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Video Games

Watch Dogs : Legion (PS5)

This is a weird one to review. I don’t necessarily mean that the game itself is weird, but it’s hard to get a feel for it. What I mean by that is that every time I think I hate it and am ready to quit, I get hooked and start to have fun again. Then, when I’m having a good time and ready to say I like this game, I get a string of garbage missions and I start to loathe the game all over again. I guess that means I should give it a 2.5/5 health star rating?

Editors Note : Firstly, I am the editor, so it’s just my note. Secondly, this review might be tad all over the place. This is my third attempt to write it! I scrapped the first one, because I didn’t like it. The second one was going really well, until my computer crashed and I lost 3000 words. Round 3! I’ll be cutting and pasting a bit from the previous 2 reviews, so some parts will be before I’ve finished the game and others will be after.

The Voice Acting

I don’t know if I’m just becoming a snob, but I’ve been on a warpath with voice acting in video games of late. I did not like Sam Witwer’s voice acting as the lead character, Deacon St. John in 2019’s Days Gone. I don’t think I liked that game to be honest, but that’s another article. I didn’t like the voice acting so much, that I changed the audio to Espanol. I’ve never done that before. No offense to Sam Witwer, one of Glenview’s finest. Shout out to Illinois!

In Legion, I think I despised the voice acting even more. The main characters where fine, particularly Bagley. Pascal Langdale did a wondrous job of Bagley and the dialogue was superb. All the villains and what not were all fine as well, no fault with any of that. It was with the user controlled characters that I was staring to get annoyed with.

It just feels like they’ve recorded a bunch of dialogue and it was just randomly allocated to the characters. I’ve barely met any characters that don’t have a thick and over the top accent. I know British people. I’ve met them, spoke to them and I have watched a tonne of BBC. Not everybody speaks like that! I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be accents in the game, it just needs to be turned down by about 84%.

I don’t have any insider information here, but it sounds like they just got a bunch of American people and asked them to pretend they are British. Not even pretend, but openly mock. It feels like the worst stereotype of British people. Everyone sounds like Dizzee Rascal or Margaret Thatcher. There is no in between. I am currently playing as African/British woman, about 30 years in age and she literally speaks like she is Queen Victoria or Florence Nightingale (not that I know what she sounds like). It is very jarring to be a young black woman, who sounds like a 90 year old white woman.

I have one character who sounds like he is doing an impersonation of Big Shaq. Man’s not hot. He also looks like James Harden. Don’t get me started on James Harden. Also, I came across a character named Dylan Moran. I wonder if the names are just randomly allocated or if that was thrown in as a shout out?

Storyline

I don’t know if it was because of the over the top accents, but early on, I was having a hard time getting into the story. I found myself zoning in and out of dialogue and eventually I just started skipping altogether. This extended to the cutscenes. I didn’t care, until one mission involving seedy underground (literally) doctors. They were harvesting organs and I can only assume they were not donated willingly by the “patients”. That did pique my interest and at the point I wish I hadn’t been so eager to press the “skip” button. Kind of like when I fell asleep during the original TV series “The Stand” only to wake up an hour later and find myself interested with what was happening. I ended up going back and rewatching it, almost 10 years later. The book was better. Isn’t it always?

The more the game went on, the more this occurred. For the most part, I was disinterested and struggling to pay attention. Then there would be a really engaging storyline and I wished I knew what was going on. I could get the general gist of everything though. However, I wasn’t really into the story overall, so I can’t really say if it was good, bad or ugly.

Recruitment

In Watch Dogs, you don’t have just one character. You can have a team of up to 45 people! There aren’t many NPC’s in the game. Mostly anyone you come across can be recruited and become a member of your team. It’s pretty cool. You can recruit people from all walks of life. Doctors, Plumbers, Dancers, Hitmen, Retail Employees (who were almost always carrying illicit firearms – as someone who worked in retail, I can confirm this to be true), Actors, Comedians….you name it, you can recruit them.

As I mentioned, some of them come with their own personal firearms. Some have vehicles. Some have special techniques. A Janitor can start cleaning and blend in with a crowd, thus losing any unwanted attention he or she may have picked up. Beggars can beg for ETO, the in game currency. If you have the right uniform you can gain access to restricted areas.

Let’s pause for a second. Having uniformed access seemed like an awesome concept. It did not work at all. I needed access to al Albion building for one of the missions. So, I recruited an Albion employee. I entered the building and received a warning from the game to tread carefully. If I got too close to any of the other employees or was seen running, they would see through my “disguise” and I would be busted, so to speak.

This made zero sense to me. It’s not like in the Hitman games, when you are actually wearing a disguise. I am an Albion employee and this is where I work. I know these people. It’s my office. I should be allowed to walk around it freely. It made no sense at all. Not only that, but when you are in uniform you can no longer crouch or sneak, so it’s very hard to avoid everyone else. It felt like more of a disadvantage and I was very disappointed.

Back to the abilities. Not all of them are good. Some people are “doomed” and will die spontaneously. Some people are very old and have limited mobility, they cannot run or crouch. Sometimes, the frogurt contains Potassium Benzoate. That’s bad. I usually avoided recruiting these people, unless it was for a laugh or I needed some “cannon fodder” for a lack of better term. If I had a mission coming up and there was a high chance of death. I’d recruit one of these people and send them in to die, all in the name of my glory. I mean in the name of Dedsec.

On that note, I would recommend playing with Permadeath turned on. It just makes your decisions carry some actual weight and gives the missions a more intense feel. I lost 5-6 agents on the way. RIP.

Gameplay

Combat sucked, big time. The guns were awkward to control and the aiming felt off. Fist fights were slightly better, but still not great. I would advise avoiding combat as often as possible.

Driving was fun, but I found more often than not I was just using the fast travel function. I’ll get to more on that in the “Missions” section.

Hacking and sneaking were the best ways to play this game, which makes sense. That’s the way it should be. The most fun I had was playing as my Spider-Bot. Unfortunately, it wasn’t painted in red and blue, it couldn’t sling webs or crack wise with the bad guys. It didn’t even have a Spider-Sense. It did however run really fast, could turn invisible and electrocute the face of my enemies. There was something so satisfying about sneaking up on them, climbing their body and electrocuting their faces. The screams of my enemies bring me an immense joy, that to this day goes unmatched in my life.

Whilst hacking and sneaking was the way to go, even that got old quickly. Everything was very repetitive.

Missions

The missions were either really good or really bad. If I had to sum them up in a word, it would be frustrating. I don’t mean that the exercise of summing the game up in a word is frustrating, I mean the word I would pick is frustrating.

For “Open World” game, I never felt more trapped in my entire life. Well, except when I found out my girlfriend was pregnant. My daughter is 2 soon, just 16 more years until I’m free. Anyway.

In the “Open World” of London (which was gorgeous, by the way) I would start a mission and I would have to go speak to someone 2-3kms away. I would get there and then they would send me to download something another 2-3 kms away. I don’t understand why they can’t call or email me. Or send a carrier pigeon. Or drone, if you don’t trust birds. Whatever. Once I had the data downloaded, I would have to travel another 2-3kms and upload it. End of mission.

The other missions in the game were usually the same. Sometimes I would steal a car or rescue a hostage instead of downloading date. But, the beginning and the ending were always the same. It got old pretty quickly and I found myself just fast travelling between the objective markers to get it over with quicker.

Not only that, but they reused so many areas. In the whole map, I’d be surprised if my missions took place over more than 15-20 locations. So many times, you’d get sent to a place you’d already visited to do the same thing, just for a different person. It was very easy, because I already knew where the data would be hidden and what route the guards would walk. One building, I visited 6 times! Seriously! 6 times, 6 missions, 1 building. It kind of defeated the point of having an open world game.

In Game Transactions

Yup, they exist. Ugh.

Final Thoughts

Even though I did a lot of complaining, for the most part, I still enjoyed myself. I was a big fan of Watchdogs and Watchdogs 2. This game is certainly the most unique, but is also certainly the worst. It does share enough similarities with the first games to still be fun and I loved the idea of recruiting anyone to your team.

I did enjoy hacking my way through London, despite the annoying accents. Again, I love British accents. This just felt like a parody though. A very bad parody.

My Dad got me this game for Christmas and on sale. Thanks, Dad. I wouldn’t pay full price for sale, but if you can get it for 50% off or more, go for it. You’ll get a solid 20 hours out of, 40-50 if you try and get all the trophies/achievements. I’m still working on the trophies to get my platinum, I got about another 10 hours I think.

This was also the first video game my daughter has played on console. Her first ever video game was Jazz Jackrabbit. She was maybe a year old and sat on my lap, going crazy on the keyboard. It was adorable. In Watchdogs, she loved driving and punching people in the face.

FINAL SCORES for Watchdogs : Legion on PS5

Aaron : 2.5/5

I loved playing as the Spiderbot and being a general nuisance to society. I disliked the accents and the repetitive nature. I’m usually the last person to criticise a game for being repetitive. At the end of the day, we play with a controller with about 20 buttons, how much variety can you expect?

Chicago : 5/5

I punched so many people and ran over an old lady. I’d do it again.

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