Watch Dogs 2 is set to make a big step — at least in Ubisoft standards – it will not include any towers.
If you’ve ever played a Ubisoft open world game, you’d know one thing: Ubisoft loves its towers mechanic. Ubisoft’s infamous tower gameplay element has been featured in the Assassin’s Creed games, the Far Cry series, and the first Watch Dogs game. In all of these games the tower mechanic worked in the same exact manner: climb the tower to unlock missions around you. Watch Dogs 2 on the other hand, is ditching this feature.
In an interview with Eurogamer, creative director Jonathan Morin revealed that his team is revamping the series’ focus on story and sense of progression.
“It’s not a game where you open your map and everything’s there,” Morin says. “There are no towers. You just explore the world.”
Morin revealed that in Watch Dogs 2, progression is not tied to story progression or to tower locations like standard open world Ubisoft games of the past. It’s actually tied to your count of “virtual followers,” which are essentially another form of XP that you collect as you complete activities and discover San Francisco.
“Players start with a few followers in [hacker group] DedSec but pretty soon you realise you’re going to need more if you want to pull off big operations. So you start free-roaming,” Morin continues.
“Every time you get followers, it’s like you’re unlocking the DedSec hivemind. You’re also unlocking new knowledge, new operations, new co-op missions. And then organically you hit those end-game milestones.”
Morin says the team wanted to make San Francisco feel more free, right from the start, and not drag players along the same old mechanic of slowly clearing the map via towers and story missions.
“You can barely touch the story,” Morin added. “You have many different operations which give you followers, which guide your progression.” Within the story there are three “milestones” to hit, which finish the game’s narrative, he added, “but mathematically you can unlock everything else through co-op or free-roam”.
Watch Dogs 2 is set to release November 15, 2016 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
I was never interested in the original Watch Dogs, rightfully so as it turned out to be nothing more than pedestrian. That being said, there is some weird part, unknown to me, that is a little excited for Watch Dogs 2. Here’s to hoping that the jump from Watch Dogs to Watch Dogs 2 turns out like the jump from Assassin’s Creed to Assassin’s Creed 2.
Tyler Fischer is an Associate Writer for MONG who plays video games when he’s not busy researching alien conspiracy theories at 2AM. You can find him on Twitter.