Watch Dogs: Legion - A Honest Review || Error69Pro

What I’m getting at here is that this kind of story is nothing new, the idea of global privatization, government oppression, and ‘big brother’ being everywhere is nothing new. However, this wouldn’t stop Ubisoft and the Watchdogs franchise from trying to add a new coat of paint to the idea and make it their own through their newest title, Watchdogs Legion.

This would be the newest attempt at a studio other than Rockstar to create a fully realized and vibrant sandbox to explore, cause havoc and in this case, try and rise against oppression in a story that is equal parts wacky, woke, and whimsical. So strap in as we take you on a taxi ride through a new look London not too far removed from the world we live in now. We Are One, We Are Everyone In Watchdogs Legion, you aren’t given one character to play, you aren’t even given a healthy handful to choose from. This game would go for something much more ambitious. In this title, you would play as anyone and everyone.

Storyline Of The Game :

 The story sees you play as Deadsec, a militant group of hackers and freedom fighters who are framed for terrorist attacks on the city of London. This ushers in the privatization of policing in the city and a wave of oppression that is crippling the city. So you must pick your first recruit for your anarchic group and after that, the whole city is yours to recruit. While this AI was touted before launch as one of the most important implementations in modern gaming, it doesn’t really hit those heights in action. In fact, it plays out like a much more simplified version of the nemesis system from Shadow of Mordor. The player will be able to scout potential talent, seeing their perks, personal weapons, and vehicles but this all feels very superficial. While you can recruit elderly women for example and it is rather novel to have them move at a snail’s pace and struggle to traverse obstacles, there isn’t really any reason to recruit them aside from this novelty. What we will say, however, is that there is variety in presentation. While all the playable characters control the same for the most part, Ubisoft has gone out of its way to include a vast array of different cultures, personalities, and accents. Plus it seems that the game is also attuned to where you are in the world, so if you’re logged in from Northern Ireland like our reviewer Cal was, you’d be treated to a healthy dose of heavy Belfast accents, which he reportedly enjoyed quite a lot.

The Gameplay & its Mechanics:

It’s a fun, subtle addition that makes you feel right at home in the sprawling city. Then lastly in regards to the ‘play as anyone’ aspect of the title. We have to admit, the permadeath option is an inspired inclusion to have the player invest in the characters they have recruited. This will lead to intense situations that will have you frantically ducking out of firefights or looking for cunning solutions to get you out of a jam, all in the hope of keeping your favorite Deadsec operative alive. The only issue we had with this was that the game never really gives you any reason to change things up, so you’ll lose the recruit you played many hours with only to learn that they are all too easily replaced. A Hard Brexit Next, let’s talk about the setting. We cannot speak higher of the way that Ubisoft has handled this post-Brexit London. They have achieved this by keeping most assets true to reality, with small changes that, if we fast forward twenty years, don’t even seem that far-fetched. Take the holographic statues, the Amazon drone inspired hordes of parcel drones or the automated self-driving cars. It’s that blend of future meets present-day that really hits right. The attention to detail is really appreciated throughout various aspects of the game. Take meticulous recreations of Camden Market, Regent Street, Kings Cross Station, Buckingham Palace, and countless other iconic London spots. Or perhaps you’ll be more interested in how the game handles the self-deprecating, sarcastic,, and cuss-heavy humor that Brits are so famous for, spoiler, they nail it. This game has really worked hard to make this London setting feel vibrant, alive, and true to reality.

Even the smallest details such as NPC’s leaving from non-accessible buildings or having petty conversations with their pals really makes you feel like your walking through London’s future. We have to admit though, it isn’t technically sound at all. We experienced a large amount of frame rate issues throughout our playthrough, especially in the more built up and busy areas of London. Not to mention that the sound quality didn’t fare much better. The game would have juddery dialogue, you would have police chatter randomly chime in when you had done nothing wrong, only to cut out halfway through a sentence. Then to top it all of, the physics are not as tight as one would expect from a game of this magnitude. You’ll ragdoll manically in the air after collisions, get trapped in tight spaces and the AI will get stuck in walls and other assets.

Game and Level Designing Of the game :

Much like the GTA series, we expect a certain level of silly moments but not to the point that it affects our experience negatively. It toes the line in this game, we would say that it won’t affect your overall experience but at times it will test your patience. Deadset On Arrival Let’s move onto the more specific aspects of the gameplay, beginning with the hallmark for the Watchdogs franchise since its birth, the hacking. While the original Watchdogs brought us this new and interesting mechanic and Watchdogs 2 refined what was on offer, WDL just doesn’t do enough to build on the formula. Yes, it’s still fun to have cars swerve out of your path with the click of a button or hack cameras to wreak havoc without ever setting foot in a hostile area. We have to say that it all feels a little bit predictable. However, Ubisoft does try to shake things up by offering the player a variety of different gadgets, weapons, and perks that they can unlock throughout the run through tech points. These are awarded for completing missions but can also be found within hostile areas, usually asking players to go off the beaten track to find them. It’s a good way to encourage exploration and offers good enough rewards to warrant the extra effort. It’s a bit disappointing that the number of unlockables was as limited as they were but as a whole, this has a positive impact on the player. Although we could have done without the mandatory spider bot platforming segments, the idea was great but sadly these parts weren’t all that fun in action. An aspect that does not deserve much praise is the mission design. The player will either do recruitment missions that ask the player to routine tasks such as steal this car for me, kill this person for me or something to that effect.

Where the main missions, while much more interesting thanks to the narrative, will still ask the player to complete arbitrary and dull tasks. It just feels badly paced, flat in places and there isn’t really any impetus or sense of urgency for players to follow the main story, which is an issue. The narrative as mentioned really does carry the player through the campaign despite the lackluster gameplay. The allies you have on your side are admittedly a little stilted and bland, but the villains are fantastically written. You have Cass, the Albion leader who is a power and a money-hungry man well worthy of your disdain. Then you have Mary Kelly who is like a murderous and filthy version of Dot Cotton. I don’t know how many of you will get a UK soap opera reference but hell, we are going with it. In short, the need to find out the various conclusions to the plot points is enough to drag you over the finish line. Plus, Bagley your sarcastic and foul-mouthed AI is a welcome companion whilst you do. 


The Final Verdict :

The Verdict Score: 7/10 Going into this title, partially due to believing the hype which we know we should never do, we thought this one would be a game of the year contender. Yet despite all of its ambition, it’s an interesting setting and the springboard of the return to form that Watchdogs 2 was, it seems that this game couldn’t quite hit the heights that it seemed all too capable of. We expected the ‘Innovative AI’ to be much more than just serviceable. We expected the story to be much more tightly written and paced and we expected much fewer bugsThe only thing we can say that the game truly delivers on is the setting. Aesthetically and thematically, we can’t fault this one. It’s just a shame that the rest can’t be deemed as anything more than average. WDL has its moments, it’s a competent attempt at a sandbox and we commend that the series has taken some risks this time around. We just regret to inform that not all of them came off as hoped. Maybe the inclusion of the Online gameplay will help boost this game to new heights, but for now, it’s a game that shoots for the moon and settles amongst the stars. So that’s our review of Watchdogs Legion.

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