Cause Havok and Other Players Will Catch You in Watch Dogs 2

Watch Dogs 2 will be doubling down on the online hacking PvP system from Watch Dogs, mainly by expanding the mode from 2 to 4 players. And if my runthrough against other journalists and developers remain true, at a private Ubisoft press event in San Francisco, it will be a ridiculously fantastic mode.

Online hacking in the original Watch Dogs was an interesting diversion where you could invade another player's data. You would turn into a random citizen model and attempt to steal the player's data, while the player tries to find and kill you before the timer runs out. To make your character more prone to being hacked by other players, you can hack specific NPCs that would place a bounty on you, but that's just about as much that will happen to you.

Instead in Watch Dogs 2, other players will enter your world through two simpler ways. If you create enough havok to get three or higher alert status, up to three online players can enter your world and attempt to catch you. Or if you wish, you can just open your in-game phone menu and start a bounty immediately, which will instantly have the cops chasing after you with helicopters in three-alert status.

In the private session at the event, the bounty was a fairer 2v2 setup, but in practice this mode will likely be 1v3. That said, there were plenty of hacker vs. hacker tactics deployed throughout. Most of the time, the bounty lead to a car or motorcycle chase with the target attempting to hack street lights for calmer traffic as well as pipe drains to burst water against any pursuers. The hunters, though, can come armed with sniper rifles and, if they get close enough to the target, hack the vehicle to turn left or right. One hunter forced my motorcycle to crash right into a MUNI street trolley.

Other times, the targets might want to instead defend a position in, say, a parking garage that only has a few openings. By placing IEDs throughout the entrance and wielding shotguns in hand, it's not difficult to take out any cops that enter the area. The hunters will be far more careful, though, so it's good to have a plan B and flee. Either way, whoever wins will earn more in-game followers which are needed to progress throughout the story.

As Watch Dogs 2 heads toward release, I would want to see some system that pairs players who are near the same level so that there's a level playing field. A player who wins against three hunters should receive more followers or rewards than a co-op team that wins against two hunters. There also needs to be a way to prevent people from starting bounties while already being on a fast vehicle.

Watch Dogs 2 releases on November 15, 2016 for PS4, XB1, and PC.