I had a whole lot of fun playing through Watch Dogs: Legion when it launched late last year (check out my review through this link). The London setting, the fun mission design, the multiple protagonists – they all came together to make for an open-world experience that felt refreshing and versatile in design. Sure, there were a few technical issues here and there and some of the protagonists could be a little dull, but it still felt like a unique and enjoyable take on the Watch Dogs franchise.
One of the biggest flaws that was called out about the game was that it lacked the direction that a singular protagonist offers. Not everyone was pleased that you could switch-up characters freely and that there wasn’t a fixed hero to lead the story. You know what? I kinda get what they mean, even if I did like using multiple protagonists. The game did lack that sense of progression in the story, where you see a hero rise up against the villain and be the star of the show.
Watch Dogs: Legion – Bloodline, the new DLC expansion for the game, looks to fix that. It’s a stand-alone adventure that takes place before the events of the main game, with players leading original series protagonist Aiden Pearce through a new hackathon escapade. It makes for an enjoyable experience too, even if it doesn’t really expand upon what the main game offered.
Check out a gallery of screenshots for the game down below:
Bringing back Aiden Pearce from the original Watch Dogs was a bold move from Ubisoft, especially since he was a divisive protagonist the first time around. His presence in Watch Dogs: Legion – Bloodline works though, with his family-driven narrative from the first game continued here. This time around, he’s in London to try and track down some fancy sci-fi tech. He has an extra motive to be there though, with his nephew Jackson also living in the city – what better time to try and re-connect than when you’re in the middle of trying to steal some shady corporation’s tech, right? With Aiden’s troubled history still haunting him and some tricky missteps getting him into a spot of bother in England’s capital, he’s not going to have an easy time.
A lot of Watch Dogs: Legion – Bloodline will feel familiar to those who played through the base game. You’re still exploring the same London setting, you’ll still be pulling off the same hacking tricks, whilst the missions all follow the same sort of setup. It was actually a little disappointing that more wasn’t added as far as exploration is concerned, especially since Ubisoft’s other open-world titles have seen more fleshed out expansions that take players to whole new environments. Players are stuck to just London here though, which is a bit underwhelming.
“You’re still exploring the same London setting, you’ll still be pulling off the same hacking tricks, whilst the missions all follow the same sort of setup.”
Fortunately, the story missions are of a high quality and offer plenty of varied ways to tackle them, whilst Aiden is a lot of fun to play as too. Whilst Watch Dogs does typically encourage being sneaky and using your tech-tricks to try and get your way through levels, Aiden feels like a much more action-orientated character with his abilities. Things like slo-mo aiming and enhanced reload buffs go a long way in making it easier to pick off foes, whilst his System Crash ability that will disable any electric devices in the area can make opponents more vulnerable to his attacks. He’s definitely ideal for players who like to take a ‘shooty-shooty-bang-bang’ approach to missions, which suited me just fine.
Whilst Aiden is undoubtedly the star of the show, another Watch Dogs favourite makes their return as a playable character. Wrench, the LED mask-wearing cool dude from Watch Dogs 2, is also used throughout missions and brings with him a unique set of skills that help differentiate him from Aiden. A drone that helps him get around, a tasty hammer called Lady Smash to beat up foes, Ninja Ball flash-bangs… it’s clear that Wrench has a much more creative arsenal of tools at his disposal that are more befitting of his colourful personality. He’s also at odds with Aiden over a mishap they shared, so that adds a fun twist to the main story.
“A drone that he can ride, a tasty hammer called Lady Smash to beat up foes, Ninja Ball flash-bangs… it’s clear that Wrench has a much more creative arsenal of tools at his disposal that are more befitting of his colourful personality.”
Once players beat Watch Dogs: Legion – Bloodline, they can take Aiden and Wrench into the main game as playable characters – it’s a neat addition that makes revisiting the game feel worthwhile. There are plenty of side missions to complete as both across London too, as well as unlockable tools to really tinker around with each character’s skillsets. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t bring more variety. As mentioned, it still takes place in the same London setting, whilst there was no mission that felt substantially different from anything players would have already done in Watch Dogs: Legion. It’s not necessarily a bad thing since what it does offer is good, but it would have been nice to see some aspects of the game spiced up to give the expansion its own unique flair.
Still, with its neat story that ties up some of Aiden Pearce’s loose ends and that involves one of Watch Dogs 2’s best characters, the fun abilities of each protagonist, and the slick mission design, it’s hard to complain too much. Just keep your expectations in check if you were hoping for a big expansion that changes up the Watch Dogs formula massively.
Watch Dogs: Legion – Bloodline is a fun blast to the past with Aiden Pearce and Wrench making a return, with both proving to be a lot of fun to play as. The missions are slick and the narrative intriguing too, with plenty of loose ends from the previous games coming full circle. It’s just a shame that there wasn’t more done to revamp the experience, with everything taking place in the same London setting and utilising the same style of missions seen in the base game.
It’s hard to complain too much because Watch Dogs: Legion – Bloodline certainly offers an entertaining experience over its roughly six-hour runtime, whilst the fixed protagonists make the story feel more meaningful when compared to the base game. It’s just a shame it couldn’t do something wholly unique to make it stand out more, especially when compared to the expansions Ubisoft have already released for their other open-world titles.
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC