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Watch Dogs Tokyo Vol 2 – Book Review


Watch Dogs Tokyo Vol 2 cover
Watch Dogs Tokyo Vol 2 cover

Tokyo has already established itself as the most futuristic city on the planet, and it is set for the next evolution with the advent of ctOS. As fans of the Watch Dogs games will know though, this rarely goes smoothly, as ctOS owners Blume are into some nefarious dealings. Watch Dogs Tokyo is no different, but as Volume 2 will have you believe, DedSec are once again on the case. And this time they have some formidable allies working with them.

Watch Dogs Tokyo Volume 2 is a marked improvement over the first volume. The characters are having meaningful conversations and interactions rather than the seemingly shallow character developments of the opener.

The action picks up immediately after the conclusion of Watch Dogs Tokyo Vol 1 with SSB and Goda having their first interaction together, away from that of a gunfight. This volume sees the story start to develop and hit its stride, after the confusing time-jumping shenanigans of the first instalment.

Goda has been wanting to meet up with DedSec, and instantly after making eye contact with SSB, knows that they have been looking for him too. Their angle however is to have a man on the inside of the Tokyo PD; his reasons are to help him uncover the truth about a murder he is still unofficially investigating.

Watch Dogs Tokyo Vol 2 2
Vol 2 builds nicely

Also in this opening chapter, we meet an unknown figure. He’s one of the quiet types but ready to become ultra-violent at the flip of a switch. We encounter both sides of him in this moment, and he comes packing with some nifty gadgets to boot. These wouldn’t be out of place in Q’s lab from James Bond, and it is intriguing to see what else he has up his sleeve. Either way, his appearance spells trouble for SSB and Goda.

But they also need him and so SSB puts in motion a plan to draw him out. It just involves putting Goda face-to-face with one of the high ranking yakuza types. This is just the tip of the iceberg however, as Volume 2 goes into overdrive after this tense encounter.

There are also several callbacks to Goda’s time in the National Judo Championships. Does this all have a deeper meaning, or will the truth become apparent later down the line? I cannot tell, but it is keeping me invested.

It isn’t just the storytelling that is improved here, and it feels like the overall flow is a big step-up too. It doesn’t bombard you with unnecessary characters like the first issue, with much more of the story dealing with one particular moment, telling it in almost real-time. It doesn’t flit about, it is more condensed, and involves the characters we are interested in. It is just better written and better drawn all around.

Watch Dogs Tokyo Vol 2 3
A game of cat and mouse

But the overall flow improvement also seems to be down to layout improvements. It is always going to feel unnatural for a Westerner reading from right to left, and the first volume had multiple moments where it was a 50/50 choice as to which panel was next. But in Volume 2, if it looks to be confusing, the text bubbles seem to point towards the next panel far better than the first volume.

Add to that the art of Shuuhei Kamo depicting the world and the action better, and Watch Dogs Tokyo Volume 2 is a marked improvement overall. There are still some issues when characters are involved in fist or judo fights, mostly as it can be difficult to interpret what is going on, but this is less frequent than the first volume.

The rest of the instalment is like a Hollywood game of cat-and-mouse with some brilliant set pieces and tense moments as the trio size each other up. There is a stand-off on the iconic Shibuya Scramble, another tailing scene involving Nudle cars, explosions, more gadgets, yakuza and much more in the final chapters of Volume 2. And then of course, the inevitable cliffhanger that follows.

All will be resolved in Watch Dogs Tokyo Volume 3 however. And after a strong second outing, hopefully that momentum can be maintained into the last few pages. There is still a lot to go for Goda and SSB and where we were first introduced to them – seemingly at the end of their tale – but I am now enjoying the ride with them.

Huge thanks go out to TokyoPop for providing us access to Watch Dogs Tokyo Volume 2. You can grab a copy for yourself through TokyoPop or the likes of Amazon.

TheXboxHub may receive a small commission if purchased using our Amazon affiliate link.

Richard Dobson
Richard Dobson
Avid gamer since the days of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Grew up with the PS1 and PS2 but changed allegiances in 2007 with the release of Halo 3.
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