With Watch Dogs 2 coming out next month, it’s high time we got a look into the city that serves as a hacker’s playground this time around. Ubisoft have stressed to the public in the past that this game intends to stand out from the formula of old, and the renewed focus on the setting itself over what you do in these places is a part of that. They’ve got a new gameplay trailer showing us what their San Francisco is all about.
It’s worth taking the time to note the departure from the predecessor this sequel game takes. Video games of Ubisoft’s past (Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and the original Watch Dogs) all used a tower system as a mechanism for the player to see points of interest in an area of the world. In Assassin‘s Creed, the protagonist used their eagle vision to scope out the land. In Far Cry, your hero had to climb radio towers. In the first Watch Dogs, hacking a central server made locales in the area known to you. But in Watch Dogs 2? They did away with that practice. Not only have the developers taken the liberty of making a faithful recreation of San Francisco, but there’s more choice for the player as to how Marcus Holloway approaches that. You’re free to ignore the earliest missions in the game entirely, to simply explore the world at your leisure. The activities in turn have more of a chance to stand on their own merits this way, instead of just serving as a reason to travel to the locations.