Watch Dogs 2 comes out tomorrow for PS4 and Xbox One and with that reviews for the game are coming out as well. So now the question is — what do the Watch Dogs 2 reviews have to say about the game? Does it finally live up to its potential, or is it just as disappointing as its predecessor?
Well luckily for Ubisoft, outlets have reviewed the new game well.
On Metacritic, Watch Dogs 2 scores an average of 85 on the PlayStation 4. This is a definite increase compared to the first game which averaged out at 78 across all three platforms.
So what exactly makes Watch Dogs 2 a better game? Let’s find out.
Watch Dogs 2 Reviews: The Good
By and large, Watch Dogs 2’s greatest improvement compared to the first title is that it’s just more “fun,” so to speak. The game is much more colorful and vibrant and filled with much more likable characters and tones.
All in all it seems to live up to the potential that the first game established but ultimately failed to reach.
The Telegraph gave the game a 4/5 and wrote:
The opening alone shows that developer Ubisoft Montreal has listened to criticisms of the series’ debut, and this improvement in tone and character bleeds through to the supporting cast and the world, too.
Outlets praised both the cast of characters in the game as well as the actual city of San Francisco that the game takes place in. In his review, Jim Sterling writes about protagonist Marcus Holloway:
[Marcus is] a pop culture nerd, a cocky asshole, and an overly idealistic hacktivist. In short, he’s the exact kind of protagonist Watch Dogs needed from the start.
And with regards to San Francisco:
[San Francisco is] a reactive city, and one that I just love wandering around in. Plus of course, you can hack anybody’s phone to find out random facts, eavesdrop on correspondence, or steal some quick cash.
All in all, he gave the game a 9/10.
Both criticisms are general improvements to Aiden Pearce and Chicago respectively from the first game.
Hack the Planet
On that note, the game doesn’t fall short in gameplay either. Several outlets commented that the hacking mechanic in Watch Dogs 2 is an overall improvement from the first.
Forbes gave the game a 9/10 and had this to say about the new hacking tools:
Watch Dogs 2 purposefully focuses much, much more on hacking than its predecessor. Probably 9/10ths of the unlockable skills in the game have to do with hacking, not open combat, and between hacks, a stun gun and a billiard ball on a bungie cord (Marcus’s melee weapon), you finally can play this game focusing mainly on stealth and non-lethal takedowns.
Polygon likewise agrees with the statement and says:
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. …. With some digging, you can uncover dozens of routes through any one encounter, and it’s extremely satisfying when a smart strategy comes together.
Polygon gave the game an 8/10.
Watch Dogs 2 Reviews: The Bad
There are some minor hiccups that outlets have pointed out. GamesRadar in particular noted that Marcus “lacks finesse” in their review saying:
Sometimes Holloway himself moves like a shopping cart, though. Shifting in and out of cover is spongy, lacking finesse, and the parkour elements are woefully under utilised.
The also noted the game being a bit unforgiving with regards to checkpoints in missions, with some missions requiring a complete restart should you mess up — even if it’s at the very end.
But ultimately they agreed that these issues were not enough to stop them from enjoying the game overall.
Watch Dogs 2 Reviews: The Ugly
As it seems common with games nowadays, one of the biggest outlying concerns with Watch Dogs 2 is with technical issues.
During the entire review period, the seamless multiplayer function of the title was purposely disabled by Ubisoft because it was causing problems to performance.
In the end this means that none of the outlets could actually try-out the multiplayer for the game and could only talk about the single player.
To most outlets this wasn’t too much of an issue, but others like IGN weren’t as forgiving. They gave the game a 6.5/10 for now because they believe the game to still be incomplete. In their review they write:
It’s a shame Watch Dogs 2 is coming out in this partially crippled condition, because even though I wish I could recommend it more strongly, I can’t yet.
Ubisoft hopes to have the seamless multiplayer up and running by the time the game comes out to the public tomorrow.
All in all it seems the game is an improvement of the first one and is more than capable of living up to the hype and potential that many expected from the original.