Watch Dogs 2’s jolly multiplayer is spoiled by guns

While Adam is busy hacking the planet for his final review, I’ve dropped into the multiplayer of Watch Dogs 2 [official site] to harass some of the world’s script kiddies. This is built into the singleplayer world “seamlessly”, you just select an option on your super-phone and a foe will become known to you a few hundred metres away (sometimes you’ll be warped closer to them). Now you’ve invaded their world, Dark Souls style, and have to hack them without being caught. It’s the same great game of hide and seek from the first Watch Dogs and I’m enjoying it a lot. But there’s also problems. Most significantly, why does this mode need guns?

I’ll explain a bit more first. When you first enter another player’s realm, they have no idea you’re there. As far as they’re concerned, the game is going on as normal. You can follow them, sneak around corners, tail them, hop in a bus and drive nonchalantly right past them, as straight and steady as possible, as if you were an NPC. It’s tense and hilarious. When you have them in your sights, you can initiate the download.

At this point, they become alert, they know you are there, somewhere within a big purple circle on the map. You can also watch your victim from the city’s CCTV cameras or with your own drones, using either option to initiate the hack, meaning you don’t even need to have a direct line of sight. As the hacker, if you leave your purple circle, the game will countdown and you’ll soon lose. The defender has to run around like a panicked cockerel looking into car windows and climbing roofs, launching his flying drone and scanning all the civilians in an attempt to locate you. If he does find you before the download completes, you need to get out. Escape before your target catches up to you.

This whole setup is wonderful. It takes an age-old children’s game, and mixes in a little of the NPC mimicking of Spy Party and Assassin’s Creed’s multiplayer. I’ve had heart-stopping moments when my target was mere metres from me as I hid behind an extravagant sports car, watching him run past multiple times without spotting me. During another invasion, I parked my car in a restricted area and pressed ‘C’ to slink down and hide inside, only to be approached by a security guard who told me I couldn’t be there.

I had to get out of the car and choke him just so he wouldn’t give me away.

On the other side of things, I’ve suffered hacks where the intruder panics as I approach, giving away their position when otherwise I would have glazed right over them like a mindtricked Stormtrooper. In that case, the hacker got into a car and accidentally crashed into a cargo container. I took great pleasure in jogging up to the wreck and knocking him out cold.

But I have also had other less-fun experiences as a hacker. I was once spotted on an open pier. I turned and ran, ready to relish the chase. Come on, then, I thought. Let’s go for a run.

Then I was shot in the back of the head.

The decision to include shotguns, rifles, uzis and all the rest of the bullet-spraying species in this game (not just the multiplayer) is a baffling miscalculation. Their presence does not fit the tone of frivolity and childishness in the slightest, nor does it bring anything to the multiplayer. In fact, it has a negative effect.

In terms of videogame features, the guns bring nothing to this game that the much-more inventive hacking abilities do not instantly supplant. When you can have so much fun changing traffic lights and causing cars to spin off the road, a submachine gun feels as redundant as yer da. In terms of storytelling, none of the game’s characters feel at all the type to whip out an AK-47 and start hosing down people on the street, or policemen or security guards or random folks they simply disagree with on a political and economic level. Our Hackers spend most of the game chasing Twitter followers, for heaven’s sake.

An early aside mentions that Marcus, aka Retr0, is a registered gun owner, a line that is clearly thrown in as quasi-characterisation – a lame, half-hearted excuse from stretched storytellers attempting to explain away a huge inconsistency. If you observe the character at all, gun-toting doesn’t really mesh with the rest of his behaviour. The man walks through San Francisco in his underwear. He gets blackout drunk and spends most of his money on fashion. If the “real” Marcus saw a Desert Eagle lying on the ground, the first thing he would probably do is point his phone at it, look confused, and ask why it isn’t bluetooth-enabled.

All this is putting aside the impact that arms have on the multiplayer hacking invasion. It ought to work perfectly. To get caught in the act of snooping is a disappointment, but now you get to enjoy a cops and robbers style pursuit. It’s compensation fun, like the scramble back to the dropship following a loss in Titanfall 2. You haven’t won the objective, sorry, but here’s a tiny adventure to have. In an invasion, there’s a similar feeling when you’re spotted. The jig’s up but now it’s time to have some fun. You stand up, ready to leg it to the nearest vehicle. Then you get riddled with bullets.

It’s an anti-climactic cop out, stifling what should be a solid chase sequence. I have pledged not to use the guns on my hackers, for the same reason – it ruins any sense of pursuit and relegates your creative hacking powers to a secondary thought. When a gun will take down your foe in a second or two, why use your car hacking skill to prevent him from reaching that truck? Just shoot. The presence of guns runs so brazenly against the game’s nature, I don’t understand Ubisoft’s thinking at all. When I was young enough to play hide and seek (last Friday), I don’t remember anyone inventing a rule that said: “If you’re shot by a fingergun, you’re out.” Because that would have clearly ruined everything. Even to children, the game’s best design is obvious.

Whoever lobbied to have firearms included in the design of this game, and the multiplayer in particular, needs to be loaded into a cannon and shot over the nearest land border. It’s a confounding decision. Their presence feels like an anachronism, a hangover from an industry that indulges too much in the sales figures of GTA. Just because you want to make an open world San Francisco does not mean you have to ape the open world of Los Santos. Especially in a game about rebellious try-hard youngsters who like to make terrible jokes and do most of their japes presumably while very high or drunk.

When all goes well, however, and the hide and seek game works without anyone resorting to their 9mms, it’s jolly, trollish fun. Or, if you’re on the side of a victim, a panicked search for an unseen trickster, someone who might be constantly making cars move around in a bid to distract you from his real position (hint: he is hiding in the parked car that hasn’t once moved). It’s especially frantic when the game tells you’ve been invaded “by a friend”. What scumbag is having a pop at my data? Agghhhh, why can’t I find them? Oh, it’s Phill, he was on the roof of that apartment block the whole time. The jerk.

But when the guns come out – and they often do – it’s spoiled. There are other issues. A functional match-up was only happening for me in about 1 in 3 or 4 attempts. Many invasions are cut short by players leaving, some of them simply logging off when your purple hacking bar is in the final stages. On a few occasions I sat in my hiding spot, urging the download to go faster. 87%… 90%… 92%… Only to see that teeth-grinding message: “Hacking invasion event cancelled… player left session.” These resignations are even more infuriating when you consider there’s a participation reward even if you lose. Just for taking part, the game gives you a small pocket full of XP. Leaving in the middle of an offensive hack is therefore doubly obnoxious.

Yet that is less a problem with the game and more a problem with the players. The age-old practice of combat logging will never be truly destroyed. Meanwhile, the worst that can be said of being on the victim side of invasions is that it is an interruptive design. It appears to prefer running invasions at moments when you are surrounded by baddies, having entered a restricted area. This might just be an odds thing – as a free-roaming player, you’re more likely to be in this situation than not. But it still means that a hacker can come and frustrate your well-made plans. For players who enjoy the stealthy route, this can be understandably irritating. There were often times when, playing as an invader, the defender simply ignored that I was leeching his data, because he was busy skulking around in a heavily-guarded technology building, or trying to find a research point (these help you buy skills) hidden in the docks with his little RC robot. They just didn’t care enough to come out and play.

In short, the main problem with the PvP element (apart from the firearms) is one of participation. There is an option to turn the whole thing off, but many players either don’t seem to notice this, or would simply rather pick and choose the invasions that they entertain. Which isn’t an ideal scenario for matchmaking. As for the guns, I don’t understand their presence at all, in multiplayer or otherwise. This is a game about meme-fuelled nerds with too much money and free time, only one of whom is in any way sympathetic (it’s Josh) but all of whom are likeable simply for being modern interpretations of Crash Override, Acid Burn, et al. Why would any of the Deadsec crew use an assault rifle to make a point that they could make with a few lines of code. It’s baffling.

All that being said, when it works it works very well. As a hacker, you can be sneaky, manipulative and nervous as you watch your quarry check behind every corner but yours. As the hacked, you can be minding your own business one minute and running through the streets chasing cars like a crazed dog the next. I wish more multiplayer modes took inspiration from Ubisoft’s insistence on mimicry and trickery. I just wish they themselves had the courage to dismiss the influence of other games. Hackers don’t use uzis.


  1. CartonofMilk says:

    I understand your argument against guns in the game but instead of engaging in a debate about it i elected to get my gun out and shoot you in the face. :blam:

  2. vorador says:

    I guess in the focus test the kids fresh from GTA complained about why you couldn’t just kill the other guy.

    Because it really doesn’t fit the plot about a couple of social misfits fighting The Man by use of hacking tools and subterfuge.

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      DuncUK says:

      I played alot of the co-op missions with strangers at the weekend. I’d say about a third of them just go straight in guns blazing with no attempt to do stealth at all. It seems a fairly big part of the market still want to play this way.

    • April March says:

      I would be very surprised if a version of this game without guns ever existed. Not even inside one of the devs’ head.

  3. Shinard says:

    It really annoys me when I think of what excluding guns would have done for the game, and the perception of games as a whole. Maybe I’m over-exaggerating the impact, but I feel like if Ubisoft had made the (brave, granted) decision to cut guns from Watch Dogs 2, then suddenly Watch Dogs 2 goes from “surprisingly fun sequel to a disappointing game” to something new. People who want to steer the common perception of games away from “mobile games and shooters” get a AAA title to point at. Audiences who have been put off video games by the focus on guns and violence might be sold on a fun hacking open world.

    I guess there might have been a backlash, though – too many people holding a game like that up as a great game because of the decision to exclude guns, not because of the game itself. And that might lead to the people who normally get angry about these things getting angry about these things. Maybe it wasn’t a mindless executive decision to play it safe, but a very conscious decision to avoid controversy.

    Or maybe I’m just overthinking the whole thing.

    • yogibbear says:

      They could have just had a few pistols that you use except for some key missions where you get other weapons and don’t get them outside of those missions, and then just gimp the ammo so much so that you really have to be careful when you use the pistol vs. sneaking/hacking/melee. Like if I’m a secret hacker dude breaking into somewhere I might carry a pistol, but I’m not going to carry more than 1 clip on me.

      • JarinArenos says:

        This is exactly what I was thinking. You can have a pistol, but build the game in such a way that using it is a last resort. If you go with a ‘full combat’ skill build, you might have a spare magazine and a silencer, late-game.

        And make it part of the toolkit. We’re already in the realm of fantasy hacking, so how about EMP rounds or something?

    • basilisk says:

      No, I don’t feel you’ve overthinking it. Let me add my voice to the choir: including guns in this game was indeed a big mistake. I can understand the reasoning behind it, but I do wish Ubisoft was bold enough to go against the conventional wisdom.

      Because it’s not just PvP; even in PvE guards are far too trigger-happy and will murder an unarmed hacker without thinking twice about it. Which also doesn’t fit this thoroughly whimsical world and makes your inevitable fuck-ups less interesting. You’re dead, restart from checkpoint. Because I refuse to shoot back; it makes no sense and it’s not fun at all.

      I do think it’s a great game, but removing guns would have made it even better.

      • Sleepy Will says:

        I couldn’t agree more with this article and the sentiment of you and the others above. This game is fine, but the guns are the most boring part of it.

        I’m OK with the guards and police being murderous triggerhappy scumbags too, as I feel this does kinda fit the game, it’s the reason they struggle against the system, because the system turns ordinary people with the power into monsters, but it would be nice if you had maybe some skills to give you a moment to escape when you’re pinned down, jamming all guns in the area for 5 or 10 seconds maybe, that kind of thing.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          There’s actually a “mass distract” hack which lets you do just that. It doesn’t jam the gun, but it makes all nearby NPCs (hostile or not) unable to do anything for a few seconds. It’s enough to get away.

      • aepervius says:

        Conversely since you have life regen and they not, it is easy to mow down many of them, doing more murder in one session than happen in detroit in one year. And there is no permanent arrest warrant on you. The camera may not recognize you, but the still catch your picture which can be copied and distributed. By my own count all cop should be on the lookout for me. switching to sneak only is not easy, because as soon as they see you *everybody* is on instant alert. There is not even a 10 second delay to signal the radio or something it is instant. That’s a big design flaw which make it very hard to be sneaky only.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          I find that you can go the stealth route pretty well, but you stop playing as Marcus and basically become the Jumper bot. It’s a lot easier to sneak around with it and it can do almost everything Marcus can.

      • lglethal says:

        It’s set in America with a black protagonist. The cops and guards being trigger happy, whether the protagonist is armed or not, seems like they copied reality pretty well…

        (this was a joke, for those unable to understand sarcasm (we call those people Americans by the way), please be sure to turn on your laughter filter before engaging in writing a response…)


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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Maybe they thought they had their bases covered for the no-guns crowd with Steep? It does seem like a Farcry game with all of the bang bang explodey bits removed.

      Does Ubisoft have another game with guns coming out during the holiday release period?

    • KenTWOu says:

      Cutting all guns you won’t make the difference. To make the game less focused on violence you need to cut all cars too, you need to rebuild the whole game loop, most of the game mechanics, most of the hacking abilities, especially social engineering skills.

      • GenialityOfEvil says:

        That would be making the players less violent, not the game. Guns don’t have a purpose besides violence, cars do.

      • basilisk says:

        Two other Ubi games, Driver: SF and The Crew, both have a mechanic where it’s impossible to run over anyone. They will always jump away at the last moment, no matter how miraculously.

        And social engineering etc. could still work – simply give cops tasers. Not even in the USA does shooting happen as casually as in W_D2.

        Problem solved.

        • KenTWOu says:

          But those two games work because they’re arcade racing games, where you can’t leave the car. And you’re moving so fast, in most of the cases you can’t see limitations of these systems. In Watch Dogs 2 you can leave the car, so even if devs made all pedestrians be able to jump away, the player could leave the car, knock out them using his tazer or melee ball, get in the car and drive over their bodies. So you won’t get violence out of the equation using this way.

          • basilisk says:

            You seem to think we want Ubi to remove all violence from the game, which is not the case. If someone really wants to be a dick, by all means let them; I’m not the game police. The idea is to remove casual violence that doesn’t fit the game. Marcus is neither a soldier nor a gangster. He’s not even a crazed vigilante like Aiden from W_D1. He’s a prankster. Pranksters don’t casually kill people every ten seconds.

          • KenTWOu says:

            Shinard said that excluding guns would change the game perception, because it would make the game a fun hacking open world for people who do not take video games seriously because of focus on guns and violence. I’m saying that wouldn’t be enough, because violence would still be there.

          • April March says:

            Yes, but the focus wouldn’t be on the violence.

    • webster0105 says:

      Actually, they could have simply had a kind of “Honor System:”

      Use guns; crash into stuff; run people over; etc, but you’ll slowly lose followers and the abilities you earned/upgraded from gaining them.

      I mean, they DO have the police, in-game, afterall. Why not have them serve some kind of role?

  4. Leonick says:

    The game (both on gameplay and story) would have been better if they excluded guns (or at most, let you pick on up but not carry a bunch with you) and focused on the other elements but someone at Ubisoft didn’t have the guts for it.

    I honestly think it was their plan at some point. During the prologue the Dedsec team shows some concern about the fact that Marcus is a registered gun owner… Next mission the introduce you to the 3D printer that is “capable of pumping out an arsenal of lethal weapons” and make you a “hipster merchant of death”. To make matters worse they then force you to equip a gun… You can unequip it again but you do have to equip it.

    Hardly the only cognitive dissonance in the story but yea…

  5. EwokThisWay says:

    It is the same thing that is ruining many other games these days, particularly RPGs.

    Devellopers are affraid to displease the more casual players by restricting them (to a class, to a line of skills, to a faction, to a personality…). So what do they do ? They make everything possible for the player “to experience without restrictions”.

    “Be whatever you want, whoever you want, dozens of skills and weapons to use without no class or skills restrictions, enemies scale with you so you can go where ever you want and do any quests you want. You are FREE ! Open world, yay !”.

    In this case they were probably affraid to disapoint people who wants to be able to kill or shoot in video games, which represents a large part of the players, unfortunately… So they gave them guns.

  6. GenialityOfEvil says:

    This is kinda true of most multiplayer games. The problem isn’t necessarily the guns themselves, it’s that multiplayer games are obsessed with penalties. Think about it, if you kill someone in Battlefield all you get is a bigger number on a scoreboard. If you’re the one who gets killed, you have to stop playing the game for several seconds. A major component of a great many video games is that you are forced to stop playing the video game.

  7. Spang says:

    Personally, I’m really tiring of manshooting these days.
    I know it’s on console but I’ve been playing Uncharted 4 recently, absolutely love everything but the manshooting, it’s like I have to force myself to get through those bits to get to the good stuff!

    • Blackcompany says:

      To be fair, the manshooting the nonsensical, immersion shattering army that the enemy always possesses in an Uncharted game is FAR and AWAY the weakest part of the games. And the reason I absolutely abhor them.

      Uncharted would be a lot better if the games were more like the very early Tomb Raider games, wherein environmental puzzles, ancient traps and the occasional previously-extinct creature were the obstacles. As it is, the narrative and world building of Uncharacter are so at odds with their (admittedly, overly heavy handed and too-on-rails) game play for me to even begin to suspend disbelief…

  8. Kirrus says:

    I have found some missions impossible to complete without me resorting to guns. I might be missing things entirely, but oh would I love the game totally devoid of guns — guards too.

    I once, after a police chase, just wanted it over. So I did what the police were hollering at me to do. I turned off my engine, and got out of the car.

    The police promptly proceeded to riddle me with bullet holes.

    Ubisoft. Seriously. Like, I love this game’s quirks. I love the silly jokes. I love the way you stepped up from #1.

    I do not love the way that I can’t distract guards. I do not love the way that getting seen without shooting back is basically mission over, restart from scratch. I do not love spending 50 minutes of my flu-addled braintime to stealthy sneak sneak a mission, resorting to tasering one guard who wouldn’t get lost, meaning suddenly I’ve reinforcements and 30 automatic guns heading my way. To be riddled (again) with bullets, and loosing every single one of those minutes with absolutely no payoff. Like building an Eiffel Tower out of playing cards, only to have it collapse in pieces just before placing that final two cards.

    • Lieutenant_Scrotes says:

      You can distract guards via:

      1. Taunt skill of the Jumper.
      2. The ‘attract’ option of the electroshock device/explosive device/environmental feature.
      3. The ‘Create Distraction’ skill in the social engineering skill tree.
      4. Remote controlling a car.

      What more do you need?

      I’ve completed most of the story missions without ever resorting to the lethal weapons. The game was designed with this play-style in mind, though it usually means you will have to render some guards unconscious.

  9. KenTWOu says:

    I don’t understand Ubisoft’s thinking at all…

    The first game was heavily criticized by gamers for inability to shoot while driving, so it’s pretty obvious why its sequel still has guns. And don’t blame it on GTA sales figures alone. MGSV was praised and called the greatest stealth game ever made, despite it had guns, rocket launchers and drivable tanks. Even stealth focused Splinter Cells always had weapons. And we’re talking about Watch Dogs 2 a stealth action open world game. Blame the game balance, not gun presence in it, because game industry isn’t ready for GTA clone without violence.

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      subdog says:

      So that’s a pretty big straw man. Brendan isn’t arguing that stealth games, as a whole, shouldn’t have weapons. He’s arguing that this particular stealth game, because of its tone and other elements, would have benefited from a lack of guns.

      • KenTWOu says:

        Look, Brendan wrote: Whoever lobbied to have firearms included in the design of this game, and the multiplayer in particular, needs to be loaded into a cannon and shot over the nearest land border…

        As if we’re living in a perfect world where ludonarrative dissonance wasn’t coined by Clint Hocking, because there was no need, where BioShock: Infinite is a commercially successful walking simulator which wasn’t focused on shooting people, and Metal Gear Solid V was a hardcore sci-fi linguistic drama a la Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, and Nathan Drake didn’t kill thousands of people, after all, he is only a thief, and most of the AAA games don’t have guns and violence, and Watch Dogs 1 didn’t have guns either, but one stupid Ubi suit lobbied guns in the design of Watch Dogs 2, because he is clearly a moron.

        P.S: Watch Dogs 2 is not a stealth game, it’s a stealth action game… there is a huge difference.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          It honestly doesn’t really matter what genre sticker you want to slap onto the game. The theme and style of the game would have worked very well without guns, much more so than with them. It would’ve been an interesting and entirely feasible design decision.

        • Shinard says:

          No, I agree. We’re not living in a world like that. But excluding guns in Watch Dogs 2, and improving the game by doing so, would be a step closer towards it. I completely understand why guns were included – common industry wisdom and practice – that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a bad decision.

          And the last one’s a bit of a circular argument – it’s a stealth action game because there are guns in it, and there are guns in it because it’s a stealth action game?

          • KenTWOu says:

            Have you seen MrBtongue’s video below? His point is ‘slow down the violence’. Excluding guns from Watch Dogs 2 is an over reaction. We should be grateful enough dev team made non-lethal approach a viable option this time around. But tone gun related violence down, make every shot counts, every bullet matters will make a difference. So don’t blame the guns, blame the game balance. At least ask an optional difficulty level where guns are banned both in single player and multi player modes.

            And the last argument isn’t circular at all. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory does have guns, but it’s a stealth game through and through, because of the game balance, because of strong focus on your visibility and speed of movement. It’s a slow paced game, and aiming is so slow, on higher difficulties you’re getting constantly killed by enemies’ head shots after detection. So I repeat myself, don’t blame the guns, blame the game balance.

    • Jediben says:

      MGSV is no great shakes in stealth stakes. Greatest my arse.

        • Sleepy Will says:

          He’s saying MGSV isn’t the greatest stealth game to ever exist.

          He’s correct, I cite evidence 1: Thief, The Dark Project/Gold
          and evidence 2: Thief, The Metal Age

  10. Lieutenant_Scrotes says:

    The multiplayer is truly seamless (no inverted commas) as long as you have the option enabled you will encounter other players without ever having to select anything on the in game phone.

    The way the bounty hunts are integrated seamlessly is fantastic in my opinion. If you have the police chasing you at the maximum level for more than a few minutes other players will be drafted in to hunt you down. This adds great tension to extended police chases in my experience.

    At the risk of being a pedant I’d like to point out that it’s not Twitter followers that Dedsec are pursuing, but downloads of their app; as every download uses the idle processing resources of the host device in a form of distributed computing. The contrivance being that this allows Dedsec to perpetrate ever more effective hacks into ctOS.

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      duquessheep says:

      While I enjoy the Bounty Hunts I find the Invasions downright obnoxious. I shut them off after the third time I was in the middle of a (side) mission just to have a rogue quadcopter buzzing around my head and a prompt on the screen screaming at me to find the weirdo blending in with the civilians trying to steal my data.

    • Brendan Caldwell says:

      I kept the inverted commas because there are often times when the game slaps you in a loading screen and warps you closer to your target. As a victim it often is seamless, sans “”s. But it isn’t always that way as the hacker.

      As for the followers, they’re referencing Twitter with the term “followers” as much as they are referencing Scientology with the church of New Dawn. It’s obvious and not a dig at the story. Just funny.

  11. TheMythicalSeabeast says:

    I watched a good critique of violence in video games recently that asks the question, “Why does my detective shoot so many dudes in LA Noire?” I think his answer applies equally well to Watch Dogs 2: it’s a bad habit of both the industry and the audience. Sort of a cycle of expectations.

    Anyway, I recommend that video. Good companion piece to that Fail Forward video about how TV focuses on violence in video games.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Great video. Thanks for posting that. I agree with everything said – the gratuitous, over the top violence that intermittently turned otherwise fun adventure/puzzle games like Tomb Raider and Uncharted into, essentially, nonsensical, immersion-shattering Horde Survival missions, utterly ruined those games. I detest both franchises – though to be honest, they are close to the same game.

      We dont necessarily need an end to violence. In a world such as the one Dishonored strives to create, violence has a place. On the other hand, Ubisoft insists with a fervor that borders on the absurd that all their games “have a basis in the real world” and then fills those games with such a mind boggling amount of senseless killing, that it completely undermines this premise.

      The over reliance on shooting and violence has reached the level of the absurd. Look no further than Bioshock Infinite(ly repetitive) and the Watch_Dogs games for more on this.

      • TheMythicalSeabeast says:

        I should say that I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the nonstop, cartoonish violence in Just Cause 3 lately. But I also like it when big-budget games try concepts other than “white dude shoots many people.”

  12. Yazu13 says:

    When I first started this game and went over to the 3D printer Dedsec keeps in their basement to make myself some gadgets and fight back against corruption, hacker-style, I nearly did a double-take when I saw that these guys were making assault rifles, shotguns, uzis, and everything in-between. What was originally an organization that stood for fairness and people’s rights in a very invasive, internet of things society, now felt like out and out terrorists. It made me feel dirty and definitely didn’t fit the style of the game.

  13. Jezebeau says:

    Should I be led to believe by the last screenshot that the Amulet of Yendor can triangulate radio signals?

    • Stopsignal says:

      You really should use it, it’s really useful, unless you want to be killed by a newt.

  14. Chorltonwheelie says:

    In real life Hide and Seek if you’re seen you’re out. Getting yourself caught and shot seems a reasonable game world analogue. Tread carefully hacker, try it on with my data and blammo!

  15. yhancik says:

    “You gotta kill people to have respect for people” — Fur Q

  16. ZedClampet says:

    What does “feels as redundant as yer da” mean?

  17. Viral Frog says:

    I agree with the overall point of the article, but one thing bothers me.

    “If you observe the character at all, gun-toting doesn’t really mesh with the rest of his behaviour.”

    Maybe it’s because I’m an American and the majority of people I know own guns, but there’s not really a specific behavior or personality type that I associate to gun ownership. A fair number of gun owners that I know would also not match the personality, appearance, or behaviors of someone that one would typically incorrectly assign to a gun owner. That said, I do know plenty of your stereotypical gun nuts.

    Anywho, I’m being pedantic. Like I said, I agree with the article. I think the game would have done well to do away with the guns. Or at least heavily restrict them to an absolute last resort method of dealing with a situation in-game. They seem completely out of place given the setting.

    • GeoX says:

      I live in America, and no one or almost no one I know owns guns.

  18. Hyena Grin says:

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    In terms of theme and gameplay and longterm appeal, the inclusion of guns (especially the number and type of guns) in the game goes against the message.

    I can only imagine the conversations they had in the office about how a failure to include gunplay would harm their market demographics, and the stupid thing is, they’re probably right. It probably would have hurt their market demographics.

    I can live with guns in the game, but I wish they’d disable them for the PvP stuff. Guns typically lead to an abrupt end to what should be an interesting encounter where people are forced to use their wits and the environment to compete. As soon as you whip out a gun, the playfulness and cleverness of the setup goes away entirely.

    What a shame. It’s still incredibly fun though. And maybe it’s not too late for Ubi to lock weapons in PvP.

  19. VitalMoss says:

    (Echo… Echo… Echo….).
    Don’t talk about realism in the same breath as a game where you hack people by staring at them with your phone.

    If you didn’t want to get shot, play in a way that allows you to not get shot. The use of weapons at no point is required, and obviously some people really like the guns.

    That being said, you were *standing on a pier*, That sounds like very tactically unsound decision no matter how you look at it.

  20. Behrditz says:

    “You try to get away, only to be shot!”

    …..then how do you stop them? What is YOUR preferred end game? Youre chasing them to kill them and stop them, so if you didn’t have guns, what would the focus be? Trying to somehow box them into a corner where you can use the melee takedown on them? That wouldn’t work, they run the same speed as you. Besides, if they didn’t have guns, it would be super easy to get away. Guns are the equalizing force between the two opponents, since all the hacker has to do is slow you down long enough to get away. If you gave them that, AND took away your ability to engage them at range, it would be absolutely awful gameplay.

  21. minichair says:

    “If the “real” Marcus saw a Desert Eagle lying on the ground, the first thing he would probably do is point his phone at it, look confused, and ask why it isn’t bluetooth-enabled.””

    Marcus is a registered gun owner, as explained in the first mission of the game.

  22. Sian says:

    What I’m wondering is what they did, if anything, to avoid making ESC the best tool to detect whether you were being invaded. In WD1, some people got into the habit of going to the menu every few seconds while driving through the open world, and if the game kept running in the background, they knew they were being invaded. Did they change that in any way?

  23. anonzp says:

    “I don’t like gun”
    “this bad”

  24. Jerykk says:

    I agree that guns don’t really make sense in this game from a design or narrative standpoint. However, it’s pretty obvious why they’re in the game. No publisher is going to release a AAA open-world action game without guns. It just isn’t going to happen, even if stealth plays a prominent role in the gameplay. Tomb Raider is another series that would benefit from the removal of guns (and weapons in general) but that’s never going to happen either.

    • A Wanderer says:

      Why not ? After all, before Telltale’s Walking Dead, no one thought that an entirely narrative game without real gameplay could sell that much. A game like Thief had weapons in it but they were quite useless. I could titally imagine a Hitman-style game where you play as a modern thief without weapons, bar the occasionnal stun gun. Trying new things is the only way to make AAA video games differ from the “grumpy man with a beard shoots bad guyz” model.

  25. Henke says:

    No, I don’t agree with this. I’m getting near the end of the game, and while I haven’t used a gun (besides the stungun) in any of the missions, I’ll always whip one out if I find someone hacking me. Despite this I’ve yet to successfully kill any invaders. Feels like, the way the game is balanced, you’ll have even less of a chance stopping invaders without resorting to lethal force. And I fully expect people I’m hacking to be gunning for me as well, that’s what makes the hide and seek so intense. Of course it needs guns!