In a world currently filled with growing tension and political anxiety, Watch Dogs: Legion places itself rather cumbersomely as the awkward satirical uncle everyone knows and loves who’s wedged himself on the end of the family’s dinner table.
The games main mechanic is a operative generator; meaning that in this game there is no single protagonist to topple an ever familiar totalitarian technocracy but rather procedurally generated NPC’s that can be recruited to your cause, each with their own quirks and capabilities. A few examples I stumbled across during my first 6 hours were; a construction worker, who had access to a heavy wrench that was better in melee combat as well as a cargo drone that could be summoned and flow at any given time, a doctor with a gambling addiction, meaning that whilst I could gain access to medical areas I also lost currency periodically in the game and also an old lady who was fantastic at hacking. The generation system doesn’t seem repetitive as of yet, there’s a good mix of perks and downfalls that merge well together to make a varied enough experience that makes you want to seek out those top operative.
The story is kind of mediocre and underwhelming. It’s a plot that’s very transparent, there’s no surprises that you wont see coming. The characters that serve to fill in the story in the place of a missing protagonist come off as generic and plain more often than not. The one exception being your A.I assistant Bagley who provides enough quips and gags to keep the game more light hearted and fun compared to his counterparts.
Watch Dogs: Legion is set in a futuristic London and this is where the game truly shines through. Being British it was a delight to finally see a city that I know and love brought to live in the form of a video game. I spent my first through hours driving through the streets of London with drones overhead, visiting all my favourite tourist hotspots and streets that I’ve known growing up. The attention to detail here is pretty impressive, with many buildings and even similar businesses in the correct places geographically.
Unfortunately as many of us know sometimes its not all about the looks. Whilst aesthetically Ubisoft does a great job at recreating London. I can’t help but feel there’s something missing to tie it all together. It feels kind of dated and bland on some occasions, driving from one area to another with little to no random encounters, like we’ve become accustomed to with the likes of Fallout, Witcher or Red Dead Redemption. The repetition of get mission, go to mission area, interact with console is rife in this title. The saving grace comes from the operator generator that lets you tackle the mission areas in different kinds of ways, but even then I found myself reverting back to the hide’n’hack tactics of its predecessors.
Audio on the game is appealing on a whole. The game has a broad selection of modern and classic music to help fill the air in London. The one place where it lets itself down is the generated voice acting that sometimes messes with tone and pitch a bit to much to come across as genuine.
Overall I think its definitely worth a play if your a follower or fan of the series. It has some replay ability in that you can retry areas with different operatives for a different experience; and there’s a catch’em all vibe with regards to finding and recruiting operatives. My advice is to play in smaller chunks to avoid the experience going stale to fast.