Watchdogs 2 has a great single-player mode, and that fact has grown in importance in the week since the game’s launch on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles. The game’s creator, Ubisoft Montreal, has broken the game’s “seamless” multiplayer modes due to game-breaking bugs discovered during the pre-release review period. That means most of the game’s players have yet to test some of the game’s most intriguing content.
Ubisoft announced Tuesday, a full week after the game’s retail launch, that online services had returned to the PS4 version and that it “anticipated” the same thing happening for the XB1 version by “Eastern time evening.” However, Ubisoft’s wording is a bit unfair because while certain online content has returned, the game’s promise of “seamless” online interaction has yet to come true.
The problem is that Watchdogs 2like the one from Ubisoft The division before that, it still struggles with a big piece of online infrastructure: auto-matchmaking. At full capacity, online players are supposed to appear in each other’s single-player game sessions, just like in Destiny. For example, you can complete a single player mission and then another real player will appear and complete content in the same part of the virtual city, useful in your game world. Tap a button and you’re instantly paired up for co-op goodness. Other times, a dynamic event will launch in your part of the game world, as indicated on the game’s mini-map, and other real players will appear in your world for you to join them for the fast-paced, fun event. (PC gamers of yesteryear may remember these kinds of missions as one of the best aspects of the old days) warhammer MMO).
This is the most “seamless” online content offered in Watchdogs 2 because players can stay in the game world and dynamically choose to jump in and out of multiplayer content, rather than letting them choose through menus. Despite Ubisoft’s patch launching today, this dynamic content is still not working, and Ubisoft has not announced when the feature will get an update.
For now, at a minimum, players can tap through menus to engage in ‘bounty’ and ‘invasion’ activities. Doing this allows players to invade another (willing) person’s instance to disrupt their single player mission for the sake of accumulating experience points. (Players can also put a bounty on themselves to attract targets and collect their own experience points.) Co-op missions can also be completed with the help of players in your friend list; trying to match for random co-op helpers, on the other hand, is still a slow and unsatisfactory process.
These disruptive one-on-one missions are intriguing, but as I said in my review, Watchdogs 2‘s co-op content is a bigger selling point. The division broke many players’ confidence in Ubisoft’s ability to maintain an online game, and Watchdogs 2 has been a mutt about restoring that confidence.
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