For Watch Dogs 2, Ubisoft Montreal is taking the franchise to San Francisco to focus on a new hero — one who's armed with powerful computer-hacking abilities that will give players all-new ways to explore and infiltrate its open world. During a livestream presentation today, Ubisoft showed off the game's new protagonist, Marcus Holloway, and how he'll differ from Watch Dogs' Aiden Pearce.
Watch Dogs 2's version of San Francisco will go beyond the boundaries of the city itself. Players will be able to explore areas like Oakland, Marcus' birthplace, and Silicon Valley, where powerful corporations reside and vie for technological control of the city.
Ubisoft described Watch Dogs 2's version of San Francisco as "the Wild West of technology" and said its simulation of the city should make players feel like it's alive, even if they do nothing to intervene.
The game's new protagonist, Marcus, is described as a brilliant young hacker and member of the group Dedsec. He's been accused of a crime he didn't commit, a solid narrative justification for the many actual crimes he'll get up to in Watch Dogs 2.
Marcus will be able to hack "everything" in Watch Dogs 2, including vehicles (cars, trucks, helicopters and even forklifts), computer networks, cellphones and satellites. He'll also have access to metal 3D-printed guns, improvised explosives, a remote controlled "jumper" — a small, DIY RC device with an arm — and a quadcopter drone, which serves as Marcus' "eye in the sky." Marcus' physical abilities include the ability to parkour gracefully through his environment, chaining leaps and flips together, and a homemade melee weapon — a billiard ball attached to a bungee cord.
Marcus' varied abilities will give players the option to play entirely with stealth, non-lethally — thanks to a Taser — or with guns blazing. Ubisoft promises to support "all different types of play."
Watch Dogs 2 will have a number of factions that the player will contend with, including underground gangs, powerful corporations and competing hacker groups. The ctOS operating system from the first Watch Dogs will return in the sequel, giving players a worldwide network to hack and exploit.
Ubisoft promises an expanded version of the seamless online multiplayer from the original game in Watch Dogs 2. Players can simply group up with other members of Dedsec they meet as they play the game's single-player campaign and play cooperatively, the developer said.
Watch Dogs 2 will be out Nov. 15, 2016 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.