Review Roundup: Watch Dogs 2


People were hyped big time for the first Watch Dogs by Ubisoft. It was met with mediocre reception in the press, and the sequel hopes to improve. The consensus right now is that there's a lot more gameplay variety here, improved story and characters, but nothing stopping you from breaking the immersion and playing this like a Grand Theft Auto. Also, there seems to be some technical issues with both performance and multiplayer.

IGN - 6.5 (In Progress)

Dan Stapelton hasn't spent time with multiplayer yet, due to issues causing the game to not run well. But as he waits, he's plowing through the single player and notes that some of the rampages you can go on in the game feels completely at odds with the type of character you play.

Because there’s no morality system to punish (or reward) violent behavior, Marcus’ personality is the only thing pushing us toward a non-lethal playstyle of stealth and silent takedowns. While it’s not as built out as something like Hitman (you can’t, for example, hide unconscious bodies to avoid detection) Watch Dogs 2 is as much a stealth game as it is an action game, and finding a silent path to an objective is a more interesting and challenging way to play that makes you use all your tools, including drones that can drive through small spaces or fly to hack something you couldn’t reach. They’re great for scoping out an area before you charge in yourself. It’s a shame that efforts to keep the body count down aren’t recognized, though – even perfectly ghosting a mission gives you the same reward as turning everyone you meet into ghosts.
— Dan Stapleton, IGN

Polygon - 8.0 (Provisional)

It seems Polygon is bothered less by the multiplayer woes Phill Kollar argues that improved mechanics and variety make up for the tonal dissonance. 

Marcus’ toolset to explore and interact with that world has evolved from Aiden’s, and mostly for the better. The most important weapon in your fight against ctOS is your phone, which allows you to hack into anything connected to the city’s infrastructure — which is to say, almost everything. Need to get past a guard who’s patrolling a hallway? Hack a nearby electronics panel, have it make a noise that draws the guard’s attention, and then make it explode and electrocute the guard until they pass out. Need a bigger distraction? Tap into a nearby car’s computer equipment and send it barreling forward into some explosives.
— Phillip Kollar, Polygon.=

Destructiod - 8.5

Destructiod mentiones the tone of the game as well through the mechanics. Talking about how you really have to want to play non-lethaly, as the game has so many ways of helping you kill people.

When I chose to play as peacefully as possible, I found myself using every trick up my sleeve to avoid the loss of human life. For instance, one mission tasked me with destroying three vans while guards patrolled around them. While it was deeply tempting to use a grenade launcher to light them up, my Marcus wouldn’t do that. Instead, I used my remote controlled quadcopter to fly into the skies above and survey the scene and lure the baddies away with stun bombs and distractions. When I felt they were far enough away that I wouldn’t accidentally kill them, I hacked into a forklift, picked up the vans, and dropped them into the oceans. Some of my favorite games are the ones that allow you to feel like you’re breaking them, thinking of solutions the developers may have never intended but provided the means and virtual space to get inventive.
— Zack Furniss, Destructiod

Gamespot - Unscored

Peter Brown from Gamespot hasn't scored the game yet, but mentions what he's experienced of the multiplayer in the game shows promise, and may add a whole other level of things to do and experiences to be had.

You can have a lot of fun playing Watch Dogs 2 offline, but multiplayer—when it works—shouldn’t be ignored. There are emergent PVP events that allow you to hack or hunt down other players, and special missions where you and a partner can infiltrate networks and private property together. We can imagine how a server full of players has the potential to make you feel connected to the world and part of a larger community of hackers, but we can’t test that theory until the game is in the hands of more people. We will continue to experiment, so check back later this week to see if Watch Dogs 2 can seamlessly marry single and multiplayer gameplay, and what that means for the game at large.
— Peter Brown, Gamespot
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