I still remember the hype from the original Watch dogs game. The preview graphics looked amazing and they made it seem like you can hack anything, then reality met the release date. The graphics in the final release were definitely not as impressive as the preview trailers and hacking was fun, but limited in scope.
I finished the first game and enjoyed it, but never had the time or overwhelming desire to play the 2nd game, until I got it for free from the Ubisoft Direct event. Right before the next installment is set to release, I figured I should play catch up.
On a side note: I seemed to crash at every other cutscene with WHEA_Uncorrectable BSODs. Only game I’m having the issue with, so could have been the Win 10 update or some new Nvidia Driver issue. A bit annoying, but it saved my progress each time. Some spoilers ahead.
After the usual editing of settings to make sure the game was set to 3440×1440 (ultrawide FTW) and V-sync is off, I jumped into the game. It gave a little background of the first game where ctOS was Chicago’s big brother and how DEDSEC (good guy hackers) put a stop to their corruption or something like that. Now the world had to deal with Blume’s big/little brother combination (imagine an even more evil version of Facebook).
My first mission, as Marcus Holloway, introduced me to the game mechanics. It had me breaking into a ctOS facility to delete my profile. I was introduced to basic movements including vaulting and jumping. Extra points for the parkour style backflip the character performs when jump off a ledge.
Another nice little touch is Ubisoft giving a little diversity to their characters with the main protagonist being an African American male who is probably smarter than anyone you know, instead of another vanilla white guy (glad to see Legion will take this to a whole new level with the grandma everyone wants on their team from the trailers).
The cover mechanic was nice using the “C” key to move from point to point, before using “F” to melee a guard. I like the variation of punches, choke holds and the thunder ball (a heavy ball on a chain). You can also switch to guns using “Q” or in the case of this first mission, the taser.
Holding “X” allowed me to hack into cameras within sight to get a better angle on where the other guards were. You could use the middle mouse button to profile just about any active person or item. It would then give you other options based on R, C, X, Spacebar. Sometimes you could take money from them, ease drop conversations, watch their texts, with many other options to unlock later.
Erasing my Identity
I quickly made my way inside, using the a combination of melee and taser. Hacking the door open was just simple middle mouse button click. In the first game, people had complained that the hacking was just too simple, but with all the variation in part 2, the simplicity makes it fun. I took out another few guards before the game prompted me to use the net hack (“V”) to find/hack the key need to get through the next door. It puts you in net view which is almost like an infrared style view where you can see hackable items through walls and hack your way to cameras to get a line of site to then hack other devices.
After finding the crypto key, I made my way into the multi floor server room where there where plenty of guards. I was given a tip by the game to hack nearby electric boxes to setup a proximity trigger and a noise maker to attract the guard to it. You could see a blue like forcefield showing the area of effect and when he reached that point he got zapped. I used that and a combination of melee attacks to take them all out of the equation.
I found the server I needed to hack and it triggered a cut scene of Marcus climbing into the hot zone where he plugged in his hacker equipment. He pulled up his laptop to access the code to open the control room.
Once the cutscene was complete, I headed down to the control room to access Marcus’s profile. The hackable console required me to use nethack to find the bypass key which required me to complete a pipe style puzzle where I flipped the angle connections to ensure the signal reached the control box.
Once that we finished, it trigger a cutscene where he accessed his profile showing his criminal history, behaviors and other big brother scary stuff that added up to a threat level associated with him. He deleted his profile, installed a back door and was ready to head out.
Escaping the Facility
After installing the back door, I used the same hacking and melee combos from earlier to evade the guards looking for who hacked the system. After I made my way to the boiler room, a cutscene played showing Marcus flipping off security guards while jumping backwards into a some type of wind tunnel.
Once outside, I was kidnapped by DEDSEC operatives who were watching me the whole time. This first mission was basically an audition to join them.
A cut scene played of them all partying on the beach and a suspect hipster/runner that bumped into Marcus and took his phone. They had a little back forth about the guy possibly being a cop and I instantly wondered if the guy cloned the phone with his smart watch or was surveilling the group.
Next Marcus wakes up on the floor of someone apartment, no pants and a strange girl in his bed. He picked up a brand new phone where Dedsec ordered him to get over to their HQ.
While still pant-less, Dedsec gave run down of the different apps on the phone. I downloaded the maps like app to find a place to get new pants. It was across the water, so I parkoured my way down to the boats and stole one.
As I was getting ready to doc on the other side, I noticed their was some sort of gang on the docks, so I pulled off to the other side to avoid them. Realizing that there was a bunch of hackable stuff around them, I decided to take them on and steal the cash bag they had.
Stealing from Criminals
I used a combination of the lure hack to trick the thugs to walk near the hacked items and activated the proximity hack to shock them once they got there. Soon, there was only one left that I had to sneak up to and use melee to take out.
After picking up the cash bag, still pant-less, I headed towards the clothes store. These types of distractions are scattered throughout the city, but I was going to try to mostly stay laser focused on the main story.
Putting my Pants on Finally
Once I made it to the clothing kiosk, I found they had no pants and no shorts, so I stole a jeep knockoff and pulled up my map to set a waypoint for the next shop.
I drove the jeep like I stole it, which I did, and made my way to the dockside shop. This one had shorts, so the next task was to make my way to the DEDSEC HQ.
I ditched the stolen jeep for a ninja like motorcycle to get to my destination quicker. The cars and motorcycle handling was not super impressive in this game, but it is supposed to be mostly about hacking anyways.
Once I reached my destination, the HQ entrance was at the back of table top gaming store (think dungeons & dragons style stuff). A little touch to the keypad in the very back and they let me in. Cue the cutscene.
The crew explained that the missions you partake in are usually to gain followers like an Instagram influencer. More followers give you more botnet power to unlock more missions.
After the cutscene, I was ordered to download the research app that you use to unlock extra abilities. More followers unlocks more research points to give you more abilities. It was then time to learn about the 3d printer.
The 3D printer allows you to use money to print weapons and gadgets. I liked the DEDSEC style weapons, so I created 2 of those. I especially liked my SMG that had a skull at the end of the barrel.
Next I had to print the jumper bot (basically a 2 wheel drone that can jump and hack into things). After my printing spree, I talked to each member of the crew to get the DEDSEC app downloaded (mission app) and get ready for my next mission
My next mission was to head to the park and use the nethack to find a mission giver. Once I talked to them, they let me know that famed rapper, Bobo Dakes, finished a new album, but was going to sell it to Big Pharma Gene Carcani for millions to keep it all to himself. The mission is to get the songs to share with the people and gain more followers.
I made my way to Bobo Dakes house and hacked my way through the cameras, then hacked into his phone to steal the tracks. He was surrounded by strippers and had no idea I took his stuff. Next stop was to con Carcani into wiring the money for the songs to a DEDSEC account before releasing the songs.
Taxing the Rich
Once I made it Carcani’s mansion, it was easy to get to the network box on the side of his house and hack it. That triggered a camera feed from inside his house showing him on the couch. I used the line of sight to hack his phone and the DEDSEC crew took over, using recordings of Bobo Dakes to trick Carcani into thinking he was talking to him.
Once they played the new track for him, he wired the money to an account we sent. He realized he was screwed when DEDSEC took over the screens in his house and he melted down while I watched.
At this point I ended up with another BSOD, so I decided this would be a good place to stop. I’m definitely liking this better than the first game. until next time.