Is Watch Dogs: Legion worth it now that the game is out? Well, Watch Dogs: Legion is an ambitious and unique game that is introducing something new to the franchise. It is a game where every NPC is a potential playable character. For the first time, NPCs are not just there to fill the world but rather play the role of main characters. The residents of future London work together to liberate their city from an authoritarian company. The recruitment of all character gives meaning to the presence of all NPCs. Rather than having a single character as a protagonist the game feature DedSec organization as a protagonist. All of the characters are part of DedSec and every character is different with some similarities.
The story is just a sideline that propels players to move forward. The flagship feature of the game is random recruitment and it is carrying the entire weight of the game. Not even a single playable character has any personality. Every character is randomly generated along with their abilities and personalities. The lack of a specific main character or a single main character makes it devoid of attachment. Watch Dogs: Legion is presenting a different kind of experience at the cost of a single good character. Even if every NPC can be a playable character, NPCs are still NPCs that are just controllable. The game is losing character attachment at the cost of diversity. It makes you ask Is Watch Dogs: Legion worth It? Let’s find out.
The Setting of Watch Dogs: Legion
Watch Dogs: Legion take place in the near future London. An authoritarian private company named Albion has taken control of the city. The city is detailed and retains the architecture of present-day London. You can see drones flying in the sky, autonomous cars with classic design and holographic projections, etc. The near future vibes are clear the moment you look at the city despite having some drastic changes. There are drones in the sky and banners of fascist corporate all over the city. Some social issues are also on the display such as the privatization of Police. Since Albion is the law enforcement organization in the city it shows how a private company would capitalize on power. The importance of privacy is also a major issue in the game we see how companies or governments can exploit it.
Maps have combat zones where you can do certain quests. You can still get into trouble outside the combat zone if you rampage. However, combat zones are marked as red where it’s all about combat and tactics. Exploration is rewarding as you can find Tech Points for upgrades. Watch Dogs: Legion is an open-world game and its level design lets you approach a mission through different means. The level design gets repeatable as you progress in the game but it’s enough to keep you interested for a while. Is Watch Dogs: Legion worth it for you based on the setting? There is more.
Mission Design of Watch Dogs: Legion
Missions in Watch Dogs: Legion are blend and they get repeatable as you progress. By the time you play the game for 10 hours, you will already see everything that the game has to offer. Everything after that seems copy or a little different version of the same thing. Tasks usually involve killing enemies, doing puzzles, grab a thing then escape with a bunch of extra stuff. Spiderbot challenge is a fun mini-game and it offers a distraction from general gameplay. Other mini-games involve hacking and stuff like that. Over time, even these mini-games get repeated and becomes blend.
You start with a random civilian and have to recruit others as the game progresses. The fast travel option is available from the start. Objectives are far from each other which can lead to extensive fast travel. Similar to other open-world games with reliance on fast travel. Excessive fast travel and repeatable tasks can get boring over time. Recruiting characters also work as side missions. All NPCs are potential recruits and you would need to do a mission for a character to recruit them. Recruitment missions can get repeatable over time as you keep playing the game. There is not much variation when it comes to the recruitment missions making it a shallow experience in the long run. Is Watch Dogs: Legion worth it? for you for its mission design.
In Watch Dogs: Legion you have to work as part of DedSec to take back control of the city. DedSec is an organization that is trying to give control back to the people. An authoritarian private security company named Albion has taken control of the city. Such a change has given rise to other groups that are capitalizing on the chaos. There are three more groups aside from Albion. Zero Day is a rogue hacking group, Clan Kelly is a criminal syndicate that is using Dark Web for their own purposes and Signals Intelligence Response is a coalition of every British intelligence agency. There are more than one antagonists in the game that you would be facing. All of the playable characters are working with DedSec and trying to give control back to the citizens.
All NPCs Are potential Playable Characters
Every NPC that you see in the game can become your main character. When you see an NPC then go to it, check its ability and recruit it. You have to do missions for any NPCs as I explained before. They will have problems that they want to be solved and you would be the one doing it. These missions include beating some gangsters, wiping out evidence, or grabbing a thing. With little variation, missions are randomly generated for NPCs.
As you progress and recruit more characters these missions get repeatable. Such a large recruitment circle can result in a wide variety of characters. Each character has access to different skills and their personalities are also different. Even with such a large pool of potential characters, you can see that the abilities of characters can overlap. The abilities of two entirely different characters can overlap. Only one ability of each character is unique but even that can overlap. It is understandable due to a large number of playable characters. Is Watch Dogs: Legion worth it for its recruitment feature? Well, there is more.
You can even recruit enemies so all NPCs, regardless of their affiliation can become playable. Certain characters such as the villain, supporting characters, or others that are important to the story cannot be recruited. It makes sense because they are the ones propelling the story forward. Recruiting new characters is fun even though it can get repeatable experience as you progress. Some characters are weak compared to others due to their limitation. Not a single character is a jack of all trades even though some of their skills can overlap.
Objectives Would Remain The Same and DedSec is The Main Character
Certain characters have access to weapons and skills that are not accessible to other characters. Some abilities such as hacking are universal. A character doesn’t have to be a hacker to hack or spy to cloak. If the game wants you to do a certain thing then your character will do it. It doesn’t matter what type of character you have because the objective won’t change. Even a construction worker will hack a cellphone if it is part of a task. Abilities are unique when they are not tied to an objective.
You always have a choice to complete a mission gun blazing or use non-lethal means to take down enemies. You can even complete an entire mission without coming into contact with enemies. The point is that there are multiple ways to complete a mission depending on your playstyle or character. However, the objectives would remain the same regales of how you approach it. Even the process of doing these objectives would remain the same. The process is similar to some other RPG games. Now that the mission design is clear Is Watch Dogs: Legion worth it?
General Gameplay of Watch Dogs: Legion
Watch Dogs: Legion depends on its flagship NPCs recruitment ability. So the game depends on this mechanic every step of the way. You start with a random character and then recruit others as you progress. A character can die in the game and the death of a character will send it to the hospital or prison. When a character ends up in hospital or prison then it won’t be available for some time. You have to use other characters while the downed character recovers.
There is also a permanent death mode. In the permanent death mode, the death of a character is permanent. There is no respawn and once a character dies then it’s gone. Avoiding the death of a character is not that hard due to quick recovery. All you have to is stay cover and you will be back with full health. Some of the deaths seem out of place as these deaths happen when you are just going about your quests. A car can explode during delivery and kill your character just because it couldn’t fit in. Failing certain missions can also result in the death of a character.
The death of a character can result in a setback if the character is special. You can find another similar character but it cannot be the exact match to the one you lose. Clues are available to find elite recruits so there is a chance to find a good character. The fall damage is low and a character would start to recover soon after it’s back on its feet. So there isn’t much danger when doing missions or exploring the world. Is Watch Dogs: Legion worth it? For its general gameplay.
Playable Characters Lacks Personalities
The flagship feature of Watch Dogs: Legion is the recruitment which is backfiring when it comes to the way characters act. All characters feel hallow and act as random NPC during cut scenes and dialogues. They lack a real motive that makes them look less determined. None of the characters has a deep connection to DedSec and everything happening in the game. They just happen to be NPCs that were recruited in DedSec because one of its members helped them. A limited amount of character with predetermined motives would have been much better. Some NPCs require persuasion for recruitment. The story and recruitment process of such a character is more interesting. I think the developers should have made all NPCs like that because it makes more sense given the status of DedSec.
Other games have delivered a good story with multiple characters. In the case of Watch Dogs: Legion developers just recorded voiceovers and the pitch of these voiceovers is randomly changed to fit different characters. Even the dialogues of characters that you recruit can be similar. You can hear the same dialogue being repeated with different voices and even the lips syncing is not good. Animated voiceovers of key characters are better and they seem enthusiast in their belief. The way characters in Watch Dogs: Legion reacts is understandable due to a large number of playable characters.
DedSec is The Protagonist
Every character is part of DedSec and it serves as the main protagonist of the game. The ideas of DedSec is what’s keeping all of the characters together. Each character starts with a random outfit as a normal NPC. However, all of them play an equal part in the story because you could play as any one of them. A new character will pick where the last character has left. They seem to know every detail of the event even if they were not there which seems out of place. In a sense, all characters are the same but they are different as well which can break the pace of the story. Is Watch Dogs: Legion worth it for you because it does not have a single main character?
Combat of Watch Dogs: Legion
The cover base combat of the game is similar to The Division 2. It is the only good way to survive a head-on assault. So gunplay of the game revolves around cover base shooting. There is also the option of using lethal or nonlethal weapons in stealth. Depending on characters, you can hack drones, jam weapons, make a grenade explode, etc. However, most usable abilities are universal but their use can be different for a specific character. One such example is the cargo drone, every character can use it but only the construction worker can call it to its location. For a construction worker, it acts as a summoning partner. In combat, all characters could feel similar yet different.
Upgrades are universal which can be purchased through tech points found throughout the world. There are no upgrades for a single character and upgrades are applied to all characters. Players would be upgrading DedSec, so its resources are available for everyone. Abilities gained through upgrades can be used by anyone. The lack of a single character makes them weaker than the characters of previous games in the series. However, the way the game handles universal upgrades is also impressive.
There is also a single hit kill upgrade available for all characters. The one-hit melee upgrade lets you take down enemies with a single move. The execution of a one-hit attack is different for each character. Though these attacks can become repeatable it is still fun to perform them through different characters. The one-hit melee attack has a cooldown of 30 seconds. There are normal takedowns as well and some of the characters can perform Jon Wick style execution. Is Watch Dogs: Legion worth it for you? Based on combat.
Plans for CO-OP Mode
Watch Dogs: Legion will include an online coop mode. At the time of this writing, it only has single-player mode but developers will add coop mode soon. The coop mode will have PVP modes and dynamic events taking it close towards a live service game. Developers are planning to turn it into the game as a service. There would also be mini-games that would add diversity to the gameplay. There would also be events similar to strongholds of looter shooters in the game and raids similar to other UBI Soft’s games. The regular updates could keep the game active for quite some time.
Watch Dogs: Legion relies on recruitment mechanics to propel the game forward. It is working for the most part as it creates a unique identity for the game. There has never been a crowded game in which every NPC could become the main character. Games have used the idea with limited potential but Watch Dogs: Legion has taken it to a next level. The presence of such a wide variety of characters has drawbacks that are impacting the game. The lack of personalities in character, the flow of the story, combat, and general gameplay mechanics are bearing the burden of its flagship feature. Over time, it becomes a drag as you keep on repeating tasks with little to no difference.
Characters remain NPCs even when they become main characters. You will see supporting characters showing more emotion and having better motives than any of the playable characters. The inclusion of massive recruitment also renders its plot useless making it nothing more than a reason for the game to exist. Despite all its flaws the game still successfully creates its identity with unique mechanics. It might not be an exceptional game but it’s an interesting and unique one.
Is Watch Dogs: Legion Your Type of Game?
Now let’s answer the question is Watch Dogs:: Legion Worth It? If you are looking for a unique game then Watch Dogs: Legion could be the game for you. If you are a fan of the series then it might be the game for you. In case, you are looking for a game with unique mechanics and a good setting then Watch Dogs: Legion might still be the game for you. However, if you are not into an open-world game with repetition then Watch Dogs: Legion might not be for you. It is also might not be the game for players interested in a solid plot with solid characters. In short, it is the game for fans of series and players who wants to try out something different.