Last updated on October 30, 2020
Some days just go differently than planned. Take Alex Baranowski, for example: By lunch break, Alex had earned his pounds sterling as a good construction worker in Watch Dogs Legion. Now we steal a Rolls-Royce with him at the next best intersection and roll through London in the luxury sleigh, only to beat up the bearskin-clad guards in front of Buckingham Palace with a pipe wrench.
We do that with Alex Baranowski in the service of the hacker organization Dedsec – these are the good guys. The team battles several evil organizations in London in the near future, namely a security company called Albion, a Mafia specializing in organ trafficking and other enemies such as the super hacker Zero-Day.
We like the thrilling plot, although it has one special feature: there is no main character. In Watch Dogs Legion we control more or less any citizen of London – construction worker Alex, justice of the peace Barbara or medic Erik.
We could write a lot about the composition of the squad here. Quite importantly, there is little we can do wrong with the selection of heroes. We manage the missions almost equally well with almost all characters.
The only significant exception are (mostly elderly) citizens, who explicitly state in the description that they cannot sprint and take cover. As a result, we are immediately discovered in action and are defenseless against enemy fire. With a lot of patience one would certainly manage the jobs anyway, but that would be largely free of fun.
We had a lot of fun building the team. In the end, the characters don’t differ that much, but when recruiting new Dedsec hackers, there are sometimes quite time-consuming side missions in which we have to look for and destroy promissory notes or get medicines.
The team of ordinary people like construction worker Alex may at first glance be the biggest innovation in Watch Dogs Legion. We think something else is more important: the inserts are much better crafted than in the two predecessors.
Who still remembers the confused opponents in Watch Dogs 2, who ran away like a heap of chickens gone wild after every noise and thus did not allow any tactical approach: there is no more – luckily!
We fly over the parliament building on a drone. (Image: Ubisoft / Screenshot: Golem.de)
The enemies in Legion react to shots nearby or to dead bodies lying around, but behave predictably. Of course that’s not realistic – we still enjoyed it a lot more.
Because now, in search of evidence or kidnapped hostages, we can spy on guard after guard with hacked cameras in order to then attack them from an ambush or lure them into a booby trap.
Above all, it is important to sneak up from behind, which almost always works in the middle of the three levels of difficulty. The real challenge in Watch Dogs Legion is to spontaneously develop a plan with the available gadgets and implement it – and not so much to be on the quiet paws with perfect timing.
If you like, you can also use the submachine gun with some of the heroes to tackle the missions in an action game manner. We tried it and got halfway far, but we didn’t really enjoy it.
If we die, we can continue at almost the same point with another agent – but the miserably long loading times are annoying. Incidentally, Legion does not grant us access to savegames or checkpoints.
The game seems very fair to us, even if it becomes quite challenging towards the end with increasingly stronger opponents. By the way, you shouldn’t be put off by the first, somewhat clumsy firefights with an agent reminiscent of James Bond – Legion only unfolds its potential after an hour or two.
In London, we move around at the wheel of cars, in speedboats on the Thames or standing on cargo drones (you can’t fall down). Alternatively, there are fast trips to underground stations – but we miss a lot, because the streets of the city offer a lot for the eye.
We see famous buildings such as the Tower, Big Ben with Parliament and Buckingham Palace, pass through cozy districts with half-timbered houses as well as through ultra-modern areas.
We see again and again how strong the security forces have brought the metropolis under their control. There are cameras and guard drones everywhere, along with roadblocks and similar facilities. Soldiers and police harass harmless passers-by – if we want, we can intervene, which, with a little bad luck, can lead to car chases.
Legion currently only contains the campaign, which lasts at least 40 to 50 hours, but no multiplayer. At the beginning of December 2020 a multiplayer mode will follow via update – we haven’t been able to try it out yet. There are microtransactions, as are typical at Ubisoft : In addition to cosmetic extras such as additional clothes, you can also buy things such as a treasure map or particularly strong agents.
Little by little we explore the huge metropolis. (Image: Ubisoft / Screenshot: Golem.de)
We couldn’t try the purchase either, when calling up the prices in the item shop there was only one placeholder to be seen. We have not regretted for a moment not being able to use the pay-to-win elements.
What we haven’t been able to test yet is the German voice output. The English soundtrack is first class, but difficult to understand because of the many very British accents. The German subtitles are large and easy to read, and translated correctly. The USK has approved the program for people aged 18 and over.
system requirements ), which we will examine in more detail in the coming days. We did not have a next-gen version.
With Legion, Ubisoft delivers by far the best Watch Dogs so far. Regardless of whether we join the Dedsec rebels with Grandpa Adam, professional assassin Khoo or construction worker Georgina: the adventures in dystopian London are exciting and varied – we haven’t been so keen on immersing ourselves in a game world for a long time.
We think, however, that the real strengths of the game are not the everyday heroes that Ubisoft focuses on. Rather, the missions are simple, with their mixture of hacking cameras and drones, secretly turning off enemies and doing puzzles in interesting places. The enemy AI is simple, but it works differently than in the predecessor.
Ideally, we can get by without boxing duels and shootouts. The fights are done okay too – but we think it’s great to get by in an open world for a change, largely without constant battles.
The exchange of the characters is a nice idea, but in the end the members of our hacking group are not that different from each other. Apparently Ubisoft did not dare to offer heroes with more complex skills as well as strengths and weaknesses who could unexpectedly fail. One can find that a shame – but the solution now chosen prevents frustration.
London itself is also a plus. Not every street corner looks good from a technical point of view, but the overall impression is still very convincing. Above all, the portrayal of a semi-state-controlled metropolis looks astonishing and terrifyingly believable – it is almost worthwhile to take a look at Legion for this reason alone. And join the resistance.