We’ve officially entered the exciting, rapid fire era of game announcements that surrounds E3. Through an 18-minute long live stream presentation Ubisoft announced Watch Dogs 2, a sequel to the 2014 open world hacking action game. The video features sound bites from the development team, some making-of shots of concept art and motion capture, and multiple trailers.

Watch Dogs 2 stars a new protagonist in Marcus Halloway, and takes place in San Francisco. Marcus is a young Oakland native that’s witnessed injustice and profiling first-hand, and the game’s story opens with him being accused of a crime he didn’t commit.

In addition to his tech-savvy hacking skills, Marcus is also a capable hand-to-hand combatant and channels some serious Assassin’s Creed mojo in his parkour abilities. His signature weapon is a billiard ball tied to a rope that he swings around like nun-chucks. I like that Marcus has the option of non-lethal takedowns via a taser. He can also deploy drones and hack just about everything you can see, from people’s phones and ear pieces to vehicles and other devices.

Marcus is a member of Deadsec. Deadsec are one part digital revolutionaries, one part domestic terrorists, and one part meme-driven cyber-bullies. It actually feels like a frightening yet natural evolution of our own world today.

watch dogs 2

San Francisco’s world is created as a living simulation. Like Chicago in the first game, San Francisco is fully wired with ctOS, a computer system that keeps the city’s infrastructure running smoothly. It’s also a hacker’s paradise.

“We’re building a game where basically it’s almost a simulation,” says Watch Dogs 2 producer Dominic Guay. “We broke the feeling that the world is centered on you, the player. Characters should react to each other. You need to feel as if the city is alive, even if you do nothing. It should feel normal and surprise you in how it reacts. This is the promise of what an open world game is.”

This near future San Francisco has a lot going for it, including multiple gangs and corporations vying for control. You can also play cooperatively with friends using “seamless online multiplayer.” Ubisoft promises to reveal more details about multiplayer in the coming months.

“You decide what you want to be spending your time doing,” says Guay. “That can be multiplayer. That can be focusing on stories. That can be just exploring the world. Whichever activity you do, we’re going to make sure you get rewarded to get you closer to the ending. That’s the promise we’re making to gamers.”

Watch Dogs 2 is scheduled for release on November 15, 2016 for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.

Eric Watson

Eric Watson

Eric has been writing for over five years with bylines in Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer and Tabletop Gaming magazine, covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on YouTube. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.