Watch Dogs Legion Bloodline DLC: Review

Watch Dogs Legion Bloodline DLC: Review

Aiden standing in the rain with a pistol, Wrench behind him in his mask.

Image: Ubisoft

Watch Dogs Legion The first DLC brings back old characters on a shorter and better adventure than the main game.

I was a huge Watch Dogs 2 fan and even a bit of a Watch Dogs 1 supporter. But I was so disappointed with Legion, the third game in the franchise released last year. He looked cool and had cool ideas, letting you recruit any NPC you saw walking down the street. But he was plagued by bugs and even when it worked, it often felt empty and soulless, with a narrative that left me bored most of the time. So I wasn’t expecting much from its first DLC, Bloodline, released earlier this month. But surprisingly, this new expansion fixes a lot of issues with Legion and ends up being a much better game.

Watch Dogs Legion: Bloodline, awkward name and all, takes place on the same map of London as the main game. However, the DLC takes place shortly before the main events found in Legion. You probably don’t care, but I just wanted to mention it. This time around, unlike Legion, you play as a single character, Aiden Pearce. He was the main character seen in the original Watch Dogs. He’s older and sort of crankier than before. He accepts a job in London because his nephew, Jackson, lives in the city and he can’t seem to get over what happened to Jackson’s sister. (Spoilers: someone who tried to kill Aiden ended up kill the little girl, leaving Aiden a sad, broken man who shoots a lot of people in Chicago.)

Because Bloodline gives up all Recruiting NPCs found in the main game, the story of the DLC is actually interesting enough to care. It’s not amazing or anything, but it’s crazy how much I played Bloodline just because the characters recognized things and grew and changed over the course of the campaign.

Before, because you could play any mission with any number of people recruited, Watch Dogs Legion had to write all the dialogue and the overall story very loosely. The characters couldn’t say things like “Wow you remember the time I did this thing with you and you got mad and then I did this other thing and made you happy again ? ” because there was no guarantee that the character you were currently playing as it had been before that. Therefore, there were no radio jokes or funny character arcs in Legion, unless you counted the annoying robot talking to you all the time. (My God, I’m not counting that asshole.)

But in Bloodline, the game and its authors can focus on Aiden, who he is and how he has changed and continues to grow. Aiden still isn’t much of a character, mostly an angry dude in a trench coat, but he’s better than before. And luckily, Aiden is not alone in London. Watch Dogs 2 Key plays a big role in this new DLC and it’s awesome. The way Bloodline balances Wrench’s boring traits with his emotional moments is a solid thing and far better than any generic conversation my Legion NPCs have ever had.

Bloodline also brings back more classic-like side missions, which slowly build into their own storylines that often have satisfying ends. These missions often feature hacking and combat, which is fine because Aiden is a very powerful character in Bloodline, able to even shut down and massively hack all electronics around him with a simple button press. ( Reminiscent of how you could shut down all of Chicago in Watch Dogs.)

Key talking to Aiden in his hiding place in Watch Dogs Bloodline.

Screenshot: Ubisoft

And, not to sound like a broken record, but being able to find out who is actually doing these side quests allows the writers to create more enjoyable moments through dialogue. Aiden is a little cranky, team him up with a fun young rebel. Again, nothing groundbreaking here, but it’s such an improvement over Legion that I was even more disappointed with this game as I wrapped up the roughly seven hour Bloodline campaign.

Hopefully we get another Watch Dogs game, as this DLC proves the franchise still has a lot more life and that Legion, while being an awesome experience, was a mistake Ubisoft seems willing to admit. If you are a fan of the previous games and want to know what happened to the characters in those previous titles, Bloodline is also good fan service.

And you hardly need to talk to a boring British robot over the radio. That alone is perhaps the best part of Bloodline.



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