A new six minute video of Watch Dogs 2 features Marcus making a run through the streets of San Francisco, attempting to get away from the cops after completing a mission.
The video starts with Marcus driving like a wild man through the city, showcasing the game’s truly floaty arcade-physics and the friction-less contact between the vehicles. It’s not very impressive.
Anyway, Marcus completes a mission by taking out a few gang members and then hopping into a Dedsec car mirrored after the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. You can check out the video below, courtesy of IGN.
It’s cool because the cops don’t just show up out of nowhere, they actually have to be called to the scene. They also don’t seem to lose players easily, and will require some fancy driving to outrun them.
The downside, however, is that the physics are just horrendous. While the game may be more responsive than the first Watch Dogs, the cars handle like radio-controlled vehicles. They don’t have proper mass distribution and everything is setup to be even more casual than Need for Speed.
Now if you don’t mind your driving physics being floaty, arcade-like and the equivalent of a radio-controlled toy car, then you’re going to feel right at home with Watch Dogs 2. If you preferred the more weighty feel of the vehicles from games like GTA IV, The Godfather or the Mafia series, then be prepared to be disappointed.
It’s a little too late for the physics to be overhauled given that the game releases on November 15th. I do like the damage models they have for the vehicles; the reactions of high-speed collisions look really good. But man, seeing the cars float around when they hit jumps, mounds or inclines as if they have magnets pulling and keeping them on the pavement really takes me out of the immersion of the game. Not having roll-over accidents completely limits a lot of the vehicular interactions in the game.
Another problem is the auto-correct for the directional axis of the car. There’s so much traction and almost no sliding yaw. The cars don’t really roll with their weight either, they stay perfectly upright, as pictured in the image above where the car auto-stabilizes in midair to avoid rolling over.
It’s always a lot more exciting when there’s actual risk and challenge involved, and some measure of realism. It’s one of the reasons a lot of people used to really like Gran Turismo; beautiful cars that weren’t easy to drive was part of the whole selling point. This isn’t to say that Watch Dogs 2 needed to be as frustrating as the license tests in Gran Turismo, but it is to highlight that trying to make the game too easy and too casual is a perfect recipe for making gamers bored and giving up on the title before they give it a chance.