Watch Dogs 2 Hactivism Parkours Into Silicon Valley’s Tech-Obsessed Culture

Watch Dogs 2

Goodbye Chicago and hello San Francisco! The latter is the setting for Watch Dogs 2, the second installment in the hyper-connected third-person shooter from Ubisoft Montreal. Watch Dogs 2 features a new protagonist, Marcus Holloway, who's brilliant, young, and of course fully adept at hacking.

After being accused of a crime he didn't commit, Holloway joins DedSec, a powerful group of like-mined hackers who collectively take on the challenge of fighting against a corrupt establishment and ultimately attempting to give control back to the people. In other words, Holloway is a hacktivist, but he's also a different sort of character than Aiden Pearce, the main character in the original Watch Dogs game.

Holloway is both charming and funny. He's a guy that knows how to have fun, though also a passionate idealist with the ability to hack just about anything he comes across, be it any kind of vehicle (cars, helicopters, and so forth), along with cell phones and satellites. And in a nod towards modern culture and trends, Holloway is an agile character who's much better at parkour. He can also handle himself pretty well in a fight.

By taking Watch Dogs 2 to the Bay Area, Ubisoft Montreal is giving players a vast and interesting world to explore. The entire map is open with every neighborhood providing a new experience—there are surprises around every corner, Ubisoft Montreal promises. And every event you encounter will play a role in the progression of the game.

Watch Dogs 2 San Francisco

"When we first started working on Watch Dogs 1, the first iPhone had just been released. It’s been a long time since then and we’ve learned a lot along the way," Ubisoft Montreal says. "We were happy with the reception of the first game but we knew there were things to improve upon to fully realize our dream of creating a playground where everything is connected. Everyone from our senior producer on down spent months reading the subreddit, forums and anywhere else we could find player feedback."

The result of that feedback is a more meaningful story in a denser new setting, along with deeper hacking abilities and more accessible vehicle handling. Every character, vehicle, and electronic device you come across in Watch Dogs 2 is hackable in multiple ways. And in addition to new hacks, you'll find new tools and weapons.

Will Watch Dogs 2 live up to the hype? The wait to find out isn't too terribly long—Watch Dogs 2 releases to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 15.