Hands-on Preview: Watch Dogs Legion Online Has a Ton of Potential – GameRant

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Hands-on Preview: Watch Dogs Legion Online Has a Ton of Potential – GameRant

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Watch Dogs Legion Online is a pretty bright gem that may just shine even brighter as long as it receives proper support before and after launch.

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Watch Dogs Legion released a few months ago on all kinds of platforms. Ubisoft was clearly proud of this continuation of the high action hacking franchise, and lots of fans had reason to be excited. Watch Dogs Legion is built on some really bold ideas that break from the franchise mold in compelling ways, as the ability to build a rebellious group of justice-seeking vigilantes out of literally anybody around London makes the game memorable for its concept alone. Watch Dogs Legion was notably missing a multiplayer mode on launch, but on March 9th it will debut for players to enjoy.

Many critics agreed that Watch Dogs Legion was unique, even if it wasn’t perfect, and the same goes for the game’s new multiplayer mode. It takes all the game’s ideas and multiplies them, making for a lot of hectic action to share with friends. Some of the organizational details of Watch Dogs Legion‘s multiplayer mode leave something to be desired, but it really shines when it rewards teamwork. There’s a lot of potential in this mode, with plenty of room to grow.

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Solo and Co-Op Missions

watch dogs co op mission preview

Watch Dogs Legion‘s online mode offers a lot of different ways to play the game, but a lot of the core mechanics are the same. Players can’t use agents they’ve recruited in single player, but London is still fully populated in multiplayer, so they can quickly recruit all the operatives they need. In fact, recruiting more agents on the fly is crucial to success in multiplayer. After all, now players have to think about team compositions when they sign up for co-op missions. Although really any mission can seemingly be completed with any kind of composition, it’s nice to have diverse skills that give players options on how to approach any given task.

Co-op missions have their ups and downs. As in any multiplayer game, communication is key; if one player breaks stealth without warning and alerts enemies to their location, it can quickly become impossible for anyone else in the party to do anything subtly. Situations such as this means that combat can feel overwhelming at times. Ubisoft was clearly determined to offer a significant challenge to parties of four,  but coming out on top in a gunfight with drones or Albion troops and escaping with the team is very satisfying. Co-op missions are prone to starting and ending unceremoniously, but at their core, the missions offer diverse enough objectives to be fairly strong.

Interestingly, Watch Dogs Legion Online offers some solo missions for players to do while they’re in a multiplayer lobby. It’s sort of odd that the company would offer this kind of mission in the multiplayer mode, and they tend to stick out on the Ubisoft world map. Solo missions are challenging enough that they’ll be probably entertain players who are waiting for an AFK friend, and they can be a decent source of resources in a pinch. However, they clearly aren’t meant to be the heart of Watch Dogs Legion Online, and players aren’t likely to spend much time on them.

Tactical Ops

watch dogs legion online preview

Tactical Ops is one of the strongest parts of Watch Dogs Legion Online, as these missions are significantly more challenging than the more generic co-op missions, as the title implies. They also carry a plot that compels players to rise to the occasion, as players team up with Bagley and a Tidis whistleblower to investigate Albion’s plans to vastly enhance their drones. The plot hook is fairly gripping, but players will have to find plenty of friends ready to take on Tactical Ops with them. These missions demand four players, and for good reason. They’ll put players to the test and might take quite a few tries to complete successfully.

The importance of teamwork shines through in Tactical Ops even more clearly than it does in the more general co-op missions. Teams might have to coordinate action from across the map, then drive all across London to meet up in the middle of missions, making good communication crucial. Although stealth seems easier to do alone, it’s actually really gratifying to talk through a plan with a teammate and figure out how to infiltrate a facility together. When everyone brings the right tools to the table and makes sure to act as a unit, Tactical Ops can run really smoothly and feel well worth the challenge of fighting Albion.

What might be most important about Tactical Ops is its potential for the future of Watch Dogs Legion Online. Not only does it creatively explore the boundaries of Watch Dogs‘ themes of stealth, hacking, and action, but it tells a fairly compelling story outside the single-player plot. If Ubisoft wants to support Watch Dogs Legion Online, it would be great to see a great many short stories presented in the form of Tactical Ops missions. It has a rich setting for storytelling on its hands, and it’s great to bond with other players over the game’s setting and mechanics while playing together.

Spiderbot Arena

spiderbot arena

Watch Dogs Legion Online doesn’t let players duke it out in hand to hand combat, but there’s still a PvP mode, and it’s one of the best things that the new multiplayer has to offer. In the spiderbot arena, there’s no stop to the action. Players have to keep moving and try to shoot down each others spiderbots as fast as possible. Picking up temporary weapon upgrades keeps the gameplay fluid and fresh; it ought to keep players on edge too, since they’ll never know just what weapon an opponent might have handy. Map selection is very limited, but they offer good choice between tight spaces with lots of action or vertical platforming that encourages tactical thinking and accuracy.

The spiderbot arena is pretty addictive and easy to learn. It’s a great time killer for groups waiting for their fourth teammate to get online, and it encourages large groups of fans to get together and test their mettle against each other. Much like Tactical Ops, there’s lots of room for expansion here. Ubisoft can easily come up with more competitive modes than deathmatch, and there’s got to more locations around Watch Dogs Legion‘s London that can be converted into maps. Hopefully, Ubisoft doesn’t just relegate the spiderbot arena to a minigame and capitalizes on its possibilities instead.

Final Thoughts

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Anyone who got a kick out of Watch Dogs Legion will probably get a kick out of Watch Dogs Legion Online. All of the game’s core themes are there and expanded appropriately to flesh out the multiplayer. Not every mode is created equal; some will almost certainly grip players’ attention more than others.

However, Ubisoft has presented a pretty strong expansion to Watch Dogs Legion that a lot of fans will probably appreciate. Watch Dogs Legion Online will do best if Ubisoft continues to support it from here on out, though. The multiplayer mode’s missions need to constantly be expanded and built upon, or they’re bound to stop offering players much challenge in the long run. Kept up with significant post-launch updates, it’ll be a pretty significant boon to Watch Dogs Legion.

Watch Dogs Legion is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

MORE: The Wildest Recruits in Watch Dogs Legion



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