From the outset I will be honest – I thoroughly enjoyed the first Watch Dogs game. I originally played through it on my Xbox 360 and knew about the frustration many had with the downgraded graphics from what was shown at E3. It still looked great, played well and was fun. It didn’t reach the greatness of the GTA series and the main character was a bit bland but, overall, I enjoyed it. I later picked it up on the Xbox One and played through it again.
Coming into the sequel I was a little apprehensive with such a change to the setting, the different tone and whether I wanted another game in the series at the time. Thankfully, Watch Dogs 2 is still a very enjoyable game that builds upon the first games strengths and tries to eradicate the weaknesses. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t.
Graphically, the game can be quite impressive sometimes whilst at other times merely good. I don’t expect the best quality graphics in such a large game but Watch Dogs 2 is still a pretty game with some great touches. When I started playing a mission, I realised that I could see everything around me, but then the famous Bay Area fog seemed to roll in and cover up alot of the environment. The way the houses look when its a bright sunny day is also fantastic. Texture quality is also good for an open world game. I would have liked some more diversity when it came to the sounds of the game with nothing really standing out and it seemed some have been reused from the first game.
The story in the game is well done as are the cut scenes and the voice acting. They really did a great job in bringing the main character, Marcus, to life. Some of the supporting cast is also handled very well whilst some other characters are a bit forgettable. Marcus is likeable and relatable which makes him fun to play as. If we see a Watch Dogs 3 I feel more care needs to be taken in regards to going from gameplay into the cut scenes though.
Firstly, I always found there was a slight delay between starting the mission to when it actually loaded. Often at times the character is just standing there, unable to move or interact with anything before the mission starts. It’s a little distracting. Secondly, there were too many times where I would receive a phone call from a character telling me to meet them or saying what they were doing. The problem with this was that I was staring right at them. They weren’t on the phone. One time a character by the name of Ray rang me and told me he was at the beach. He would be there for a long time. Except he wasn’t. He was at our headquarters. Drinking a beer. Not on the phone. And I was staring right at him. These issues broke the immersion of the game and the cut scenes, whilst well done, didn’t blend in with the gameplay to make it believable.
Missions in the game are fun but more variety I thought was needed. Many, many missions comprise simply of go to this area/building/place and try and find a way to break in to steal the information. After having done this many times it is still fun, but more variety in the main missions would be a great addition. Freedom is provided in how you decide to tackle the mission though which is great.
The handling of the cars needs to be refined in any further sequels as it doesn’t feel tight enough and most of the cars are forgettable to drive. Even the quickest car feels to slow. I found that often even though I had the mission marker, the route to travel to it did not show up on the mini map. I would need to track another mission then select the previous mission again for it to show. A minor annoyance but worth mentioning.
Overall Watch Dogs 2 met my expectations without blowing me away. It’s a fun game to play in a great city. If a third game can iron out the issues then it could truly be amazing and potentially rival Rockstar’s greatest.