Watch Dogs: Legion (I will only be calling it Legion henceforth) was a tricky game for me to review. For the first hour or two I found that I had many of the same issues that I had with the previous couple of games, it was just that this time it was exaggerated in a package that was so much grander that all of these issues stood out so much more.
Initially I had sat there and I didn’t care about my stock protagonist, I didn’t care about shooting my way through everything and, much like real life, I didn’t find London very fun to drive around in… Then something happened.
I am not sure when it happened or why or even how it happened but after about 2 hours of gameplay I found myself addicted and a 2 hour session quickly turned into 8 hours and before I knew it, it was 3am and I had to be up for work 5 hours later!
The grand scale of Legion is absolutely to it’s strength, the “play as anyone” mechanic actually works and I found myself unlocking all the boroughs of London just to collect new people to add to my DedSec team like they were Pokémon! I found absolute joy and hilarity in taking my first character, Herbert: The Poshest man alive, through a series of underground fight clubs where he fought his way to the top – recruiting bare knuckle boxers to the DedSec cause with every punch, kick and knee he threw their way.
A real highlight came when I was unlocking some of the many Boroughs of London and I unlocked a lady who could FIRE BEES at her enemies. BEES. It was this moment where it clicked with me and I realised Ubisoft doesn’t want me to take this game too seriously, it just wants to be a bit silly and for me to have a blast playing it: And in this – they absolutely succeeded on every front.
All the issues I had with the game suddenly subsided. The protagonist didn’t matter because EVERYONE was the protagonist, driving around London didn’t bother me because all the cars were built with Autodrive so I didn’t actually have to do the driving myself when it was annoying me. I also realised I wasn’t supposed to shoot my way through everything – this isn’t GTA this is a game about being a stealthy little hacker with a plethora of gadgets, people and drones at my disposal.
There are a handful of side missions that require you to think cleverly and hack your way up through buildings, unlock doors to ladders that open up new areas to the game and allow you to get more money and data which is used to unlock masks, new gadgets etc etc – Standard Ubisoft fare really… OR You can hack an Amazon Parcel drone, climb atop it and just fly around London and drop down atop the buildings – completely bypassing much of the puzzles if you are so inclined.
It’s this approach to the gameplay that gives you so many different ways to play and just epitomizes the fun of what the previous Watch Dogs games should have been.
I found huge amounts of joy in recruiting one of the Palace guards to DedSec and later using this person so just walk around the palace without being shot to oblivion. This carries over to all the games factions where you can recruit everything from Police, Gangsters and Albion (the games villains) to your cause and enter their areas of operation absolutely unchallenged.
As a note – I haven’t done the Stormzy mission yet but when I do I think I am just going to run around London rapping for a good few hours.
I THINK there is a Story in Legion but I have totally ignored it for the most part as I just had so much more fun going around London and causing all sorts of mischief to collect my Characters and expand my arsenal.
At the time of writing, the Multiplayer and PS5 editions of the game have yet to be unlocked but I will be updating this review once they are here!
I did have a couple bugs in the first instance of playing, including one where my first story mission just wouldn’t complete but within 12 hours these were patched out and as of yet I haven’t really hit any other bugs that have caused me any issues or that I have even noticed.
Watch Dogs: Legion achieves everything it sets out to do and is easily one of the dumbest and most fun games I have played this year. A couple of bugs in the early hours and my general lack of interest in a fairly “meh” story stop this game from getting a super high score but it is with great pleasure that I give Watch Dogs: Legion
The sheer scope of what they have tried to pull off here is astounding and well worth your time to invest in the game. If you are after the coop gameplay or the additional PS5 stuff you will have to wait a little but there is more than enough for you to sink your teeth in right now!