Watch Dogs Legion launched in October 2020 with mixed reviews from fans and critics. The franchise has been associated with hacking mechanics in the open-world setting. Legion had some initial performance issues, which were eventually ironed out with several patches and updates. A reduced price tag has made this game considerably affordable in 2023.
While Watch Dogs Legion is not genre-defining, it is robust and genuinely fun. The title improves upon the mechanics established in the series. The game takes many strides forward in terms of graphics, gameplay, and world-building. However, the story and characters are not compelling enough.
Revisiting Watch Dogs Legion more than two years since its release
Ubisoft’s first Watch Dogs game was a solid start to a new IP. Although there was some controversy related to the graphics, the game itself was solid. Fast forward to 2020, and Watch Dogs Legion was released. This time, players had a futuristic London to explore and were given more gadgets for wreaking havoc.
Watch Dogs Legion puts players in the shoes of every citizen in London. Instead of giving reigns to a single character, Ubisoft decided to hand over the keys of the entire Dedsec to the players. It was quite an ambitious move, and it did succeed in some ways but, at the same time, thwarted some key elements that could have elevated the game.
The positive aspects
The city of London is marvelous and amazingly detailed. A combination of Victorian architecture and large neon monitors symbolizes the futuristic yet reminiscent nod to the current period. The world is the strongest aspect of Watch Dogs Legion, and the city is ripe for exploration and is populated to the brim with citizens.
While the city provides a lived-in feeling, the gameplay complements it perfectly. Players have a wide variety of arms to play around with. From pistols to melee weapons like crowbars, wrenches, and batons, players can have a lot of fun mowing down enemies and clearing outposts.
Seamlessly switching between stealth and guns blazing combat is extremely satisfying. Gadgets like drones, spider bots, and AR cloaks make players invisible to their enemies. One can even hop onto a massive drone, hover over enemies, and rain down bullets. Even cars can be remotely hacked and controlled, which leads to hilarious scenarios.
Fans of the franchise also have the Bloodlines DLC, which brings back Aiden Pearce in the world of Watch Dogs Legion. Aiden is old and experienced and has come to London for a contract. Bloodlines pit him against Wrench, a character from Watch Dogs 2, and this narrative experience will last for more than five hours, depending on the play style.
The not-so-positive aspects
Watch Dogs Legion’s selling point itself is a hurtful topic. The vast array of non-playable characters (NPCs), who are mere backdrops in other open-world games, is put on center stage in this title. This aspect gives players no emotional connection to any said NPC, and playing them feels generic and non-consequential to the story.
The bland voice generated by the AI modulation techniques also hampers the experience. The main character is Dalton, whom players control at the start of the game. He has better voice acting than the other countless NPCs encountered later. NPCs sound very similar; thus, the game lacks variety in tonality.
Despite a smooth launch, the game still has some runtime issues. Console users report that the game runs smoothly in performance mode, so the problems are exclusive to PC. These issues aren’t dealbreakers, so players should not be affected by this when considering booting up the game.
Watch Dogs Legion is a good game on its own. But it fails to deliver a strong storyline, interesting characters, or motivations and is bogged down by generic-sounding NPCs. The game’s strong suit is the gameplay, the variety of hacking opportunities littered throughout war-torn futuristic London, and the open-ended approach to missions.
Players looking for something close to a Cyberpunk setting with a playful tone in the story will have a great time in Watch Dogs Legion. The title is now available at a reduced price, so it is definitely worth picking in 2023 to have a fun playground for hacking and quirky Londoners to recruit. Fans looking for a strong narrative experience should check out the game’s Bloodlines DLC.