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11 fun and ridiculous things I did in Watch Dogs 2’s San Francisco

Set the police (and the mob) on people 

Hacking civilians in the previous game tended to mean emptying their bank accounts of every penny and listening to their (often boring) conversations, but hacking people’s phones is now much more interesting. Select your intended victim and tap L1/left bumper and you’ll get options not just to steal some money but distract them by making their phone ring or, much more excitingly, call the police or set the mob on them. Or, call the police, wait for them to arrive and then call the mob anyway. You can watch everything descend into chaos and machine gun fire before hopping on a nearby cable car and getting away unpunished. That’s technology for you.

Played with the electro stun grenade

While there are plenty of weapons to toy with that’ll cause a speedy death, you can play entirely non-lethally with no 3D printed guns required. Holloway is armed with a stun grenade that I particularly enjoyed playing with. Toss it onto the ground and you can set up a proximity sensor around it so that you don’t need to be there to hit zap when the time comes. It’ll put enemies, and canines, to sleep for a short time, giving you precious seconds to sneak past and not attract significantly more deadly machine gun fire. 

Realised Net Hack is basically Assassin’s Creed’s Eagle Vision

Holloway has a handy built in sensor that means you can see all the points of interest on the map. Known as Net Hack, it means cash drops and pick-ups will be clearly highlighted in blue, while the word takes on a pixelated feel. Ubi is fooling no one: this is definitely just another Eagle Vision but given Batman’s Detective Vision, Lara’s Survival Sense in Tomb Raider and Joel’s super ears in The Last Of Us, but we can’t blame it for handing over another superpower. If anything, it seems slightly pointless in the open world, as given all the cameras and toys there’s plenty of ways to have your eyes on the prize without having to resort to ‘here’s that thing you want!’ highlighting.

Offended people with emotes

San Francisco is all about freedom of expression, right? So much so that instead of walking around stony faced like the previous game’s hero, Holloway can dance, flirt and even flip the bird at passers by. Welcome to the 21st century. We’re groovy/offensive/both. 

Tried to collect ‘em all 

This is an open world Ubisoft game, of course there are collectibles. Thankfully there’s plenty of ways to pick things up without even leaving your car. Somehow, there are songs scattered across the city - let’s not ask how - and a quick press of a button when one appears on screen will add a new track to your library for you to listen to as you ride. Fast travel was locked for my demo, but this is a world that I’m happy to screech my way around in a (once shiny) car. Good music from this world’s version of Spotify will be an added bonus.