According to a written article by Gaming Bolt, Lucien Soulban, the writer for Watch Dogs 2, took to Ubisoft's official Twitter account for the game to answer the question if the side missions will be related to the storyline. Soulban not only said they would be related to the storyline, but provided an example of how the side missions would affect the main storyline too.The side missions in Watch Dogs 2 will be about providing more detail and support of certain aspects of the plot, whether it be the main character, Marcus Holloway, the hacking group DedSec, or more information on ctOS 2.0. Lucien Soulban, however, made it clear that gamers do not need to fulfill the objectives of the side missions for the main storyline to progress.
The fact that Ubisoft is incorporating a purpose for side missions, as in making them vital, or at least complimenting the main story, is different from how they treated side missions in the past. In their repertoire of open-world games with a lot of side missions, the missions are often considered distractions, having no real reason or point whatsoever. Gamers who choose to complete the missions may get certain goods or in-game currency, but it really does nothing for the main story. On the other hand, if the side missions were indeed part of the main story, they were trivial, as in the original Assassin's Creed.
To be fair, the side missions in the original Watch Dogs title weren't exactly trash. The game's main character, Aiden Pierce, was on a mission of revenge. Pierce's side missions -- which were centered on taking down criminal syndicates around Chicago -- fit his modus operandi. According to an article by Segment Next, Marcus Holloway and DedSec are not on a quest for revenge, but are pursuing societal change. Examples they provided include missions to boost DedSec's reputation or missions to help Holloway to gain new followers and change the direction of the story in his favor.
The fact that Watch Dogs 2 will have side missions be connected and contributing to the main storyline is just one sign that Ubisoft is listening to gamers who played the original game, learning from what they said to improve the second game. According to an article by MVC, Dominic Guay, the senior producer for Watch Dogs 2, recognized that Watch Dogs wasn't the "masterpiece" gamers expected it to be, as opinions were mixed. He, along with Ubisoft, are now listening to those gamers so they can be more than satisfied when Watch Dogs 2 comes out.
"At the time, there were a lot of different reactions from different people. You could see that a lot of people enjoyed the game, but others had certain expectations for Watch Dogs, and it had become something in their minds that it was never even trying to do. That's often the case with a new IP, because people don't have a clear reference to what the game is. So some people had to adjust to what the game was. Ultimately, what's interesting is that still to this day – particularly after we announced Watch Dogs 2 – we have seen a lot people going back to the first Watch Dogs.Watch Dogs 2 will release worldwide on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. There will be multiple editions of the game including standard, deluxe, gold, San Francisco, Wrench Jr. Robot Collector's Pack, and The Return of DedSec Collector's Case.
"On the one hand it was exciting to get a new IP out, but at the same time we had to balance out that excitement, and the fact that a lot of people loved the game, with the fact that some had a lot to say, they had a lot of feedback. We wanted to listen to that feedback in order to make a better sequel."
[Featured Image by Ubisoft]