Watch Dogs 2 Review – No Hack Job

Silicon Right-Up-My-Alley.

08

Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Format: PC, PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One
Released: November 15, 2016
Copy provided by publisher

Historical public opinion has not been kind to the original Watch Dogs. A game propelled by unreasonable levels of hype and buoyed by controversially unrepresentative promotional footage, it’s not the most fondly looked upon game in these cultural circles.

Despite its reputation and its housing of one of the least likable protagonists in all of videogames, I loved Watch Dogs, perhaps more than a vast majority of people.

Watch Dogs 2 enters the world without either of the original’s glaring problems hanging over its head.

Expectations have been significantly lowered, and the detestable Aiden Pierce has been replaced by the instantly more entertaining Marcus Holloway.

07

Marcus is the first clue that Watch Dogs 2 will be an entertaining romp. He’s not a generic Ubisoft protagonist avenging yet another dead family member, he’s positioned as a strong part of hacker culture with the ability to crack a smile.

He’s a pop culture nerd, a cocky asshole, and an overly idealistic hacktivist. In short, he’s the exact kind of protagonist Watch Dogs needed from the start.

Watch Dogs 2‘s narrative is similarly more enthralling than the original’s, throwing in some light social commentary about such things as “big brother” culture, gentrification, and the importance of information.

In a San Francisco where every gadget, building, and vehicle is integrated into a ruling operating system, Marcus and his colorful buddies from DeadSEC conspire to disrupt the system and cause chaos.

Their aim is to win followers and earn both the fame and resources required to take down Blume – a ruling corporation exploiting the “smart city” of San Fran for its own typically evil ends.

Hacking culture is affectionately spoofed, and while the writing can be a little wince-inducing at times, the giddy movie references, satirical plot arcs, and excitable character banter make for a game that is often genuinely amusing.

06

San Francisco itself feels remarkably alive. Pedestrians love interacting with Marcus, whether they’re getting out of their cars to yell at a player blocking traffic, or photobombing Marcus as he takes pics.

It’s a reactive city, and one that I just love wandering around in. Plus of course, you can hack anybody’s phone to find out random facts, eavesdrop on correspondence, or steal some quick cash.

Watch Dogs 2 is absolutely drenched in things to do to the point where it can be overwhelming. As is typical of Ubisoft games at this point, San Francisco is practically bloated with content – from missions and sudden events to collectibles to landmarks where Marcus can take selfies.

Hell, the game even has a Shazam-style app that lets you save music whenever you hear it.

The main missions are well structured and pit DeadSEC up against some interesting adversaries.

Ubisoft has learned from the original Watch Dogs where the fight against Deadmau5 parody DEFALT was the best part. Now, almost every mission offers exaggerated opponents or colorful scenarios, and it’s all the better for it.

05

Side missions occur regularly, sometimes needing to be found in the city by hacking phones or talking to random people. There are also “Driver SF” missions where Marcus ferries people about town, as well as a robust online mode.

Like the first Watch DogsWD2 can be played with a persistent online connection that allows for players to “invade” each other. You never know when a player might turn up in your city and attempt to hack your data, hiding among NPCs and needing to be sniffed out.

Hacked players can use Marcus’ “detective vision” (games love it!) to highlight potential attackers in purple, hoping to find their opponent before it’s too late. If discovered before the download is complete, the hacker can try to escape, initiating a fun competitive chase.

The cat-and-mouse gameplay has always been great fun, and has been given more emphasis in the sequel.

While at times it can be annoying to get hacked in the middle of a mission, I’ve almost always loved the sudden diversion and I delight in hunting down and eliminating enemy players.

Outside of sneaky hackery, players can help the cops chase down real players or engage in a series of cooperative objectives. All of these sidelines contribute to the overall goal of earning followers and unlocking research points that Marcus can use to improve his gear.

If the online interruptions get too irritating, they can be switched off, so you only ever have to screw around with others when you want.

04

Much of Watch Dogs‘ gameplay has been retained. Fundamentally a standard open-world action game, things are given a shot in the arm by Marcus’ ability to hack the “CTOS” powered devices around him.

Players can cause distractions by triggering phone alarms, shut down power around him, and create traps or lures by tinkering with electrical devices.

There’s a ton of stuff players can take advantage of, moreso than the first game, and things again risk overwhelming the player as they drown in options.

It certainly takes time to get to grips with everything Watch Dogs 2 offers, and some of the toys require experimentation before their practical usage becomes apparent.

All that said, there’s room for distinct play styles and things go from an overloard to a fantastic laugh once a player finds their own flavor.

Setting traps to stun and kill enemies, charging in with 3D-printed assault rifles, sneaking about like a ghost, there are lots of ways to approach an objective, and nobody ever has to be tied to one style.

Let me also just reemphasize that you 3D print assault rifles. Weapons and gadgets are all 3D-printed. Because of course they are.

03

The biggest additions to the game are the RC Jumper and Quad Copter. These remote controlled devices can infiltrate places ahead of Marcus, sometimes accessing places he can’t reach.

The Jumper is great for sneaking and hacking physical data ports in Marcus’ stead, using vents and small spaces to scuttle about safely. It can also pick up cash or hidden research points, and be upgraded to taunt NPCs so they’ll follow it into traps.

The Quad is a terrific surveillance device, with upgrades that let it detect and mark enemies more efficiently. It gives a good overview of any area, finds online opponents efficiently, and can remotely hack out-of-reach areas.

It would look stupid for Aiden “Iconic” Pierce to use these things since he’s such a po-faced wanker, but they’re both fun toys that fit Marcus’ personality, and incredibly useful tactical devices.

Watch Dogs 2 has its fair share of glitches, as one sadly has to expect these days.

I’ve had some framerate stuttering, NPCs behaving bizarrely and getting into weird places, and one stunning experience where all the DeadSEC members’ character models spawned maybe forty times each in the same room, all trapped in weird poses.

At the very least it was interesting and funny, even if I did need to reload the game. Certainly one of the strangest bugs I’ve seen outside of Steam’s barrel bottom.

While the “looser” aspects of the game can get in the way, they’re not too frequent to damage the overall experience and WD2 is great at perpetually autosaving so I’ve lost no progress as a result of anything.

Outside of such errors, the game looks pleasant even if it isn’t graphically stunning, with more attention given to creating a stylish looking city and filling it with believable, interactively satisfying NPCs.

02

The one thing Aiden had going for him was his cool coat, and while Marcus doesn’t sport such attire himself, he can buy and discover tons of clothing for all one’s customization needs.

There are lots of fun aesthetic options and I found myself constantly playing with my protagonist’s look. The only grating part is the “Premium” store section that, while not currently featuring anything but preorder bonus items, hints at future exploitation.

As one of the first Watch Dogs‘ few long-standing fans, I was hoping for an expanded version of the original game with more playthings and a better hero, which is exactly what I got.

There are still lots of typically “Ubi” moments in the game, and the issue of nebulous, sometimes repeated content is hard to avoid, but overall this is one of the best open-world Ubisoft games out there.

Missions are varied and hugely fun, traditional combat and driving are enjoyable, while all the hacking is a delight – traffic lights to turn off, sewer openings to explode, cars to steer out of control, and opposing players to troll.

Lots to do, and a vast load of it’s a trip.

01

Most importantly, Watch Dogs 2 offers a sense of humor running through it that the series badly needed. You don’t need miserable family death stories in a ludicrous game about “smart cities” and cartoony hackers.

You need writing that leans into the silliness, that has a laugh at its own expense, which is exactly what this game gets.

It has its serious and its sad moments, absolutely, but it also has Short Circuit 2 quotes, a charming Aliens versus Predator debate, and the theft of a parody Knight Rider car.

Watch Dogs 2 is a great game as a rock solid action title, but being unafraid of its own nonsense is what makes it a truly pleasurable experience.

Oh, and I kind of love Wrench, DeadSEC’s masked, toaster-smashing geek. He’s just the right sort of cringe and I really want that mask.

It’s better than an “iconic baseball cap“, at any rate.

9/10
Superb

  • Father

    I’m glad that they have learned their lesson from the last game!

  • ManuOtaku

    I did like the fist game, although not perfect by any means, i really like the different approach to any mission and that it was like a mixture of assassins creed and splinter cell.

    I have high hopes for this game, nice to hear that is more of what made the first game good. Sadly my only desire for this series was a nemesis system of his own, which is something i believe would do wonders to the series, i mean to see the repercussion of your hacking activity.

  • Pangalaktichki

    Wait… what? 9!? Wait… what? Wow… I… it’s THAT good? I wasn’t expecting that, especially from Ubi, seems like another game for shopping list.

    • Father

      Ubi is a hit or miss when it comes to games. They’ll put out a turd and then come out with a gem the next year.

      • Burt Humperdink

        True this is exactly what happened to Assassins Creed, first one was okay but deeply flawed first sequel was awesom.

        • wvstolzing

          Hopefully the 2017 AC will also be good.

          • diamond

            I’m not holding my breath, I think that series needs to truly re-invent itself by taking place either in the present or entirely in the future, ancient Egypt just doesn’t sound like it’s going to be enough to stop the series from becoming stagnant.

          • wvstolzing

            If it *really* does take place in ancient Egypt, they’ll need to address fundamental questions with respect to the lore (Back then the Assassins didn’t even call themselves ‘Assassins’, and didn’t even use the hidden blade — so what was it like, to be a member of the ‘order’? Was there much of an ‘order’ to speak of? –etc., etc. ) *and* if they can do this at all creatively, it might give the currently stale story, and lore that’s ridiculously dwindled in significance, a new breath of fresh air.
            Also there’s an abundance of real-life crackpot theories about ancient Egypt; and the writers certainly do know their way around such theories (the supplemental material especially in AC4’s ‘Abstergo documents’ illustrates this very well). If they can incorporate stuff like the ‘hidden library of Atlantis under the Sphinx’, etc., into the story, they could once again capture some of the eerie conspiracy vibe that the earlier games had.

        • SmaMan

          And then they slowly drifted back in to broken games at worst, mediocre games at best.

          I think the real difference here is *time.* They gave Watch Dogs’ sequel a few years, so they could more adequately see what people liked and didn’t like about it, and then build the game based on that.

        • diamond

          I thought the first one sucked, it was really fucking boring and repetitive.

      • ManuOtaku

        Lately they have been a hit, primal, syndicate and now this. Probably their next trio might end up being not a hit.

        • Gareth

          And which game is it they’ve claimed is now actually in production?

          • ManuOtaku

            It seems to be a new iP.

          • Gareth

            While it has been over a decade Beyond Good & Evil is not a new IP.

          • ManuOtaku

            Oh i meant the game that appear to be an space shooter. Yes BG&E is not a new IP.

  • Leon Shepard

    damn us pc peasants and having to wait a further 2 weeks as we are not worthy

    • Psychobudgie

      Given the current state of the PC version of Dishonored 2 I’m not holding out any hope whatsoever.

    • CaitSeith

      Add 1-2 months so they can fix their iconic game breaking bugs.

  • Chris

    God damn it Jim. Stop making me want games. I literally don’t have the time to play console games (The nintendo switch can’t come out soon enough)

    • wvstolzing

      One downside of trying to keep up with Jim’s work is that he makes me want games …. and I can’t afford any at the moment.

      (Once he let me down, though, with MGSV.)

    • The Jünger Ludendorf

      On a side note, anyone played Owlboy lately? I heard it’s fan-Titan-astic.

  • goodbyejojo

    another case of “this is what the first game was supposed to be” ?

  • Will Quan

    Can you actually punch people this time?

    • Candy Cab

      Yes, one punch knock outs that are pretty entertaining. Checkout this mornings Streamer House stream. Inigo was on a rampage smacking people and mowing everyone down. Some of the police chases were hilarious.

  • Mario M.

    Looks like Triple-A’s are doing their homework.

    • uxtull

      It’s post Witcher 3 world after all.

  • Bilateralrope

    I might buy this. Once all the DLC has been released.

  • M. P.

    First Titanfall 2 and now Watch_Dogs 2… Are we entering an era of redemption for the Big Three?

    • diamond

      Jim also sort of liked Infinite Warfare, so maybe.

  • astra

    I kindof figured this would be good. Watchdogs wasn’t necessarily bad and ubisoft always nails the first sequel

  • Charles Smith

    i am wondering how long does this game take to complete story

  • Aiat

    So this does not have any microtransactions?

    • GamingSage

      probably not now, but they gotten smart enough now to put them in after the reviews of the game comes out

      • Gareth

        Do the majority of reviewers even mention them?

        • Lies That Bind

          Not unless they’re like Jim.

        • GamingSage

          if there are in at the time the review is done? usually yes

    • Candy Cab

      Car skins and clothing if that counts ?

  • Henry Ashman

    Well this might be getting promoted from my “meh don’t care” pile into my “maybe in a sale” pile then.

    But my biggest turn off was the whole “hacking culture” side of things. Seems like punk rockers swallowed a technical phrasebook and don’t know what any of it means. All the media in the run-up looked beyond the level of cringe I can tolerate.

    • Greyson Xiu

      hey if its not your thing than its not your thing 🙂

    • diamond

      I know people who are like that in real life, so i’m totally fine with it.

  • Greyson Xiu

    I did not expect a 9/10… I am gonna get this one once I get my pay next month.

    • Buddahec

      Take that with a grain of salt, the protagonist is gay.
      Which is an aspect Jim has a boner for.

      • Peter Korman

        Considering that he didn’t mention that in his review, I’m pretty sure you’re wrong. The review backed up the score (in my opinion).

        • Buddahec

          Keep in mind Jim isn’t stupid. If he wanted to use his review to increase sales of a game with this protagonist; even among those prejudiced; what would be the best way to do that?

          • Peter Korman

            You could easily be right as well. I just think the text backs up the higher score.

      • Gus

        He’s black AND gay? Wild.

      • Greyson Xiu

        I am not a white guy I am actually Chinese. so what do I care about what my in game skin color is. its not gonna be an Asian dude anyway. so I rather be a black guy than a white guy at this point cause I have been so many white muscly men.

  • Belsameth

    I loved the original despite its failings so I have *huge* hopes fore this one. Roll on tuesday! m/

  • EDOJHVKHV

    “Just the right sort of cringe…”ok then.

  • cowboyjimmy

    i watched your Jimpressions video and i couldnt help myself but not to notice how the video was choppy, was this a mistake in encoding or the game really runs that bad?

  • Anton

    Well, this is a pleasant revelation. Seeing as I liked the first one despite all its flaws, I might actually pick this up too.

  • Sperium3000

    You know, if a few years back you told me I’d be more interested in a Watchdogs game than in a Dead Rising sequel starring Frank West again, I’d gut you with my chainsaw-taped-to-the-end-of-an-oar.

    I need a fucking drink,…

    • diamond

      I think Dead Rising 4 looks fucking awesome, couldn’t care less about Frank having a new voice actor, I barely even remember his voice anyways.

      Hell I didn’t even notice that David Sarif in Mankind Divided had a new voice actor.

      • Sperium3000

        I’m sorry, what part of my post led you to think that I was talking about you? Why do the personal feelings of someone you don’t even know bother you so much you have to shove your own in my face like I’m wrong for having the opions I have?

  • CriticalQuit

    Maybe I’ll pick this up around the winter sale. I’ve always been intrigued by the Watch_Dogs concept, but never picked up the first one because I’d always heard it was mediocre.

  • Scott John Harrison

    I bought the first game second hand and got bored of it rather quickly – mainly because of the generic-ness of the protagonist. This seems like it will be better but I think I will just wait to watch a good let’s play of it instead of playing it myself.

  • Lloyd

    Always good to hear a game is worthwhile, though personally I’m still cold toward this game. Something I’ll get around to playing eventually probably but not in any hurry.

  • Peter Korman

    As someone who wasn’t a fan of the obnoxiously-serious tone of the first one, I’m incredibly happy to see that this doesn’t make the same mistake. As for the fun of the game, Jim sold this game to me more than the entire promotional campaign. I’m not sure I’ll purchase it any time soon, but I’ll definitely give it a look at it after a price drop.

    • diamond

      The first game did have a sense of humor, it just didn’t come from Aidan.

      • Peter Korman

        I didn’t stick with the game for more than a six or seven hours (there was a pricing glitch at Walmart, and I got it for $1, so I didn’t feel like I was losing out on anything). Perhaps the tone brightens up further down the road.

  • keironsmith123

    Damn this month is being brutal to my bank account only just got Dishonered 2 last week as well (i’m loving it so far) and now this.

  • Astralfury

    But are there radio towers to climb or not?

  • Savletto Polvere

    A wildcard strikes again

  • (((ANIME)))

    Looks like hot garbage to be honest, just another Ubishit product, but with progressive propaganda and memes forced down your throat. I mean, one of the characters is a obese woman with a rage face on her shirt. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/60b9a9d8d9bf73e8141eb2cbbb51d2f7def0bdb743461b57bf6f83a62b988ce7.jpg

    • Glabatron

      I think “propaganda” is a pretty strong word for that buster.

    • thatguyEZ

      It looks like she’s vaping too. Fucking cringe.

    • Yeah did you know she’s a villain? What propaganda!

      I also love your implication that fat women can’t be in games. Nice.

      “Progressive propaganda.” Calm your tits, mate.

    • Nada Namae

      “progressive propaganda and memes forced down your throat”

      Are you even a real boy, Pinocchio? I really should start making bingo card for how often the same phrases pop up. And boy howdy, a fat woman? What will the SJW think of next for their devious, inaccurate depiction of America?!?

    • Nathan Aldana

      and theres the guy who sees enemies in every shadow screaming and hollering as per usual

    • diamond

      It’s not “propaganda” just cause the protagonist is black you moron, go back to Brietbart.

    • Shadow Fire

      I’m wondering if you think you look like hot garbage? Perhaps you’re projecting onto a game that you haven’t played (probably) and clearly were predisposed to dislike because of who made it. Or maybe you’re just a jackass who saw an overweight woman in a video game and thought to yourself “Why not give her a penis and remove her tits?”

  • G0bus

    Geez, can we please stop releasing so many good games for a second? I haven’t even finished Witcher 3 yet.

  • actorvious

    Within the same month two major AAA sequels were released that took everything annoying about the first game and fixed them all.
    Watchdogs 2 and Titanfall 2. Thank god for that.

  • Jason Clarke

    Because of all these glowing ps4 reviews ive gone ahead and done something very scary these days and pre ordered the pc version…

    Because you know… Pc master race and all that. Hoping my pc can brute force its way through these ps4 graphical issues but going off recent pc releases ( looking at you mafia 3 and dishonored 2 ) i should keep my fingers tightly crossed.

    • Irishrumjob

      Batman Arkham Knight for PC…
      I wouldn’t take the chance until the game is out and fully reviewed. But good luck to you. I really hope this game redeems itself.

    • dellers

      Pretty much every single release is better on PC even when there’s trouble, so I would think it should be fairly safe. While Ubisoft has a few very bad PC ports, most of them are ok to good.

      • diamond

        Yeah but on consoles you don’t have to deal with bullshit DRM like Denuvo, I just don’t like publishers treating me like a criminal, isn’t U-Play or Steam enough of a DRM in itself? Why does PC need another form of it?

        At least on consoles I don’t feel like i’m being treated like a criminal.

        • Gareth

          Yeah and you have also have to deal with tons of other bullshit on consoles.

        • dellers

          I have never actually seen Denuvo in real life, only mentioned in forums. I haven’t bothered looking it up since I really can’t notice it.
          The reason is because of the (previously) extremely high number of pirates, which is undeniable. Pirating seems to be going down though along with most big torrent sites shutting down, so I’ll assume that there will be less anti pirating measures in the future. If people behave trustworthy, they will be trusted.

          • diamond

            Denuvo was one of the main reasons why Lords of the Fallen ran so poorly on PC.

            I don’t like the idea of beating people into submission to force them not to pirate, I prefer the approach CD Projekt Red takes.

    • Chris

      You’re a brave man. God’s speed to you.

  • Fallen Prime

    Obligatory outdated “better than Uncharted 4” joke.

    • Anton

      Affirmative action got them a whole extra point.

      (God, that feels terrible to even say sarcastically)

      • Chris

        it might have been terrible to say but it made me smile (i won’t say laugh because very few things online actually get a literal LOL out of me)

  • Dave Dogge

    The theme to me is a bit meh, the first one was a bit meh but now in the infamous words of DiCaprio “Now, you have my interest”.

  • FieldMedic

    Meh, still not sold on this franchise. Probably watch a play through on Twitch or Youtube but that’s it.

  • Will Bertazzo

    Inb4 people start calling Jim an SJW for liking this game that has a black guy in it

    • Eve H

      of all the reasons to call him that, that’s what they ran with :p

      It’s silly to me, saying things a certain way to make them sound like a bad thing. Like calling someone gay, or someone’s views ‘socialist’. These are not bad words, just thrown with negative intentions and a lot of repetition. Modern propaganda

  • Michael Edler

    So no mention from Jim that the MP part seems broken right now? They have disabled it currently.

    • As you can see on my Jimpressions video I had no problem with it. Loved it in fact.

      • Michael Edler

        Cool. I am just reading from some other outlets it has been disabled currently.

      • Bilateralrope

        You had no problems when you played before launch. It’s sounding like typical server issues on launch day.

  • squid spitt

    Does it have the same downgraded graphics like the first? LOL 😛

  • MrFrancisYorkMorgan86

    My scarab-like hide is pleasured by this article.

  • Maroš Goč

    After you overhyped DE Mankind Divided and gave it a 9/10, I have a weird feeling that this one is overhyped too..

    • Mr Ink 5000

      It’s Jim’s opinion.
      You should make your own mind up at the end of the day.

    • SlightlyCuteQuil

      Interesting term you use to define how a reviewer enjoys a game over you.
      And the use here is ironic as Jim has always been an outcry against hype culture.

    • Alejo Contreras

      strange… I gave it a 10

      • Maroš Goč

        a 10 for Mankind Divided? Only if you havent played Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Human Revolution

        • Alejo Contreras

          I have, and still I’m giving it a 10

    • Jan Lewandowski

      I seem to agree. Overhype might not be what i’d call it, but after quantum break and mad max before that I think my taste no longer aligns with Jims.

      • diamond

        I’m playing Mankind Divided right now and I totally agree with Jim 100% on that game, it’s really sucked me in.

        I also loved Mad Max and Quantum Break.

        • Jan Lewandowski

          well i’ve only played a bit of deus ex so won’t comment on it, but quantum break was a mediocre game at best (which he gave an 8) and mad max was very enjoyable if flawed (which he gave a 4).

          • diamond

            Yeah when it comes to Mad Max I agree more with Total Biscuit’s opinion then with Jim’s.

            Quantum Break I found really compelling and fun, I just wish the live-action stuff had either been made into in-game cut-scenes and/or actual gameplay.

    • diamond

      He did not overhype that game at all.

    • Henriette Gaston

      Like Saints Row 4 you mean? BOOM.

    • Wheatly Newman

      What hype for Watch_Dogs 2 was there? I don’t remember much at all.

  • Mr Ink 5000

    Wonder if they’ll ever bring Prince of Persia back. I enjoyed their trilogy in tge PS2 days and that cell shaded reboot.

    • Alejo Contreras

      I truly loved the reboot… comercially not a success.. but anyway.

      • Mr Ink 5000

        It’s a tenner on steam. Might get it next sale.

        • Alejo Contreras

          I’m a PS user but thanks anyway….

          • Mr Ink 5000

            Lack of B/C must be a ballache.

          • Alejo Contreras

            Third world gaming.. I’m happy to be playing watch dogs 2 in a week.. what can I say?

      • Max

        That reboot got so much shit, but I’m personally very fond of it. I really wanted to see what future games were going to do.

        • Alejo Contreras

          I think of it as a work of art

          • lomsha

            This. Had such a unique art style, might be my fave.

          • Alejo Contreras

            But hey! Now we got the division 🙁

  • Duncan Parker Newton-Gaines

    I love that “No Hack Job” was also the subtitle of Jim’s Escapist review for the original Watch Dogs.

  • Unnoticing Senpai

    … Okay, I’m officially interested again.

  • TJ Barke

    But is the driving still terrible?

    • diamond

      I thought the driving was just fine, better then GTAIV at least.

      • TJ Barke

        That’s a very low bar.

        • diamond

          LOL true.

          • Chris

            I only played 20 minutes of watch dogs so I have to ask… is the driving better or worse than the mako in mass effect 1?

            (PS before you ask, I wanted to play watch dogs and got it from a bargain bin and was turned off and frustrated when I played 5 minutes and then the game asked me to wait 20 minutes while it finishes installing. Still plan to get back to it someday though!)

  • uxtull

    I dunno, really wasn’t feeling it after watching a trailer, seemed like a product aimed at cringey teenagers.

    • saillc

      Yeah, exactly how I feel. It seems like an insane amount of effort was put into making the game “hip” and “cool”. All the garish bright colors and stupid ways all the people talk just turns me off.

      • diamond

        Didn’t feel like that to me in the least, and I have known people who talked like that in real life.

    • diamond

      Didn’t feel like that to me at all.

  • CaitSeith

    Again, Jim was bought by Ubisoft with an iconic free game. Also Adam Sandler is a genius in comedy with more class than any of you amateur reviewers. Pixels FTW! /s

  • PassingAtRandom

    Great, now, if only games could go back to being good first and adding shit LATER rather than be good DESPITE the shit AND NOT having the same issues the company is known for being considered a step up…

  • Max

    So the 3D printing element tells me that this is the closest we’ll get to laura k buzz the game.

    I am happy to see watchdogs gain a sense of humor since that’s something the first one would have really benefited from

    • diamond

      Infinite Warfare also had 3-D printed weapons.

      The first Watch Dogs did have a sense of humor, though it usually came from characters besides Aidan(Jordi was pretty funny)

      • Gareth

        Yeah but it makes sense for 3-D printing to appear in Watch Dogs 2 with it being a contemporary setting. It doesn’t however make sense for it to appear in a science-fiction game in a setting which would have long since surpassed such technology.

  • Aaron Griffin

    Missed opportunity should have said no hack job but not quite a handjob.

  • NorthwindJME

    Thanks Jim. I might pick this one up.

  • George Sears

    That sounds fun! I guess I’ll go out and buy the videogame! Oh, what’s that? There are multiple versions of this game that were released in packages of different values? Time to take a quick peak at what each bundle offers so I get the best bang for my buck. I’ll be right back! (Gets lost in spreadsheet nightmare for 5 hours and gives up)

    • diamond

      I personally don’t give a shit about any of that collectors edition junk, I only care about the game itself.

  • dyscode

    I am so glad this has turned out good! I really liked the first one, gameplay & strolling the city-wise, mostly.

  • ckmondavi

    Normally I would avoid Ubisoft open world game, but seeing how this takes place in SF a City I live just an hour away and Your giving a near perfect score, I might have to pick this one up Jim!

    • diamond

      That’s one of the reasons why I bought the original game ASAP, as I live only about an hour away from Chicago and I was really happy to finally see the city get represented in a video game.

  • Muddy Scarecrow

    I have been waiting for this review since the game was announced. When the first W_D was announced I was not excited in the slightest. The trailer looked fake and I later heard it was fake. I finally played it a few months ago so I would understand what was going on in 2 when I finally played it. And Jesus Christ was that an experience. Watch_Dogs 1 is NOT a game. It’s a commercial for its own franchise. Preoccupied with getting you hype for future sequels instead of trying to tell a compelling story with compelling gameplay

    And the gameplay WAS good in spots! I had fun from time to time but it ultimately felt like a waste of time. In contrast I have been excited for W_D2 since day one. A character with an actual personality, a colorful city to run around in and some fun quirky missions that don’t all revolve around REVENGE MY NIECE I AM THE NIGHT I AM HACKER BATMAN GWAH! Good to see you liked it and I really hope our opinions match up for this. To actually say I’ve been hype for a Watch_Dogs game has made me feel weird for a little while

    • diamond

      Watch Dogs was a game and I do think it had a compelling story in spite of all the side characters being more interesting then Aiden himself.

      • Muddy Scarecrow

        In my opinion that’s how it felt. There were some cool moments and I had a lot of fun with the hacking. But the story was just awful to me. It didn’t feel finished. It felt like there were pieces missing. Like, he gets himself sent to prison to stop a convict from spreading his name around. Then several hours later, with absolutely zero build up or even a reveal, the cops suddenly know his name and are out for his arrest. Hold up a goddamn minute did I fucking miss something?! Is there a mission or two missing? And yeah, I absolutely agree with you on the side characters. Bed Bug really needed to be in the game more and I genuinely cared about his well being.

        • diamond

          I would’ve liked Claire to be the main protagonist.

  • Limit Break

    If ONLY I was into open-world games…

  • I’m glad this one turned out to be good! The core idea of WATCH_DOGS is a cool cyberpunk premise, and it deserved a game to do it justice.

  • saillc

    It’s hard for me to want to play this game with the insane amount of effort ubisoft seemed to put into making everything seem “hip”. The main character looks and talks like someone who was written by a 40 year old guy to be cool, who listens to dubstep and puts stickers on his laptop. The entire thing screams “see, we can be cool too!”. All the neon colors and brash style just rubs me the wrong way I suppose.

    The guy even has pins on his leather jacket.

    • NathanHendon

      I see how it would rub you the wrong way – when it borders on a line it’s going to fall on the cringe side for some – I think it’s cool and is gloriously cheesy and light hearted – also I guess I’m easily distracted by bright neon colors

      • saillc

        I need to give it a chance. I really trust Jim with reviews, it’s just that as of now there is a ton of games coming out. Im absolutely willing to try it out, i just don’t know for 60 dollars. I recently purchased 2 triple A games at full price which i haven’t done in 2 years, Titanfall 2 and Dishonored 2. One has been fantastic and i’ve had a ton of fun, and another doesn’t work at ALL on my rig, which has a 1070, a 4690k and 16 gigs of ram. Until i refund the game (dh2) that doesn’t work or it gets patched, ill wait on diving into watch dogs 2. Either way, the PC release is delayed till the end of November, and if i can get a game on PC theres now way ill get it on console.

    • Xyra

      I dunno, I see people like that fairly often. Maybe it’s because I work in a cartoon studio and go to Anime conventions and get exposed to a lot of counter culture that way. I haven’t played the game but I assume this game is trying to embrace goofy fun times.

      If anything we could get a Life Is Strange level of disconnect, but that becomes entertaining in its own right.

      • MotorMouthMichael

        As someone who hasn’t played Life is Strange, could you enlighten me on this disconnect you’re describing? I presume it’s linked to the teeen cast, somehow. Are the writers out of touch with their subject or something?

        As for Watch_Dogs 2, I guess it could go too much in the opposite direction after the original, tone-wise. At least the games won’t feel to samey, which I suppose is good for a Ubisoft game.

        • Xyra

          Life is Strange had its modern American teen dialogue written by some middle aged dudes in France. It was basically a bunch of RANDOM!! internet slang words that weren’t really commonplace vernacular in real speech like “wowsers” or “amazeballs” until the irony reached back around and people just accepted the speech as normal dialogue. But the game does often read like someone’s exposure to teenaged expression entirely through Tumblr.

          • Henriette Gaston

            While still being a pretty good game.

  • Alejo Contreras

    Anyone got any news on Black friday on Amazon?

    • Gareth

      Think you might be asking on the wrong site.

      • Alejo Contreras

        Why?

        • InfamousDS

          Because we talk about video games, and not retail deals. Which isn’t to say there isn’t overlap, as I sell on Amazon professionally.

          • Alejo Contreras

            Obviously I’m talking about game deals…………..

          • InfamousDS

            Jim has never done retail discussions. “Game deals” are a retail discussion. Hence why you were questioned, and have yet to receive an answer.

            Amazon has started e-mail bombing their users with “Pre-Black Friday” deals to get more traffic. There are a few hundred websites and blogs devoted exclusively to deal hunting. I’m sure you could find one about video games specifically if you looked, instead of blunderbussing the question in an off-topic fashion on a website not known or even considered for discussion of the off-topic question.

          • Alejo Contreras

            It was only a question :S

  • Milestone_RP

    Yeah, I’m still going to have to get hands-on with this thing to see how it turned out.
    Sorry, it’s not like I don’t take Jim’s word for it, but Watch-underscore-doge 1 really burned me.
    While it’s good to hear that the solutions they had to gripes from the last game pretty much boiled down to “let’s do the complete opposite of the stuff people complained about”, I’m still going to have to see for myself. After all, you could have made Mister Potato Head the protagonist, and he would have been a better protag than Aiden. And they DID finish the first game with what I considered the absolute worst stinger ever. In that “hey, a hacker got into CTos, and literally destroyed half the city. Physically. It was actually exploding. But hey, now the country overwhelmingly supports putting CTos v2 in EVERY big city!” You know, because that’s how THAT would go down. >.>

    • Muddy Scarecrow

      It actually reminds me of Hugo Strange’s plan in Arkham City. Stage a prison break so he can activate “Protocol Ten”, which allows him to slaughter all the prisoners inside. He believes this will somehow make him a hero in the eyes of the public and allow him to build Akrham Cities in Keystone and Metropolis. …Despite the fact that in the eyes of the public his City has FAILED. The prisoners got their hands on guns and nearly broke out. Who the fuck would want to support another one of these American Gulags after that?!

  • Mike Wallace

    EA releases a good game? Ubisoft makes a good game? What are the x3A pubs smoking? Are they sick?

    I guess there’s a reason they’ve become the big names in the industry, but they are usually so lost and out of touch.

    • Anton

      All that’s left is for Activision to make a CoD game that earns GotY, and the apocalypse can start.

      • The Interloper

        Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 won best FPS of the year last year on the Co-Opties, clearly the fourth most prestigious game awards show.

  • SmaMan

    I still remember Jim and Yahtzee’s “Uncivil War” episode with the first Watch_Dogs where they had to hit pedestrians who were wearing clothes that matched the colors of their cars… man I miss that show… and the Escapist circa 2013 for that matter.

    • diamond

      Yeah Yahtzee is the only reason anyone goes to the Escapist website anymore, nobody goes there for the articles, that’s for damn sure.

      • Gareth

        and those you can watch on Youtube

        • Jeremy Comans

          Yahtzee has a column called Extra Punctuation that is only on the website.

      • Jeremy Comans

        I go for Critical Miss and Erin Dies Alone.

      • SmaMan

        I don’t even go there for Yahtzee anymore. You can watch all his episodes on YouTube now.

      • Bilateralrope

        I go there for Yahtzee’s articles 😉

        • diamond

          Yeah me too, any articles besides his are pretty crappy though.

  • Jellybean

    WILDCARD BITCHES!

  • Shui Gor

    A NINE for an Ubisoft game, Jim? Colour me surprised…..

    • Nitrium

      Like Gav, he’s clearly on the Ubisoft gravy train ;-).

      • Ian

        Cue Yahtzee during the Roundabout episode of Uncivil War: “Corruption! Corruption in the games industry!”

      • diamond

        Nah, he’s hated almost every single AC game and he was pretty lukewarm on Far Cry 4(though I personally thought it was eons better then Far Cry Primal in spite of Ajay being a dull as dishwater character)

        • Nitrium

          I did have a winky.

          • Chris

            I wonder if the person who genuinely believes Jim is paid off by ubisoft will rear his head again though…

          • Bosch

            I wanna see a fight break out between the different weirdos who each think Jim is in the pocket of company A and hates company B because of it and vice-versa. “He’s clearly a shill for Microsoft. That’s why he hates EA so much!” “No, clearly his EA puppetmasters are why he hates Microsoft!”

          • Henriette Gaston

            Some kind of angry troll deadlock.

      • Dave

        Nitrium is right. If I made 10k per month on patreon, I would also risk ruining my reputation, livelihood, and my own sense of integrity to save 60 bucks on a video game. Oh, those sweet sweet savings.

        • Nitrium

          The winky is key. Also the /sarc tag. They’re absolutely essential to mostly avoid Poe’s Law. Mostly.

  • Jecht342 .

    I’m glad this one has turned out better. I played the first one after all the hype died down. I liked it. It was solid. But I did understand the backlash against that game. It was a solid, very Ubisoft game. They sold it as the next big thing and it was a bunch of decent ideas reused. It didn’t live up to the hype. Still, it was good enough I wanted the franchise to live on, and it sounds like it will.

  • diamond

    I didn’t find Aiden nearly as bad as Ajay in Far Cry 4, now he was a dull as molasses protagonist. Unlike Jason in Far Cry 3, he had no real arc or development, he just blindly did whatever people told him to do.

    I too loved the original Watch Dogs, so i’m happy to hear that this one is even better.

    • Jeddostotle7

      Jim’s problem with Aiden isn’t that he’s boring, it’s that he’s a tremendous asshole. He’s talked about it before.

      • diamond

        I don’t think he was an asshole really.

        • Cesar

          Of course he was an asshole. He knowingly endangered the lives of his sister and nephew because he just needed to have his revenge.

          He also murdered like 50 or more dudes in front of his nephew, probably traumatizing him for life (more than he already has).

          • diamond

            Well he had to save his nephew somehow.

          • Cesar

            A problem he could have easily avoided by not being a murderous psychopath.

          • YoDude

            I know Ubisoft loves their heroic protagonists.

            But I always seen Aiden as a vigilante.

            They are not good people. I played him as ruthless and vengeance driven. If civilians were around when a bomb went off? Acceptable losses if the targets were killed.

            I know the plot wanted you to be a nice guy. But I seen him as a criminal.

            He wasn’t any more likeable but because I interpreted him that way I enjoyed the game more.

          • ATBro

            I’m not so sure I’d agree with your assessment that Ubisoft like heroic protagonists. They have a line of protagonists that are subverting the system to going after the guys at the top. They aren’t fighting invading forces or an encroaching threat. They are fighting the people who run their worlds. The assassins kill political leaders to expose truths to the masses, to chase their interpretation of freedom. Jade is an investigative reporter exposing corporate abuses. The people in Far Cry are undermining occupying forces.

          • InfamousDS

            In the grand scheme, yes. But on a micro-level, the things are arguably heroic.

            Saving the plighted natives from the oppressive government. Rebuilding your tribe after they were hunted down and in some cases eaten. Stopping systemic invasion of privacy and the blurred line between technology and reality. Stopping a centuries-old cult from using mind-control on all of humanity.

            It’s a very “means justify the ends” style of heroism.

          • Justin Graham

            I think you mean “ends justified the means.” But regardless, Aiden was a self-absorbed shithead that endangered countless lives for the sake of his own personal revenge.

          • InfamousDS

            I said it backwards on purpose. It tied back into my “many small heroic deeds” phrasing. The individual means eventually justify the end, because you have a heroic net positive.

          • YoDude

            There is the difference in our world views. I personally instantly find the underdog or the rebel more heroic than the person working for the establishment.

          • Gareth

            Murdering people tends to be quite high on the list of things not do in the presence of family members. With only sexually assaulting them being slightly higher on that list.

          • MJC

            And don’t forget that his niece originally got killed because he already started of being a criminal. It’s not like he was a nice guy who went vigilante after his niece got killed, he was ALREADY an asshole who turned around and became an even bigger asshole.

      • Anton

        No, no, he was both.

    • MJC

      Jason in Far Cry 3 had absolutely no real arc or development either. He starts the game as a complete psychopath and the only change is at the end of the game if you pick the option to go back home with your friends. Jason from Far Cry 3 was a completely shit protagonist that makes even Aiden Pierce look interesting by comparison.

    • ATBro

      Ajay was super bland ( I think it worked in that all I wanted in that was information on what was next), and I don’t think that was intentional, Aiden Pierce was actively unlikable. He was cheesily gruff, pushy, and not terribly nice to either his sister or nephew. Right on down to his shitty, “cool” sounding name… Aiden Pierce… what a fucking knob.

      • diamond

        I’ve known people with names like that.

  • SamJ

    Can you drive your car up radio towers now?

  • Polishfury5000

    Well, what a pleasant read. The game has been on my personal radar, and it’s certainly been bumped up a few spots on my list.

    I had a pretty fun time with the first, but man am I happy they’re going with a more silly approach. Aiden really did nothing for me in the first game. Well, his writing did nothing for me, I should say.

    Aiden had potential to be interesting. He’s very much a psychopath acting on his own twisted moral code for sake of revenge, but it’s never touched on. There was one collectable log, by Damien, that mentions Aiden’s fucked up moral compass, and it’s never touched on again. Aiden is an awful human being, and I personally would have loved to have seen the story touch on that more.

    • Muddy Scarecrow

      I was literally just thinking that him being such an asshole could have been greatly improved if we saw what he was like BEFORE he was corrupted by revenge. Because we never see what he was like before that we never get a sense of how far he’s fallen from the good man he used to be. Because being a revenge seeking monster is all we know from him any attempt at humanizing him just falls flat.

  • Dallium

    It seems to me that blacklisting Jim would be a terrible PR move on Ubi’s part. His disdain for them as a company is well known within his audience. If they give him a copy and he hates it, they can spin it as anti-Ubisoft bias and write it off. But when he likes it, you have a straight up Life cereal style PR coup.

    • George

      There is merit in the idea that a good review from a harsh critic is good advertising.

      • Henriette Gaston

        Good luck convincing most publishers of that!

  • MJC

    Cool. Sounds like a lot of what I was hoping a sequel would be.

    Now as long as they don’t fuck up the PC version any further than they already have by releasing it two cocking weeks later, I’ll be pretty happy.

    • Nitrium

      Well that’s still better than Rockstar though.

  • Uzuki

    Sounds fantastic. I liked the idea of the first game, but the execution was handled horribly. It took itself WAY too seriously to be any fun.

    I think the only problem I have with Marcus here is that he actually uses guns and kill people. That one aspect conflicts with his design and from the looks of it his character goals. Yes I know there are non-lethal weaponry and tactics, it’s just my one little quirk with it because he can just pick up an assault rifle and go to town on a room of dudes and afterwards starts spouting dank memes and takes a bunch of selfies.

    • Damon Llopiz

      You can viably progress through the whole game without killing anyone, at least. There’s far more player choice here, it seems.

      • Uzuki

        Well that’s good to hear. I don’t mind violence in video games, but the main character looks like such a hipster nerd I can’t justify him using lethal force.

        • Watchmedance

          Murder is an equal opportunity crime! Even hipster nerds can do it!

    • Henriette Gaston

      A lot of players had the same comments about GTA IV, but because I cared about the character, I didn’t feel like randomly killing fools. I guess this still allows those who want to be sociopathic to do so and have fun even if it goes against the tone of the game.

      • Uzuki

        Yeah that was one of my major complaints with four. With CJ in the last game it made sense that he would fall into the gangster life and be down doing the violent shit he did. Niko was a war vet from a 3rd world country who spent most of his adult life killinging for a pointless movement. When he gets to America he’s dragged into the violent lifestyle and tries to rebel against it (in cutscenes anyway). Which made the rampages and other stuff the player did out of his character kinda pointless and created dissident between the player and Nikon. He only accepts the violent life in the last mission and by that point I doubt anyone cared about Niko and it’s why out of any of the main characters in GTA, Niko is rarely brought up. Hell I think the characters from the Ballad of Gay Tony and the biker expansion get more lip service then Niko.

  • Elvar Ingvason

    I dunno, the little I saw from angryjoe’s stream did not look good

    • Slizarus

      What parts didn’t you like?

      • Elvar Ingvason

        the dialogue I saw, the voice acting I saw, the quests I saw which granted were side quests (some racing, some spraying billboards). Just counting the few things I can think up at the top of my head. Granted the main story could be amazing since I haven’t seen a minute of that i believe. It just all in all did not seem much improved from the previous title.

        • Henriette Gaston

          I also didn’t see much life in the city, with few citizens walking around doing things, so Jim’s assessment surprised me there.

      • Elvar Ingvason

        To clarify I don’t like cringe dialogue which Jim seems to enjoy, it ruins games for me.

        • Slizarus

          I feel ya, I’m definitely on the fence with it, but I like what I see so far.

  • Ethan Stapley

    Seems like a lot of my fears for this game were wrong. Granted, I feel like I need to have a better look but I trust Jim that this is a better Watch Dogs. I’ll keep my eye out.

  • Jpkurihara

    YES!!!
    YEEEEEEES!!!
    THEY DIDN’T BLOW IT!!

  • RafaelTVaz

    My problem with the presentation is that the game seems everything but intelligent.
    These characters fight rich assholes trying to big-brother a city, by manslaughter?
    I mean, why does Marcus use a gun (besides the 3d-printed taser)? It makes no sense and seems like the game is treating it’s players like idiots.
    Are these characters criticized by being murderous assholes, much worse than the people they are fighting? I’ve seen many missions that can just be passed by murdering everything and running from the police. It totally goes against the idea of the game. Like a racing game that you can win by being slow or going by foot.

    • GGLin

      Well, they are good in the perspective we’re given. If Anonymous decided to do what Dedsec does, there would be people who would see them as heroes, and many who see them as worse than the ones they are taking down.

      Haven’t played the game myself, but in a situation like this, neither side is good, it’s just one side is less shit-headed than the other.

    • firmicute

      Well i think its agaiin teh gameplay problem and that most big companies are too big to try something totally new- like having a hacker that doesnt have easy acess to gun, so no shooting mechanic (or similar to alien where the main character wasnt really used to using guns and getting ammo is hard)
      But still, 3d printed weapons do exist so availability isnt so far off-and well its a version of america, so weapons are everywhere anyways.
      Maybe they could try to do more the deus ex route (original) where fighting was an option, but being steathy and hack was better.. But that woudl change the feel of the game, so not really an easy choice

    • Watchmedance

      I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. The story is told through the eyes of a hacker group that (like many real-life counterparts) justifies actions with the end justifies the means mentality.

      Of course they’d see themselves as the good guys, even if they murdered people. Hell, they’d probably even be able to justify actions against the police, since they’re part of the system.

      They’re antiheroes, just as black/grey hat hackers at their best should be considered.

      • RafaelTVaz

        I understand they see themselves as the greater good.
        What makes me uncomfortable is that the game is not able (from what I’ve seen) to differentiate between killing everyone and actually hacking. As if they are equal, even at a moral level. The fact that it is told from the perspective does not mean the work should not be able to shoe it’s characters from a somewhat critical perspective. Someone wrote this story and did not have a critical pov. It’s obvious that the hackers see themselves as good, doesn’t mean the story has to be told in that boring black/white perspective. It’s lazy story writing.

        • Dave

          Well, it’s a problem encountered in pretty much every open world game. Except for those like Driver San Francisco that make it impossible to hurt anyone. Or the Arkham games that stop just short of manslaughter and limit you to beating thugs to within an inch of their lives.

          Open World Action games typically try to avoid this problem of moral hypocrisy by making their protagonists cold blooded amoral psychos, like in the GTAs, Far Cries, Assassin’s Creeds, and the first Watch Dogs. You know the characters are self-serving and despicable, so you feel more comfortable with their actions since you don’t feel they represent you. Ironically, it’s when they attempt to give the characters a soul and a conscience, it just makes their (and your) pathological behaviour more jarring.

          I think this is the reason most people either move on from these sorts of games or learn to treat them like simple, dumb fun. (both are valid responses in my opinion)

          Having said that, Watch Dogs and its hacking premise would be well poised to reinvent the genre into something more nuanced and less centered around mindless carnage, but that would take a degree of risk and innovation that Ubisoft isn’t known for.

          • RafaelTVaz

            I agree!
            But I think there is something GTA V accomplishes that other games don’t. It is clear that these people are awful, fucked up individuals, yet they have more of a personality than being hurt and looking for revenge. These characters have fun in killing, or they just don’t care too much about life of others and are weel aware of it. The reason I enjoyed GTA V is because everyone is disgusting, yet you end up liking the characters despite this. I didn’t think they were good, by I enjoyed them as characters in a story, it made sense and was all beautifully tied up in the “good” ending.
            Games like assassins creed or the new watchdogs paint the world in a way to try and justify these characters actions. The player is the good guy. There is o denying it. He is a murderer, but oh well, just look at what these companies are doing, it totally makes sense!
            I despise how morally fucked this is, and beyond that, how it ruins the experience. If shooting everybody is just as easy as hacking and maybe even more entertaining (calling the police to arrest someone is a neat intelligent idea, but you just have too see it done twice to understand how boring it actually is), then why would these characters be so invested in hacking, why would I. Hacking criminals is a somewhat morally grey area, murdering is not. They are presented as equals not because the characters see it that way, but because the choice had to be there, for it to really be an “immersive open world game where decisions matter”.

            I have not played this game, and will probably never do. But these types of games have scuh low quality when it comes to storytelling, dialogue, and interesting plots that it amazes me how so many people think it’s amazing quality, a real work of art. Fast and furious may be fun to watch (to some) even really entertaining, but it is ultimately little more than garbage from an artistic point of view.

          • Dave

            I haven’t played GTA5 so can’t comment, though I grew to despise every other GTA protagonist I ever played, so I suspect I wouldn’t like those miserable-looking fuckers either.

            In terms of storytelling though, the Ubisoft open-world games are the worst. For some reason, C-grade writing has become as much a staple in the Ubisoft formula as radio towers and icon-hunts. The protaganists are wooden, their relationships are 2-dimensional, the drama is hammy, and any attempts at philosophizing are either paper thin (AC series) or don’t even manage to work (FC3)

            Which is a shame, considering Ubisoft made Driver San Francisco not so long ago, which I thought had some great writing, with fun characters, believable motivations, and lots of laugh out loud moments. (Maybe WatchDogs2 has a bit of those genes, though by the sound of it, not much.)

            And of course the procedural, non-linear nature of open-world games can no longer be blamed for the weak writing in Ubisoft’s games, since the Arkham games and Witcher 3 have both amply demonstrated that you can have great fiction in an open world game.

          • RafaelTVaz

            Exactly!
            I never understood this mentality of, is it fun. Of course that can be important, but it should not be the most important thing.
            How can you even compare some of these Unisoft games to inside, the witcher or spec ops? One is fun and addicring, while the others are masters of the art that is videogames.
            Even GTA V, you may not like it, but it has so many great scenes, the while work is made from the idea of mockery. It reminds me a bit of hitchhiker’s guide.
            It’s not a perfect game, some parts are way too long, but still. It’s a whole world, where everything, Avery character is adding to the idea of the world being full of idiots and that everyone can be made fun of, and that you can do whatever you want, because of this self centred society.

            Anyway, I think storytelling is the most important thing in art. Overwatch is perfect at that, even being 100% multiplayer. Every action and weapon is deeply connected to the character itself.
            It does not really matter if it is the story that is well told or that the stories the player himself creates are great.
            If it’s cohesive and, as I said, good storytelling, it means the game has at least achieved one very important aspect.

            Just take shadow of mirror, and every players different story with different orcs, every person all story of desperation in this war of mine, or Zelda, which was all about adventure, and had you going around getting lost, finding secrets etc.
            It took me a while to understand what made so many Zelda’s spectacular video games. It has always been my favourite series, but that was just personal taste. Zelda makes the player feel. And those feelings are cohesive with that world. You feel like and explorer, or a hero. You can feel how you get better at the game.

            Where what I am talking about shows best tho is how in the witcher 3 or majoras mask, you search and complete side quests because of the characters, story, or even because you feel like doing them. Exploration and reward is really fulfilling. Yet in these ubigames, and others like it, you complete side quest because you need the reward, you, even if usually there is nothing new to those side quest, or even worse, nothing entertaining, be it from a fun or intellectual perspective.

            Anyway, I have written way to much, but I am really enjoying this conversation.

  • Terriosaurus Hex

    That’s pretty neat. It did appear they were taking on board the criticisms from the first game and the hype was certainly blunted too. It looks like a lot of fun wrapped in fun tied with fun shaped ribbons presented on the fun table at a funfair of fun. It was evident the style was going to rub some people the wrong way though, like the whole bitter millenial hate thing in all its many forms. Anyway, the multiplayer was always a blast on the original game, glad to see it remains just as enjoyable and enjoyed by the wild card.
    One thing though, does it have those weird mini games the first had? Those were pretty cool little escapes and there was always something a little humourous about regaining consciousness in a dingy alleyway reminiscent of some of the less responsible choices taken in life.

    • ATBro

      I think you hit on it when you mentioned the hype was blunted after the first one. Much lower expectations seem to be helping.

  • sillyskeleton

    I might try it when it hits a deep discount, but until then I really have no interest in giving this game a shot. As with the first game, I feel like it will follow the Ubisoft trend of having characters and a story I don’t give a single fuck about.

  • ChaostheDude

    Has my attention but my wallet wants The Fractured but Whole and Horizon Zero Dawn…

  • ATBro

    Wow. Ubi managed to “Assassin’s Creed 2” it. I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment but I’ll have to get this somewhere down the line.

    • KreskinsESP

      This was my hope playing the first one, since I got AC1 vibes from it: a game that was a collection of good ideas that just weren’t assembled correctly.

      It felt like a presentation of the ideas they hope to polish and bring to the next one.

  • Peter Moore

    The game is super uninspiring and generic, has washed out graphics and janky combat. Jim got a paycheck for this review, be careful guys.

    • Jack Dawson

      This comment is super uninspiring and generic, has washed out lettering and janky writing. I got a paycheck for this review. Be careful guys.

      • paul

        Paul o

      • paul

        Jim generic careful be guys. Paycheck got janky uninspiring, super, this. Review washed and writing out. Uninspiring got I.

        • Watchmedance

          The game got washed out for Jim. Uninspiring guys got a janky super paycheck. Careful combat is graphics.

          • Wheatly Newman

            Ẁ̷̷̨̲̼͎̩̫̰̤̮̼͚̰̝̬̭̰̹̺́ ̴͡҉̢̼͎̳͇̞̘̥̕A̶̛̖̤̼̺͈͕̱̟̱͔̜̫ ̵̝̤̭̭̱͖̳́͡Ş̺̰̟̼̭̗̭͇̻̫̩̀ͅ ̨͍̬̗͔̦̭͕̥̝̯̮̟̰̖͟͜ͅH̵̛͔͉̭͇̠̼̘̭̖͕̰͇̖̠͘ ̡̧̦̬̯͍̯͉͇̫̰E̸̢͖̲̪̮͚̭̣͙̺̣͖̯̬̹̱̝̳͜͝ ͏̡͙͍̩͔͍͖̫͉͖͓̜̘̬D̨͈͉̩͙̯̀ ̶͏̵̺̙̯̦͇̘͚̞̯̦͓̦̼͔͓̞̠͚͞ ̢̛͚͉̪̪͚͚̦͇̹͓͎̤̦̦̺͘͠ͅ ̷̵̵̴̳͉͓̞̦̬̱̳̣̙̪̻̪̮̱͚̙̗͞ͅ O̵̧͝͞͏̜͓̮̺͙̫͇̻̼͓͖̹ ̗̣̳̳̣̤̲̻̞̩̖̥͇̱̱͇͈̺̀͞ͅŲ̴̴̛̳͇͕̥͚̝̳̝̠̺̮̙̩̯̹͡ ̶̸̡͈̳̭̹͘͟T̕͏͚͉̫̲̰͖̤̝͔

    • Ian

      “Yeah, well, that’s just, like… your opinion, man.”

    • firmicute

      he gets the paycheck from his patreon people, you know that?
      He got the gamecode- like every other well known critic or journalist (except maybe some rare cases where people buy them?)
      So yeah, he got his paycheck from his fans. Thats not news. Because he does that he can be open because he still can buy games while blacklisted and isnt dependent on codes.

    • David Jams

      washed out graphics lol what does that mean

      • Watchmedance

        Too many watercolors. Oil-based ftw

    • Terriosaurus Hex

      Hey, Peter Moore, if you’re the EA CEO here, don’t fret dude…Jim gave your baby a pretty good score nonetheless. If you’re not that CEO, then you have no idea and please up your game, to use the parlance of our times. 😉

    • crowmanhunter

      誰かが不合理なとき、私は別の言葉でそれらを侮辱します。

    • Max

      These “he was paid off” claims always follow his positive AAA reviews.

      What drives me most crazy is the implication of how short sighted Jim would have to be to do this.

      Their is no way Ubisoft is offering enough money that Jim would risk killing his primary income source by accepting for one review.

    • I can’t wait to see your evidence for this claim.

    • Thomas Kolev

      [Citation Needed]

    • Muddy Scarecrow

      You liked your own post. I don’t say this often but…Fuck Off.

  • Uzuki

    Well I just learned that Marcus masturbates to hentai. This game deserved the 9/10 Jim gave it and I would even say make it higher.

  • InJo

    Was this tested on standard PS4 or PRO?

    • Vaughan MacDonald

      Pretty sure Jim doesn’t have a Pro yet.

      • Watchmedance

        I’d venture to guess that he isn’t going to buy one, given his stance on mid-generation upgrades.

  • Vaughan MacDonald

    Eeeeeeh, looks a little too millennial for me.

    • Anton

      Only 90s kids will understand!

    • YoDude

      Affirmative action with my escapism? NOT ON YOUR LIFE.

    • melbye

      It’s set in San Francisco, of course it is going to reek of self-righteous douchbagery

  • firmicute

    The game contains schlongs. Like really male schlongs. I like equal opportunity nudity 😀

    • gasmaskangel

      Well now I’ve got to buy it.

    • Watchmedance

      Really male schlongs? As opposed to non-male schlongs? 😉

      • Thomas Kolev

        Manly schlongs.

        • Watchmedance

          The best kind of schlongs. Like Mark Wahlberg schlong.

  • Macc Mosley

    I just started playing this morning but so far it’s amazing? I’m a life long gamer,been gaming for over 35 years and after being disappointed Over a Gen launch that was the worst ever,it’s nice to finally be getting good games,I’ve been having a blast with these back to back releases,this is what I’m talking about. This games a buy for sure,I always rent first but not this time,UBI did it right by letting people see the game first. I give it a 9.5

  • Jpkurihara

    Are the Digital Trips still in? I really liked those.

  • David Jams

    This is really great to hear. I hadn’t yet read a review by someone who also enjoyed the first game like I did. Sure, it had some major tonal problems and the driving was fucking terrible, but there was a lot of promise in there. I loved hacking my way through entire missions without firing a shot, and this looks like I can do that and a whole lot more. Add an apparently fun story and.. well this is more than I hoped for in a sequel!

  • gasmaskangel

    Ok, so I got Watch Dogs 2 on PS4 and I’m sitting on the main menu, waiting for it to finish installing… and the music on the main menu really reminds me of a porn series I’m fond of.

    • iMonstern

      Great…

  • Michael Speth

    PC != windows operating system. As this game is not available on all PC operating systems such as SteamOS/ Ubuntu/ FreeBSD/ DOS/ OSX/ etc. Basically, your wrong to say its on PC. Just as much as if you said it worked on Playstation. IE, which Playstation? Or which xbox. Or which PC Operating system. Git Gud.

    • La Chica Incognita

      PC since like the 80’s have universally been regarded as windows. It’s actually a bit of a stretch to assume that PC is referencing anything other then windows.

      • Michael Speth

        In the 80’s, there was Commodore 64, Tandy Color Computer, and of course Apple II all of which were personal computers. I grew up in the 80’s and the term personal computer did not indicate a Windows Operating System. So you really have no clue what your talking about.

        • Brett Dunbar

          I remember the 8-bit era, PC Compatible meant it ran on MS-DOS the other home computers were specified separately. PC compatible was a shortened form of IBM PC compatible.

        • La Chica Incognita

          …you’re kidding right? Fine then since the 90’s. Point is there is absolutely zero precedent especially in gaming that PC means anything besides windows.

        • Jimbob

          Actually they were mostly called “home computers” or “micro computers” or by there name, the term PC only became commonplace specifically in reference to IBM PC Compatible.

    • Ian

      …I honestly can’t tell if you’re trolling or not.

      • Michael Speth

        No, just correcting incorrect terms such as indicating a game runs on PC when in fact they mean it runs on a specific Version of the Windows Operating System.

        • Dave

          The term “PC gaming” is almost universally understood as meaning “Windows gaming”, across the industry and gaming community, for decades now.

          Complaining about it is like complaining that “Americans” is an inaccurate term for residents of the USA because it should rightfully apply to all residents of North and South America:

          Everyone knows you’re technically right, and you get no medals for pointing out the obvious. Yet it’s just a bit of semantic laziness that’s so entrenched that the world stopped caring about it long ago. Trying to fight it is a quixotic exercise, and your time would be almost certainly better spent doing anything else.

          • Alexander Douglas Miller

            Great post.

        • Jimbob

          Douche bag.

    • Watchmedance

      Yeah I game on my Ubuntu PC all the time and was super bummed out to see that my copy of Watch_Dogs 2 won’t work on it. These damn colloquially used terms… Be more specific, Jim!

    • jonen

      It kind of does actually. PC is derived from IBM’s 5150 Personal Computer. up until that point, personal computer wasn’t really a name, just a term sometimes used to refer to home computers and every computer had a different architecture and software needed individual versions for each machine.

      the IBM pc rose to dominance and gained a far larger software library than its competitors. then other manufacturers copied the 5150’s bios and intel cpu allowing them all to run DOS essentially leeching off IBM’s success. this gave rise to the term IBM PC compatible to signify that a pc could run ms-dos and all dos software. then dos just kept on becoming larger and all manufacturers had to be ibm compatible to survive, even Macs after converting to intel are now ibm compatible pc’s.

      thus we gained a unified platform led by microsoft and intel. practically, we can define a “PC” as a machine that runs x86, is compatible with Windows, has a UEFI/BIOS and allows installation of other OS’s. if you run SteamOS/Ubuntu/ FreeBSD/DOS/OSX/ you have an x86 PC(well maybe, freebsd has builds for other architectures) that is compatible with windows which is compatible with Watch_Dogs 2 assuming your specs are up to snuff.

      TL;DR: Jim Sterling is not wrong in saying it’s available for “PC”

    • Ah, pedants.

    • Richard Cadman

      Damn. It’s going to take a long time writing to every single place on the internet that uses the term PC this way. Make sure your mom has plenty of hot pockets in.

    • Dave

      This comment made my day. I’ve spent all week trying to get this friggin’ game to work on my DOS machine, and I simply couldn’t figure out what the problem was.

      I knew it wasn’t a problem with my DOS machine, because I tried it on my Amiga and Acorn PCs and it didn’t work there either.

      I felt like I just had to be missing something, and thanks to you I now realise what it is. Windows! It needs Windows! I wish there was less misinformation being spread about this – it just adds to the confusion!

      Luckily, I’ve got a compact disc with Windows 3.1 on it that I’ve been saving for just such an occasion. I’m installing it now. Can’t wait to finally play Watch Dogs 2!

      • Nidhoggur

        Duh! Forget 3.1! 2.x is way faster and more stable. What’s with all that unnecessary crap they added in 3.1…

        • Jimbob

          Solitaire was cool.

      • Jimbob

        I never knew 3.1 was available on CD, I still used disks on Windows 95. 25 of them I seem to remember!

        • Captiosus

          Only 25? Be glad you didn’t work early Windows networking days. I remember having to install Windows for Workgroups 3.1x on multiple machines using the originally 3.5″ disks, which, if I recall correctly, was close to about 40. Fortunately, they came up with a way to clone installs using tape drives but that was only nominally faster.

          • Jimbob

            I was, I seem to remember it only being 8-9 disks?

  • Alex

    Might get this when the price drops. Never diving into an Ubisoft game early again.

    • Max

      I managed to get this and dishonored 2 yesterday.

      Between the two I was able to play this fully patched in three hours. Dishonored 2 had a 9 fucking GB patch that due to shitty internet took close to 20 hours to download.

      This is honestly in a decent starting state even without the for an Ubisoft game qualifier.

  • Mandrake42

    Cool, I knew doing away with Aidan could only be a good thing. As one of the rare fans of the original, he was the thing I liked least. He and his iconic cap can fuck off.

    • Jpkurihara

      The only good thing he had was his trenchcoat/jacket.

      • Mandrake42

        I’d have taken more likeabilty over a cool jacket 🙂

        • Jpkurihara

          But come on, that jacket’s fire. Also his iconic baseball cap.

  • iKirin

    Great to see that Ubisoft has improved from their “downfall” they had around the time of the first Watchdogs and has fun video games again.

    Now, #WhereTheFuckIsBeyondGoodAndEvil2? (Yes, I know we got the announcement that it’s now “Pre-development”)

    • Ankan Das

      Also got the trailer from the Ubisoft office in SF. xd

  • David Muggins Muir

    I am enjoying the game, but like the original Watch_Dogs, the driving is absolute garbage, feels too floaty for my liking, so again like the original i mainly stick to motorbikes to get around outwith the fast travel option.

    • Jpkurihara

      I’m glad I’m not hallucinating. When I first played W_D1 game the driving was fucking unbearable, but when I replayed it now it seemed alright. I was like: “didn’t all cars either slide around or be stiff as fuck?”

    • melbye

      Luckily not a big part of the game this time

      • David Muggins Muir

        Thankfully so far that seems the case, but the e-karts can go suck a fuck, just doing that initial e-kart set of side missions was enough to want to make me chuck my xbox out the window

        • amb

          It’s funny – I completely agree with you on the e-kart driving, but I actually don’t mind the actual cars themselves.

    • Martina Veselá

      I can’t even complete the final e-kart mission, the physics suck. As for normal vehicles, just ride bikes. They feel good to control and are handy in busy traffic.

    • Peter Martin

      The driving made me stop playing it. Just not fun at all, its just a chore to battle the horrible mechanics and lack of camera controls.

  • Dave

    Sounds worth a shot. I’ll stick it in the queue and might have a play in mid-to-late 2018.

    • Nidhoggur

      This is some mighty queue!! O_O

      • Dragon Nexus

        Pffth, dude’s a lightweight. I doubt my queue will be completed before I die.

        • Nidhoggur

          Do you have whole steam wishlisted or something? 😀

    • Jimbob

      I’ve already 5 or 6 games to work through already, 2016 is a vintage year.

  • While I’m dubious about the final score, Jim makes a lot of good points. I just watched Super Bunnyhop’s review and yesterday Saw ACG’s review – all differ in their final summation, but are worth checking out to see some different perspectives.

  • StarTsurugi

    Vaginas…

  • camXmile

    Same score as Grand Theft Auto V? Interesting…

    • Ankan Das

      GTA V might have various modes but WD2 somehow is veryyy veryyyyyyy attractive somehow though the graphics aren’t candid.I have 55 hours in and completed the main missions and I’m doing the side missions and they’re equally fun.Oh btw, you’ll love Wrench in the last mission. 😉

      • camXmile

        Thank you for your reply. Nice to hear that you’re enjoying your time with this game. I’m looking forward to play WD2 and Jim really made me think that maybe I shouldn’t be this prejudiced towards the game even though I didn’t find WD1 particularly exciting. I’ll definitely pick it up on sale partly because right now is extremely busy time of the year and partly because sadly I don’t have unlimited funds and I have to be reasonable with my purchases especially with sales season just around the corner.

        • Nikita Kress

          I hated the first one. It was boring, and pretentious. It had potential, but it was ruined by the fact that character took it VERY seriously. I was hesitant to buy WD2, but when I did and played it, I loved it. This game is amazing.

    • Peter Martin

      Its is not even half the game GTAV is. When you look at GTA online today and the amount of content RS has added for free. In a comparison WD2 should be more like 5/10 to GTAV 9.5

  • LewdLeana

    Just saw the commercial for this game on Sat tv saw your website in the commercial

  • Zani

    Wulfvarian Sinottocks

  • Putang Inamo

    I would play this game if Marcus wasn’t such an annoying turd. I dont know what people see in him, the way he dresses and talks is enough to make me want to punch him in the face.

    • Ankan Das

      Internet kids like you have a habit of hating everything they see.I love Marcus just as much as I liked Aiden.

    • Petersaber

      Marcus dresses the way you make him. You can go all the way from a blatantly BDSM deviant, through hpister crap, normal hoodies and shirts, all the way to serious business attire.

    • Martina Veselá

      At least Marcus doesn’t have a ridiculous little man-bun, unlike the Blume CEO. Small mercies. 😛

  • Phelpsington

    Mh. It’s probably best to begin with stating that I have a lot of fun playing WD2. It doesn’t seem to be realistic (but what do I know of technology or the US), but I like the setting, the atmosphere and any excuse to feel like half a god without going into superhero territory is fine by me. The story (or the characters and their actions within the story) doesn’t make a lot of sense, however (please note I’ve not finished the story yet, I just said hello to some servers in Delaware), especially from a political angle. At first I was pleasently surprised to see some full-on anarchists as sympathetic characters in a mainstream game, but that quickly withered away. They talk like some random person might imagine anarchists talk, act (or talk of acting) like some random person might imagine anarchists act, but there really isn’t anything anarchistic about them. Trusting a representative of the state that the police “is on a good way” and “will sort their problems (i.e. the famous bad apples) out by themselves” and trusting that this will actually happen. Describing the democratic state, the free market and state security forces as fundamentally fine things which unfortunately are corrupted by people with lots of money unknown by the public (please note the structural antisemitism). That’s not really anarchistic, and in the end the only difference between “normal” citizens and anarchists seems to be the legimitacy of using violence for hilariously random reasons. I probably shouldn’t be suprised that a big budget game from a big budget publisher doesn’t deliver a proper political analysis, it’s means to the end of making a profit after all and shouldn’t be biting the hand and the system which feeds it. But after the beginning I’m kind of disappointed. Still nice gameplay, though.

  • Peter Martin

    I played about 5 hours. The driving is SO BAD…. just so downright terrible, that I uninstalled it. I just cant be bothered fighting against some of the worst driving and camera mechanics I have ever encountered in an open world game.