Watch Dogs 2 good, not great

Dalton Stokes

Ubisoft’s sequel to their fairly successful game Watch Dogs has done considerably poor in sales when compared to the other blockbuster games of last year. With Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare tripling it in sales, it seems Ubisoft needs to step up their game.

Watch Dogs 2 isn’t what some gamers are expecting, but that isn’t necessarily bad. The first game, while having valid criticisms, was an innovative game.

From Watch Dogs 2, many were expecting the same dark plot and interesting gameplay. Those with such expectations were taken by surprise when they found the game had a much more light-hearted tone.

While much different, the game has an impressively engaging plot and great character development.

Watch Dogs 2 is based in Silicon Valley in a fictional 1984-esque world where an invasive surveillance system called the Counter Terrorist Operating System watches the citizens every move. The world has a “big brother is watching” feel as this surveillance system monitors all Americans’ purchases, behavior, friends, connections, colleagues and anything else they can gather on them. This information is then used to assess people’s threat level and sometimes even make arrests if suspicion exists that someone will commit a crime. The main character is a member of an anarcho-hacker group trying to put an end to this country’s wide surveillance system.

This is striking as a bit of a political statement by the game developers since these are things that are debated in politics on a fairly normal basis, especially privacy versus safety.

Social commentary aside, the game’s characters are extremely well done. The characters have dialogue to advance the plot as usual, but they also have genuine conversations about movies, games and other pop culture matters. These small interactions between characters go a long way in making them feel more three dimensional as opposed to just being there to advance the plot.

Where Watch Dogs 2 falls short is its gameplay. The gameplay, while creative and innovative, becomes extremely repetitive the further you get into the game. Each mission feels like the player is doing the same thing over and over. While the plot is fun and engaging, gameplay is an essential aspect to keep the player coming back to finish the game. Gameplay and story play off of each other to keep the gamer interested and having fun. When one of them lacks, it messes up the entire flow of the game.

Watch Dogs 2 is also a long game with an extensive amount of side missions to do. It is hard to finish the game just casually picking it up for an hour every couple of days. This also makes the game lack a rewarding feeling. The player has to put in a lot of work to get very far in the story.

Overall Watch Dogs 2 is a good game that is recommended to people that enjoyed the original, but is not recommended for $60 to anyone who is trying to get a casually fun game that they can pick up and put down on a whim.