While we thoroughly enjoyed Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs 2 there is something, quite major, that just doesn’t sit right when compared to the original entry in the franchise. That is the motivations, the background and the actions of the protagonist, Marcus Holloway compared to that of Aiden Pearce.
From this point onwards, there may be some spoilers to the stories of Watch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2 but we’ll try to keep them to a minimum.
First, Aiden Pearce wasn’t a nice person or really that memorable in his actions and pretty lacklustre background. He did have motivations behind his hacking though. After hacking into the high-end Merlaut Hotel in Chicago and transferring funds, it all goes wrong putting Aiden on the radar of rival criminal gangs. In his attempt to save his family and get them to safety, a hit job on Aiden ends up killing his niece. From there, he is basically working to track down those responsible and extract his revenge on them.
Marcus Holloway, on the other hand, is accused of a crime he didn’t commit and is tracked by ctOS 2.0 in San Francisco. His goal is to find out why he was tracked and accused of the crime and by whom. This is where the story falls apart.
Yes, Holloway may have been accused of a crime he didn’t commit and he probably has questions but the things you have done within the first few minutes of the game and will end up doing mean that ctOS’s prediction was correct.
Going out of his way to disable the city-wide monitoring is one thing and is definitely admirable for the idea of having privacy. You may even forgive him for trespassing, something you’ll do frequently. You might even turn a blind eye to him flying his drone near people and buildings, something which is also currently illegal under FAA rules. Heck, you might even not care that Holloway spends Watch Dogs 2 committing cyber espionage against large companies even though your data is likely to be stored by one of them if it were the real world.
No, what we are talking about is the flagrant disregard for other people, the ones the story claims you are out to protect. Those people you murder with illegal weaponry or steal from by emptying their bank accounts as you pass them in the street. Yes, while you are hoping followers will install your DedSec app so you can use their phone for processing power against “the man”, you are using that same device to move their rent into your bank account.
If stealing from bank accounts of the innocent people around you isn’t your thing then you’ll struggle to buy those fancy cars to get around San Francisco. You can, of course, obtain a vehicle in other ways… Grand theft auto. Simply hack open the doors, or jump in if it is a convertible and drive away. I mean, they can’t have been using it anyway or it wouldn’t have been parked… Right? Even if you chose to walk around San Francisco, there is a mission where you have to steal a Knight Rider style car from a film set. So one way or another, you are going to steal a car. While driving, unless you are Driving Miss Daisy, you are likely to run red lights, pass on the wrong side, hit pedestrians or when you shouldn’t and even take part in many hit and run incidents.
It doesn’t end there either, say the police are chasing you due to your existing criminal activity, you can make your escape by hacking into the city steam pipes which blow holes in the road. Time it right and you’ll blow the road and your pursuers.
So while Halloway may have been wrongly accused of a crime, the things you’ll do during the game are way worse than what you were accused of. He would get less time behind bars if he just handed himself in for the bogus crime than he would for the things he DOES do.
Pearce on the other hand, while isn’t a nice guy either and steals from innocent people at least he has more to fight for, the death of his niece, than just an accusation like Holloway.
So which would you prefer? Total privacy where companies don’t track your habits and be broke because someone stole all of your money after hacking your phone or keep your money and let companies do what they currently do, track you and use it to sell you things you never knew you wanted.
If it is the latter, then you should know that Watch Dogs 2 is available now for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. On the other hand, if you haven’t got or played Watch Dogs 2, we highly recommend it as just a fun game to play.