This is the third main entry within the Watch Dogs series, acting as a standalone narrative that does somewhat blend into the overall world that’s being presented. This takes place within a semi futuristic London where DedSec finds themselves scrambled after a series of bombings.
They’ve been blamed for the situation, and you’ll need to bring together a new squad in order to handle the growing presence of an armed military group called Albion. It’s a battle against them, and the other main factions that now cut up the city.
The real thrill of the experience is about going out there on the streets, and potentially bringing any of the people out there to fill out your team. You can recruit literally anyone, they all have strange professions and skills. You might find a construction worker that can call in a sick drone to fly around with, or even a living statue.
Everyone has perks that can help your squad, and fill out the roster. It’s particularly helpful to grow your team as getting killed “caught” will force you to pick a new team member. Having a medic or barrister will make your fallen teammate come back into the fold faster which is nice. With that, having someone with a drone to fly with is awesome as some missions take place in high spots. You can literally get on a massive drone and control it, hilarious.
You can sneak in that way, and it’s fascinating since you can handle situations in almost any way you’d like to here. The narrative itself wasn’t necessarily the strongest. It’s very predictable from an early on point and they act all mysterious about it in an almost insulting way towards the end which I thought was hilarious. You should be able to put the pieces together too easily, and then they really drag out how it’s revealed.
That aside, it felt somewhat disjointed in how the different factions came together, that could have been handled better. Still, it’s a decently long story and one that I liked more as I played into it. There are side missions that help supplement this and of course recruiting missions to bring in new teammates which are fun. There’s a lot do here from random activities such as playing football, to collecting the piles of collectibles out in the city. It gives freedom, and a lot of content to explore which was appreciated.
This plays very much like the past entries in the series. You have an open world semi futuristic London to explore and tackle however you’d like. Each building you enter is slightly different. Most offer various ways to enter them. Some might have puzzles to solve, others will allow you to run in and some you may need to use an element of stealth.
I loved the sense of choice within these areas, it was great. You really feel like each location you get sent to is a bit of a puzzle, each with their own smaller secrets to discover too. Going back to the city, this very much looks like the type of location you could see in the decades to come.
The holographic advertising, the delivery drones and electric autonomous vehicles are all things I’ve seen at CES the last few years. It’s coming, and I think this matched the aesthetic I see cities heading in the future. Now, with that I wasn’t too thrilled by the performance. I played this on Xbox One X where it is enhanced with a 4k resolution and HDR support.
On foot it ran almost entirely well the whole time through. When on a drone it mostly ran well, but in vehicles it was not good. You spend a lot of time driving in this, and the driving sequences were tough to deal with. You get some serious performance drops and lots of screen tearing which is disappointing. I hope that patches will clean this up, as this does look gorgeous.
It’s a seriously stunning world, filled with people and visual treats. The architecture is stunning, as are the buildings you visit. Melding the futuristic to traditional designs, it works well. With the technology and this being Watch Dogs you can hack many things. You can take vehicles, hijack drones and even play around with the environment a little. There is fast travel in some ways, but I never used it as I enjoyed travelling to see the city. You can get better skills through the tech tree in order to improve, and even customize every part of your squad which was fun.
They give a lot of freedom here which I appreciated, and a lovely world. Nothing like getting out of the rain during the day or say night and heading into a pub for a pint. There’s actually even an achievement for hitting each of the bars in the game and drinking. You could also skip that to play with a wealth of tools such as spider bots or hitting up the night in stealth using an augmented reality cloak. Lots of fun to be had, and many ways to do so.
Watch Dogs: Legion is great, it features an intricately detailed open world London to explore where you can recruit basically anyone though the story could have been more intriguing and the performance while driving could have been better.
It’s these smaller details that sort of hold things back for me, since this is generally a very well put together package. There are hours upon hours of content to engage with. If you’re a fan of the series you’re going to have a good time with it. It evolves certain mechanics in a good way while providing a world that’s fun to drive around in.
It feels expansive, offers many unique regions to explore and enough situations where you can engage in combat to make it feel lively. There is also going to be a multiplayer component, but the menu mentions that as arriving in December so I can’t comment on what that provides.
I think they made the multiple characters angle work in the context of the story, and I felt that this was an engaging experience. It can be a lot of fun, and I love the cheeky attitude characters have. It’s got a somewhat dark story to it, but they keep it light enough and straight up enjoyable the whole way through. The drone attacks can be rather intense though, keep that in mind.
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Watch Dogs: Legion Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Ubisoft