Watch Dogs Legion Bloodline DLC Review: A Wrench in Your Plans

Watch Dogs: Legion Bloodline brings familiar faces to new places, and if you can stand the tonal in-fighting, it's a worthwhile, occasionally daring story-driven adventure.

After the original Watch Dogs came out, I felt like the only person in the world who found Aiden Pearce to be compelling, but someone within Ubisoft is apparently still a fan too, because he's back for the Watch Dogs: Legion DLC, Bloodline.

Aiden's return is a bit of a strange one as the choice to center the storyline around a particular character throws out the main game's biggest selling point, that being the ability to recruit and play as anyone in the dense London dystopia.

But Ubisoft doesn't spoil his return, taking risks with his intimate solo chapter, though his place in the new-look Watch Dogs world feels consistently disjointed thanks to a clashing of tones.

Watch Dogs Legion Bloodline DLC Review: A Wrench in Your Plans

The Watch Dogs world of Chicago in the first game was deadly serious, and some portion of the fans pushed back against it, leading to the much more comical tone of Watch Dogs 2. In many ways, the series' push toward more Saints Row and away from Max Payne was a direct response to that boisterous early feedback, and Legion carried that lighter direction forward. 

This makes Aiden feel like a real fish out of water in neo-London. He returns the same gravely-voiced, humorless anti-hero we last saw him as, now taking his one-last-job across the pond to connect with his nephew 15 years since the events of the first game.

I unabashedly admit to being invested in Aiden's story this entire time, and for that reason, I find Bloodline to be a modest success. The story goes places few would predict, including one scene in particular that clearly pulls from one of the most unexpected of all predecessors. But when it's not getting introspective and sad with the Aiden storyline, it's handing things over to Wrench, the mask-wearing punk from Watch Dogs 2.

Wrench is everything Aiden is not, including annoying. The writers' decision to give Wrench about as much screen time as its original hero is a bad one. Understanding Aiden has his critics, I don't know anyone who thought Wrench deserved to be fleshed out some more.

These clashing tastes make for the DLCs greatest detriment, but otherwise, the missions offer more of the Legion experience that fans will undoubtedly enjoy. I can't say any one mission stands out. This is largely a rote quest log, with some even taking players back to prominent places they visited in the main game, but the hacking, stealth, and borderline immersive sim-level player agency in approaching an area is still great like it was last fall.

Many of the same unlockable skills return, although now each one's acquisition is tied to completing some long and satisfyingly complicated side missions. Thankfully, Aiden and (fine) Wrench both bring their own new gadgets to the game, like Aiden's ability to wipe out an entire block of cityOS-enabled electronics, not unlike he did in the first-ever Watch Dogs E3 reveal.

My favorite of the new gadgets is a rather simple addition: a hacking spiderbot/drone hybrid. It's so effective that it feels like a cheat code, because it's the exact shortcut Ubisoft was blatantly unwilling to provide in the base game. It's a lot of fun here and I'm glad the team changed its mind.

Completing every mission Bloodline throws at you will take about 7-10 hours, and while it does literally nothing to reel in new fans, I find the blend of past heroes and the new city makes for an overall worthwhile trip back to dystopian London if you were left wanting more to hack, smack, and hijack.

Watch Dogs Legion Bloodline DLC Review — The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Brings back past heroes and uses them well
  • A few new tech gadgets allow for continued creative play

Cons

  • Tonally disjointed as old- and new-school Watch Dogs worlds collide
  • Wrench.

Bloodline trades Legion's standout feature in favor of reviving the series' polarizing original anti-hero. It sounds like the oddest creative choice of the year, and maybe it will be, but the dare nonetheless works thanks to writing that feels authentic  when Wrench isn't getting in the way.

I maybe enjoyed Aiden more than most in 2015, but his transatlantic trip remains time well spent for the series' biggest fans.

[Note: Ubisoft provided the copy of Watch Dogs Bloodline used for this review.]

Our Rating
7
Watch Dogs: Legion Bloodline brings familiar faces to new places, and if you can stand the tonal in-fighting, it's a worthwhile, occasionally daring story-driven adventure.
Reviewed On: PC

Contributor

Mark is a dad, husband, bicyclist, animal rights activist, and a gamer, of course. You can find him on all platforms covering co-op, indies, horror, battle royale, or whatever else he's obsessing over right now. In addition to GameSkinny, he's been published on GameSpot, IGN, GamesRadar, EGM, Escapist, Official Xbox Magazine, and a bunch of other great outlets.

Published Jul. 6th 2021

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