Starting a ruckus can be immensely entertaining in open-world games. From Grand Theft Auto to Just Cause, these games seem to encourage chaotic rebellion. With Watch Dogs 2, that same idea returns, but with a PvP competitive edge. Unleashing turmoil on the city of San Francisco is rewarding, as it triggers a multiplayer match called Bounty Hunter, where other players will help the cops hunt you down.
In Bounty Hunter, opposing teams play as the hunter and the hunted. It can begin in two ways: by causing a high level of destruction, or by opening up Marcus Holloway’s cell phone to trigger a bounty on your head. With Watch Dogs 2’s seamless multiplayer, the police chase that begins in your game will also be present in other players’ campaigns, so that they can join in on hunting you down. The PvP Bounty Mode can also be played as a 2v2 co-op experience, or 3v1, along with A.I. cop cars that will aid in attempting to defeat you.
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With this multiplayer mode, quick hacks are a fundamental asset, which help you slow down pursuers or even neutralize them. Some of these are similar to the first game, such as creating steam pipe explosions and messing with traffic lights to cause accidents. However, a new and key component is the ability to remotely control any car in your general vicinity. By holding down a button, you can change the camera view to look out for pursuers, then immediately have them spin out of control with the tap of another button. Be warned: While you can do this to others, it also means it can be used against you, too.
I played as both a bounty hunter and a target. Each requires different skills, with a mix of hacking and swerving around corners as quickly as you can to break line of sight. With the press of a button, you can receive temporary speed boosts, which can be incredibly helpful to lose pursuers or to catch up to a target. Unlike its predecessor, you can now shoot while driving, which makes car chases feel much more dynamic.
Killing other players rewards you points, regardless of whether you’re a hunter or a target. If you’re the one with the bounty on your head, then you also accumulate points by evasion. Bounty Hunter mode also contributes to your campaign progression, providing you with more DedSec (Holloway’s hacker faction) followers which will aid you as you approach your endgame. It’s worth noting that if you prefer a strictly single-player experience, it’s possible to opt out of online multiplayer.
Watch Dogs 2’s Bounty Hunter mode is fast-paced and fun, and I look forward to finding out what else online play will have to offer. You can read more about the seamless co-op in our hands-on from E3.