What a Watch Dogs Sequel Could Learn from Destiny
Ryan Bloom / Sep 24th, 2014 1 Comment
Watch Dogs finally released in May after what seemed like a lifetime of fanfare. Unfortunately, the game failed to live up to the massive expectations developer Ubisoft built for itself. However, that doesn’t mean the end of Watch Dogs.
In a recent interview with CVG, Lionel Raynaud, Ubisoft Montreal’s vice president of creative, admitted Watch Dogs was a flawed experience and promised “radical” changes for the sequel. But what exactly does that mean? If Ubisoft aims to make Watch Dogs its next mega-franchise, it should capitalize on the game’s best moments and take cues from Destiny.
The Promise of Watch Dogs
When Ubisoft unveiled Watch Dogs, gamers were immediately enamored with the possibilities. It was engaging, it was gorgeous, but most importantly, it was different. Weapons were traded in for a smartphone — an idea likely to spur the curiosity of any tech enthusiast or big brother conspiracy theorist — and the environment was fully interactive.
Perhaps the developer was misleading gamers in its Watch Dogs demo, or maybe Ubisoft was being too ambitious by promising the game would breathe fresh air into the open world genre. Regardless of the reasoning, Watch Dogs failed to meet the high standards set years before its release and was quickly disregarded as a game full of potential but deficient in execution.
Despite its evident flaws, Watch Dogs is not all bad. The game is at its best when the solo campaign is being hacked by another player online, a moment in which gamers must locate that player and kill him before time runs out. Players experience the helplessness of getting selfies stolen from their iCloud, only they get to shoot the guy who is doing it. During these brief, anxious portions of gameplay, Ubisoft fulfills its promise to offer something unique.
How Destiny Could Help Watch Dogs
Destiny has been described in many ways. It has been praised for its first-person shooting, and it has been criticized for its lack of imagination. Like Watch Dogs, Destiny’s reproach can be partially blamed on its heightened expectations. However, Bungie’s ambitious MMO-like features showcase Destiny’s full potential, and that is what Ubisoft should examine when developing a Watch Dogs sequel.
Ditching the confines of traditional solo play, the world of Destiny is populated by live events that incorporate players in a certain location. This seamless transition from single to multiplayer makes the game world feel alive and creates a level of immersion typically unexplored in shooters.
Ubisoft already created the foundation for live events in Watch Dogs, and developers need to build on this concept in the sequel in order for the franchise to reach its potential. The chaotic, seemingly non-integral moments of hacking summed up Watch Dogs’ themes better than the entire solo campaign.
A Watch Dogs sequel should take the idea of hacking into other players’ games further, incorporating more players online and putting its own spin on Destiny’s live events.
tags: destiny , opinion , ubisoft , watch dogs , Watch Dogs sequel