It’s been a few weeks now since Watch Dogs Legion has been released and having the chance to get some time in on the game on PC, I feel comfortable enough to share some impressions about how my experiences with the game so far. Watch Dogs Legion was one of the two games that I was looking forward to this fall. The other game was LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, but that game has been delayed to at least Spring 2021. So, has Watch Dogs Legion delivered on being a game that people should play?
Having played the first two Watch Dogs, I believe that this third entry is one that fans of the first two should check out. Once again, hacking is one of the primary weapons that you will use throughout the game although you are also equipped with more familiar artillery such as guns, bombs, etc. In Watch Dogs Legion, you play characters that are part of a resistance against a multi-faceted authority that keeps the citizens in a dystopian version of London under surveillance and oppression. You are part of Dedsec, the same resistance group that was featured in Watch Dogs 2.
Right off the bat, I like the fact that players are able to use multiple characters in the game. In Watch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2, users were limited to just using Aiden Pearce and Marcus Holloway, respectively. I do agree with reviewers that feel that utilizing so many characters takes away from the depth that could have been put into one main character, leaving many us with many less defined characters. But for me, it’s a welcome change. I like that the game is showing how multiple people are part of a resistance and even though we may not know most of their backstories, their contributions to the cause are still just as important. That’s the feeling I get from being able to control the different characters. Thinking about the different movements in history, we typically only come to know a few of the many that were involved. So how Watch Dogs Legion incorporates this in the gameplay brings a sense of realism to it. But I understand that this aspect of the game will be a miss for some people.
The Watch Dogs series has done a wonderful job of selecting the cities for its games. Modern Chicago has hardly been used in video games and was a unique setting for the first Watch Dogs. The second Watch Dogs took place in California’s Bay Area and the current game expanded past the United States into London, England. Because the settings are not widely used in other games, it further sets Watch Dogs games apart from other titles.
Using hacking tools has been a blast. I’m still very early in the game but I relished utilizing the hacking spider bot and the ability to hijack drones. Infiltrating an area and accomplishing a mission solely by hacking is rewarding. Of course, the player can go into these zones with guns blazing if that is the desired approach. But pulling off a bunch of chaos with no one ever knowing where or who it came from puts things in a whole different perspective. Did I mention that I really like the spider bots?
There were some flaws that I discovered in my playthrough and wanted to mention. At some points of the game, the framerate may randomly drop, causing some jerkiness on screen. This happened primarily on the streets when there were lots of vehicles. Also, I believe that the developers could have done a better job of creating more aesthetically pleasing faces for the characters. Some of them looked bizarre and out of place in a game with a good overall look. It will be interesting to see if these issues are also on the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X versions.
Another drawback to Watch Dogs Legion was found in the driving mechanics of its vehicles. The controls felt very stiff and sometimes unpolished. As a result, I found myself running over people when I was actually doing my best to avoid hitting them. When riding a motorcycle or similar vehicle types, it was too easy to overturn. The same was also true when operating a motorboat. Throughout the Watch Dogs series, the driving mechanics have always been one of the weaker parts of the game. Unfortunately, Watch Dogs Legion is no exception.
Frankly, I believe that Watch Dogs Legion is worth a shot, especially if you have enjoyed the Watch Dogs series as a whole. I’ve had a great time with it so far. If you do not care for hacking and want a game that is more about gunplay and explosions, Watch Dogs Legion may not be the game for you. Even though I am a fan of the Watch Dogs series, I do understand it won’t appeal to everyone. As for me, I’m looking forward to seeing what this new game has to offer as I progress further.