Despite the setback of a leak last night, Ubisoft officially unveils Watch Dogs 2 with a 17-minute world premiere trailer showcasing its San Francisco setting.

A 20-second leaked trailer for Watch Dogs 2 stirred up some pre-E3 hype last night, so the reaction to today’s 17-minute official reveal should certainly be interesting. Ubisoft’s sequel will continue the original game’s focus on open world action with features based on hacking anything an everything. It’s the downtrodden man against the corrupt system of corporate America. Only a group of well dressed, parkour-trained hipsters can save the day.

Watch Dogs 2 introduces Marcus Halloway, a “charming, funny” 20-something accused of a crime he didn’t commit by the “Big Brother” network ctOS 2.0. He’s decided to take his personal vendetta against ctOS from Oakland to Watch Dogs 2‘s setting of San Francisco, joining a group of like-minded hackers named DedSec along the way. He’s as good or better a hacker than Aiden Pearce ever was, he’s a parkour master, and whether or not he’s ultra violent or a pacifist depends entirely on how the player plays the game.

Hacking is still the heart of Watch Dogs 2. Ubisoft says that every character, vehicle, electronic device and many other objects can be hacked. San Francisco is wired in a way that should make players of the original Watch Dogs very excited to visit. “We’ve greatly increased the flexibility to express your own hacking style and create your own solution,” is how Ubisoft describes their goal with hacking, further tying hacking into the open world experience of Watch Dogs 2.

Watch Dogs 2‘s World Premiere trailer covers a lot of ground, but focuses on a small set of core concepts which are likely Ubisoft’s main goals for the title:

  • Exploration & Discovery – The full game map is open at the start of the game and Ubisoft’s going to great lengths to make activities meaningful. Take, for instance, this very self-aware quote, “Instead of unlocking towers, you’ll discover stories and rewards.”
  • Hacking Expanded – As described earlier, Ubisoft aspires to make the world of Watch Dogs 2 more interactive with regards to Marcus’ hacking tools.
  • Player Tools – In addition to making the world more interactive, Ubisoft is giving the player more tools with which to interact with the world. Guns, melee weapons, tools, and even a pocket drone-copter will help the player achieve exactly the action they want.
  • Customization – Obviously players can deck out Marcus in whatever gear they please, but players can also customize their vehicles, weapons, and tools.
  • Online PlayWatch Dogs 2 will have an option for single-player offline, but is otherwise an always-online experience. There’s seamless co-op and a variety of PvP modes to check out.

Furthermore, Ubisoft goes to great lengths to say that all of these core goals and features have been built (or rebuilt) with fan feedback in mind. Watch Dogs was not poorly received, but it garnered an extraordinary amount of feedback from online communities and critics. Ubisoft says they are listening and hope that that is evidenced by what they’ve already shown. Ultimately, of course, the proof will be in the gameplay.

Speaking of gameplay, Eurogamer (Edit: Eurogamer has pulled the video, but its since been rehosted) has an exclusive first look at Watch Dogs 2‘s gameplay including some melee combat with Marcus’ billiard ball on a lanyard contraption. Hopefully this first look doesn’t inevitably show launch downgrades.

Watch Dogs 2 is planned for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 15 later this year.

Note: Updated language regarding Watch Dogs 2’s offline options.

Source: Ubisoft US