Watch Dogs Legion Six Months Later – Is It Worth It?
Watch Dogs Legion released on PC alongside the new generation of consoles around six months ago, and like Ubisoft’s other big titles, the game has seen a constant flurry of updates frequently since then. The game has proven to be the most unique entry in the franchise yet, with a more self-aware tone and a new gimmick that sometimes seems to have been prioritised over improving existing gameplay mechanics. Watch Dogs Legion also saw the release of its first big expansion as well as an online multiplayer mode recently.
With so many updates under its belt, we might have enough to answer the question – is Watch Dogs Legion worth it, six months later?
Watch Dogs Legion Updates Revisited – What’s New?
Since launch, Watch Dogs Legion has seen some great additions including the following:
- Open-world online co-op mode
- Spiderbot PvP arena
- New co-op missions
- New single player and co-op missions
- Aiden Pierce and Wrench in base game and online mode
- Bloodline expansion
- Legion of The Dead spin-off game mode
I’ve only dabbled with the game’s online mode very little, and the experience has been mostly positive when Uplay, or as it’s now known Ubisoft Connect wasn’t acting buggy. That has been the worst part of the experience with anything online in Ubisoft’s games, as its mandatory PC client seems to have more connection issues than I’m willing to suspect are because of my Internet connection.
The new missions have been pretty fun though, and the occasional spider bot matches are always a fun but admittedly mindless time. Adding Aiden and Wrench in the base game is also a smart move, giving new players the ability to play the entire game with them. Watch Dogs has always been very light on connecting each game together, and this is the first time it’s been done in a significant way.
Perhaps the biggest complaint I can throw at the game is that it hasn’t really innovated too much beyond what was established in Watch Dogs 2. The new mechanic where you can pick and choose to play as any character in the game world works really well but its excitement seems to wear off after the first few switches. Thankfully, the existence of permadeath increases the challenge. At higher difficulties permadeath can become your worst enemy in the game, instantly locking you out of your favourite characters once they die.
One of its more exciting additions is the spinoff Legion of The Dead game mode, currently exclusive to PC in its alpha phase. It’s a completely separate PvE mode taking inspirations from games like Left 4 Dead, but with the unique twist of hacking abilities and a large open world. I haven’t played too much of this mode but with enough support it should be able to stand on its own.
Watch Dogs Legion Bloodline Impressions
The game’s first expansion released earlier this week, and after playing through most of it I can say that it’s a good throwback for fans. Taking place before the main game’s story, Bloodline sees original Watch Dogs protagonist Aiden Pierce visit London and cross paths with the loveable Wrench from Watch Dogs 2.
For the most part, mission design is similar here but with some new special abilities thanks to Aiden and Wrench’s past work experience. The expansion also has tons of Easter eggs and homages to the previous games, and it’s quite nice to see Aiden return after appearing through a cameo in Watch Dogs 2. Wrench, of course, remains a fan favourite with his wacky antics and loud personality, something which fits Legion even more so.
Watch Dogs Legion Game Performance – Has It Improved At All?
The first Watch Dogs game had a tough time living up to its first impressions, but that doesn’t mean the game, and its subsequent sequels, haven’t been impressive visually. The games have always included extra graphics settings and features not available on their console counterparts, and the same is true for Watch Dogs Legion. The game launched on PC along with last-gen consoles before the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S came out. As such, the PC version included features like ray tracing and DLSS that were not available on consoles then. However, the game’s next-gen versions on consoles were soon blessed with shiny ray tracing, and a performance mode at 60fps to go with it.
At launch, I played Legion on a relatively high-end gaming PC, armed with an AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT CPU and an Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 Super graphics card. Here are some benchmarks of the game at the three primary resolutions (1080p, 1440p, and 4K) on the “Very High” preset:
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the PC performance benchmarks is that Nvidia’s DLSS can do a good amount of heavy lifting. My RTX 2060 powered PC is well built for tackling games at 1440p with most settings maxed out, but thanks to DLSS I can play Legion at 4K with ray tracing. Sure, it doesn’t look as sharp as native 4K if you’re using the ‘ultra performance’ mode of DLSS, which recreates the image from a 720p image, but once you’re playing it’s hard to notice the difference.
Ray tracing is also deployed smartly here. It’s no Cyberpunk 2077, but turning off RTX does become a noticeable downgrade when you look at any reflective surface, especially when driving around.
The game’s performance seems to have seen only minor improvements since launch, but that’s fine. It performed well enough at launch, at least on my PC.
Should You Play Watch Dogs Legion Now?
Watch Dogs Legion seems to have had a smoother launch, as well as post-launch support, than Ubisoft’s other big franchises recently. Its updates have frequently added great quality of life improvements and the first expansion Bloodline is a great addition. The expansion also adds some much needed focus on a linear narrative with set characters that the base game didn’t offer in spades to suffer from due to its attempts at making the ‘play as anyone’ mechanic the main gimmick. While improvement to gameplay mechanics seem to have not gotten as much attention, Watch Dogs Legion is a fun game worth picking up right now.
Watch Dogs Legion is out now on PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.
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