Watch Dogs: Legion Review
Watchdog: The Legion has inherited the foundation and ideas of its predecessor and has expanded exponentially on its foundation. The core concept of the Legion is the ancient motto of “digital power”, which is reflected in the game, allowing you to recruit and play almost any role you encounter, and gathers a group of capable freedom fighters.
This eclectic stance against the system is a major change for the franchise and is supported by improved hacking and social engineering gameplay. Although the Legion’s approach is admirable, it does have some unexpected problems that make it send a strong message of unity at an untimely time, but it still manages to express a profound view of hope through its novel player agency method.
“Legion” is located in the near future, more advanced technology in London. The long-standing hacker organization DedSec was hit by a series of bombings in the city, and its members were branded as terrorists. However, this is all designed by a mysterious competitor hacker group called “Zero Day.”
In the chaos after the bombing, London and its citizens were drawn into fascism and suffocating capitalist deputies due to the occupation of the private military group Albion and criminal and corporate enterprises that took advantage of the power vacuum. In the case of the death or disappearance of many important agents, DedSec London started from scratch and sought to liberate the city by crowdsourcing new members composed of like-minded citizens.
The London in Watch Dogs: Legion is a more advanced and exaggerated version of London in real life. However, although it more embodies the beauty of cyberpunk dystopia, this interpretation of the city still reflects the current atmosphere of 2020.
The history of this city and its iconic landmarks are a bright backdrop for futurism. The majesty of Buckingham Palace and the bohemian atmosphere of Camden (Camden) are packaged and transported by drones, holographic advertisements and self-driving cars flushed, flooding your sight. Of course, all of these provide an exciting playground for your hacker antics.
In a game with multiple playable characters, a constant connected to them is the connection to London itself. Each of the eight regions has its own different culture, demographics and cultural style, making the capital of England an exciting place to explore. It’s so cool to see the amazing details of the Tower of London and Piccadilly Circus after being reworked, and how much effort has been made for the live show through the dystopian lens is worth seeing. The game manages to capture the historical and cultural diversity of London, while juxtaposing it with the evil banality represented by Albion, while Albion keeps citizens away .
Most of the flavor and atmosphere of this city are rooted in the present. With Brexit, weaponized social media and far-right ideologies become mainstream, the Legion effectively portrays the inner worries and confusions that gradually plunge your country into chaos-full of fear of today’s troubles. The main story deals with themes related to nationalism, xenophobia, and people that should be controlled. Sometimes it may be uncomfortable to see how real life penetrates into the Legion’s story, especially when it comes to the inhumane treatment of immigrants.
The main story of Legion is heavy and it feels like a mixture of “Black Mirror” and “Mr. Robot”. It fights against themes of nationalism, capitalism, classism, and of course public security. Although the execution is somewhat fragmented, the moments when game choices are inspiring for these common problems can be crazy.
The most famous example is the guest appearance of British rapper Stormzy, who has shown shockingly powerful performances in the face of systematic racism. He stepped onto the stage and faced people with the truth of the Legion World. It was full of powerful impact because it reflected our own reality. He said: “I am the person they worry about the most.” “I am a rich black man.”
Through text messages, podcasts, and other ways of supplementing narratives, the Legion has exposed more problems that plague society. Text messages indicate that the effective police force Albion is targeting and harassing the public. When you watch people fall victim to these practices on the street, it can be stinging to recall this information. The radio show mocked the right-wing ideologies in the game. These ideologies sound absurd and fictitious when described, but are not far from what we hear in real life.
What really fascinates me about the “Watchdog Legion” is that as the cartoonish desolate world becomes the focus of attention, it is difficult to ignore the direct similarities with our own real world. Of course, it may not ask questions and delve into the nuances, but the broad strokes of the brushstrokes are enough to blur the line between fiction and reality. At this point, you must face your own distance and society has collapsed.
Ubisoft games often use real-world politics as a dress, but in this case, it feels like a real attempt, at least to determine the problems it uses as a narrative environment, and to put forward its cold hard truth.
In most cases, the main narrative addresses these themes well, but because the game uses an open world format, its impact is lessened. The scope of the game is too wide to convey its message in a concise and clear way. As a result, the 25-hour main plot feels like it drifts to the periphery, because the core narrative becomes a secondary factor in the momentary actions and events that occur when the open world mechanism works. The result of the chain reaction is that side events do a lot of heavy work in exploring the nuances of these themes, and they do a good job.
Like previous games, Watch Dogs: Legion relies on a familiar open-world game loop that includes exploration, combat, stealth, and in-game narrative activities. Although Legion uses a more simplified hacking system, it is more inclined to hack and manipulate social threads to achieve the target system effect. Depending on how you use the urban ctOS infrastructure-including cameras, phones, computers, artificial intelligence drones and other machines that can be hacked, you can achieve many goals, but the enemy has no wisdom at all. You are always robbing.
Watchdog: When guiding the elements of an immersive simulation game, the Legion has reached a new high. Many of your choices can be stacked into a satisfactory reaction chain to produce the desired result. A hacker is your core connection to the world, and it provides many smart opportunities when figuring out how to achieve your current goals.
During one mission, I came to an enemy base where there was a vehicle that I had to recover. Although I could sneak in, knock down the guards with my non-lethal equipment, and get in the car, I chose a more elegant solution. Using the camera, I was able to remotely check and download the data key from their tablet, so I could access the gate of the base. As the gate opened, I broke into the vehicle and accelerated it out of the base. I rushed into the car and rode with the guards chaotic.
All of this was done without being down to earth, and it felt incredible to meet all their needs. Coupled with randomly generated playable characters, Legion provides many interesting opportunities to exploit. Its core gameplay represents the best fantasy prospects for the “Watchdog” hackers.
The real stars of the Veterans Association are the citizens of London, who are randomly generated based on various occupations, ethnic backgrounds and other personal details. Previous games allowed you to learn rough information about the surrounding residents, but in Legion, you can use this information to find potential customers.
Depending on whether they like DedSec or not, they will ask you to complete some secondary goals to seal the bond. In a smart craftsman, the citizens of London will remember and react to your decisions. For example, to my surprise, a potential recruit disapproved of DedSec because another character I played accidentally crashed into a car-the game even recorded this in their files.