The original Watch Dogs tried some interesting new ideas for incorporating multiplayer, and at the top of the list might?ve been the ability to invade a friend?s game in order to try and hack them (leading to a cat-and-mouse chase between players). Building on that idea, Ubisoft has unveiled the new Bounty Hunter mode for Watch Dogs 2, which I recently had the chance to try for myself thanks to a pre-Gamescom event at their San Francisco office.
Watch Dogs 2?s Bounty Hunter mode allows players to put a bounty on their own head. Doing so automatically sends the cops after you, but it also allows up to three friends to join your game and team up with the police to hunt you down. However, one of your friends can join your side if they so choose, turning the mode into a 2-vs-2 (with AI police) in addition to the possibilities for a 1-vs-1 or even asymmetrical 2-vs-1 or 3-vs-1 confrontation. If you don?t feel like being hunted, you can also do an online search to see if anyone else is on the lamb in order to join the police hunting them if you want.
I had a chance to play as both the hunter and the hunted, and on both sides of the coin, it was nice that all my tools from the game?s single-player portion transitioned with me. I could hack cars and steam vents, use my automatic rifles, or even fly drones and place remote mines, just like in the single player, all helping to provide for a variety of options every time I played?making it so each time I tried the mode it never felt the same. Sometimes as the hunter, I would get a lock on the target, steal a car, and simply run them over when they were trying to escape on foot; other times, I would sneak up on them and snipe them from a distance.
Meanwhile, during the times when I was being hunted, my strategies shifted drastically. With my position immediately given to my enemies as soon as they signed in, I just tried to flee as fast as I could at first, hoping to lose my pursuers through back streets or by going off-road with a car. One time I had a friend drive the getaway car as I used my rifle to shoot out the tires of those hot on our tail. Sometimes, crippling would-be captors was more effective than trying to kill them outright.
At a certain point, though, I got tired of running. On my final shot at the mode, I found high ground and planted mines near locations I thought people would try to come at me from. Unfortunately, most of the mines went to waste, as my enemies took unforeseen angles. Luckily I could remote detonate them though, and I was able to pick off another player who wasn?t close enough to trip the mine, but who was definitely within the blast radius when I set it off.
All told, I spent probably about a half hour with Watch Dogs 2?s Bounty Hunter mode, and got in maybe six matches (victorious in all of them)?which means the mode is also pretty quick. You don?t have to worry about a long time sink, and with the hunters always knowing where the hunted player is, it usually promotes quick and decisive confrontations, perfect if you want to get in and get out with the multiplayer, or really mess with some folks and go on a bounty-collecting spree.
It?s nice to see Ubisoft continuing to support the multiplayer aspect of Watch Dogs, and this new mode feels like the natural evolution of invading someone else?s game while staying true to the tenants of the original?s gameplay. I can?t wait go collect some more bounties for real now when Watch Dogs 2 drops on November 15.