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Driving is a core aspect in the Watch Dogs series, encompassing nearly all activities in the two games.
When playing the PC version, this is done by going near a vehicle and pressing E. On the Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles, you must press Y, and on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles, press the triangle button. Aiden/Marcus will now automatically start the vehicle. On the PC, the default driving controls are the WASD keys, while Xbox and PlayStation gamers should use the left- and right triggers to respectively brake or reverse and to accelerate. The left joystick functions as a replacement for the steering wheel.
Hiding in a vehicle is done by pressing F on the PC, B on the Xbox consoles, and the circle button on the PlayStation consoles. By hiding, Aiden/Marcus makes it far less likely that his enemies will detect him. Hiding in your vehicle disables the ability to drive it and shuts down the engine. In order to start it again, press F or W on the PC, RT on the Xbox consoles, and R2 on the PlayStation consoles or (for both) push the right stick up or down.
In Watch Dogs 2, the CTOS controls all of the vehicles present in the game, When using them, there is a visual effect connecting the player to the controlled car, to indicate which one is being controlled. There are 2 modes of control 1: one to divert which just makes the vehicle move in a single direction without oversight. An example of this is using an idle car to run an enemy into a wall. Keep in mind that in Watch Dogs, shooting and driving at the same time was not possible, only passengers were able to shoot. This is fixed in Watch Dogs 2, allowing both the driver and passengers to shoot.
The more useful example is during a chase were the player can make any moving vehicle including the emergency ones run off course against the drivers will to favor the player. The second one is control were the player can remotely use the vehicles with the drive and reverse buttons to run people over, cause a pile up, make a vehicle staircase or other creative things; vehicles with forklifts can also be used to pick up objects and move them. The scissor lifts can also be used as a portable elevator to help the player get to certain areas.
The ability to control a vehicle is adversely affected by the type of vehicle the player is in. Motorcycles are nimble and agile for travelling through the city, compared to most cars, but the player would be ejected from them a high-speed collisions. Heavy vehicles are the opposite, being slow and hard to maneuver than other vehicles, but these makes up for their durability and weight, being able to ram smaller cars with no trouble.
Focus is also a perfect choice for driving, as it slows down the time of the game (if not in multiplayer) and allows better turnings on cars (which, for some reason, is much durable than when using focus on foot).
Off-road vehicles, such the Tributary 1500, have an extra detail that denotes it is, as said before, off-road vehicles, allowing them to travel on dirt and uneven terrains with no trouble. Drivetrains on vehicles is also a factor, as, having a Talos climbing up a hill would be not as good as if climbing the same hill with the aforementioned Tributary 1500, as all their vehicle's wheels moves when accelerating it, allowing to gain a better acceleration and rarely gets stuck on obstacle (i.e. being stuck on Blockers right on the middle).
As is the player while on foot, the variety of camera views while driving varies, giving the player options to drive their vehicles:
- The first one usually employs a forward viewing angle, closer to the player's car. This one is by default.
- The second one is the same as the first, but it is placed much above the player's car and slightly further from the same, allowing for a better field-of-view on the environment. This one is a perfect choice for large vehicles, such as the Fire Truck or the Cement Truck.
- The third one is the bumper camera view, where the camera only focuses on the road instead of the car itself. This one is also perfect for large vehicles of if the environment has too many obstructions such lamp posts or buildings (as they would readjust the camera).
- The fourth one, not available to all consoles, is the first-person view, where the camera stays inside the car, allowing for a view in the dashboard and part of the car's hood and windshield.