Itâ€™s safe to say Ubisoft has learned a few valuable lessons from Watch_Dogs – a game that was revealed at a far too early stage of development, and then publicised so heavily that the pre-launch campaign became a running joke. It also didnâ€™t help that the game itself was as dull as dishwater, complete with a lead character void of all personality.
If reviews are to go by, Watch_Dogs 2 is the game that the original should have been â€“ fun and creative, with an enticing city to explore and a likeable lead. Itâ€™s the series equivalent of Assassinâ€™s Creed II, it would seem. Or Titanfall 2, to use a somewhat more recent comparison.
By dialling down the pre-launch hype, Watch_Dogs 2 has flown under many gamerâ€™s radars. This makes the fact that itâ€™s surprisingly excellent all the sweeter.
Itâ€™s not all good news though, as word has it that the multiplayer mode is experiencing issues. A patch is apparently in certification with Microsoft and Sony. It may not make launch day, but it should roll out before the end of the week.
Because of the MP problems, most reviews have focused solely on the single-player campaign, promising to delve into MP once its fixed. Have a look at the scores and choice quotes below:
4.9/5 â€“ Cheat Code Central: “Itâ€™s this wonderfully open and freeing experience and, while I canâ€™t speak much to the multiplayer endeavors due to extenuating circumstances, Watch Dogs 2 feels like a stronger, more solid, and more enjoyable game”
4.5/5 â€“ Hardcore Gamer: “Thereâ€™s plenty to do outside of the main campaign, and being able to hack the entire city adds a unique element of enjoyment, especially for those who have an inclination to cause mayhem. In the end, Watch Dogs 2 is simply one of the best games of 2016”
4.5/5 â€“ Digital Spy: “Watch Dogs 2 is the game we wanted to play the first time around. It’s bold, beautiful and tells a story filled with people you care about and missions that are well built, exciting and sometimes hilarious”
4.5/5 â€“ IBTimes: “I was expecting Watch Dogs 2 to be more enjoyable than its predecessor, but I didn’t expect it to be so well designed and full of heart”
9.0 â€“ God is a Geek: “The missions are varied and intense, and the characters provide plenty of great moments. If youâ€™re craving a game with a gorgeous, busy and unique open world, this is the game for you”
9/10 â€“ Forbes: “This is the game the original Watch Dogs should have been in many ways, and while it may still have more to learn, itâ€™s hard to say that Watch Dogs 2 is anything but a success, and proof that Ubisoft can learn from their mistakes”
9/10 â€“ The Jimquisition: “Watch Dogs 2 is a great game as a rock solid action title, but being unafraid of its own nonsense is what makes it a truly pleasurable experience”
9/10 â€“ TheSixthAxis: “While the first was a promising yet clunky new idea, the sequel delivered on that idea and turned it into one of the most iconic series of the last decade. With Watch Dogs 2, Ubisoft is well on its way to recreating that same magic”
8.5 â€“ Destructoid: “I expected Watch Dogs 2 to be a paint-by-numbers sequel — more guns, more cars, a bigger playground. Instead, it gives players freedom to play with the world with hackmagic the way they want to, and crafts a memorable, mostly light-hearted story that’s just a lot of fun”
4/5 â€“ Trusted Reviews: “If the original Watch Dogs was a mean-looking hound, all bark, no bite, the sequelâ€™s a more playful pooch thatâ€™s all about having a good time â€“ and itâ€™s all the better for it”
4/5 â€“ The Telegraph: “Iâ€™m genuinely surprised with how much I adore Watch Dogs 2â€™s world. Its satire works because it is always punching up, never down. As such, Watch Dogs 2 feels like itâ€™s making a statement”
8.0 â€“ PlayStation Lifestyle: “While I still think that the best from Watch Dogs is still to come, Watch Dogs 2 is a solid step up from its predecessor”
8/10 â€“ The Metro: “Itâ€™s still lacking a certain je ne sais quoi, but this is a definite improvement on the first game and a serious alternative to GTA V”
8/10 â€“ Post Arcade: “Getting the most out of Watch Dogs 2 requires a good deal of patience and the resolve to play the way youâ€™re supposed to play â€“ especially when you first start out. Then, around the midway point, youâ€™ll reach a tipping point where you canâ€™t stop thinking of the possibilities inherent in the hacker abilities youâ€™ve unlocked. Suddenly you wonâ€™t want to stop playing. And from that point until the credits roll it becomes a rollicking ride of stealth and action, with a healthy splotch of progressive social commentary thrown in”
Watch_Dogs 2 is out tomorrow.