls flat a lot of the time. It is a classic outlaw hero tale. While the characters you run into are interesting, quirky, and you quickly grow to like them, you never LOVE them. The stakes are never raised very high from a personal, emotional standpoint. It is always a political/city-level threat. Perhaps finding ways for you to invest more in relationships with people and then using conflicts around such characters to propel the conflict may have made the story more compelling. But what’s done is done, and at the end of the day it is well worth the play, as the story is good enough to keep you engaged and, really, functions as a reason for you to get to mess around with the very well made mechanics of the game. 

The music is a lot of fun, but hard to give the designers credit for as it is almost entirely done through your character’s “radio” on their phone or car and consists mostly of real world hits.  The diversity in genres is lively though, and with the right choices you can feel like a hero taking down guards to head-banging rap, or a villain plotting the demise of a room from a distance with tech and bombs with a classical backdrop. 

Overall, great game. Highly recommend playing, and glad to see it aced all of the things WD1 failed to do. 
«Just one more turn»
«Sit back and relax»

Other reviews9

Amazing mission design.
Better than 1, but worse soundtrack
The narrative, theming, and setting are better than the original, but I really miss missions having more of a focus on camera jumping and puzzles. Plus the car stuff is kinda weak here. I'm fine with floaties for the sake of flashy action getaways, but the opportunities to hide are few and far between for how rubber-bandy the AI is.
It wasn't that great. Pretty forgetable story. 
«Sit back and relax»
«Waste of time»
The first time I tried to play this, I thought the controls were very stiff and I didn't like how playing it felt, so I gave it a pass after 30 minutes. Then I decided to give it a proper chance and I enjoy it. It takes a moment to get used to the feel of the game and when you do, it's pretty fun and immersive. The gameplay feels like a huge improvement from the first, especially the hacking. I like that the aesthetics and tone are better suited to what the gameplay is about. However, it's still the typical Ubisoft open-world game and the humor is severely unfunny to me. Corporations can't utilize meme culture or anti-establishment sentiments without coming off as try-hard. Every time a joke was told, I thought "I was meant to laugh there, but I feel like my face turned to stone." There are points that *almost* got a chuckle, but either the timing or delivery was off and it's very dated. I know I'm a bit late experiencing this game in 2020, but I know for a fact that rage faces weren't relevant anymore in 2016. The bad humor made the characters less likable when I really wanted to connect with them, but I ended up not caring about the story at all and skipped quite a few cut scenes. Also, the music choice is lackluster, there are only a few new songs I liked and the rest were from artists that I already enjoy. I ended up sticking to the classical music station for a majority of the game and it had way too small of a selection.

Edit: I wish the hacking puzzles were expanded on because they were fun but way too easy. It had moments that made me feel like a badass, but it is very shallow. There was a weird glitch during the climax cutscene of confronting Dushan where the classical radio station started with an ad and then continued playing Vivaldi's Concert No. 2, it overpowered all of the dialogue. I could still hear the music that was meant to be played and Vivaldi would have been a more appropriate choice with the right editing. It was the only moment during the game's story that made me laugh and it was a total mistake. Yahtzee Crowshaw compared this to the film Hackers, which was a pretty apt comparison. I'd much rather watch Hackers again, as bad as that movie is, it's still memorable. I couldn't say the same for Watch Dogs 2, it had so much potential to be a great game, but it's just an alright one and done that lacks a difficulty curve.
«Buggy as hell»
Good game, quite fun to play it with friends.
«Better with friends»
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
At the End of the Review, there's a Pro/Contra list for anyone too lazy to Read. ALLGEMEINES Watch _ Dogs 2 is the Successor to the more controversial Watch _ Dogs, which had clear Weaknesses. Personally, I've already been able to do something with Watch _ Dogs, but I can also understand anyone who didn't like it at all. Using the Steam Reviews, one can guess that Watch _ Dogs 2 has been made significantly better. I, too, see it that way. Watch _ Dogs 2 stars as Marcus Holloway, a Member of the Hacker Group "DedSec," which is already known from Watch _ Dogs. One of the Reasons why Watch _ Dogs 2 is much more popular than the first Part is, in my Opinion, Because you have completely omitted this whole Ubisoft formula (Climb the Tower to uncover the Area, DLCs, DLCs and even more DLCs, Downgrades). There are still DLCs and I will definitely buy them, but nothing that includes in any Form elementary story Elements or crass new gameplay Mechanics. STORY The Story is simple as in the first WD but generally well spiced up by the many Possibilities to complete a Mission. The Story partly follows on from the first Part, here and there there is a nice Easteregg (among others). Blume and some other Companies continue to be the Counterparties. NEBENMISSIONS IN Addition to the Main Story, there are of Course also side missions, these are sometimes better, sometimes worse. Some Side Missions just want you to go to anyone and hack something briefly, so depending on the Distance to the Destination an effort of 2 – 5 Minutes. Others, on the other Hand, offer great Real-world references and some Gameplay, which would have gone through loosely as a Main Mission. An Example of a good Side Mission: In the Mission "UBISTOLEN" you hack into the local Ubisoft Office to create a Trailer that was originally planned for an E3. The Reference alone is fun, but the Trailer itself is also very cool. GAMEPLAY The Gameplay also works 110% times better than in the first WD. One has v. A. A lot more Ways to hack, that is, HOW you want to hack (start police or Aisle on jmd., distract him, remotely control a Car to run over someone etc.), the Mission Areas are wide open and you have the free Choice of how you want to approach something. You can stealthen missions, bite through with Ballery (not recommended, Marcus is not a Bullet Sponge), but you can also play by Drone or similar from afar through most missions, so you don't even have to enter the Terrain. By the Way, the graphics also look much nicer than in its Predecessor, which is probably because everything is much more colorful now. For me, the only Shortcoming in Gameplay remains vehicle physics. This was much better compared to the first Part, but there is still air up. DESIGN/STIL's Interaction with the Open World is great (each NPC has its own profile, i.e. occupation and hobby/details about the past, Income, etc.), besides, the Dialogues of the NPCs, which just happen unscripted, contribute well to the Feeling. The Open World is also much nicer than the gloomy Chicago from the first WD. Here you now have a colorful San Francisco, which not only looks good, but also allows many more Gimmicks in the Open World than in the first Part. The Whole thing is now, of course, more "Hipster/Generation Facebook" moderately reared, but not exaggerated, so you choked into Stranger, the Characters are even pretty cool. FAZIT All in all, Watch _ Dogs 2 is more than successful. Most Of the errors from Part 1 have been eradicated and everything is very handsome. By the Way, trostarring In the Open World via Hacking is also a lot of Fun! The Multiplayer is made nice and meant, but not worth mentioning. I hope for a Watch _ Dogs 3 that also eradicates the last Weaknesses of Watch _ Dogs (Vehicle Physics, etc.). PRO/CONTRA PRO:-Story (Nothing special, but not bad either)-Characters (Different Personalities; Partly Interesting Backstory)-Gameplay (Clearly Better Than in WD 1; More Ways to Hack and Cash ...)-Open World (Nothing more to Say)-Side Missions (Often very short (2-5 Minutes), But partly also very good (See Example in the Review) CONTRA:-Vehicle Physics (Better than in the first Part, Nevertheless not the Optimum)-Side missions (Often very short (2-5 Minutes), partly but also very good) NETRAL: I did not know w o I should pack the Multiplayer. -Multiplayer (Nothing Special; penetrating other players into their own Game can be deactivated if Necessary. Coop missions are nice, but not necessary.)
The game is pretty good well it isn't God of War but it's good. The story wasn't the best, but I liked the hacking in this game.
«Sit back and relax»
«That ending!»