Watch Dogs 2 lampoons Silicon Valley with open-world hacking fun


Remember Watch Dogs? It was like Grand Theft Auto except it took itself and its melodramatic, sad sack hero very seriously.

Kind of like the TV series Person of Interest but somehow with even less humor. Watch Dogs 2 is luckily nothing like that, with a bright, vividly accurate San Francisco backdrop, a hero you actually like and jokes throughout the plot that actually land. Oh, and all the hacking stuff that was good in the first one is here, too – but better.

Silicon Valley and the Bay area are your playground

Watch Dogs 2 will probably hold a special charm for anyone who’s lived or worked in the Bay area, including Silicon Valley. The game uses San Francisco and its surrounding area as the canvas for its tale of counterculture hackers fighting evil government and private companies who want to dismantle privacy in the name of marketing. It’s the perfect stage for the play in question, and it’s amazing how closely the virtual Bay area mimics the real one.

Sure, it only take you about 2 minutes to commute from downtown SF to Palo Alto, and there’s never any stop-and-go traffic prolonging the trip across the Bay Bridge to Oakland, but what it lacks in hyperrealism it makes up for with recognizable landmarks and roughly accurate relative placement of in-game locations. screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-4-24-21-pm

The SF locale is not just a visual treat, however; Watch Dogs 2 is set in and around Silicon Valley because it’s a tale of tech company overreach, in which a team of rag tag hackers including yourself do their best to remain off the grid and reverse the trend of exchanging anything resembling privacy in the name of convenience and connectivity.

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