Watch Dogs: Legion – Bloodline, the newest story DLC for the game, changes things up for Watch Dogs: Legion in a huge way. It takes away with the open-world concept of the game, reduces it down to its most basic parts, and turns the attention to two iconic players from the previous series: Aiden Pearce from Watch Dogs 1 and Wrench from Watch Dogs 2. Both characters are more aggressive with abilities like flashbangs for Wrench and slow-motion aiming after a takedown for Aiden. Either way, they bring two unique skillsets to the game, which I truly believe will benefit your team builds, and this was something the game was missing.
The game starts off when Aiden Pearce is called upon again to use his hacking skills for a job. He gets a call from Jordi Chin to help with a job in London. Where coincidentally it just so happens to be the same town that Pearce’s nephew Jackson is living in. This is a huge weight on Aiden on how to reach out to his nephew after the tragic event that left his niece Lena dead. The job he is given is to break into Broca Tech to steal a mysterious device. Unfortunately, Aiden was beaten to the device by none other than Wrench from Watch Dogs 2. This leaves Aiden to make a deal with the devil, Thomas Rempart, to hunt Wrench down.
Most of your gameplay is as Aiden, doing missions for a slightly disparate group of resistance fighters, while trying to track down the thief, Wrench. This also becomes the basic run-of-the-mill redemption story, where you rebuild your life with Jackson, who is mostly pissed at you for just leaving him and not being there when he needed you the most. Jackson isn’t much more fleshed out as a character; his main character trait involves being mad at Aiden and also being just like him in terms of hacking prowess. It’s not much, but it gives Aiden a reason to stay in London beyond just doing a job.
Without spoiling too much of the DLC, Watch Dogs: Legion Bloodline brings in elements from the main Watch Dogs game into Aiden’s story in a way that feels natural and meaningful, and not just hashed together. The Broca Bridge might sound familiar to those who played through Legion’s main campaign, and its abilities weave in with Aiden’s story about his demons and his ultimate redemption with his nephew. The amount of game time you put into this DLC will vary depending on how much you liked Aiden as a playable character and how much you feel about a standalone.
Now for me, Watch Dogs: Legion Bloodline really came alive when Wrench enters the game, and he is playable. His jokes are bad, he has a lot of great little gadgets, the kind that the Watch Dogs series excels at. Seeing this complete opposite character interact with Aiden is also a treat. I honestly think that I could not have gotten through the story alone with only playing as Aiden. So with the chance of being the over-the-top Wrench, I enjoyed playing both sides a lot more.
Now there are some things I didn’t like about the DLC, such as there aren’t any DedSec side quests. I mean this does make sense since DedSec isn’t active at this point in the story, however, it makes the open world feel a whole lot smaller. Tasks from the main game like bare-knuckle boxing and tagging everything with graffiti helped sell Ubisoft’s futuristic, dystopian London. It also made the move to take down Albion feel slightly more unconquerable since inducing systemic change takes more than just a few acts of violence to induce.
There are only two things to do in Bloodline: main quests and side missions. The main mission is to get back the tech stollen by Wrench, that’s about it. Side missions, on the other hand, tend to be more interesting both stylistically and narratively, whether they build out a piece of the world or add in a dash of humor. Side missions are used to upgrade Aiden’s character. Different characters give you different upgrades, which you can see in the upgrades menu. On the surface, it sounds like a good way to pick and choose your build; some of the upgrades are more stealth-based, like the coveted AR Cloak, while others, like the shotgun, are more attractive to more aggressive players. Unfortunately, due to how the difficulty scales in the main missions and the lack of upgrades available compared to the main game, you don’t really have a choice in which upgrades you can vie for. I mean you could try to prioritize some over the others but considering there are moments in the main questline where you must wait for leads, you’ll end up doing most of the side missions anyway.
Another problem that I ran into playing Watch Dogs: Legion Bloodline was the lack of character customization. Aiden prefers to be stealthy through areas rather than hack his way through them. To me, this was a big change compared to the main game, which revels in giving you options on how to approach each mission. Aiden is restricted to only do missions one way. I ran into a lot of areas that have been overloaded with enemies, which makes any chance of being stealthy extremely difficult. To top it off, Aiden only has a couple of hacks and doesn’t get too many others as you progress throughout the game. On the other hand, when you play as Wrench, you get a lot more tricks to have with your arsenal, but again, it is not very rounded.
Watch Dogs: Legion Bloodline is available now on PC (through multiple sites) PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, PlayStation 5 for $15.00. The DLC is a nice change from the main game, but with the linear playstyle and not much for multiple options for either character. I wish there was more adaptability for each character. However, I do believe that this is still a great bonus for Watch Dogs: Legion with the 2 classic character additions.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of Watch Dogs: Legion Bloodline for PC provided by Ubisoft.