'Watch Dogs 2' boasts new protagonist, abilities — and you can play it with friends

Watch Dogs 2 was officially unveiled by developer Ubisoft Montreal on Wednesday, and while the initial reveal showed a game very similar in style and tone to that of the original game, the team has listened to criticism to improve on Watch Dogs‘ rougher features.

Set in San Francisco, Watch Dogs 2 dumps the first game’s boring Aiden Pearce for Marcus Holloway, a young member of the hacktivist organization DedSec who joined to push their anti-surveillance cause.

While his motivations and backstory are still largely unknown, his abilities are quite difference from Pearce’s. Instead of a baton, Holloway’s melee weapon is a billiard ball strapped to a lanyard, allowing for brutal head blows and quick swings. He is also quite a bit more mobile than Aiden, which should allow for foot chases to be less frustrating than before.

Holloway’s guns also mark a departure from the original game. No longer will you have to stroll into a store to purchase your latest firearm — they’re 3D printed by DedSec, but still utilize metal components. To go along with his more lethal toys, Marcus is equipped with a taser, which Ubisoft says allows you to play the game “without killing anyone.”

The hacking abilities from the original game have been expanded upon, as well. In Watch Dogs, you were limited to only hacking particular pedestrians as you walked the streets of Chicago. Now, you can hack anyone — and a “mass hack” ability lets you do it to an entire crowd as the perfect means of distraction. And if you want a friend to join you, you can do that, too; Watch Dogs 2 features online cooperative play, which is as simple as spotting another player roaming in his own campaign and asking to group up.

Watch Dogs 2 launches on November 15. A gameplay demo will be unveiled at Ubisoft’s E3 press conference next week.

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