‘Watch Dogs 2’ Premieres With New Hero, San Francisco Setting

Ubisoft dropped a world premiere for Watch Dogs 2 via Twitch on Wednesday ahead of E3 next week. The upcoming PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC open-world action title has received a new location and a new anti-hero character for gamers to play. The developers explained how it all fits together and how it has expanded the ability to hack in the game world in new directions.

Watch Dogs is set for a November 15 release for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Marcus Holloway is the new main character in Watch Dogs 2 and is part of a hacktivist group called DedSec. Think of this as a gaming spin on the likes of Anonymous, but where those involved have a secret base to get together and meet.

The new protagonist has been accused of a crime he didn’t commit and is fighting back thanks to the city of San Francisco installing the Central Operating System (ctOS) from the first Watch Dogs game. This gives Marcus unprecedented access to hack everything in and around the city. You’d think city officials would have learned from what happened in Chicago.

The major parts of San Francisco have been re-created in an open-world setting. Players will see the rough areas of Oakland as well as the very tech-center Silicon Valley, complete with alternate versions of corporations such as Google.

Hacking is expanded to include the ability to hack every vehicle in the game along with every person. Players can cause vehicles to go haywire or even attack other characters in the world like something out of Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive.

Character hacking includes the ability to distract people by causing their phone to ring. This can later be upgraded to cause the phones of everyone in the nearby area to go off.

Watch Dogs 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
[Image via Ubisoft]

Marcus also has a pair of drones available in his arsenal of gadgets. The Jumper is a ground-based drone that can hop over objects and comes with a robotic arm that can be used to hack into devices. There is also Quadcopter drone that can be used to scout locations and mark targets. It appears a drone racing mini-game has also been added.

Hacking and drones aren’t the only tools and weapons available to Marcus. The Oakland native has various level of do-it-yourself weaponry as well. One of those is a billiards ball attached to a bungee cord he can swing around and hit people similar to a medieval mace and chain. He also gains the ability to use a 3D printer at the DedSec base to craft his own weapons. This goes all the way up to handguns and stun guns.

The new protagonist is also more athletic than Aiden Pearce, the hero from Watch Dogs. Marcus comes with a full range of parkour moves to traverse San Francisco and seems to take a few pages out of the Assassin’s Creed playbook.

Watch Dogs 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
[Image via Ubisoft]

Details on multiplayer are thin at the moment. Ubisoft described a scenario where players could bump into each other via a seamless online world and join together in co-op missions. Expect more details in the coming months.

“Our creative team is working hard to deliver an outstanding Watch_Dogs experience,” said Dominic Guay, senior producer, Ubisoft Montreal. “In Watch_Dogs 2, we’re excited to give players a captivating storyline with engaging characters that offers deeper, more meaningful hacking options, a greater variety of gadgets and weapons and a brand new seamless multiplayer experience that will appeal to fans of the original Watch_Dogs as well as players new to the brand.”

The standard edition of Watch Dogs is available along with a Deluxe Edition and Gold Edition. All pre-orders come with a bonus “Zodiac Killer” mission featuring “an unwanted ghost of San Francisco’s past.” Completing the mission unlocks an additional exclusive outfit.

Here are the details on the Deluxe and Gold Editions.

  • Deluxe Edition includes the Game and the Deluxe pack of digital customization items.
  • Gold Edition includes the Game, the Deluxe pack of digital customization items, and the Season Pass.
  • Players can pre-order the Collector’s Edition – with either the Standard, Deluxe or Gold Edition of Watch_Dogs 2 – on the Uplay shop and receive the exclusive Wrench Junior robot, a motorized and endearing companion, controlled by an app available on smartphones or tablets.

What do you think of the Watch Dogs 2 premiere? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Ubisoft]