Hacktivists are lining the streets of San Francisco, are you game?
ubisoft are back with the second entry in the highly successful new franchise Watch Dogs. From what was shown at this year’s E3 it’s definitely coming up a lot cleaner and more fleshed out than the first game. With smoother graphics, new driving mechanics and a whole new co-op system that allows for a whole new play to play, Watch Dogs 2 is the sequel this series deserved.
Leaving the windy city of Chicago and making a clean sweep to San Francisco, this new city is going to prove quite the fun challenge everyone has been hoping for.
GamingBolt had a chance to sit down with Danny Belanger, Watch Dog 2‘s Game Director for a few questions we’ve been dying to know:
"In Watch Dogs 2 it’s a colorful story and Markus all the way is very charismatic, but he’s also sociable. He’s part of a group called DedSec…"
What was the decision to change the focus to San Francisco rather than staying in Chicago?
The first thing you want to do when you do an expansion is put in a new perspective and be fresh and you want it to feel like a new game in a way. For us having a new city and colorful new area added a lot of colorful new changes. The hacker culture and being in Silicon Valley, imagine a hacker in that area created so many interesting stories for us — we wanted to do that.
How would you compare the overall tone of the storyline of Watch Dogs 2 versus the original?
Watch Dogs one was a darker story and Aiden was a lone wolf. In Watch Dogs 2 it’s a colorful story and Markus all the way is very charismatic, but he’s also sociable. He’s part of a group called DedSec where you have your buddies with you and you’re doing operations and you use a lot of the culture, the fun. So they’re doing it with purpose because they’re hacktivist, but they’re having a lot of fun at the same time doing it.
How much bigger is San Francisco compared to Chicago from Watch Dogs?
Roughly twice as big.
"Now you’re part of DedSec, so you’re part of a hacker group, so we wanted those hackers to work together. So you can be in your single player game but there’s a DedSec ally that’s walking around the street, and if you want you can just go and press a button and go in co-op. "
Can you tell us a bit more about the new parkour movement system?
We really wanted to offer a lot of freedom in the environment. We call it “free approach.” So like a 360, you can arrive from any angle. Having a strong angles is fundamental to giving players choice and freedom, so we really wanted to improve that. We’ve obviously hired experts. In the end it’s really the experience of the player that matters and bringing a lot of choice with impact was really fundamental.
What has been done to the core shooting and driving mechanics to improve them over the previous game?
The driving is a completely new engine; we’re working with Reflections in the UK. They have a lot of driving experience — we’re using their tech and we’re working with them. We really want to make it more accessible and fun while keeping its physical driving model so it still feels real. We really wanted to respect the players on that and listen to them. Shooting: we’re offering many new tools; 3D printed weapons. It’s essentially close to Watch Dogs one in that mechanic.
The new multiplayer has been described as a seamless experience. Can you tell us more about the kinds of modes we can expect?
What I can say today is we’re bringing seamless co-op; we’re going to have seamless hacking so someone can come in your game and hack. Now you’re part of DedSec, so you’re part of a hacker group, so we wanted those hackers to work together. So you can be in your single player game but there’s a DedSec ally that’s walking around the street, and if you want you can just go and press a button and go in co-op. We created operations meant for co-op because they’re challenging, so it’s good to have a buddy.
Will the AR games from the original return in some fashion?
No, we are not returning with the AR games from Watch Dogs one. We are offering more city explorations. So as you’re walking around the city you’ll open Nethack and you’ll discover operations and secrets that will unlock side quests if you want.