Ubisoft has released Watch Dogs 2 this year and it's a big improvement on the first game that came out two and a half years ago.
I was one of the few people to actually liked the first Watch Dogs. I didn't mind the gameplay and the soundtrack was cool. However I have to admit the graphics weren't revolutionary and the main character had the charisma of a broom.
Ubisoft went back to the drawing board and has made Watch Dogs 2 a more fun and rounded experience. The characters are more memorable and it actually has a story that you care about.
In Watch Dogs 2, the citizens live in an alternate future of San Francisco that is always connected to the ctOS network. ctOS has been created by a company called Blume and they look at everything you do. They can even falsely accuse you of crimes that you have not committed yet.
This is where Marcus Holloway comes in as he has been falsely accused of crimes and he just wants to clear his name. He joins a team of other like-minded hackers named DedSec and they want to take down Blume and its big brother-like network once and for all.
The thing I like most about Marcus Holloway and his hacker friends is that each of them have their own personality and they seem like people you might get along with in real life. There are far too many bland and boring video game protagonists out there so it's a nice fresh of air to see some characters that don't take themselves so seriously.
The dialogue of the game also adds humour to the mix as Holloway always likes to crack jokes while he's out on missions. He's not the only one as the other characters join in on the humour as well.
The bright personalties of the characters blend well with the sunny skies of San Francisco. I've never been to Chicago before, but the first game made that city look drab and depressing. San Francisco on the other hand looks fantastic in Watch Dogs 2. There are sunny beaches and other locations that look lovely.
A friend I talked to from America told me that San Francisco has been recreated accurately in the game which is nice to hear. Playing Watch Dogs 2 makes me want to visit the city in real life one day as that's how good the graphics are in this game. It helps since the sequel didn't have to be held down by the ageing PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles like its predecessor.
In terms of gameplay, Watch Dogs 2 is more than just an average third-person shooter. Shooting actually takes a back seat as stealth and hacking skills take centre stage. In most levels, many doors are electronically locked so you have to hack inside a terminal to open them.
Marcus is aided on his missions with cool gadgets such as a drone. This drone can go inside small places like vents or can also be used to distracts guards and police. Hacking in this game also gets an upgrade because you can remote control cars, the environment and lots of other things around you.
Due to the change in gameplay, I will say that the sequel is a lot harder to play than the first game. You can no longer just go in like Rambo and shoot your way to victory. You have to plan your way inside buildings and find solutions to hacking puzzles quite quickly.
The police in this game are also smarter as it's harder to get away from them. I remember in the first Watch Dogs you were able to escape the police simply by swimming in the sea. They didn't have boats back then and it was easy to get away. Now Watch Dogs 2 adds boats so you cannot escape so easily.
Side activities make a return as now you can go kart racing around the city. There are also many side-missions to undertake so this game will keep you occupied for many hours. Additional DLC will also prolong your gaming experience.
If you were disappointed about the first game, don't be scared to try the sequel.The sequel improves on all of the areas that made the first game boring and repetitive. This should have been the game Ubisoft released back in 2014.