Title: Watch Dogs: Legion - Bloodline
Release Date: July 6, 2021
Reviewed On: PC
Genre: Action Adventure
The Watch Dogs series is definitely Ubisoft’s attempt to bring their open-world adventure building to a more futuristic setting. It borrows elements of their other IPs and sends players out into the world to take on missions. Watch Dogs: Legion incorporates a mechanic where you could recruit anyone you wanted from the street and use them to infiltrate secured areas or utilize a special skill.
This new expansion, Bloodline, removes that element to provide an adventure led by a single protagonist. However, not just any protagonist will lead this adventure. Players control Aiden Pierce in a prequel adventure through the streets of London. While a lot of this game is just more of the same, it did make me miss the benefits of having a true main protagonist heading the narrative.
Watch Dogs: Legion Bloodline finds Aiden Pierce taking on a job in London to retrieve some tech. However, he only comes out of his retirement because he knows his nephew Jackson is in the area, and he’d like to fix their relationship. Aiden is your typical broken protagonist with a history of demons that haunt him. He has blood on his hands, and the story uses it to hinder his attempts to reach out to his nephew. If that wasn’t bad enough, the item he was trying to steal was stolen from him by Wrench, who is in London, to stop Thomas Rempart. Rempart threatens the safety of Jackson if Aiden doesn’t help him, and the adventure begins.
The DLC has a fairly decent amount of content for those wanting to unlock everything. For Aiden to receive new skills, he’ll need to complete missions for people around town. They are optional after the first few missions, but they unlock new weapons and gadgets that make other missions easier. Aiden has this brooding atmosphere around him. He doesn’t hide that he is only in it for the money and only really goes out of his way when it benefits him. I don’t know if there is growth in that aspect, but he is given opportunities to go the extra mile. The side missions themselves also feature a decent character arc for those involved, but they don’t play a role in the main missions, which was disappointing.
There are a few surprises within the DLC storyline, but I must say, I enjoyed the straightforward linear approach. The missions varied enough to not become overly complicated or repetitive and still retained some of that “do it however you please” attitude. That said, many of the areas you’ll find yourself in you’ve probably been before. Aiden can be played as a stealth character, but I feel that running in guns blazing worked just as well. He has a few skills for closed-quarters combat, and the ability to completely shut down all electronics around him makes encounters more action-focused.
There’s a moment of resolve between Aiden and Jackson, but Jackson seems to take a pacifist’s approach, which doesn’t really fit in the scope of this story. Aiden seems to only understand the ghosts of his past, and rather than change, he just opens up a bit more about them. I honestly would have appreciated a line about going to therapy after seeing firsthand what Aiden is going through mentally. However, I ended up really liking this part of the game as it took the form of a linear adventure horror.
The problems with Bloodlines lean more on the issues of Watch Dogs: Legion. Still, present, or are the random glitches and insanely dumbed-down AI. I suggest if you’re looking for any challenge, increase that difficulty because these enemies pretty much walk into your bullets. Some missions are almost too easy because of this and make the stealth gadgets almost unneeded because it’s just easier to trip an alarm and fight your way through. Perhaps sub-missions would have been better that require you to not be spotted or something like that, but it’s not totally needed. The DLC campaign itself is almost 6 – 8 hours of extra content, and the few twists and cameos provide enough for long-time fans to be excited about it.
Watch Dogs: Legion Bloodline is a great story expansion that highlights how much better this series is with a true protagonist leading the charge. Unfortunately, it suffers from the same hindering hiccups of the base game and lacks true character growth, but there’s something for fans of the series. I was surprised by just how much content is here, making this reunion with Aiden a welcomed one.
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