Why Watchdogs: Legion Destroyed The Little Hope I Had Left From Ubisoft

Watchdogs: Legions could have been so much better.

Story Highlights

  • The expansive roster of playable characters is nearly indistinguishable from each other.
  • Recruiting NPC is tedious and repetitive.
  • Voice acting and lip-syncing performances are laughably bad.

During all my years of playing video games, the future of gaming has never looked as bleak as it does today. Corporate greed and worthless live-service games aside, even the single-player titles that are coming out are disappointingly bad and not worth our time, let alone our money.

Ubisoft used to be at the top of their game back in 2010. They released banger after banger, including Assassin’s Creed II, Far Cry 3, and even the Splinter Cell Blacklist. Fast forward to 2024 and most Ubisoft games are boring open-world games that aren’t fun to play, with stories that aren’t engaging at all, and gameplay mechanics that refuse to evolve.

When I started to play Watchdogs: Legion, my expectations were low, but the disappointment that followed will probably keep me from spending my time and money on another Ubisoft game anytime soon.

Endless Playable Characters Are But A Myth

Watch Dogs Legions is Ubisoft’s third entry in the Watch Dogs franchise. The game focuses on recruiting any NPC and making them a part of your legion as a playable character, instead of a single protagonist. This flagship system allows you to recruit anyone in the world to join your team. The idea is unique and interesting, but its execution isn’t as easy as it sounds.

The roster of the characters is an unending list. Most of the characters come with a unique loadout or with a special ability. However, not all the characters can be told apart from each other as they have only differences. It’s good to grow a legion in the game but it doesn’t feel any different than playing with a single character. 

While most characters have unique execution animations, they’re not enough to individualize them. Plus, you will mostly be killing people with guns or non-lethal weapons, so executions don’t carry a lot of weight.

The abilities a character has are pretty basic and repetitive. For example, the construction worker character has the ability to call a cargo drone to climb buildings faster. However, since any character can find cargo drones for easy traversal, the usefulness of construction workers’ ability is diminished. Similarly, non-hacker characters can still hack or jam weapons and non-spy characters can still use a cloaking ability.

If a character can do anything, what’s the point of recruiting a unique member if they all feel the same while playing? Character development in the game is very thin and lacks any motive beyond just the simple task of recruiting them. This is one of many reasons for the failure of this hyped game.

Watchdogs: legion characters are very similar to each other. | Source: Ubisoft
Watchdogs: legion characters are very similar to each other. | Source: Ubisoft

Character Recruitment System Is A Slog To Go Through

Recruiting new playable characters from the endless roster of NPCs is Watchdogs Legion’s main theme and you can’t progress without recruiting members. Despite this mechanic being so important to the game, it’s poorly executed and needs much more refinement. The recruitment process happens so quickly and suddenly that nearly every recruitment conversation goes like this:

“Hi, would you like to join Deadsec?”

“Yes, I would but can you help me find my friend first?”


Then the player has to go do a side mission where they find a friend to convince the NPC to join. This repeats for most of the characters you recruit. There is no side content in Watchdogs Legion, and any activities that exist are repetitive tasks that showcase the severe lack of fun side activities in the game.

Watchdogs Legion failure in general game design.
byu/Haruhanahanako intruegaming

Voice Acting And Lip Syncing Are Plain Bad

If anything can make a single-player story-focused game more immersive, it’s top-notch voice acting and lip-syncing of the characters. Unfortunately, Watchdogs Legion failed miserably in this regard, mainly due to it consisting of tens of thousands of playable characters, each with a different voice. 

The number of characters to voice was so absurd that the game had to shift to an algorithm that takes pre-defined lines recorded by the actors and alters their tone, pronunciation, and accent to generate a new voice for every character.

Obviously, the game had to go with an algorithm for voicing characters because that was the only way to voice thousands of playable characters. But the question is, if it comes at the cost of voice acting quality and lip-syncing, would the game not be much better if it went with just a single protagonist like all previous Watchdog games?

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Ahmed Mansoor is a News Writer who has a deep passion for single-player adventure games. He loves to keep tabs on the gaming and technology industries and loves to break stories that interest his audience. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and several years of experience writing for games. Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Journalism || Written 600+ News Stories.

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