Developed By: Ubisoft
Published By: Ubisoft
Platforms: PlayStation 4 & 5 / Xbox One X, Series S & X / Stadia / PC
Reviewed On: PS5
Watch Dogs Legion is the third entry in the Watch Dogs series and came out in October last year to surprisingly well-received reviews. It really was not on my radar and it really did fail to perk my interest in it from the previews that came beforehand. I decided to jump in based on those early reviews and even though I finished it, nothing will change my mind on how unfun the series has devolved into. Aside from the graphics controversy that came with the first Watch Dogs, I thought it was a solid but not spectacular game. Watch Dogs 2 felt like a strong reactionary pivot but ultimately did feel fresh and interesting. With all the promise of playing as anyone in Watch Dogs Legion, proved to be its biggest problem as being anyone in Dedsec failed to provide any sort of connection for me as the player to the game. I just really did not care and that was only one of the issues I had with it.
Those who read my reviews might notice how I am not a fan of Ubisoft due to how manufactured every single one of their games end up feeling (except for Immortals Fenyx Rising being such a pleasant surprise). Considering how 2020 was a tough year that affected game development no doubt, I still could not find anything redeeming in Legion. Now thanks to our wonderful friends in Ubisoft, we were granted a review copy of the latest expansion Bloodline and considering how I was the only one who finished Legion I was happy to dive in. I still love video games and I love being surprised and unfortunately, as much as I wanted to be, I still found Watch Dogs Legion: Bloodline to be a slightly improved but still plodding experience.
Watch Dogs Legion: Bloodline takes place after the bombings in the original game but before that story picks back up with Deadsec being rebuilt. Players are quickly reintroduced to Aiden Pearce, the protagonist of the first Watch Dogs who is given a job in London to steal a piece of technology from Broca Tech. He takes it as he wants to reconnect to his estranged nephew, Jackson but the job gets complicated by Wrench (goofy emoji mask-wearing Reggie from Watch Dogs 2) who steals the tech first and causes the contract to go sideways.
As nice as it was to see returning characters from previous entries in the series is really did not feel like it was warranted for the most part. The main story in the expansion is quite generic as they come and having Aiden and Wrench in London just felt tacked on. I appreciated the focus on them but there was only one sequence towards the end of the expansion (weirdly PT inspired?) where the game has a sort of bizarre genre shift that was kind of creative and did get me invested but even that felt short-lived. Thomas Rempart as the villain was also uninteresting and I was genuinely glad when I was done with it.
The main mission path lasts around 4-6 hours with additional side missions stretching that a little bit more. The expansion also is a tale of two halves with players using Aiden for the first half then Wrench for the second. Abilities like turning robots and drones or even new weapons are unlocked by completing missions. The gameplay is largely unchanged and weaknesses in the core gameplay are still there.
Since I did not do the review for the main game, I’m just going to include what bothered me about this game because there are so many weird things going on. Why does the protagonist run horribly? I mean even from the main game the running animation is so bad it’s comical. Music in cars is still uninspired and broken. As interesting it is to see all the simulation systems of the populace in play it still feels hollow in the end and the kind of emergent gameplay, I’m only guessing the developers were aiming for just does not shine through. It could just be me but the weird comical stuff I used to see in Watch Dogs 2 just feels so much less. There is so much great art direction in the game as well but somehow the setting of London in the game also feels quite wasted.
What Was Just Okay
- Story – There was one sequence that tried something but the rest of it feels quite meh.
- Gameplay – Not bad but also does not feel as good as it should.
One Step Forward, One Step Back
As nice as it was to play returning characters Aiden and Wrench and to have a look at how the characters are supposed to grow and change it ultimately felt like just fan service rather than actual growth. Watch Dogs Legion was not a bad game, but it also deserved to be a much better game than what it ended up being. The Bloodline expansion did nothing to alleviate any of my own concerns about where the series might be heading and honestly, I would not miss the series if it did decide to take a long break. If you are a fan of the game, then the expansion will just be more of the same with a nostalgic flavour sprinkled in for good measure. Just to keep it real though, this is simply not something you would miss if you decided to skip it.