Our preview of the game says hacking has never been as easy before as it is with Watch Dogs 2, and the developers are building on that to remove features that didn’t work in the last game, and to add new ones like how the Watch Dogs 2 followers work.
Although the developers say that you can get the most out of the game without being tied to the story, there are some new elements that tie in with how the progression system of the game works.
The virtual Watch Dogs 2 followers you get in the game are one such element that build up with your discoveries as well as other activities. The game’s creative director Jonathan Morin has a few things to say about how and why this is something you should know about:
Players start with a few followers in [hacker group] DedSec but pretty soon you realise you’re going to need more if you want to pull off big operations. So you start free-roaming. Every time you get followers, it’s like you’re unlocking the DedSec hivemind. You’re also unlocking new knowledge, new operations, new co-op missions. And then organically you hit those end-game milestones.
As far as the narrative is concerned, there are going to be three milestones that divide the story and sort of give it a start and an end, but that does not need to be your focus here because “mathematically you can unlock everything else through co-op or free-roam,” barely touching the story itself.
What’s more you can choose not to touch the story even, and the activities in the game will “scale appropriately” to that.
Clearly, with features like the Watch Dogs 2 followers and the low emphasis on the story arcs themselves, Ubisoft is rooting for the progression system of the game to be the real reason why you keep coming back for more.