The release of the Watch Dogs Legion online mode is just around the corner. Promising action-packed co-operative gameplay, Ubisoft invited us to get some hands-on time with the game’s online component ahead of its release.
Watch Dogs: Legion placed players in a semi-futuristic London on a conquest to take down shadowy conspirators and malicious hacker terrorists. Legion’s online mode maintains the core gameplay loop, but offers players a chance to squad up with their friends and explore the open London map. Between core co-op mission to tackle and PvP elements, diving into the new online component will offer a lot of content to players.
Here’s everything you can do in the Watch Dogs Legion online mode.
In Legions’ online mode, players can jump into a 4-person party and begin exploring the map. After completing the base tutorial, players are able to freely explore and drive around the extensive open-world Ubisoft Toronto has created. Hit up a local pub for a game of darts, or play a quick game of Kick-Up with friends.
Just as you would in the single-player, you can find core missions and side activities to complete. As Watch Dogs Legion is so focused on the play-as-anyone mechanic, you and your party can begin building your roster of playable characters, integrating them into DedSec. Like in core Watch Dogs Legion, you can highlight any civilian in London and begin the recruitment process.
I was quite taken back by how fluid the transition is between single-player and online was. All the core elements of the game are maintained in the transition, only this time you can play with your friends. This includes going on a chaotic run at Albion soldiers, hacking to your heart’s content, and calling in Cargo Drone for an air-borne getaway.
Dedicated co-op missions
Watch Dogs Legion has an extensive campaign to go through via the single-player mode. The content found within will not be accessible through the online component. Therefore, Ubisoft Toronto has created a string of online-only co-op missions.
The online mode offers a playlist taking you straight from one mission to another. As far as the content goes, it features your standard fair of Watch Dogs gameplay. However, the strategies taken greatly differ as you can lean on your teammates to coordinate an attack on Clan Kelley and Albion.
In one mission dubbed Vigilante, our team had to infiltrate a construction site and hack into the enemy’s laptops to disable them and free one of our allies. Of course, as one would expect, what begins as a well-orchestrated plan of using CCTVs and drones quickly devolves into a mess of a situation. Surrounded by enemies, we hold our ground. Even if one of the party members were downed, we could revive them to keep the mission going. Afterwards, we reconnected and planned our getaway to the next objective.
There are also Tactical Op missions in which your team will need to really coordinate to accomplish your objectives. In one instance, our team had to split in half and infiltrate two Albion compounds. Surrounded by enemies, we had to simultaneously hack two devices while staying alive. The Leader of the Pack Tactical Op missions is segmented into five separate arcs and provides a challenge to teams. This is where communication and determination are especially useful.
Watch Dogs Legion’s online show a thoughtful approach, in that the game doesn’t just plop you into a cookie-cutter mission you’ve played before with more players. No, these missions hinge on having your team with you, and offer a unique experience you wouldn’t find in the single-player campaign.
Spiderbot PVP arenas
Watch Dogs Legion’s online mode isn’t only built for co-op experiences. There is an additional PvP game mode that focuses on one of the game’s best gadgets, the Spiderbot. In a blast from the past, the Spiderbot arena heavily reminds me of BattleBots. Instead of two participants entering their robotic creations in a deadly combative fight, the Spiderbot arena pits up to eight players against each other in a free-for-all match.
Players will control their Spiderbot in a small arena. As the match begins, players can obtain new weapons found on the map, including rockets, spread shotguns, and automatic weaponry. The arenas aren’t incredibly large, which means it’s pretty important to take advantage of the different levels of elevation. Health is regenerated through pick-ups, and once your health bar reaches zero, you are downed momentarily, and your opponent gains a point. Respawning is quite quick, and in an instant you’re back in action!
Overall, it’s the weaker piece of content in my eyes. There are only two arena maps at launch, and not a whole lot of varying gameplay involved. It’s a nice break away from the co-operative play the online mode focuses on, though.
Ranking up and customization
The Watch Dogs Legion online mode features the same progression system found in the core game. However, it’s tweaked just a bit this time around. Completing any activity in the online mode will reward you with influence points. Your influence is mainly attributed to levelling up the online mode’s battle pass. The higher your influence the more in-game currency, cosmetics, and Tech Points you’ll unlock.
The rewards range in type, however, a large part of them come in the form of Tech Points. These can be used to upgrade your characters and their gadgets. Watch Dogs Legion players will recognize most of the unlockables straight away. There aren’t too many new additions incorporated. Though, one worthy of note is an upgrade which raises the limit of recruits you’re able to onboard. This will be especially helpful if you’re the type of player who wants an operative for every situation.
The currency gained by completing missions or granted through the battle pass can be used to purchase new cosmetic items in the DedSec headquarters. It’s a chance to put your own personal flair on your characters.
The Watch Dogs Legion online mode will be a free update to all players who own the core game. It will be available on Mar. 9 on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.