While Watch Dogs Legion has been receiving sporadic updates, like new characters to recruit, an FPS update for next-gen consoles and even an online mode, nothing has been able to quite pull me back into the game as this new story content did. (missed my original Watch Dogs Legion Review? Check it out here)
Bloodline takes place before the events of the main game and lets us play as two iconic heroes from the previous Watch Dogs games: Aiden Pearce and Wrench. It’s interesting that we get to walk through London with them in between the bombing that took place at the start of the game and before the revival of Dedsec as we have pre-existing knowledge of what’s going to happen, making for interesting encounters with certain high-profile characters.
But first, what can you expect in this DLC?
I first booted up the main game and found both Aiden & Wrench near the Dedsec headquarters, ready to be recruited. I mistakenly thought some story missions would pop up, but as it turns out, you access their unique storyline content from the main menu. It’s still great to have these two available for the main game though, especially Wrench because he comes with his own cargo drone and is all-around more useful than the average construction worker (which admittedly was my go-to character for most of the game because he allows for easy access to a lot of collectables)
The Bloodline DLC starts off with Aiden Pearce getting a call to go help out in London. A suggestion he only considers because his nephew Jackson lives there and he’s hoping to check in on him. Little does he know, this sets a series of events in motion that involves his younger family member and will see them all struggling to survive.
Aiden has to steal a device for his newfound employer that will help control an army of robots, but Wrench, our paintball-mask wearing friend from Watch Dogs 2, beats him to it and before they know it, they’re both kneedeep in trouble.
You play the first half of the DLC as Aiden, and then switch over to Wrench for the second half. I’ve got to admit that while the namesake “Legion” mechanic was something new that appealed to me personally, I could also agree with the many voices of people that begged for a more protagonist-focused narrative and that’s exactly what you’re getting here. It gets personal.
The whole sales pitch of the main game is that you needed an army of people, each with their own set of skills, to progress through the story. Here you’re limited to two playable characters, but luckily, they’re experienced veterans, both in hacking and combat and they each come with a series of new and unique abilities that make the whole expansion feels fresh again.
Wrench has his own cargo drone, as I mentioned already, but also has access to a sledgehammer with an Area of Effect (AoE) hacking ability and when he gets cornered he can throw out a few flash-bang bombs that will stun anyone around him. He’s a more melee-focused fighter, but versatile enough that you never feel limited to up-close combat situations. He’s funny and it’s genuinely hilarious to see his interactions with his quest-givers.
Aiden on the other hand, brings his gun-slinging skills to the fight, with a timed reload that amplifies his shots and being able to target new enemies in slow motion during a takedown of someone that dared get to close. He also has a very useful AoE skill that disables all electronics around him, which is a useful get-out-of-jail-free ability you can use as a last resort when things get hectic. He’s a gruff old cowboy type who thinks he can handle things by himself.
To gain access to their full power though, you’ll need to do some sidequests. Though arguably, these deliver the best content of the game and should not be skipped, so do yourself a favour and get these out of the way first. Each sidequest gives you something useful, like the ability to hack drones or a new weapon to use in combat.
There’s even something here that I would have killed to have in the main game: your spider bot can now get airborne and fly itself into hard to reach places. It makes finding hidden collectables a WHOLE lot easier.
The biggest reward is actually found in the delightful missions themselves. Take for example the ones Wrench has to execute for Jordi, a quest giver that quickly grows from appreciating Wrench’s “youthful” antics to despising them and wanting to put a hit out on the guy:
- Go on a Robo-heist and steal a remote-controlled robot.
- Chase a ghost car around London
- Perform stunts for a movie
- Participate in a race across water, land and in the skies
There’s about 10 hours worth of content here and I found it absolutely thrilling. I might even have had more fun here than in the full game and the stellar performance of dedicated voice actors makes a real difference (no more voice mismatch with random characters and knowing who will be in each situation clearly makes for better storytelling)
They finally added new achievements too, although 165G is an admittedly weird number. You should earn most of them from a regular playthrough when playing through all the story missions and optional sidequests, with only the “get 50% of all collectables” one potentially requiring extra effort. At the time of writing though, this one seems to be bugged as it doesn’t track progression and two of the story-related ones have yet to pop as well. It seems the game may be haunted by a Ghost in the Machine when it comes to Achievement-related issues.
Watch Dogs Legion Bloodline is a fantastic story expansion that delivers thrills, laughs and a fresh way to experience the futuristic London setting, which remains the true star of the show. This one shouldn’t be missed, especially for fans of the series who’ve been hungering for a reunion with some old friends.