For years, Ubisoft has struggled with maintaining their dedicated audience. Sure, they released the mind-blowing Assassin's Creed trilogy, but the succeeding AC installations were all hit-or-miss, with far more mixed reviews than the company anticipated.
And of course there was Watch_Dogs, released in 2014. Touted as being a groundbreaking new open-world crime thriller, Ubisoft boasted aspects of boundless hacking, gripping narrative, and leather jackets that flapped and flowed in the wind. Upon release, however, the game was flawed in oh-so-many ways, plagued with game-breaking bugs and wretched characters that no amount of alcohol could make likeable.
When Watch_Dogs 2 was announced in June of 2016, there was a wave of uncertainty that spread over Ubisoft's fans. Would it live up to expectations? Would we be stuck with another dark, depressing protagonist? Would we finally get to see leaves scatter in an Autumn breeze? (Fun fact: Cars in WD2 can be covered with leaves if parked under trees)
What Ubisoft managed to accomplish with Watch_Dogs 2 was far beyond the realm of any foreseen possibilities, though. Here are 5 reasons this new installation could be Ubisoft's best release yet.
5. Having The Perfect Sense Of Humour
From the very opening mission where Marcus (AKA Retr0) breaks into Blume's warehouse to delete his CTOS profile, Ubisoft makes it very clear that Watch_Dogs 2 is going to have a far more entertaining narrative than its predecessor.
Once Marcus locates his identity on the Blume computers, one of his most recent Nudle searches (the WD2 equivalent of Google) is "anime hardcore purple hair elf." Maybe I'm mis-remembering the original, but I'm not sure Aidan Pearce spent a lot of time on Nudle searching hardcore elves.
The reimagined San Francisco Bay Area and its surrounding locations are littered with other popular meme culture, from recreated versions of Asian Dad, endless appearances of Trollface, and nonstop jabs at pop culture (e.g. Night of the Living Dedsec). Ubisoft goes all out to make sure that players know they understand the side of the internet that their entire game is representing.
Is it occasionally a bit overwhelming? Yes. But when putting into perspective the community being portrayed by Watch_Dogs 2, it's actually pretty reasonable that memes would be as popular as they seem to be.