Watch Dogs 2 - Catch All

Damn, I'm going to have to pick this one up once it gets some deep discounts.

BadKen wrote:

Damn, I'm going to have to pick this one up once it gets some deep discounts.

This is me. I've been waiting for it to get cheapish; want to get it for the Xbox.

Forcing cars in front of you to suddenly veer to the right is the greatest invention in the history of inventions.

Damn, Watch Dogs 2 is goddamn excellent so far! I haven't been this into a "classic" open world game in years.

Rat Boy wrote:

Forcing cars in front of you to suddenly veer to the right is the greatest invention in the history of inventions.

So many drives to work where I've thought, "I don't want you to get hurt, but I do want to swerve your car off the road for like 5 seconds so I can pass you and do something more than 10 under the speed limit," since I started playing this game.

Demosthenes wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:

Forcing cars in front of you to suddenly veer to the right is the greatest invention in the history of inventions.

So many drives to work where I've thought, "I don't want you to get hurt, but I do want to swerve your car off the road for like 5 seconds so I can pass you and do something more than 10 under the speed limit," since I started playing this game. :lol:

If that was a real thing, Bay Area commutes would be a bloodbath every day.

I haven't been playing long but I'm loving Marcus Holloway as the main character. He feels very fresh, very likeable. I get the desire to be edgy when creating main protagonists but someone you like and can root for makes games like this so much more enjoyable.

Higgledy wrote:

I haven't been playing long but I'm loving Marcus Holloway as the main character. He feels very fresh, very likeable. I get the desire to be edgy when creating main protagonists but someone you like and can root for makes games like this so much more enjoyable.

He is definitely an improvement on the dour lead in the first game (though that wouldn't be hard!). I very much enjoyed this one, though hated the feeling that I was being constantly edged towards him becoming another gun-wielding hero - which doesn't feel very in character for Marcus.

Not much to do once you have completed the single player game, though I do find myself still dipping back in just to wander SF, especially when the fog starts to roll in.

LL

LondonLoo wrote:

He is definitely an improvement on the dour lead in the first game (though that wouldn't be hard!). I very much enjoyed this one, though hated the feeling that I was being constantly edged towards him becoming another gun-wielding hero - which doesn't feel very in character for Marcus.

I'd go as far as to say that he's a definite improvement over most videogame protagonists. The guns do feel really out of place though. Fortunately there always was a way to approach any given situation without resorting to lethal violence so far - but I do get the feeling that I'm making the game harder for myself by trying not to kill anybody.

nako wrote:

but I do get the feeling that I'm making the game harder for myself by trying not to kill anybody.

True - but it makes it last longer!

LL

Higgledy wrote:

I haven't been playing long but I'm loving Marcus Holloway as the main character. He feels very fresh, very likeable. I get the desire to be edgy when creating main protagonists but someone you like and can root for makes games like this so much more enjoyable.

Maybe this should be our walky talky.

I randomly came across a woman striking a parked car with a golf club while a man stood by begging her to stop. I pressed the veer right button just to see what happened and the car she was beating up drove into the side of a building. She panicked, jumped into another car, and took off while its owner was yelling at her.

The latter third of the game unfortunately had a mission that soured my experience a bit:

Spoiler:

It just felt like they *really* wanted you to use guns when they killed off Horatio. He was used as a plot device in a sidestory that did not have any bearing on the main plot with the only objective being to make the player feel alright with using violence - at least that's how it felt to me, as someone who had played almost completely non-violently up to that point. I still managed to at least not use a gun during the "revenge" mission (and the 911 mission, which pushed the player towards violence also, though to a lesser extent) but I did have to call quite a few gang hit-squads to create distractions or kill the couple of people you had to kill. Horatio deserved better than to be used like that.

In the last mission there also was the part where they very clearly wanted the player (as Wrench) to shoot up a place, he cocked his shotgun at the start and they even had a song playing that quite literally screamed at you to kill everyone - the reason that I didn't really mind that part in the end was simply that I took great pleasure in defying that expectation as I snuck around.

I'm the last person to have anything against violence in games, but if you buy into Watch Dogs 2's plot at all - which I did, as I quite liked the writing and the characters - anything but non-violence just makes no sense whatsoever, somehow even less so the further I got into the story. That there even are guns in the game as an option seems like a weird choice.

That all said and that one particular mission aside, I really, really liked the game and was a bit sad to let the characters go when I turned it off. A great start to my gaming in 2017!

I got this for Christmas and am now probably 10-15 hours in. I really like it! I like the world, the music, the characters, the open world shenanigans. I'm trying to do the side missions that don't feel like busywork and focus on the main missions and occasionally snag collectibles when they are convenient. This is the game that I wanted to like when I bought the original Watch Dogs but burned out on it because it was so incredibly grim and clunky.

I fully intended to play this game as non-lethally as possible. Given the context, it doesn't fit for Marcus and friends to be running around murdering people. However, I have gotten over that for a couple of reasons. First, it's just too hard without shooting people. In an early mission (the New Dawn mission) I was trying to infiltrate a heavily guarded building and just failed repeatedly, in part because the stun gun reloads so slowly, and in part because non-lethal takedowns eventually wear off. After banging my head against that mission for 30+ minutes of no fun, I just started murdering everyone and it was a lot more pleasant. Second, although it seems out of character and tone to start killing people, it's never treated with much gravity. Heads don't explode and you don't see pools of blood everywhere...it's basically the same effect as a non-lethal takedowns except the person doesn't emit a stream of ZZZs. I would absolutely prefer if the game provided more interesting and effective non-lethal methods and removed most or all lethal options. But for me it feels like the options are either a)complete the game using lethal methods and trying to eliminate Marcus' murder-sprees from my head canon of the game or b)play using only non-lethal methods and have a much harder time progressing and probably never finish, and of those choices, completing the game and glossing over all them murdering is the more attractive option.

One consistently frustrating aspect of the game for me has been the level design. There have been more than a few missions--most notably where I visited the Nudle HQ--where I had to spend an unreasonable amount of time basically looking for the front door. I like the sneaking/infiltrating aspect of the game, but I wish there were more obvious entry points, a la the Deus Ex games. Getting the drone (which I probably acquired later than I should have) has improved this, but it's still a problem. Maybe I'm just missing some skill/ability, but too often I end up running around a building 10-15 times until I finally spot one of those window washer cars (or whatever they're supposed to be) that let me hop up on the roof.

It's silly, but I really love dressing Marcus up. It's totally nonsensical at times--when touring the Nudle HQ posing as someone who is totally not a nefarious DedSec hacker up to no good, I was wearing a DedSec hat and shirt, which aroused no suspicions--but it's fun. If only shopping for clothes in the real world involved instantly affixing clothes to your body that fit and required no work to get on or off!

And for whatever reason, I think my favorite thing in the whole game is the ScoutX pictures. Taking selfies of wacky landmarks while making dumb poses and crossing items off a checklist all just feels good.

I'm in the middle of the mission where I'm going up against an opposing hacker group, after the Burning Man analog event. I'm guessing I'm like 60% of the way through the story, is that right?

I also got this for Christmas and am bouncing off it hard. I'm only at the mission where I am stealing a car from a movie set but I'm having a really tough time. Do the characters become more likeable? So far my main guy has traded a sex tape for information on a car he is going to steal because him and his friends didn't like a movie trailer. I am trying to do it stealthy to not kill anyone but killing people seems so much easier but makes no narritve sense for the stakes to be this high. It seems kind of stupid and not the good kind. I'm hoping maybe these childish antics become less gross and more over the top (like saints row) or the characters start becoming more relateable.

I am also having a really hard time beating this mission the cops are relentless and I have failed after 5 attempts. I'm really hoping someone can turn me around on this because I want to like it. I can get to the car most times without people noticing, but the minute we start to drive away the cops are all over me. Even getting on the highway I cant seem to escape or hide long enough for my wanted level to drop. I've played plenty of open world games that have this type of mission but I've never played one this hard as one of the first missions of the game.

Maybe I am getting old and this game is just not for me.

Part of your difficulty, based on what you've described, is doing the GTA escape mechanics in a game that requires you to use its own mechanics instead.

You pretty much HAVE to hack things to get away. Under-road steam pipes, the blocker things, traffic lights, etc...

If you're not hacking, you're just extending the chase. It's weird, but that's the way it is.

That said, yeah, the trading the tape for the information was skeevy as hell. That said, so far, it's the only instance I've found of any such awfulness. Nothing else I've found so far reaches that level of ick. (Closest was discovering a Smart Home company is selling information to others, and while releasing that information, the crew decides to see what people do in their homes without releasing the footage any further.)

Honestly, I think, narratively, the mission you're on is the weakest I've found so far. The rest feel way more like "exposing/hypothesizing the negative effects of current/very near future tech" and those are way better, thematically. (Also worth noting, it's also where violence starts to make sense as you see CEOs become more and more cutthroat about killing you to protect their secrets... but doesn't change the fact that the security guards generally on duty are still just innocent 3rd parties (though... seriously, what security guards make 6 figures? O_O).

As far as stealing the car and evading the cops, I found it best to try and find a place to hide instead of outrun them.

As far as the missions, I too had trouble thinking they fit the characters in a lot of them. I think they got a bit more serious as they went. They also didn't seem like a group that would go on murder sprees, but the game does seem to encourage that.

The one thing I miss from WD1 is the security guards with body cams. So many places are just inaccessible without going in there, even if a physical hack is not required, simply by virtue of the fact that NO one goes near half the stuff they're guarding.

That said, the drone and RC car are totally your friends and will keep you out of a million situations too. Most physical hacks can be done by the RC car, and lots of non-physical hacks are do-able-ish with the drone too (plus the drone's upgrade to mark targets means you can have a full map of enemy locations before you even start trying to infiltrate).

Thanks for the tips I'll try hacking next time, I did on my last play through and blew my car up but I did assume that's probably the tactic I'm supposed to use.

Glad to hear the missions maybe get a bit better. I'm ok with gross missions in GTA because I feel like the protagonists aren't really good guys and I'm not supposed to like them. In saints row they are cartoon characters and so over the top it's actually funny. I feel like this game is trying to make me root for these guys as Robin Hood types and make them likable so hopefully that one mission was just a miss step and I can get back into it. I just had a hard time rooting for a character that trades sex tapes and murderers security guards over a movie trailer.

Removing myself from the over all story I do think Marcus seems like a pretty alright guy in her side missions and bits of random dialog he has.

mrlogical wrote:

I fully intended to play this game as non-lethally as possible. Given the context, it doesn't fit for Marcus and friends to be running around murdering people. However, I have gotten over that for a couple of reasons. First, it's just too hard without shooting people. In an early mission (the New Dawn mission) I was trying to infiltrate a heavily guarded building and just failed repeatedly, in part because the stun gun reloads so slowly, and in part because non-lethal takedowns eventually wear off. After banging my head against that mission for 30+ minutes of no fun, I just started murdering everyone and it was a lot more pleasant. Second, although it seems out of character and tone to start killing people, it's never treated with much gravity. Heads don't explode and you don't see pools of blood everywhere...it's basically the same effect as a non-lethal takedowns except the person doesn't emit a stream of ZZZs. I would absolutely prefer if the game provided more interesting and effective non-lethal methods and removed most or all lethal options. But for me it feels like the options are either a)complete the game using lethal methods and trying to eliminate Marcus' murder-sprees from my head canon of the game or b)play using only non-lethal methods and have a much harder time progressing and probably never finish, and of those choices, completing the game and glossing over all them murdering is the more attractive option.

In addition to shooting not making a lot of sense in the context of the story I actually really enjoyed the stealthy approach to the missions. The quadcopter was also the very first thing I bought, in fact I saved for it by doing DriverSF stuff before heading into any of the actual missions and that came in very handy.
Scout the perimeter with the quadcopter, distract anyone in your way with their phone, do physical hacks with the RC car. In some cases Marcus needed to perform some physical task in the end in which case I'd have to actually sneak through but just as often you didn't even need to enter the restricted area at all. It's a rather simple approach all things considered, but I found great enjoyment in it every time.

mrlogical wrote:

I'm in the middle of the mission where I'm going up against an opposing hacker group, after the Burning Man analog event. I'm guessing I'm like 60% of the way through the story, is that right?

Yup, that sounds about right.

1Dgaf wrote:
Higgledy wrote:

I haven't been playing long but I'm loving Marcus Holloway as the main character. He feels very fresh, very likeable. I get the desire to be edgy when creating main protagonists but someone you like and can root for makes games like this so much more enjoyable.

Maybe this should be our walky talky.

Yes. It has a lot of potential for that. We should give it a go.

Is there a discernible difference to the mechanics and how the game plays, in relation to the original release?

I have had an interest in both games based on the look of their gameplay, but neither has been able to sell itself to me. The original is dirt cheap these days and I think I prefer Aiden Pearce to the younger hipster found in the sequel. I'm basing this on the footage I've saw, so maybe Aiden deteriorates as a human being, as I've heard, while Marcus out grows the silliness and loses some of the irritating support group around him. But! If the second outing has superior gameplay then I could try and put my scoffing disinterest to one side.

As I played last night, two of the characters debated Aliens vs. Predators. I rolled my eyes initially, oh boy great pop culture reference, but eventually that discussion took a few weird turns and ended up being laugh out loud funny. The writing may not always work, but there are a lot of little bright spots.

RnRClown, my recollection is the WD2 mechanics are definitely improved over the original. I'm not sure I can identify many major systematic changes, but everything just works a lot more smoothly and naturally than it did in what I played of WD1. If you find Marcus to be an annoying hipster, I don't know I can say anything to convince you he's not, but I can definitely say he has way more depth than Aiden did. Aiden is one-note, all scowls and gruffness, didn't ever seem to be interested in anything other than bringing down the bad guys and avenging whoever he lost. If nothing else, sometimes Marcus smiles, and that makes a big difference to me.

So, having completed a few more missions last night... I'd say DedSec is not quite as Robin-Hood-y and a little more puckish rogue for most of the game... but they also kind of bounce back and forth.

-I saved a whistleblower from his defamation and then near attempted suicide.
-I also messed with the CEO from Haum again by making him look like a moron by hacking his treadmill on camera and making him fall on his face then spreading the video far and wide.
-I also tracked down a pervert (of the illegal variety), caught him trying to sell his wares, and exposed him to the world after crashing his computer (after sending evidence to the police, I think? At least I hope, otherwise there's no evidence... but it was a pretty quick moment).
-I stole a trailer from Ubisoft and leaked it to the games press to get followers.

I beat that car mission yesterday night, for some reason the check pointing wasn't working before and it would always start me on a roof top having to steal the car again. This time it check pointed me inside the truck and made doing the mission a lot less of a chore, finished it after 3 attempts. Still was pretty hard but I managed in the end.

I've now purchased a few hacking upgrades and I'm having some fun with that, calling the police on people is pretty fun. I'll also give the game some credit on the dialog between Wrench and Marcus. It feels natural when characters talk and feels like it was recorded with actors in the same room. Everytime they seem about to go over the top they reel back in and come off as way more genuine then I expected. The animations between characters is good as well. I'm really impressed especially after coming from borderlands 2 recently and being let down constantly by how over the top and meme like it is. This has not been groan worthy at all in that regard even though setting/character design make me jump to that conclusion everytime a new cut scene starts. I'm hoping the other shoe doesn't drop so I can adjust my expectations and begin liking this group.

I'm not a total convert yet, but the unlocking of abilities has greatly changed my initial impressions.

RnRClown wrote:

Is there a discernible difference to the mechanics and how the game plays, in relation to the original release?

I have had an interest in both games based on the look of their gameplay, but neither has been able to sell itself to me. The original is dirt cheap these days and I think I prefer Aiden Pearce to the younger hipster found in the sequel. I'm basing this on the footage I've saw, so maybe Aiden deteriorates as a human being, as I've heard, while Marcus out grows the silliness and loses some of the irritating support group around him. But! If the second outing has superior gameplay then I could try and put my scoffing disinterest to one side.

I preferred the combat in the original and the 'stop the convoy' and 'Hideout' missions. The camera was closer in which I much preferred. I also preferred the driving. Every car drove like it's boot was full of concrete but you got used to compensating for that and it led to some spectacular cornering. The driving in WD2 feels tame by comparison.

Aiden Pearce is a nothing character. He didn't grate with me as much as with some. I really like Marcus.

I'm getting into this game now I have the abilities to deal with reinforcements, etc. I wish you could have shock grenades and comm disrupt available at the same time. I can go in and switch between one ability and the other but it's a pain to do (It was the same in WD1.) Just let me have access to both abilities. Combat would flow much more smoothly.

I love the environmental puzzles. I've encountered some really clever ones that, at first, seemed impossible. A large part of this game is actually open world puzzle solving.

The big square logo they put in the corner of every video capture on PS4 is killing any desire I have to post WD2 videos on Youtude or even to record game play for myself. I REALLY wish they hadn't done that. I get the temptation on their part but I don't think I've ever encountered a Youtuber or streamer who didn't accurately label the game they were playing. People are going to know it's Watch Dogs and any confusion would create conversations that would probably work in WD2's favour.

Higgledy wrote:

The big square logo they put in the corner of every video capture on PS4 is killing any desire I have to post WD2 videos on Youtude or even to record game play for myself. I REALLY wish they hadn't done that.

Ugh, that's really nasty. What's next, sponsored ads in video captures? I guess streamers have to have hardware capture devices now.

I'm hoping lots of people feel the same way and Ubisoft suspect or have evidence that it's effecting people's willingness to put videos out.

Just played a later mission that is started by finding the cell phone belonging to a member of your crew...spoilers

Spoiler:

The mission where you find Horatio is dead. I had been wondering throughout--why is Horatio so rarely around with the rest of the crew? When you're in Dedsec HQ, you can often chat with Josh, Wrench, Sitara, and later Ray, but I almost never found Horatio in there. He often didn't seem to be a part of the team cut scenes either (though maybe I just didn't notice/forgot) for those). When I first had to go find Horatio's phone, I was waiting for a reveal that he'd been a mole the whole time, explaining his absences, but apparently not (unless there's a twist coming). I wonder if he was added to the plot late or something?

The later I get in the story, the more I feel like the pace and depth of the plot is really inconsistent. Some of the story beats seem like they jump over time and events in odd ways, some seem to expect me to know characters I've never heard of, some seem to urgently follow the last mission's events while others seem totally disconnected... It's always a challenge with open world games, and I am liking this game much more for the systems and the general vibe, but the story is not hanging together for me.

One random bit of speculation about the plot that I assume I am wrong about but will spoiler anyway:

Spoiler:

So Ray, the legendary hacker who joins up with the crew after the Burning Man-alike event, looks a lot to me like Dusan. And he seems mysterious enough. At first I wondered if he simply was Dusan in a goofy outfit, but since that appears not to be the case, I wonder if they're related? And/or if Ray is otherwise a bad guy of some stripe infiltrating Dedsec? Just a theory for those of you who know the answer to scoff at, I will wait to find out how wrong I am, but it seems like something's up with that guy.