The DLC was reviewed on the Xbox Series X
Whilst we did get Watch Dogs: Legion and were originally planning to review it, it didn’t hold our attention for long and after Bloodline’s release, we know exactly why! Legion was missing its soul, which Aiden and Wrench have brought back.
Bloodline is a very story-focused DLC, that gets rid of the collection distractions and boils the experience down to a more main and side-mission focused affair. The focus here is all on our main characters, Aiden and Wrench.
Now, I am not going to go too deep into this, but in my opinion, Aiden was actually a good character that had the hallmarks you’d expect from a well developed one. He had changed through the course of the first game, starting as a revenge-bent fixer to accepting his role as the vigilante by the end.
Furthermore, he was an active protagonist, something that games struggle with. An active protagonist is someone that drives the plot forward with their choices, and Aiden does that quite a bit, with his choices getting his niece killed, his nephew traumatised, and his fight with people like Iraq and Quinn turning Chicago into a warzone. So, I don’t buy the “bland protagonist” label he unfairly gets.
Wrench was another one of my favourites and was the only character I liked in the second game as everyone else was so goofy and passive that I didn’t take them seriously.
With both Aiden and Wrench coming to London, it changes things in the best ways possible. The story starts with Aiden coming to London after agreeing to a fixer contract but gets tangled in a much bigger mess when he finds out the true nature of his job, and Wrench’s subsequent involvement.
Because I loved these characters, I was invested in the story throughout and was glad to see them react to the world much better than the generic protagonists in the main game. The story isn’t anything new or unique, following WD’s poor vs the rich-bad-dudes trope they have done in the past. Again, it was the characters that made the whole thing stand out, especially Aiden and Wrench.
The gameplay does come with some really cool improvements, with Aiden getting powerful perks and Wrench getting some fun tools. The iconic ability from Watch Dogs returns in a slightly less satisfying manner, allowing Aiden to shut down everything in his vicinity.
It is similar to Blackout from the first game, but here it doesn’t shut off the power and instead makes everything go haywire and disrupts enemies, jamming them with a painful effect. This is a really powerful ability that can turn the tide of a situation in one click. When combined with Aiden’s gunslinger perk that gives you a damage buff on perfect reload, it lets Aiden take down a whole group of enemies in an empowering manner.
Wrench gets his trusty hammer as well as a highly modified hover drone that has been programmed with his filtered quips and a grenade launcher. These are both very satisfying, making Aiden and Wrench the most powerful characters in the game.
The progression has been simplified for the DLC , and you don’t have to go hunting for tech points anymore. Instead, these are now tied to side-missions, most of which Aiden has to complete. What makes this work so well is the fact that the side-missions themselves are really interesting, with some satisfying storylines that give a better insight into Legion’s Occupied London and its people.
Wrench’s chain of side-missions is probably the most fun, letting you play with interesting tools and objectives, putting an emphasis on Wrench’s fun and goofy side. His chemistry with Aiden and Jackson is really good too, making them all feel like part of the same package.
The main missions mostly recycle a handful of objectives, but the addition of new elite enemies and combat mechs provide players with iconic encounters. The final boss fight is really interesting as well, but the highlight was the mission where Jackson (Aiden’s nephew) infiltrates Aiden’s mind.
I will try my best not to spoil it, but it is by far one of the creepiest missions I have played in a game, that makes me miss Ubisoft’s story-driven setpieces. When games start focusing on co-op play and repetitive live-service elements, these memorable moments are easily lost as they can’t be scripted to multiple players’ actions or a repeatable formula.
If you buy the season pass, you will be able to use Aiden and Wrench in the main campaign. Originally, I was thinking they would be used generically, but after finding out how parts of the campaign have been rewritten to accommodate them, the game feels much better when playing as them.
The idea behind Watch Dogs: Legion was interesting, and it had a handful of interesting villains and side characters but without a strong main character to tie them all together, everything felt forgettable. Everyone is just so overly chipper with an exaggerated accent that makes them look fake and sound like throwaway side characters. Aiden and Wrench, however, are voiced so well by Noam Jenkins and Shawn Baichoo, that it finally feels like Watch Dogs: Legion has main characters that can be taken seriously.
It feels like I finally have an incentive to complete the main game, and have mostly been using Aiden for the main missions with Wrench for the side ones. Aiden’s penchant to take things seriously gives Legion the weight it was missing. Imagine cheerfully talking about the bomb that has gone off whilst examining ground zeroes, an issue actually present in the main campaign.
Overall, Bloodlines really surprised me with how good it is, I was not expecting it to have multiple memorable moments. The DLC is relatively cheap on its own, but my advice would be to get it with the season pass at a discount so that you can get the characters in the base game.
The main downside with this has been the confusion surrounding it, as even I wasn’t sure that getting the DLC on its own wouldn’t net me the characters for the main game, which is arguably the biggest improvement you can hope for. Still, with a brand new storyline and fun side-missions, Aiden and Wrench give Watch Dogs: Legion a soul.