Most, if not all of the review snippets align with our verdict on Ubisoft’s open-world sequel, with our own Shaan Joshi claiming that Watch Dogs 2 is “everything the original should have been,” and iterates on many of the core gameplay elements first introduced two years ago overly well. But it’s really the change of setting – and, crucially, protagonist – that has ultimately benefited Ubi’s hacking series.
By dropping Aiden Pearce and his morose and generally unlikeable personality, the mega-publisher has ushered in a breath of fresh air thanks to series newcomer Marcus Holloway. This, coupled with the shift to San Francisco – widely considered to be the tech capital of the world – allows Watch Dogs 2 to free itself from the dark, Orwellian themes that shackled its predecessor for a more liberating and, ultimately, fun experience.
Those aforementioned sales figures will no doubt be cause for concern, but positive buzz and word of mouth leads Ubisoft to believe that Watch Dogs 2 will enjoy a longer tail – that is, to hold its place on the sales charts for months to come, rather than launching as a flash in the pan. Only time will tell if that’s the case, but there’s no question that the sequel represents a big improvement on the 2014 original.
Watch Dogs 2 touched down for PS4, Xbox One and PC on November 15. It wasn’t the only title to suffer from disappointing launch sales either, with the likes of Titanfall 2, Dishonored 2, Gears of War 4 and even Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare reporting less-than-expected numbers.