Watch Dogs: Legion feels like a contemporary cyberpunk game. It’s futuristic, but not too distant. There are electric vehicles running in the streets, drones flying in the sky to deliver parcels or conducting surveillance, and everywhere, mostly in the more developed parts of the city are stuffed with cameras. Things you might see or hear about that might actually happen in the next five to ten years.
At its core, Watch Dogs: Legion is an open world action game. You hack your way through enemy territories and accomplish missions — and there are a lot in this game, from missions that progresses the main story, to missions where you recruit new characters into your team, DedSec.
All the characters you can recruit are any NPCs you run into London. Almost all of them will play the same, though some of them will have one or two unique features. You don’t have to recruit too much, but getting some of the right ones can help breeze through the game. For instance, recruiting an employee of the enemy’s military organization, Albion, would make it easier for you to sneak in and out of their territories with zero conflict. Same goes for a gang that you’ll be encountering often.
Recruiting characters means doing a mission for them first. Sometimes there will be more than one. These missions often revolve around stealing a vehicle, infiltrating hostile territory, or downloading information from someone or somewhere. It seems that all these missions are randomly generated, just like the characters you recruit. I can see it becoming tedious later on, but in its early hours, I’ve enjoyed it. There’s a sandbox-y type feel to it.
Even if you’ve failed to accomplish one of the recruitment missions, after obtaining a certain skill — which is early in the game — you’ll be able to get new missions to recruit that character. Though their storylines will have been rebooted. It doesn’t make sense, but if we’re looking at this in a purely gameplay fashion, I appreciate the multiple chances to recruit certain characters you want in your team. From what I’ve seen, you only get two or three chances, and after that it’s possible only then you won’t get to recruit them.
One of the important things about playing the game, is that it has permadeath. This is where if your character dies, they stay dead. This should prompt you to recruit more characters and also, make you a bit more cautious when putting them in danger. Though, you can turn off Permadeath once in a playthrough, which would prevent players from exploiting it.
Plenty of hostile areas won’t have your character actually going in. You can hijack cameras to get around or use drones to conduct your own surveillance and accomplish tasks. There’s plenty of ways to complete missions. In my playthrough, one mission required my character to enter the area, and because it has a lot of enemies with machine guns, I launched a drone to clear out the area first. No, my drone didn’t have its own guns, I used it to just bump enemies until they ran out of health. It’s really not an ideal way how to play the game, but hey, whatever works, and it was fun.
I barely took out my gun in the entire playthrough, which is nice, as you can really get creative on how to deal certain situations. You can do more things as you collect more Tech Points, which is scattered in the city. You’ll spend Tech Points to learn how to hack different types of drones, among other things. Personally, I’ve invested in disabling drones and sentry turrents, because I found them more threatening than the hostile humans you encounter.
I have never been to London, personally. But the London in Watch Dogs: Legion is incredible. You can definitely see the class divide around the city and the more interesting places to visit are those filled with graffiti and its streets littered with trash, simply because it screams with attitude. Even getting in cars, you almost always get metal or punk music playing.
There are other collectibles to gather in the game, which usually comes in the form of documents to be listened or downloaded. Each one tells a quick story about the area or characters, and this actually ramps up the game’s lore, which is good for a bit of immersion.
Because my testing period with the game didn’t come with multiplayer unlocked, and also because my internet couldn’t handle it, I wasn’t able to try this feature out. But you can accomplish four-player co-op missions with your friends, which should provide several hours of playtime.
If you played Watch Dogs 2 and enjoyed it, then you will find Legion just as enjoyable with a ton of hours to pour in. I played my review copy in the PS4, and Ubisoft noted that anyone who purchases the game in the PS4 or Xbox One will get free upgrades for the next-gen consoles.