Watch Dogs 2 Will Launch Before April 2017

Watch Dogs 2 will launch before April 2017. We know because Ubisoft just said that the game would be out before the end of its current financial year as part of their third-quarter financial report. And for now, that’s all we know.

Ubisoft have also confirmed that there would be no Assassin’s Creed game released in 2016. That had previously been rumoured, and was reported by Kotaku last month alongside another rumour that Watch Dogs 2 could take the games place and would be set in San Francisco.

The first Watch_Dogs was a disappointment to many – myself included – but we’ve known almost since its release that there would be a sequel. Most of the talk about it so far has been vague and mostly concerned with what will change. For example, Yves Guillemot told CVG (since closed) in 2014 that he couldn’t say if protagonist and uncle Aiden Pearce would return because he didn’t know, but that the studio was working to diversify their roster of lead characters. Ubisoft Montreal’s Lionel Raynaud also told CG that the game had “had a lot of flaws in the replayability of gameplay loops,” and that the sequel would see “radical” changes that the development of new technology.

Presumably that means an updated engine. One of the reasons the game was a let-down was that early trailers looked better than the eventual game that was released. Ubisoft say they’ve learned lessons from that, and that future presentations of all their games will use actual footage rather than potentially unachievable ‘target renders’.

If Watch Dogs 2 is returning, my main hope would be that it expands on the first game’s multiplayer. Invading other player’s singleplayer sessions without them knowing was the best thing about the game. Everything else can change but that, as far as I’m concerned.

What do you hope for from Watch Dogs 2? And is it an underscore?

42 Comments

  1. Gordon Shock says:

    Playing the first these days and I am happily surprised, critics were so virulent I was expecting a complete disaster but so far, 10 hours in, I am having a lot of fun. The hacking, though very simplistic is cool and keeps the pace fast and the world surprises me with a lot of details that other sandbox games lack, from how people react to you actions to something as simple as sneezing.

    Being a Ubisoft games it suffers from it’s own formula but I’ve learn a couple of games ago to stick to what’s fun and leave the OC part of me at the door before booting up the game

    • xyzzy frobozz says:

      To be fair, all “sandbox” games (god I hate that term) are all going to be measured against GTAV, particularly when they are launched in such close proximity.

      Viewed in that context, Watchdogs is a long, long, long way from the genre benchmark.

      • KenTWOu says:

        To be fair, GTAV is a long way from the genre benchmark too.

        • Nucas says:

          there’s some points in there i agree with like the arrest mechanics but overall that’s a 17 minute video showing that the creator prefers the physics of gta4; aka the game he’s currently used to.

        • Geebs says:

          I honestly can’t remember anything about GTA4; the only way I can prove to myself that I ever played it is an irrational dislike of cousins.

          GTA5 has much better missions and characters, a more interesting environment, decent controls, and runs beautifully.

    • Nucas says:

      i think the problem was, as is becoming usual, that people hyped themselves up with pre-release media. not that ubisoft “hyped the game”; people whipped themselves into some kind of mental frenzy over it. the game has a 4.6 user score on metacritic, that’s really stupid.

      the same thing has happened with fallout 4; rating of 5.2, common comments of “didn’t live up to the hype” and i have to wonder WHAT HYPE? a media blackout for 7 years and one trailer six months before release?

      i’m wondering if this is becoming an increasing trend, if it’s just from the console generational switch and people having inflated expectations, or if it’s always been this way and i never noticed.

      • Turkey says:

        I’ve been noticing lately that there’s a lot of user reviewers who give a game 0 just to bring down the average score. Like that’s the whole review too. “I don’t really hate the game, but it doesn’t deserve the hype it’s getting. 0/10.”

        • Emeraude says:

          Publishers only have themselves to blame though.

          As soon as people were informed of the ways metacritic was being abused by them, it only was a matter of time before potential reviewers would make use of it too.

          When bad reviews *can* hurt a developer, that’s what you do if you want to hurt and have little to no other power to do so.

      • Emeraude says:

        Come on now, Ubisoft has been on top of the game as far as pre-release false advertisement is concerned. Whatever over-hype backlash they suffered, they certainly don’t have clean hands in the matter.

        Personally, from what I could see of it, I just think the game was bland, sparse and overall insignificant. But then that’s all too often Ubisoft for you.

        Falllout 4 is another matter. The hype comes the wait itself and the hope – against all informed odds – that the agme would expand and be better than its predecessors.
        If anything, I think Fallout 3 being so well received is the anomaly, not the relatively negative reaction to 4.

    • Henke says:

      “critics were so virulent”

      Not really. It has a 77 rating on metacritic, positive and mixed reviews. The hate mostly came from players, and it’s easy to see why it got so much of it. The graphics downgrade, seeing just how much it followed the Ubisoft Game template, and writing that was of the usual Ubisoft-standard ticked a lot of people off.

      I liked it though. I’m a big fan of stealth-action and GTA-alikes, and there’s not many games that combine the two. Looking forward to WD2.

      • epeternally says:

        The port was terrible too. I get more stutter and framerate drops in Watch Dogs than Arkham Knight post-patches (the latter being much prettier as well). Ubisoft dropped the ball and never actually fixed it which left a sour taste with a lot of PC gamers. Before I had an SSD to install it to, the game was barely playable due to stutter, and it’s still not a perfect experience.

  2. soopytwist says:

    I think Ubisoft are wasting their time. Actually no, no they’re not. They will still make lots of money even if it is rubbish (which it will be) because idiots will stay pay for it, sensible people will visit Monkey Island and I will ignore it.

    • epeternally says:

      I enjoyed the first one enough that I’d be interested in the sequel (which does not make me an idiot :P ) so long as it doesn’t have Aidan Pierce as a lead (and is a decent port). Even for an anti-hero, he’s absolutely insufferable. I spent the entire game just wanting to punch him in the face.

  3. Chaoslord AJ says:

    I’d always meant to play Watch Dogs 1 as it’s hackers and open world and stuff and it was down to 5€.
    Yet the steam reviewers paint the game so colorfully bad it turns me off.

    • Premium User Badge

      basilisk says:

      This game has actually for some time been my go-to example of why Steam reviews suck. They’re often unfair, but here they’re really incredibly unfair.

      WD is a victim of absurd levels of hype, which I don’t even think Ubi was fully responsible for. I would not say it’s a great game, but it really isn’t anywhere near being such a disaster as Steam reviewers would like you to think.

      (And that’s true even after filtering away all the useless “UPLAY SUCKS LOL 0/10” noise.)

      • soopytwist says:

        I agree Steam reviews are balls most of the time but I played W_D for half an hour and hated it so much I reformatted my PC in disgust. I totally agree with the drubbing it got and I despise Ubisoft for screwing up so much.

        • lglethal says:

          Wow you and I are very fdifferent people. I’m 40 hours in and loving it. The lead charachter is a douche, but the story is intersting enough, the multiplayer aspects fun without being so often that theyre intrusive, and the game play enjoyable. There are annoyances but so far I’m having a great time.

          Different strokes i guess.

          • Mokinokaro says:

            The story actually just gets worse and worse as it goes along. It’s truly awful.

            The gameplay itself is good enough though. I just wish more missions allowed creative solutions rather than guns.

            On that note, give the Bad Blood DLC a try if you can get it cheap. It’s a much tighter experience that shows the true potential of the first game.

          • mika76 says:

            Ditto – loved it.

      • Hobbes says:

        This game deserved every single negative review it got on Steam.

        Every. Single. One.

        Thoroughly, and without hesitation I say this. That shambles of a game deserved a more thorough torching than the “professional” reviewers gave it at the time, and seriously let Ubisoft off the hook for what was in the end a pretty terrible game and an astonishing waste of potential.

        Mechanically it was -okay- but frankly Ubi have got the whole open world building blocks down by rote at this stage so that is expected, however the story was by far and away one of the worst I’ve had to play through, barring Dragon Age 2. The fact that Ubisoft knew and COULD have done better is what really grates, as evidenced by the later DLC.

        So no, they damn well deserved every single reaming they got, and if they don’t do a better job with the narrative this time, then perhaps instead of dropping on their knees and fellating Ubisoft in the name of getting that sweet ad revenue nectar, maybe the MSM can do their jobs this time around and punish fast food gaming.

  4. davidgilbert says:

    But who watches the watch dogs?

  5. kyynis says:

    27K for a dishwashing job?? Sign me up for that future dystopia!

  6. Pich says:

    i hope that the next game will not be designed by commitee

    • Turkey says:

      It probably wouldn’t sell 7 billion copies or whatever, but I’d like to see them limit themselves by removing the player’s gun and just make a game that completely revolves around hacking.

  7. Emeraude says:

    Probably just me, but there’s something funny I find in the juxtaposition of the “Watch Dogs 2 Will Launch Before April 2017” and “Put Your Knives Away: No New Assassin’s Creed In 2016” headlines.

  8. Kolyarut says:

    So, it’s coming out in November in the Assassins Creed slot, then? Cool – I’m up for another round of fun-but-ridiculous mid-car-chase hackery.

    For those who picked this up for cheap months later and found they liked it more than they expected – the multiplayer system of stealth infiltrating into other peoples games (and other people sneaking into yours) was one of the game’s funnest features, it might be worth getting the next one before the community for it disappears.

  9. Blippity says:

    I didn’t love WD, but I didn’t hate it either. I thought it was a reasonable attempt at the idea, but the story declined later in the game. The hacking was an interesting idea and sometimes fun, but not always effective. I’m actually glad to see them try again because I think the idea has a lot of potential, but just suffered in the execution.

  10. Deviija says:

    The first Watch Dogs was atrocious on many different fronts, especially that offal masquerading as plot. How this is getting a sequel is bewildering.

  11. racccoon says:

    I some how do not think 2 is going to help 1!

  12. icecreamjones says:

    More like Why? Dogs. The first game was utterly completely uninspired and uninspiring.

  13. Tyrric says:

    “One of the reasons the game was a let-down was that early trailers looked better than the eventual game that was released. Ubisoft say they’ve learned lessons from that, and that future presentations of all their games will use actual footage rather than potentially unachievable ‘target renders’.”

    They should just use medium graphic settings for presentations, that way everyone can be pleasantly surprised when the game looks better on release.

  14. Hyena Grin says:

    Yikes! The hate this game gets from some people is downright bewildering. I played it and beat it, I quite liked it. It wasn’t as great as I had hoped, but it was still a great game. The story was a little predictable but not nearly as bad as people would suggest.

    Honestly, I have to wonder if a lot of the hate is just people who got over-hyped, got disappointed, and are still rationalizing that disappointment.

    Remember, guys; judge the reality, not the lens you see it through. From the steam reviews you’d think it was a Duke Nukem level disaster, and it’s, just.. wow. Not even close to that.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Not a DNF-level disaster. More a Deus Ex 2-level disappointment, and I say that as someone who enjoyed Invisible War.

      • Unsheep says:

        In hindsight Deus Ex 2 was not a bad FPS, but a disappointing sequel. To be honest I don’t think *any* Deus game will be as good as the first one, and if they simply replicate the first one people will complain about that as well. Its a franchise that should not have been a franchise, it should have ended with the first game.

        Personally I don’t think DNF was a disaster as far as the gameplay goes, my only complaint about the gameplay was that the gunfights were far too short, apart from that I enjoyed it. Gearbox did oversell and over-hype the game though, there’s no doubt about that.

  15. Unsheep says:

    [sigh] When will developers stop taking advantage of our manly vulnerabilities.

  16. Barchester says:

    Watch_Dogs was the single most boring, infuriating, frustrating and downright unpleasant experience I had in video games these past years (not counting the complete shambles that was the Flashback remake). It had not one character I cared about, a main protagonist I really hated and an incredible mechanic (the hacking) that they somehow managed to make boring. Worst thing, however, was the faux open world, where you can finish every mission the way you want to, just as long as you do it exactly the way Ubisoft wants to. If not, it’s Game Over.

    Seriously, there is one mission in this game that requires you to drive to a location and spy on some guys swapping suitcases. One of these guys then makes a go for it on a boat and you have to follow him. But you can’t, unless you start the spying from one particular location near the water, where a motorbike stands waiting for you. Don’t give me the freedom to spy on these guys from any place I choose if I can’t continue the mission from there, Ubisoft.

  17. Stone_Crow says:

    Please not Aiden Pearce again. Give us a protagonist who isn’t such a tosser

  18. Vapor_Strike says:

    Here I am, sitting here watching the incredible amount of hatred for this game spew out in the comments, while I still hold it as my GOTY for 2014. Yes, the storyline was meh. Actually, the story I even liked a bit, it was just the characters that were meh. But everything else about the game I thought was absolutely amazing. I spent an unbelieveable amount of time playing, and thoroughly enjoying every minute of it, from screwing around in solo freeroam, to trying new ways to get through the missions besides the usual obvious route everyone takes, to playing the INCREDIBLY satisfying multiplayer. (I refuse to say it copied Dark Souls, I instead say they took the idea and made it infinitely better.) Watch_Dogs 2 (Watch_Dogs_2, maybe? Who knows. Or maybe they’ll listen to the internet and remove the underscore.) will definitely be getting a pre-order from me, without a doubt.

  19. Etsu says:

    I wasn’t disappointed by Watch Dogs, quite the opposite. Not sure why so many people don’t like it but that’s the nature of the beast I guess.

    I love how it looks, how it plays, the exceptional quality of the animations, and I’m enjoying story and characters very much as well.

    The only criticism I may have is that Chicago doesn’t feel to have a soul in the same level as other open world games cities, but that could be a mere matter of taste. It’s still beautiful and it has some of the better locations I have seen, like the Harbor Lighthouse and the town Pawnee.

    The driving mechanics are not particularly good, but that’s a common place in this kind of games, however the camera seems a little too restrictive, and I sincerely hate the reset view functionality. Having the option of carrying as many weapons as you may like is also something I don’t enjoy in many of these games.

    Apart from that, it has some of the better mechanics I have found in a videogame, particularly the stealth, cover and shooting mechanics, including some unexpected adventure-style puzzles that made my day.

    I haven’t finished yet (I lost my saves and had to start all over), so it may get less good closer to the end, but for now I’m very glad of how this game makes me feel. It’s sad that so many people didn’t like it, but there is nothing I can do about it.

    There are many popular games that I don’t like and that doesn’t mean that those are bad games. Some are very good actually, but we all have different tastes. However I feel bad for the people who made Watch Dogs because even working on a AAA company in what could have been far from ideal conditions they managed to make a wonderful work as far as I’m concerned, and that’s all that matters.