1. That Gameplay Feel
Watch Dogs 2 feels like a game that goes after what made Grand Theft Auto V great, and nothing says that better than its recreation of the Bay Area when compared to GTA V’s satirized Los Angeles. However, Watch Dogs 2 improves on its inspiration in a number of key ways, the largest of which is its gameplay.
Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series has always had its share of issues with regards to shooting, cover mechanics, and driving, but these woes are typically easy to overlook when presented with such a sprawling world.
But Watch Dogs 2 does both. Without skipping a beat, you can go from a great-feeling driving right into an exceptional cover system ripped straight out of Ubisoft’s past third-person shooters like The Division and Ghost Recon. Shooting is well done too, even if there’s nothing particularly special about it. This is in contrast to GTA V, where the cover system is spotty, stop-and-pop combat feels sluggish, and you don’t have many options beyond “shoot them dead.”
GTA V is also a chore to get around on foot, be it the weird momentum heavy sprinting, or half-finished climbing. Marcus Holloway moves across San Francisco like a hot knife through butter. Movement is tight and deliberate, and the addition of holding the trigger to parkour over everything is a revelation for quality of life in sandbox games that hasn’t been attempted since Sleeping Dogs.