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Considered one of the most over-hyped games of 2014, Ubisoft's Watch Dogs promised a lot but delivered about halfway on those promises. Well, Ubisoft is going to take the crack at Watch Dogs 2 and potentially provide a more robust experience compared to the first game.
GamesTM has a fairly detailed article about creative director Jonathan Morin discussing the possibilities and the approach the team plans to take with the sequel.
According to Morin...
“The challenge when we made the first game was to create something that would make people dream about something else”... “With a sequel, there is more pressure to push a brand forward and we now have to appeal to fans in a new way.”... “You have to carry on taking risks”
One of the big problems with the first game was that a lot of people felt it was Grand Theft Auto-lite. The only big new change brought to the game was the “hacking”, which consisted of pressing and holding down a single button. The feature wore thin pretty quickly since the skill level to hack things was pretty low-tier.
The highlight of the feature, however, came into play with the intense player-versus-player raids where one player would invade the game of another player and attempt to hack them. Watch Dogs' multiplayer is easily one of the bigger highlights of the game and carries a lot of unpredictable moments with it.
Morin mentions that he wants to expand on these ideas and explore new ways of engaging audiences with something more creative and risky within the Watch Dogs universe, saying...
“I will not do this job if there is no risk in it, that would just be boring. You shouldn’t prevent yourself from trying something just because it’s hard and the solution is not apparent.”
But I'm sure a lot of gamers would love to know exactly what they can expect from the sequel of Watch Dogs?
I mean, a game that sells 8 million and manages to anger people due to being over-hyped while at the same time intriguing people with some wacky side-missions is not an easy game to make a sequel to. Some people will always feel as if Ubisoft lied about their promotion of Watch Dogs since 2012 while others feel as if it's a necessary stepping stone toward a potentially rewarding new brand. According to Morin they want to focus on shaping a game around player experiences and advancing more emergent reactions and interactions from players, stating...
“We want to allow them to play with a very different state of mind, not wrap up concepts for them.” … “players loved the idea of other players who create an alternate reality in their games and knowing that now opens up a lot of new possibilities of what online can do.”
I think the online portion was probably the most unique... the random invasions and quirky getaways are still a pleasure to watch every once in a while.
But the team is already prepping on what to do next with the franchise, which makes me curious if the first Watch Dogs will go down in history like the first Assassin's Creed? The original Assassin's Creed was more like a test-bed for a lot of other features the company eventually expanded on and opened up in the sequels. If Watch Dogs 2 manages to make the same kind of technological and mechanical leap as Assassin's Creed then I think it could work out well for gamers and Ubisoft alike.
Morin states that after taking a vacation and having time to see the game with more acuity, they are better adept for evolving the series in the right way and making fixes to the formula, saying...
“when you cool down after five and a half years [of development] and take your vacations and people play the game, certain elements become clear. They let you continue to bring what you envision to the next level with the fans included this time, which is where I think it really gets interesting.”
I'll reserve my anticipation for Watch Dogs 2 until I can see something tangible. Nevertheless, the whole article on GamesTM is very fascinating and well worth a read.