Watch Dogs Legion Review
The Watch Dogs series has never stopped growing, and the Ubisoft company really deserves credit for this approach. Anyone who plays this franchise will agree that the first two games differ in terms of the overall vibe. While the first part is a pretty straightforward revenge story, the second one offers players a much more delightful setting. As for the Legion, this game is a combination of the first two parts of the series. It will not overwhelm you with either too depressing tones or numerous absurd situations.
The developers chose an incredibly immersive location for the game - a more advanced and technological version of London. In this stunning city, you will see futuristic vehicles, ubiquitous drones, beautiful historic buildings and, of course, the Albion’s mercenaries.
But wait. What kind of mercenaries are we talking about?
In a new variation of the near future, the private military company called Albion, which is run by Nigel Cass, controls all of England. The thing is that the local government allowed this sinister corporation to fight criminals in all available ways. Albion decided to make the most of this situation and turned the UK into a digitalized zone, where everyone is patrolled by an artificial intelligence called ctOS.
In addition to the military corporation mentioned above, DedSec agents will have to fight a new hacker organization - Zero Day - and several criminal gangs. Given such a number of antagonists, the game invites players to ask ordinary Londoners for help and gather their resistance squad to free the city from criminal influence.
Watch Dogs Legion’s Main Concept
As you may remember, the first game provided us with one main character - a lone wolf named Aiden Pearce. The sequel allowed us to be part of a small gang of immature freedom fighters. But this time around, the Ubisoft company allows us to create a whole legion of agents that will quietly oppose the system throughout London. In other words, you will no longer be tied to one specific character and will be able to play as any of your agents.
It all happens quite simply from a gameplay perspective. You will get your first representative of the resistance movement, who will build your underground organization, at the beginning of the game. Then, you need to find some passer-by with exciting skills, start a dialogue with him/her and invite him/her to fight injustice. Although these NPCs will not trust you from the first seconds and ask you to complete a personal quest, these missions are simple enough that you can form your squad pretty quickly.
The core principle is to recruit residents who can make it easier for you to play through the storyline. For example, your team will undoubtedly need agents who can hack computer systems in the fastest manner. Or the townspeople who own a fast car. If you recruit such helpful agents, they will allow you to complete story missions without any difficulties.
However, you can approach the game differently and form an absolutely crazy team. It can include retirees who cannot even run or people who have no valuable skills at all. So basically, no one forbids you to go through the game in this way. The only catch is that some character archetypes will come in handy for several story missions.
At first glance, this concept encourages players to vary their gameplay and use NPCs with different specializations. And yet, it also has certain disadvantages. Even though the developers ensured that all the characters have individual qualities and resemble real people, this idea works worse than you would like it to.
Yes, your team members will have certain habits and affect your gameplay to some extent. For example, an NPC with some gambling addiction problems can slightly increase or decrease your organization’s total budget, which is a sure plus. However, the key issue is that you are unlikely to get attached to your “heroes” emotionally since they do not have detailed stories and characters.
While GTA 5 has explored the concept of character swapping successfully, Watch Dogs Legion takes this approach somewhat clumsily. Rockstar has done a tremendous job of getting us three completely different heroes who are used to achieving their life goals differently. They looked at the world from various angles and always evoked certain emotions, even if sometimes they were negative.
On the other hand, the Legion cannot provide us with such detailed heroes as any NPC can join a team. These virtual creatures do not have their own opinions and serve as our puppets fighting against digital slavery. They perform specific functions and have very little to do with real people.
What Gameplay Options Does Watch Dogs Legion Provide You With?
As we recall, games are supposed to entertain players, and the Legion has something to please us with in this regard. If you recruit a good hacker, he/she will allow you to complete the mission without leaving your vehicle. You will be able to hack cameras, control ground robots or drones and organize sabotage, which is pretty entertaining. The developers used their ideas from previous instalments of the series, diluted them with some new features and got a fun combination.
The game does not limit players from the gameplay perspective and allows them to vary their approach to completing missions. But it is also worth highlighting that numerous spy tools and fascinating locations will surely encourage you to behave more stealthy at the very beginning of the game.
If you prefer more straightforward battles with your enemies, the Legion will not disappoint you in this regard either. With a team of several weapons specialists, you will have access to a solid arsenal and be able to deal with criminals much faster than through digital attacks.
When it comes to vehicles, you may not expect your cars to differ in any way in terms of controls. Of course, you can distinguish an armoured vehicle from an ordinary sedan. But when it comes to cars from the same weight class, you will feel about the same from the handling perspective.
The most efficient and impressive vehicle, though, is the cargo drone. You can get it if you recruit a construction agent into your team. The aircraft will help you get onto the roofs of high-rise buildings and deliver your spy robots to any room. Besides that, flying a cargo drone is quite an entertaining activity as you get a chance to visit more amazing locations.
Watch Dogs Legion from the Graphic Perspective
As we mentioned earlier, the game’s visual side is one of its key advantages. Futuristic London will amaze you with fantastic elements like ubiquitous drones, holographic advertisements and unique vehicle designs. This city unleashes its maximum graphic potential at night. The bright lights and global digitalization will surely remind you of the cyberpunk style - perhaps the most visually impressive setting in video games today.
Another significant factor is that the Legion is one of the first projects optimized for Ray Tracing technology. This feature allows you to simulate realistic light behaviour in games, and Watch Dogs relies on this graphical effect heavily. The futuristic London is full of buildings with mirrored surfaces, and you will be able to see detailed reflections on them. This option will undoubtedly make your gameplay more immersive and realistic. However, you will have to sacrifice your performance to enjoy such a light spectacle. Besides, do not forget that this feature is available to players who use video adapters with RTX technology only.
How Does Watch Dogs Legion Approach Soundtrack?
Since the game focuses on a storyline involving hundreds of random characters, many players were skeptical about the project’s voice acting and sound effects. Nevertheless, the Ubisoft company tried to approach this aspect thoroughly and pleasantly surprised numerous gamers. For example, each of your original characters will have different lines in both the starting dialogue and many other conversations throughout the game.
The soundtrack also contributes to the game’s overall atmosphere significantly. The city feels as if it is alive thanks to hundreds of activities, taking place regardless of your actions. You will hear realistic sounds of vehicles, angry screams of protesters, dialogues of Albion mercenaries, etc.
What Hardware Do You Need to Play Watch Dogs Legion?
Operating System Windows 10 (64-bit versions)
Processor Intel Core i5-4460 or AMD Ryzen 5 1400 290X
RAM 8GB (Dual-channel setup)
Video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, or AMD Radeon R9 290X
Hard Drive 80 GB available storage
Operating System Windows 10 (64-bit versions)
Processor Intel Core i7-4790 or AMD Ryzen 5 1600
RAM 8 GB (Dual-channel setup)
Video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 S, or AMD Radeon RX 480
Hard Drive 80 GB available storage
Watch Dogs Legion’s Key Strengths And Weaknesses
|A realistic representation of futuristic London;
|The recruiting mechanic is fairly primitive;
|Engaging gameplay loop;
|The main plot is based on a banal concept;
|An innovative idea with no base main character.
|Numerous elements copy the Watch Dogs 2’s gameplay core.
Watch Dogs Legion - Final Verdict
While Ubisoft tried to portray the recruiting mechanics as revolutionary prior to release, this element turned out to be far less engaging than players expected. At the same time, the game touches on numerous modern problems and forces us to think about the dilemmas we may fall victims to in the near future. The only catch is that the Legion does not try to experiment with the setting and provides players with extremely obvious moralizing answers.
On the other hand, this project has numerous gameplay elements that can entertain any gamer. Adequate, realistic shooting, variable spy tools and beautifully detailed locations allow players to create a variety of entertaining situations. Add the possibility to form a team of totally absurd characters here, and you get a decent game that will keep you entertained for at least 20-30 hours.