Watch_Dogs 2

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Having just come off playing Mafia III I do worry I may have a bit of open world fatigue.  The original #Watch_Dogs got very mixed reviews, I for one was a fan of Aiden Pierce’s story.

Watch_Dogs 2 seems to be garnering more positive press attention, but I have to say I’m more luke warm  on this one.

Mafia III suffered from being all story and no real side quest, this game seems the exact opposite.  There’s no real differentiator between the main story missions and everything else.  In fact for most of the game it all blurs into one and you really don’t know what the overall end game really is.

Then there’s the city.  I’m sorry but I was looking forward to visiting San Francisco.  It actually feels less alive than Chicago (though not as empty as New Beauduax).  There’s less interaction with the NPC’s, less missing with the game world.  In fact, much like Mafia III, found myself just using the open world to drive point to point between story/side mission locations.

As a result I never warmed to Cisco (I place I’ve never been in real life).  In Chicago I was hacking phones of passers-by, messing with the L-Train, playing with traffic lights and road blocks.  None of this really came into play and as a result the game world felt, well, more empty.

I had similar problems with the cookie cutter missions.  Just about everything is set up to force you to use the drone or R.C.  Camera surfing seem less of a thing, as are opportunities to disable guards through remote explosions and shocks.    Whenever I desired to solve a mission through camera surfing I’d hit a dead end, the available camera’s were always just out of reach of my end goal.

In many ways it felt like Ubisoft removed everything that was interesting about the first game and retreated into their standard open world formula already familiar to players of their other major franchises.

Not a bad game, I enjoyed it, I generally like Ubisoft open worlds.  Just nothing stand out special, and I really feel the first game despite it’s flaws was a better story driven experience.

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