Watch_Dogs: Bad Blood | Review
The first piece of storyline centric downloadable content is now available for all that own Watch_Dogs. The most notable shift from the main game is Aiden Pearce is not the protagonist, but Raymond ‘T-Bone’ Kenney, one of the more likeable characters from Aiden’s story. But does Mr. Kenney have more to offer than his snazzy dreadlocks?
‘Bad Blood’ picks up shortly after the end of Watch_Dogs, the details of which I won’t spoil for those of you that haven’t finished it. We meet T-Bone as he is trying to extricate himself from a sticky situation in one of the Blume Corporation’s facilities. We learn quickly that he’s there trying to make sure CtOS’s progress in controlling everyone’s lives is severely impeded and to make amends for his own morally questionable acts. His redemption will not come through bullets and hacking alone.
Enter Tobias Frewer, a minor character from the main game, who also had a hand in constructing CtOS alongside T-Bone and is now being hunted by assassins and begs for Kenney’s help. The empathy T-Bone shows Tobias, which gives emotional weight to the 10 main missions of the game, combined with Raymond’s dry wit (that he may have applied too liberally) made him a much more likable character than Aiden ever was. I did find that the ending was somewhat unsatisfying in terms of progressing the main Watch_Dogs story, even though it did tie up a major loose end, but I think that was a signal that there is more to come from Ubisoft’s first new IP since Assassins Creed.
Augmented, is the best way to describe the gameplay additions that Bad Blood brings to the table. Both figuratively and literally. Watch_Dog veterans will recall the occasional but less than amazing hacking puzzles where you have to line up different circuit junctions to unlock objective oriented computers, now the puzzles are overlaid onto the world itself, not on a featureless digital canvas. The other major addition to the gameplay is a craftable RC truck that can navigate through tight spaces, hack, and shock enemies without putting T-Bone in danger.
Unfortunately, I never felt like the handy little truck was needed. Whether that was due to my own lack of creativity or that you aren’t forced to use it, combat still revolves around mapping out your enemy’s locations with a security camera (some missions allow you to use an armed version of them, which is quite chuckle worthy), thinning them out with ‘hacking’ some explosives and then proceeding to stealthily take down every enemy with a slow motion headshot or stealth takedown.
The side missions were a high point of my time with Watch_Dogs were the side missions which allowed for true emergent experimentation, and those mission types, while given slightly different names, gang hideouts are now part of a series of ‘Street Sweep’ challenges that are identical to the ‘Notoriety Skills’ that you earn when you play the PvP multiplayer that has been replaced, besides the player hacking variants, with a cooperative option, which is fantastic.
All in all, Bad Blood is a great little bite sized piece of DLC that doesn’t reinvent the code wheel, but shouldn’t be missed by anyone that enjoyed, and finished, the main game.
Watch_Dogs: Bad Blood is available now for download via the Playstation Network and Xbox Live