Watch_Dogs: Legion - I just played it with Aiden and Wrench

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by CT Phipps, Jul 27, 2021.

  1. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016

    This is one of those games that I think is the case of the developer seriously misreading the room. It has a central mechanic of "recruiting anyone" and that got a bunch of laughs for creating an army of grannies and white Jamaicans but it's not really something that substitutes for the fact the protagonists are all procedural generated interchangeable nothing burgers.

    I bought the game because I was a huge fan of both Watch_Dogs previously due to my love of HACKERS and SNEAKERS and other present day cyberpunk. The fact this was taking place in a cyberpunk London seemed like a pretty good opportunity even if I could tell they were going to lean pretty heavily into V for Vendetta and Black Mirror. That didn't bother me because, well, steal from the best if you're going to steal. Then I didn't play it after thirty minutes as I couldn't get into the thing whatsoever, story wise.

    Still, I came back to it via BLOODLINE where I'd already bought the Season Pass. IN fact, much to my amusement, I got much more value out of the fact it gave me a free copy of the original WATCH_DOGS on my PS4 that I replayed and enjoyed all of the DLC for. I was one of those few guys who actually liked Aiden Pearce and enjoyed the game's DLC a lot more than the main game that I did play: with Aiden and Wrench, ignoring the entirety of the procedurally generated PCs.

    Unfortunately, playing as Aiden and Wrench exposes the biggest flaw of the game in that it is incredibly shallow gameplay wise. With 100 characters instead of 1 central protagonist, the vast majority of your awesome cyber-tricks and computer magic from previous games are gone. The drone is overpowered and there's no more fun to be had turning the entire city against your enemies with car chases. The car chases are mediocore as well with the police barely bothering to follow you and that's even if you actively attack them. Given it's a GTA clone with computer magic, that's not a good thing.

    I know some people are going to call me out for the fact that I'm playing the game "wrong" by not engaging with the central mechanic but if I don't like it, I don't like it. It's also changing a tried and tested formula for something that was enjoyed by fans then gutting it. It makes some minor improvements by having mostly non-lethal weaponry available but this is a weird "fix" given that it was Watch_Dogs 2 where you were fighting white collar criminals and douchebags versus Legion where you're fighting fascist mercenaries running concentration camps for immigrants. It's like, "screw this, I'm perfectly happy to kill these assholes."

    Story-line wise: you are a recruit of DeadSec: London that has been blamed for the bombing of Parliament and the events that resulted in the establishment of a corporate-run police state. You have to fight the baddies and discover who is the terrorist known as Zero Day that I figured out in literally five minutes and was confused at the realization this was supposed to be a surprise.

    This was obviously not written by people in London and is not quite Austin Powers but pretty obviously someone who is operating from media set there. Take back the city as per these games and its fine if not impressive. The entire city is interconnected and if you go on a killing spree then you can't recruit citizens but this isn't an issue since, well, I don't intend to.

    Bloodline is a much better story and even if it's not great. Still, it actually does have a villain who isn't trying to take over the world and fits better into the world of "white collar crime versus black hat hackers" that the previous games did. I also like that it actually goes with the idea Aiden Pearce isn't Batman but THINKS he's Batman and how very strange this insane homeless man with a gun and magic phone really is. It doesn't go quite far enough with the fact he is a violent car-living conspiracy nut but it certainly acknowledges this as a valid interpretation and I approve. Wrench sadly has gone from being a 20 year old 4chan nerd to being a 40 year old 4chan nerd and one of those is much less sympathetic. At least he's not scamming Right Wing voters with made up conspiracies and porn.

    Either way, I think of this as a somewhat mediocore game I mostly am playing because of my love of cyberpunk and the previous settings. It's not something I regret buying because of the option to play as Aiden and the DLC story but if the downloadable content is much better than the base game then something is terribly wrong. I also really got most of my Season Pass' value from the free copy of the original. Too much was stripped from the story and mechanics in lieu of the gimmick, which isn't that great of a gimmick in the first place.

    4/10 (Base Game)

    6/10 (Bloodline)