Watch Dogs 2 was a surprisingly brilliant game. One of 2016’s big hits, it was an absolute blast to run around a gorgeous San Francisco hacking everything in site, while also taking advantage of all the latest tech and gadgets to wreak havoc on enemies. However, we remain hopeful that Watch Dogs 3 fixes its shortcomings.
Trusted Reviews has put together a wishlist of the changes we’d love to see in the next entry of the series.
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Stick with the light-hearted storytelling
Watch Dogs 2’s story was a significant step up over its predecessor, primarily because of its tone. In the original Aiden Pearce was a miserable so-and-so, which led to a monotonous and uninteresting narrative. Watch Dogs 2, on the other hand, presented a beloved bunch of rebels led by one Marcus Holloway, and the majority of the story’s comic approach was more than welcome. Its obvious digs at other companies as well as missions that weren’t too dissimilar to real life events made things far more engaging and fun.
Watch Dogs 3 needs to adopt a similar approach, giving us another group of young hackers looking to take down an evil corporation. Perhaps the game’s first female lead would be a nice way to differentiate the story to what’s gone before, and it could maybe even involve global hacking schemes where the crew takes down an oppressive regime. There remains plenty of opportunities to tell a unique story along a similar theme to what we saw on the last outing.
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Non-violent weapons only, please
The biggest problem with Watch Dogs 2 was it suffered terribly from ludonarrative dissonance, where the actions of the characters in cut-scenes didn’t at all reflect what they did in the game itself. Marcus Holloway came across as a nice guy in cut-scenes, someone who simply wanted to make the world a better place by showing the evil companies for what they truly were. But then, en route to every mission and to complete it, he would mercilessly kill dozens of people along the way.
The use of machine guns and pistols by Marcus and enemies felt completely at odds with the story, especially when enemies immediately began firing the minute they saw you simply trespassing.
It would be nice if the enemies were smart enough to attempt non-violent takedowns first, perhaps with tasers and rubber bullets and traps, while our new lead hero might have as much tech and gadgets as Batman to be able to defend themselves. The ability to play the game non-lethally, without completely breaking the core mechanics, would be a nice implementation. Gunplay is great, but it would make more sense if it fit better with the story.
Much smarter AI
On the subject of AI, enemies need to be significantly smarter in Watch Dogs 3. Granted, the bad guys can only be so smart in a game designed to lead them into traps as if they’re following a trail of smarties, but once fights do kick off, they need to have a bit more about them.
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Rather than running straight up to you in a small room, or driving bizarrely during car chases, In Watch Dogs 2 combat situations often lost their way.
Combined with non-violent combat, it would be good to see more frequent on-foot chases than shoot-outs. Watch Dogs 3 needs more of a Mirror’s Edge vibe than Red Faction, where our hackers need to run from the law rather than become it.
Moving around on foot in Watch Dogs 2 always felt a little strange. Marcus had the ability to leap over obstacles and climb fences, but his run just felt a little, well, odd. Turning didn’t feel natural.
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Having the ability to flee any situation on foot as well as in a vehicle will be a massive improvement.
Many more gadgets and hacking tools
As the story of Watch Dogs 2 moved forward, Marcus could level up what tools he had at his disposal, but in terms of actual toys, we only really got to play with an RC car and a quadcopter. We want a much bigger array of tech in Watch Dogs 3.
With the games near-future setting, Ubisoft can push the boat out and get creative with some of the things we could use. Perhaps robot animals, which can be used to infiltrate areas and retrieve information, or glue guns that can stick mines to surfaces, and even remote turrets and other crowd-control defences that we can deploy on the run.
Having the ability to choose weapons and gadgets before each mission, rather than having everything at once, could make for a much more interesting setup, as we choose load-outs best suited for what’s to come.
Also, I’m just putting this out there, it would be nice to be charitable when roaming around the world and profiling everyone via their smartphone. I don’t want to rob a woman of her last $300 after she’s just been fired and suffered the loss of her cat, Ubisoft.