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Review Watch Dogs 2 (PS4): You will feel like a god!

genre: open world, action, adventure, stealth
year: 2016






Once upon a time there was a game called Watch Dogs and everybody with an interest in videogaming was psyched for it. Then the game came upon us and people were disappointed. It did not deliver the next gen elements that were promised. Instead we got a downgrade and what seemed to be a straightforward GTA clone. 

At least this was the sentiment of many. But not me. I loved the game. It offered all kinds of extra features to gameplay that was familiar. The PS3 version looked quite good. Naturally the difference between the demo and the actual game was significant but fortunately for me I don't care that much about graphics. For me it is the gameplay that counts and that was solid as a rock. So I for one was very much looking forward to Watch Dogs 2. And once I got my hands on the game I had been playing it until I was finished meaning finishing all side missions, collecting large number of money and whatever else that I could get my hands on and the main missions of course. I went through these missions quite fast. Or perhaps it seemed that way since I was having immense fun.

In reality I had been playing the games for weeks with some breaks here and there, hacking whatever I could hack. It was already a lot of fun in the original. Now even more so since you have some special tools like the remote controlled car and drone. Making life a lot easier. If upgraded fully you could technically only use these tools to reach most of the objectives. This was so cool and helpful that I was missing these devices in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided I played after. Now like in the original you have the option to play as you see fit but of course it is recommended to play as stealthy as possible since that way you will avoid a lot of enemies and heartache. However main character Marcus is no Aiden Pearce and is less skilled when it comes to gun play. He is easily overwhelmed and his melee weapon, a jojo of some kind takes far too long to deal with an enemy, His main weapon is a stun gun with unlimited ammo. Sounds good right? Well, it would have been if not for two issues. It takes quite some time to be reloaded in between shots and it only is effective for a limited time. Stunned enemies wake up pretty quickly and then they will alert the others raising hell on you. Especially in the beginning it was so frustrating to deal with enemies that I always opted to use the remote controlled devices or I forsake the non lethal approach and went full lethal with silenced pistol and other effective weapons. Although I made it a priority to unlock as many skills I could to unleash hell onto those poor security guards and gang members. The chaos and destruction that ensued was beautiful and terrifying at the same time. For brief moments you feel like a god. But you are required to stay vigilant and look out not be caught or you are finished before you know it. 

I am going to be honest with you. While I enjoyed the gameplay immensely I can't hide that I was a bit disappointed with the story. Sure it had some great and cool moments but in the end it was a pretty generic tale of a group of hackers doing whatever they can to protect people from the evil corporations and government. But to be fair the lack of real intrigue and tension is made up with some nice dynamics between the members of DedSec who don't take themselves as serious as Aiden Pearce did. While some people might find them juvenile I had no problems with that. Another plus are the pop culture jokes and references. For example the company Nudle plays an important part in the game. If the name doesn't give it away the game will give you enough on them to make you see the light. Then there is a mission in the game that involves a high tech car that is very similar to Knight Rider. Sometimes Marcus and Wrench will have these nerdy discussions about pop culture like Alien versus Predator. It was funny and nice to have these people in your corner while you are out to do your thing. 

I do feel that there were less side activities than in the original. Especially when it came to the gang hideouts. Those were my favourite since clearing most of them required a lot of time, strategy and stealth. Here stealth was a little broken. Aiden was far stealthier since he could prevent enemies calling reinforcements from the start. Marcus needs to upgrade the hacking abilities before he can do that. But even then he has to deal with more enemies who can call in reinforcements. However Marcus does have some options that Aiden didn't have. Like calling in police arresting assigned targets or calling in rival gang members to kill assigned targets. You could make them do all the dirty work so that you could waltz in without any opposition. Another option is equipping your RC devices with Electro shock bombs and explosives. You can take out enemies once and for all from a safe distance. You can move around cars in any direction. There are no consequences for killing enemies so you are encouraged to experiment. I preferred to be honourable and stealthy. But sometimes they deserved to die horrible deaths.

One thing that stood out for me was the amazing soundtrack. Nothing more enjoyable to drive around and do all the missions while listening to the tracks to enhance the gaming experience. The visuals are also impressive.  Very crisp and colourful. It pays off to take a step back and enjoy the view. Especially at times when you get to climb high buildings and the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Overall a real fun and immensely enjoyable game that makes me look forward to future sequels. 



 




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