The Watch Dogs 2 Trailer Made Me Realize I’m Too Old For This S***
I’m not an old man. Without wanting to age myself, I’m a twenty-something-year-old guy who is closer to 30 than I am to 20. There are plenty of people who are older than me who play video games, and who owned consoles so primitive that, through the perspective of my comparatively young eyes, hosted games that looked more like incomprehensible globules of color than they did interactive pieces of entertainment. But despite me (hopefully) being quite a few years away from facing my own mortality, the Watch Dogs 2 trailer has made me feel like I’m one giant step closer to the grave.
The Watch Dogs 2 trailer contains such high levels of cringe that it should be deemed a criminal offence. Clearly Ubisoft has decided to completely bypass the grim tone it set in the first Watch Dogs, which positioned the infinitely dull Aiden Pearce as its protagonist, by making its sequel much more energetic and vibrant. Placing it in the colorful San Francisco was a part of this transition, though the new focus upon a much more youthful cast of characters is the most glaring change, and one that is excruciatingly emphasized by its debut trailer.
There are people excited for the game based upon this trailer, but I would wager that a large percentage of those people are under the age of 20, or are at least closer to the big two-oh than I am. This is speculation, of course, but I cannot fathom how one could come out of the other side of years of legal alcohol consumption, failed relationships and financial turmoil and still retain the level of optimism required to be emotionally invested in a rag tag team of snapback-wearing, Hi Topped wankers.
That’s not to say that Hi Tops are exclusively worn by wankers, of course. It’s just that most are. Hi Tops are the universal footwear of YouTube vloggers and interns, not people who are sometimes worried about how many hairs they lose while showering. The characters in Watch Dogs 2 look like a description of a millennial taken from a boardroom meeting held by rich white guys in Silicon Valley. They look like what Anonymous thinks they look like. They look like the Steve Buscemi 30 Rock meme.
As someone who will happily sit and play Super Mario 3D World to my heart’s content, the Watch Dogs 2 trailer is still the first time a video game has genuinely made me feel old as shit. Sure, plenty of triple-A games are still immature in their attempts to appeal to the lowest common denominator, but usually it still feels like they’re trying to directly pander to my generation. An M-rated (presumably) game that isn’t doing that, and is instead actively targeting people younger than me, has therefore inspired something of a minor existential crisis.
But it’s fine. Even though I don’t like the look of the game judging from this trailer, I appreciate that Ubisoft isn’t trying to advertise it to me. I recognize that it’s trying to appeal to a younger generation, which consists of kids who would happily read a Buzzfeed report based upon two rival cereal brands humorously tweeting one another, as though the exchange was fucking Frost vs. Nixon or some shit. And I’m okay with that.