Watch Dogs Legions first DLC brings back old characters in a shorter and better adventure than the main game.
I was a big fan of Watchdogs 2 and even a little Watchdogs 1 defender. But I was so disappointed by Legion, the third game in the franchise released last year. It looked nice and had some cool ideas, allowing you to recruit any NPC you saw walking the streets. But it was plagued with bugs and even when it worked, it often felt empty and soulless, with a story that bored me most of the time. So I wasn’t expecting much from the first DLC, bloodline, released earlier this month. But surprisingly, this new expansion fixes a lot of what Legion got it wrong and becomes a much, much better game as a result.
Watch Dogs Legion: Bloodline, awkward name and all, takes place on the same London map as the main game. However, the DLC takes place shortly before the main events in Legion. That probably doesn’t interest you, but wanted to mention it anyway. This time, unlike in Legion, put yourself in the shoes of one character, Aiden Ptheyrce. He was the main character featured in the original Watch Dogs. He’s older and somehow more gruff than before. He accepts a job in London because his cousin, Jackson, lives in the city and he can’t handle what happened to Jackson’s sister. (Spoilers: someone who tried to kill Aiden ended up kill the little girl, leaving Aiden a sad and broken man who shoots many people in Chicago.)
Because bloodline closed all NPC Recruitment found in the main game, the story in the DLC is actually interesting enough to worry about. It’s not incredible or anything, but it’s wild how much more involved I was playing bloodline simply because characters recognized things and grew and changed over the course of the campaign.
Back in the day, because you could play any mission as any number of recruited people, Watch Dogs Legion had to write the whole dialogue and overall story very vaguely. Characters couldn’t say things like “Wow, remember that time I did that thing to you and you got mad and then I did that other thing and made you happy again?” because there was no guarantee that the character you were playing at the time had done anything before. So as a result, there was no fun over-the-radio banter or character arcs in Legionunless you count the annoying robot that talks to you all the time.
But in bloodline, the game and its writers can focus on Aiden, who he is and how he has changed and continues to grow. Aiden still isn’t much of a character, usually an angry dude in a trench coat, but that’s better than before. And luckily Aiden isn’t alone in London. key from Watchdogs 2 plays a big part in this new DLC and it’s awesome. The route bloodline balances Wrench’s nasty traits with its emotional moments is solid stuff and way better than any of the generic conversations my NPCs have Legion ever had.
bloodline also brings back more classic-style side missions, slowly building into their own storylines that often have satisfying endings. These missions often include hacking and combat, which is fine because Aiden is a very powerful character in bloodline, capable of even shutting down and massive hacking all the electronics around it with a simple push of a button. (Reminiscent of how you could shut down all of Chicago in watchdogs.)
And, not to sound like a broken record, but knowing who is doing these side missions allows the writers to create more enjoyable moments through dialogue. Aiden is a bit of a crank, team him up with a fun and young rebel. Again, nothing revolutionary here, but it’s such an improvement over Legion that I have more disappointed with that game when I finished the seven hours or so bloodline campaign.
I hope we get another one watchdogs game, because this DLC proves that the franchise has so much more life in it and that Legion, while an impressive experiment, was a flaw that Ubisoft seems willing to admit. If you are a fan of the previous games and want to know what happened to characters from those previous titles, bloodline is also a nice bit of fan service.
And you hardly have to talk to an annoying British robot over the radio. That alone might be the best thing about bloodline.
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