With the Watch Dogs franchise, Ubisoft has a unique situation on its hands. The first game didn’t quite live up to expectations, while the follow-up was vastly better. Could the studio keep the success going with Watch Dogs: Legion?
Before I answer that burning question, let’s just set the scene for the third game in Watch Dog’s growing franchise. When you hit, start you find yourself in near-future London. The famed hacktivist group, Dedsec, has been outlawed after being framed for a terrible terrorist attack by an unknown enemy that rocks the home of Big Ben. As a direct result, London turns to a private military group called Albion to snuff out Dedsec.
With the arrival of the evil mercenary group, London is now turned into an authoritarian state. Checkpoints are all over the streets, military drones now fill the air, and citizens are required to wear a device that basically monitors their every move. The wave of subjugation manages to spark a hidden urge for resistance in Londoners, but there needs to be a spark to light that fire, and that’s where you come in.
Watch Dogs: Legions differ from the previous games and also win because you don’t play with one single protagonist. Instead, you build the DedSec resistance from the ground up. Every single citizen is a potential DedSec operative (even the ones who hate your guts) and brings their own unique set of skills that will help you carry out your missions to help liberate London.
There is no one way to approach the game’s many missions, which helps keep the game engaging and entertaining. I won’t hold you, but it made me laugh immensely carrying out a mission using an old lady who isn’t quite limber as the other recruits, but she still knows how to use a handgun that shoots stun rounds.
Watch Dogs: Legion’s near-future London is as much a star as the game’s playable and non-playable characters. I was amazed as I literally soared above the vibrant setting on my hijacked construction drone, one of the many great touches added to the game.
Smart level design will encourage you to strategically plan your mission if you don’t op to run in guns blazing. There are also plenty of side missions to keep you occupied, and plus liberating each section of London offers its own unique part to the game’s story. Keep in mind the game’s online component hasn’t even launched yet, and I am very intrigued to see how that will add to this already expansive game.
I was a huge fan of Watch Dogs 2, so I was a bit on the nervous side when it came to Watch Dogs: Legion. But, I am happy to report that Ubisoft paid attention and built off what worked in the previous game and added some flair to it. The ability to recruit anyone is where this game shines, and the fact that each possible recruit has their own bio and set of skills will have you scanning people on the streets endlessly trying to learn about them.
Watch Dogs: Legion is a ridiculously fun experience that will have side-eyeing your own smartphone and technology in the real world thanks to its focus on big tech controlling everyone’s lives. Watch Dogs: Legion is a definite cop to keep you busy till Xbox Series X and PS5 arrive, and then you can continue on building up the resistance in the world of next-gen gaming.
Photo: Ubisoft / Watch Dogs: Legion