Watch Dogs 2, an open-world action-adventure set in the San Francisco Bay Area, turns hacking into a full-contact sport. Starting with the GTA template of a city, cars, guns, and ragdoll physics, you can also use a phone to remotely overload a circuit box and knock security guards comatose or hack underground pipes to blow up huge sections of the street. It rarely feels like you’re using technical expertise to give big, insidious tech companies the run-around. Instead, you’re using brute force, whether by equipping a drone with shock mines to knock out your enemies or using a literal grenade launcher to ‘hack’ them to death by the dozen. Even if you’re murdering people to steal data, Watch Dogs 2’s loose take on pop culture hacktivism assumes a more bizarre, self-aware direction for the series overall. There’s a lot of goofy open-world fun to have in Watch Dogs 2, mostly as a byproduct of the chaos your abilities enable, and especially by combining abilities in the free roam co-op mode. But its stealth systems are undermined by hacking and combat abilities that feel too unwieldy and passive to be reliable, and as slapstick, as it can be, relying on the same powers throughout a thirty-hour runtime turns Watch Dogs 2’s best abilities boring far too soon.