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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 04:14pm 05/07/16 | 0 Comments
It was a burning question for us once the game was revealed -- would this San Francisco Bay Area-based 'hipster-hacker' really be capable of pulling the trigger? Thankfully, Ubisoft came to the same conclusion and has revealed the entire game can be played with a n on-lethal approach.

AusGamers: Is there a fine line between moral ambiguity and intent, where the player-character is concerned in these types of games? You know there was a big dialogue around Uncharted 4 recently that, well, let’s be honest, Nathan Drake is a mass murderer, and it’s a horrible question in the scheme of videogame fun, but in the [E3 demo] it seemed like you had less of an emphasis on killing and more on making the game a chaos simulator -- how do you find that fine balance? In the first game you had intent because the main character was a vigilante, and there’s a background there as to why he was doing what he was doing, but Marcus just seems like a kid who was a hacker and got dealt a bad hand. How do you create a reason for the player to want to help Marcus create death?

Dominic: Yeah, it’s a balancing act between player-agency and narrative. Especially in open-world games you try to give as much freedom to the player as you can, and every time you make the editorial decision of removing freedom it can be a mistake. So what we try to do instead is to grow that sandbox, in a sense. In Watch_Dogs 1 if you didn’t want to play lethally it would become a problem at some point, but in Watch_Dogs 2 we tried to move away from that. If you still want to go full aggressive that’s your choice, but we also wanted to give players another viable option in non-lethal, so we added tasers, we added more hacking abilities and at some point we thought “wow, that’s too powerful”, but in a sense it’s not -- let’s create that problem where we’re giving very powerful hacking abilities to the player and then balance them out afterwards. But we’re also not shifting away from a more combat approach if that’s how you want to play.

The character Marcus, you’re right to say he’s not really a character who goes and shoots everybody, but the player can make the decision between how Marcus would play and how the player wants to play.
Click here for our full Watch Dogs 2 interview, which also covers the new San Francisco playspace, co-op and competitive play and much more.

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