A Closer Look
The game play is also very well done, Ubisoft gave the PC version an extra couple of weeks to smooth out bugs and improve controls. The parkour system is simple though sometimes imperfect with Marcus occasionally missing jumps or vaulting over an object when you're trying to land on the object. The car handling is also very arcade like, with cars easily spinning out of control during some sharp turns. During missions this game also tends to punish recklessness and reward careful thought. Marcus cannot take very many shots from a gun, guns themselves are also loud; making enemies more likely to discover him if used. Distractions, sneaking and silent take downs are Marcus' bread and butter.
The hacking was also improved over the first one, like the first one you can hack the cameras to scout a location. However you also have a drone and RC vehicle that can be deployed each have pros and cons, the drone being able to fly can hide more easily, but cannot perform physical hacks or pick up items. The RC vehicle can pick up items and perform physical hacks, but cannot hide as well and has limited movement.
As you gain followers you gain research points which lets you unlock varying hacking abilities like planting evidence to get people arrested or a localized black out to distract enemies. More powerful abilities also require key data which is located through out the San Francisco, requiring puzzle solving and platforming to reach. There are also research point nodes that can be accessed the same way as the key data, as usual with open world sand box games there are a lot of collectibles to be found.
The puzzles could have used more variation though, it breaks down to two types, find the key and network bypass. Finding the key is pretty self explanatory, the network bypass is a puzzle where you rotate nodes to reroute connections, as you reroute the connections you unlock segments to progress. Some puzzles of this type are more difficult having either time limits or nodes that randomly rotate when you unlock a segment.
Visually the game looks good and Ubisoft did a great job mapping a realistic version of San Francisco. Other than renaming some building to match companies that exist in the world like renaming the Oracle Arena to the Blume Arena in Oakland you will find familiar locations like Stanford of Lombard street. The in-house disrupt engine did a fantastic job of rendering these locations.