After a long night of hacking into the computer system of a massive corporation, it was time to reward Marcus with a new outfit. Until this point, my colleague Megan had been working her way through Watch Dogs 2, but a clothing shop seemed as safe a space as any to hand over the controller — it’s like how you can’t let a baby put together a puzzle, but you can let him play with the box it came in.
Anyway I was happy to perform this task, not because I love capitalism, but because outfitting Marcus reminded me of games I’m more comfortable with, like The Sims, or Harvest Moon, the kind of games where your personal well-being is more important than the physical destruction of thousands of strangers. Putting clothes on is also a practice I’m deeply familiar with.
Several fictional clothing brands have storefronts in Watch Dogs 2’s fictional San Francisco, so Marcus isn’t stuck in the hellscape of wearing one pair of jeans forever. As Kotaku pointed out, some of the clothes are pretty good, and having this many options is proof that the creators chewed on the details. (Some clothes even look like things you can own in real life, like knockoff Adidas Tubulars copped from AliExpress.) And Marcus is the kind of character who can pull off a look that’s little loud or off-center — if you have the confidence to steal data from Silicon Valley billionaires, surely you can make a denim vest work for you. But as easy as it is to make Marcus look good, it’s even easier to make him look terrible.
For every inoffensive pair of skate sneakers in Watch Dogs 2, there’s a pair of lime-green Crocs. For every plain black T-shirt, there’s a T-shirt covered in dollar bills. And not even Marcus can make socks and Tevas work. No one can.
These are my worst creations:
Guy Fieri’s shirt, but on a head.
As I’ve said before, Marcus is a pretty cool guy, and he looks “not bad” in this sweater. It’s a bit first-time-thrifter for my taste, but largely inoffensive. The problem is literally everything else happening with his outfit. There are like eight patterns here, my dude.
Love a T-shirt that lets me know the wearer has made the conscious decision to advertise themselves as explicit content.
Here we have socks and Tevas, as mentioned above. They are a real blow to humankind, especially with the ankle-sucking pants. Doesn’t help that the socks are the same color as the rug.
This is a subtle and understated look for cozy nights in.
You’ve strapped a pencil case to your back, mate.
You can’t pair pants that say “Fuck you” with lime-green Crocs. It’s redundant. (Side note: at $55, these puke Crocs are the least expensive item of clothing in this list. The T-shirts, perhaps the most surefire way to disappoint me aesthetically, will each set you back almost $500.)
Of course, if you’re going to experiment with bad decisions (fashion-related or otherwise) this pretty-looking video game seems like a fine place to do it. Maybe you truly want to know what it feels like to have the thick, fleshy rubber of a new pair of Crocs rub against your skin, and a simulated universe seems like the perfect place to try it out without any social consequences. Maybe you’ll see Marcus stumbling around in his socks-sandals combo and think, “If he can’t do it, neither can I.” The world will be a better place for it.