The original Watch Dogs was a strange beast, in that for all it presented players with a vast sprawling Chicago sandbox, fun hacking tools and an inventive multiplayer; it was hamstrung by its forgettable narrative, frustrating mission structure and inherently boring protagonist. The next instalment is due in just over two weeks, and Ubisoft is keen to prove it's taken feedback from the series' first outing on board.
Speaking to MCV, Watch Dogs 2's marketing director Mark Slaughter said: “The team were really proud of what the first game accomplished and we learned a lot from that experience. The development team listened to players and have worked very hard to implement changes based on that feedback into the next instalment.
"There will be a more relevant narrative with deeper characterisation; a fresh, lighter tone, more creative hacking options, better driving and a seamless online experience. Add to this more choice on how to approach challenges and a great sense of dynamism and variety in the game world and the team have worked very hard to produce a strong offering that the players will love.”
After going hands-on at this year's E3, Samuel praised the game's shift in tone and intentions, suggesting it's a "welcome 180 from the overly serious original." Edwin also seemed to enjoy his time with it overall, however noted it felt "terribly hollow" and that while it confidently advanced the ideas put forward in the first game, the sequel felt more of an "exercise in rearranging and polishing than a brand new experience."
Nevertheless, Slaughter says the sentiment from previews has been "overwhelmingly positive" so far. He adds: "With all our launch activity we’re seeing there’s a lot of strong buzz coming to the game quite late in the campaign so we’ve got high expectations."
As does its prospective players. Watch Dogs 2 is due November 29—until then, here's another look at the launch trailer: