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Watch Dogs 2 online is broken: what works and what doesn't

UPDATE: Patch in certification with Microsoft and Sony.

UPDATE 2.30pm: Ubisoft has deployed a patch for the game's online modes - which are currently, er, offline.

The update is not yet live however - it's been passed to Microsoft and Sony for certification, a process which can take some time. This means it will almost certainly miss tomorrow's launch date.

Here's Ubisoft's statement in full:

Full details on exactly what is and isn't working lie below:


ORIGINAL STORY 11.00am: Watch Dogs 2 does not launch until tomorrow, but early copies are already in many players' hands and the game's review embargo has just lifted. However, Ubisoft's big new open-world is only part open for business.

Watch Dogs 2 main menu warns of issues.

As we reported over the weekend, Ubisoft has disabled Watch Dogs 2's "seamless multiplayer feature" until further notice because it "caused the game to lag and crash periodically".

Ubisoft is aware and told Eurogamer on Saturday it was confident the situation would be resolved by tomorrow for launch.

Eurogamer has consequently delayed publishing our Watch Dogs 2 review as a result.

In my experience, any attempt to play with other people left the game chugging at around 10fps until I quit and restarted - although the frequency this occurred varied among the Eurogamer team.

But while Ubisoft describes the issue as affecting the game's seamless online only - where players can suddenly appear in your game to hack or help you - the game's multiplayer servers are more affected than you might think.

Ian and myself playing moments ago in co-op, which works fine.

Co-op gameplay does work - this is where you send a direct request to a friend to join you and you can play together. We tested this just now.

Online sessions with random co-op partners do not work - these are the purple icons on your map, for activity types such as taking over gang hideouts, freeing DedSec prisoners and the like.

You'll first see a message that Ubisoft servers are searching for other players nearby, then in your region, then finally globally. And then it will fail to connect.

Purple mission icons fail to connect.

These purple icon missions are suggested to the player frequently in the game's early stages and are a good source of XP. You can, however, go them alone (it's not too difficult to lone wolf them in my experience) - although this is hardly the point.

Finally, as Ubisoft states, seamless multiplayer does not work. This means the classic Watch Dogs invasion gameplay is currently unavailable - which is a big part of the game's fun.

That said, and now the review embargo has expired, I've really enjoyed the game's opening 10 hours or so. It's a hugely changed experience in tone and character from Watch Dogs 1 and there's a wealth of genuinely fun stuff to find and explore - such as hacking Ubisoft San Francisco for that unannounced Ubisoft sci-fi game trailer.

All of that will be soured, however, if the publisher cannot re-enable the game's suite of multiplayer modes soon.

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About the Author

Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips

Deputy Editor

Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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