'Watch Dogs 2' (Xbox One, PS4, PC – November 18)
Setting is key when it comes to open-world games. "When we started Watch Dogs 2, it was all about finding a different place to play with," director Jonathan Morin says. "If you [choose] a different place, that means you're true to yourself and your research." Watch Dogs 2 takes place in a vibrant Bay Area, which is about as far as you can get from the original's stark, stodgy rendition of Chicago. Per Morin's directive, expect some timely themes as hacker protagonist Marcus uses high-tech tools and an anti-establishment ethos to dismantle the systems of oppression propping up the Bay's powerbrokers. Which more often will mean blowing stuff up.