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There's a lot to do inside the San Francisco of Watch Dogs 2. However, just because you can do something, doesn't mean you have to. The development team wants players of the new game to be abler to make their own decision as to how to play the game. This has apparently worked out so well that there's one major mechanic in the game you don't ever need to touch. I had a chance to sit down with both Watch Dogs 2 as well as the game's creative director where I learned that it's possible to beat Watch Dogs 2 without ever firing a gun.
The great appeal of open world games is that they're supposed to give you a variety of ways to attack any objective. However, quite often those same games tend to push you down a particular path, so one game mechanic is important in one mission and another is the focus later on. Ubisoft has tried to design Watch Dogs 2 so that players have more control. Jonathan Morin, the Creative Director of Watch Dogs 2 told me that while playing the game without guns isn't easy, it is possible.
Instead, there are greater opportunities for using hacking in order to reach your goal. Every hackable object can be hacked in different ways, rather than just one, meaning that you have more control over how your environment reacts to you. The addition of rovers and drones also means that the player can get access to more areas without actually having to step foot in a place where you might be spotted.
As a fan of the hacking aspect of the original Watch Dogs but not so much the Grand Theft Auto style gunplay, this more wide open world sounds much more interesting. I found myself far too often needing to fight off waves of enemies with a gun in the first game when I would much rather stun them with a hackable object before they even knew I was there. While my hands-on time with Watch Dogs 2 was limited, I can say I also never used a gun.
Christopher Morin told me to "think like a hacker" while playing Watch Dogs 2, to consider how you can use the systems to solve the problems that you're dealing with. It gives the impression that the hacking aspect of the game has been set up more like a puzzle where the player will need to figure out how to hack the different parts of the game in order to solve it. However, the most important part of making that work is that you have to believe there is a solution. Based on the fact that you can apparently beat the game using only hacks and takedowns, it would appear the solution is possible.
Will you try to beat Watch Dogs 2 without using a gun? Let us know your play style in the comments below.