Though you'd better recruit skilled friends.
Watch Dogs Legion will add multiplayer on 9 March (though the content was originally planned for a December 2020 debut). Ahead of this new, polished release date, Stevivor was able to join other Australian outlets and give its various modes a go.
There’s a little bit for everyone, with a co-op open world, city events and activities, co-op missions, tactical operations, challenges and the PvP Spiderbot Arena. If you ask us, the latter mode is by far the best Watch Dogs Legion multiplayer on offer.
But before we get to that, allow us to cover off all the PvE events. First, Legion‘s co-op open-world looks and feels like its single-player offering, allowing up to four-players the chance to explore what a futuristic London has to offer. Using a new in-game currency called Influence, you can recruit a construction worker — your single-player roster doesn’t carry over — and spawn a cargo drone to serve as transport for all your friends, or you can think outside the box as AusGamers, Press-Start and Stevivor did by recruiting a double-decker bus driver and having 2-3 people surf on the roof to get from point to point. While we were unable to find a spy, that character type can actually spawn their spy car and take a friend along for the ride (and you can just grab random cars that pass by to do the same). Once you’re done building DedSec’s numbers, you can head on over to the pub for a pint or to the park for a round of kick-up.
If you’re after a little more structure, Ubisoft has confirmed that five co-op missions will be available with the multiplayer component’s launch, though from experience they’re all incredibly tough crusades. We attempted everything on normal difficulty (as I did in Legion’s single-player) and found both enemy numbers and their resiliance to be amped up. Our rag-tag group of journalists failed more missions than we completed, and to be honest, I wasn’t having an incredibly fun time with the content as a result. Of the five missions on offer, we know details of three: a car-centric one in “Dangerous Driving,” a drone fight in “Reversion” and “Spare Parts”, which required a lot of stealth and teamwork.
If, for some reason, you’re not finding enough challenge in the co-op missions, you can crank up the difficulty with Tactical Ops — missions with a higher difficulty than the stock-standard ones. To be blunt, these destroyed us. They’re almost raid-like in their complexity, with a lot of communication required between players to complete. Simply put, you’re not going to be able to finish these after randomly pairing with players and deciding to ditch your microphone. Of the missions we sampled, “Get the Truck Out” is prime evidence of this, with players needing to communicate a sequence to others in order to complete a primary objective. Another had us needing to coordinate actions between two separate sites (and spoilers: we couldn’t, though thankfully permadeath is disabled in multiplayer, so at least you don’t lose your hard-earned). Rounding out PvE offerings are city events that play out much like Destiny‘s public events — an Albion Swarm will trigger somewhere in the city and it’s up to players on the server to take opponents down.
But enough about all that — let’s talk Spiderbot Arena. Touted by Ubisoft as a PvP experience with “hectic, high intensity games,” matches will now pit four players against one another (rather than the 8 advertised back last year). We played with the maximum amount of players over two maps, and I can write confidently that each and every person who took part absolutely loved it. Games run for around 10 minutes or so, taking place on perfectly-sized maps that provide a little breathing room between players, but not enough that you can’t see an opponent after a quick scan. The maps are incredibly vertical, with the spiderbots themselves able of a double jump to get to new heights and, more importantly, new power-ups.
Power-ups provide some amazingly (cheap) one-hit kill weapons, so the trick is to get to them so opponents cannot… and to then use those weapons against the others, of course. Killstreaks are also useful to highlight enemies on the map, get a preview of what the power-up boxes contain or for a shield that reduces damage. While default automatic weaponry packs a punch, it’s all about jumping, dodging and gathering better weapons to make quick work of foes. It’s a simple premise, but one that had me and my fellow previewers coming back for more; as such, it’s highly recommended. You can check out a couple rounds of Spiderbot Arena below.
Watch Dogs Legion is currently available on Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S & X, PS4, PS5 and Stadia. Multiplayer will be added to the title from 9 March 2021. We reviewed the single-player game here.