After a string of failures and bad PR, Ubisoft is finally back! Offering a truly refreshing game which is fun to play and not repetitive. Ubisoft has been receiving a lot of bad PR for not being able to deliver a solid AAA title and has performance issues with every game launch. The Watch Dogs 2 though, is a solid AAA title without any performance issues from day one. It is a perfect execution of action, stealth and puzzles.
Unlike its prequel, Watch Dogs 2 takes place in San Francisco which is full of life, and you have all the famous real life landmarks which is kind of cool! Also, it is no longer a sad revenge story. The protagonist Marcus Holloway is a lot goofier and is a part of the vigilante hacker group DeadSec. They’re fighting against large-scale government and corporate corruption against innocent people using technology.
The world it is set in feels a lot more real without stereotypes from the previous game. The story and missions are well written and I’ve never had so much fun in a game like this for a long time.You have real life companies like Google, Facebook and even SpaceX where you get to play main quests. There’s even a mission where you hack into the SpaceX clone and sabotage their next rocket launch which was very cool!
There’s even reference to other real life incidents. One of my favourites was scamming the ‘Pharma Bro’ while he tries to buy an album exclusively himself for a million dollars! We all know who this is about!
Ubisoft has nailed it in the gameplay department of WatchDogs 2. Everything is seamless, and none of the puzzles feel forced. For most of the missions, you can go full in guns blazing or use stealth. For a few rare missions, it is too tough to use guns and you have to use stealth.
The most fun I had was when you let the game do the missions for you! Let me explain. You can order a fake mob hit on someone and make the mob send their hitmen or place false evidence and make the cops come after them. You can do this for missions and clear out the whole enemy! It is fun to hide and watch the action.
The vehicle control in Watch Dogs 1 was terrible. But with the Watch Dogs 2, it feels natural and is easy to drive around.
You also have an RC Car and a Drone at your disposal. The RC Car can be used to move on ground and hack computers and various other environments for you. The drone can fly over your enemies undetected and hack into cameras.
Watch Dogs 1 forced you to do multiple repetitive side quests which quickly got boring. Watch Dogs 2 on the other hand, has limited side quests but all of them are fun. All the side quests have a proper script, and you won’t have to repeat any of them again.
Watch Dogs 2 has a fair share of multiplayer. Some of it is good, although I was not interested in playing them much. You have co-op quests where you get to team up with your friend to finish missions, or you have the usual versus missions. None of these missions have a story to tell.
The annoying part is the way multiplayer is forced onto you. You’ll have someone hacking you when you’re getting somewhere and the game forces you to find them. These quests are fun to play when you want to. But not at random times when I’m trying to get something done.
The performance of Watch Dogs 2 was a real surprise! Ubisoft has been messing their launches for the past couple of years with unplayable games. They’ve taken some time now to reflect back on their mistakes, and I couldn’t ask for more. There were 0 bugs on all platforms from day one.
I tested the game on my PC which runs on NVIDIA GTX 1080. With everything set to Ultra, I got a solid 40-50fps on a 1080p display. But dialling down on a couple of small changes, I got around 100fps, and the game looked amazing on my 144Hz monitor.
Also, the PC version of Watch Dogs 2 has further optimisations if you have an NVIDIA GPU. Having an NVIDIA GPU will also let you play the game on multiple monitors with NVIDIA Surround. With all the processing needed for three monitors, SLI has been enabled and optimised for the game by default. So you should be able to get a good performance upgrade with a second GPU. The game also has an additional High Definition Texture Pack which you can download to make the game look great. Check out all the upgrades you get with an NVIDIA GPU in the video below:
Ubisoft has announced that they’ll be enabling Ansel for Watch Dogs 2 soon. Ansel should allow us to take 360-degree screenshots in the beautiful city of San Francisco and share them online.
Watch Dogs 2 is one of the best AAA Title to come out this year. Also, they’ve gone an extra mile and delivered an excellent PC Port which other developers should follow. Do not play the game with its predecessor in mind. Watch Dogs 2 is a must play with a very rich story in a vibrant open world environment and the right blend of Stealth Action.