You have the right to know that your digital self is in imminent danger.
Last night I took a course in hacking, and failed terribly. Megarom played host to the Watch Dogs 2 launch SA launch event at the Maboneng precinct in Johannesburg. The urban setting, gorgeous top-floor bar and killer view of the city was the perfect stage for one of the best launch events I've ever attended. The Maboneng precinct's slogan is "part of a growing tribe connecting the heart and essence of the city of Joburg." It so resembles the heart and essence of Watch Dogs 2.
The food was good, but the presentation that followed was even better. How real can hacking in Watch Dogs 2 be? Well, real enough as I witnessed a webcam being hacked right in front of me through a simple program that is found in pirated exe files. A radio frequency from a gate remote was copied, with the potential to be cloned and used as a criminal device.
We are not safe out there, and Watch Dogs 2 might exaggerate the hacking a little, but the truth is that it is possible to copy radio frequencies off a remote, and even steal someone’s data from an app downloaded onto an Android device. Just this past Sunday, Carte Blanche demonstrated how hackers steal credit card details without having the card in their possession! It blew my mind to know that all these hacks were even possible today. To know that any lock can be picked with a simple tool, and any vending machine can be unlocked with a key made just for that.
Luckily our phones were safe in our pockets and the night went on without anyone losing any of those censored pics to the hackers in the room. While a graffiti artist quietly painted a picture of Marcus, Watch Dogs 2’s protagonist, I played the intro to the game, and it was awesome.
Sneaking through a high-tech facility, while hacking doors, and shocking security guards to death, Marcus slowly made his way to the main terminal, with one objective in mind, to delete his profile off the ctOS server forever. This has never been done before, and it turned out that it was an initiation to join Dedsec, the infamous hacker group deadest (see what I did there?) on bringing down the ctOS organization, and freeing the people and their digital data.
Watch Dogs 2 is set in a world where you digital data is more valuable than your life, as everything you upload gets used and abused by multi-billion dollar firms, in an effort to make a quick buck of everyone. Your home is even watching you as you go about your daily life, and it sees what you do wrong, and the insurance people gain from this as they increase your premiums according to your lifestyle. You cannot breath, or even batter an eyelid without someone knowing about it.
What happens next in the game will still need to be discovered, but Watch Dogs 2 looks awesome. I've had some hands-on time at a previous event, and I alrady concluded that Watch Dogs 2 is better than its predecessor. Its vast open world, and fantastic characters, will make up for the original’s lackluster campaign and boring antagonist.
We want to thank Megarom for the awesome launch, and arranging such a informative presentation. Hacking has never been more real and more of a concern than after last night's presentation. Watch Dogs 2 might be a game, but the hacking is pretty real, as I now have a piece of gum over my webcam.
Watch Dogs 2 is out now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with the PC version to follow on November 29. Please take note - the seamless multiplayer feature is currently under construction. You can play the full single-player as well multiplayer - except for features like Bounty-Hunter that allows outside players to enter your game.
Don't forget to check out our Watch Dogs 2 SA Launch Facebook album.
Photos by madeyoulook
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