Ubisoft Montreal vice president of creative Lionel Raynaud admitted that Watch Dogs was a flawed game. They're planning to make "radical" changes with the inevitable sequel.
In his CVG interview, Raynaud compared Watch Dogs to the first Assassin's Creed. AC1, he said, "had a lot of flaws in the replayability of gameplay loops." He added that it really felt like the first chapter of a series.
Watch Dogs did give me flashbacks to AC1. It was a huge game but also felt really limited in some ways. All the vehicles handled poorly, making it feel like the streets of Chicago were paved with ice. Police refused to pursue the player onto trains or in the water. Hacking, the feature at the core of the game, meanwhile didn't do enough to set Watch Dogs apart from other open-world games.
However, Reynaud believes that Watch Dogs managed to accomplish the same thing as AC1: establish a "brand and promise." It's just a matter of building on that promise with Watch Dogs 2.
"There are flaws, obviously. We absolutely want to tackle these flaws and surprise players, and the way to tackle some of those flaws is going to be quite radical. There are parts of the game that will need to change."
Added Reynaud: "This is quite a high ambition and will require us to develop technologies that we didn't have for Watch Dogs 1, but this combined with fixing and refining what worked well is probably the way to go for Watch Dogs 2."
The numbers do bear out his comparison between the two games. The Metacritic scores are really close. Assassin's Creed had averages of 81, 81 and 79 across Xbox 360, PS3, and PC respectively. Watch Dogs is 80. 78, and 77 on PS4, Xbox One and PC. People seem to enjoy it but maybe not as much as they hoped for.
Hopefully Watch Dogs 2 will improve on its predecessor as much as Assassin's Creed 2. AC2 directly addressed many of the flaws with the first game. The missions were more diverse, the hero was way more interesting and there was actual incentive to comb every inch of the game's massive open-world. Some of the later Assassin's Creed games didn't feel like upgrades at all but AC2 was a huge leap forward for the series.
My wishlist for Watch Dogs 2 is long but one item sticks out right now: get rid of Aiden Pearce. He's supposed to be this everyman vigilante but just turned out to be bland and unlikable. Almost any other character with a speaking role in that game would've been a better pick for the star. I'm looking forward to a DLC campaign starring T-Bone and hope the sequel will have a new protagonist as well.