This review contains spoilers, click expand to view.
So admit it, running around near-future Chicago as the baseball capped vigilante, Aiden Pearce, ridding the city of crime and finding enough time to glance up from your antisocial gadgetry to purchase new hats and trench coats was fun. You’ve played the poker, levelled the skills, confused the traffic, and got off your rocker on Digital Trips but sadly all good thing must come to an end. You beat the game. So you must asking yourself, “Will they ever continue the sorry? Will I get to cause traffic accidents again?” Well fear not my friend for the developer of Ubisoft have heard your cries and thus release Watch Dogs first DLC called Watch Dogs: Bad Blood.
Bad Blood switches out Pearce for supporting character Raymond ‘T-Bone’ Kenney. If you played through the original campaign, you’ll definitely remember him - the laid-back hacker dude who helped design ctOS’s code before seeing their true colours and turning whistle-blower. You know the guy sporting a trucker’s cap and unruly dreadlocks, denim cut and fondness for beer….. Yes, him. He’s the star now.
Bad Blood’s story takes place shortly after the events of the main game, as T-Bone prepares to leave the city of Chicago for good. But before he can get out, he’s pulled back into a mysterious set of events centered on Tobias Frewer, another former employee of Blume. T-Bone must save his life and tie-up loose ends before he disappears.
Kenney is a hacker in his fifties. He’s a genius with all manner of modern tech, having all of the same abilities as Pearce, but he’s also endearingly rusty and old-fashioned; for instance, instead of a telescopic nightstick, he rolls with a monkey wrench on his back to take down guards at close range. His personality is behind one of the few notable gameplay changes too – the introduction of Eugene, T-Bone’s faithful remote-control car. Eugene, unsurprisingly, comes into his own by adding a new mini-game-style mechanic which, while not entirely original, is fun to play around with and a decent addition to your arsenal. It also makes the experience just that little less serious. Having spent 12 or so hours in the company of Aiden Pearce, I can’t imagine him giving a name to a remote-control car.
The DLC is supposedly a campaign of 10 missions all designed to feel like Watch Dogs. As T-Bone, you’ll use pretty much the same abilities and tactics you honed while playing as Pearce. Bad Blood does attempt to reinvigorate the experience, however, by introducing true co-op in the form of one-off missions scattered throughout the city. Referred to as ‘Street Sweep’ in game, the premise is that T-Bone is helping out clean up some of Chicago’s worst districts, taking down gangs. To do so, he can be joined by a friend, who play not as Pearce but as a generic hacker-type. I found these three or so missions I played in co-op to be excellent fun. In my opinion, Watch Dogs always felt like co-op made the gameplay experience better. It comforting to that when I hijacked cameras, I got someone to watch my back instead of always being my own backup.
Watch Dogs always offered its players an abundant set of skills and a huge open-world setting, and by adding a second player to help, the possibilities only get bigger. Some of these missions are randomly generated and supporting leaderboards for those teams of two who wish to compete, plus there’s further support in the form of a new branch added to the skill tree that supports Street Sweep. T-Bone can purchase system keys from the Black Market or become a ‘master craftsman’, which buffs all of your crafted items. Co-op hasn’t just been welded on – it’s been thought about for some time.
In closing, Bad Blood is Watch Dogs. It’s not over the top or completely ridiculous like some DLCs tend to be. It stays true to the original aspects you’ve come to love while increasing its playability with the introduction of co-op mode. With introduction of T-Bone and his old yet surprisingly effective methods makes the game, well, a bit friendlier and smoother to play. But the best treat of all is T-Bone’s lair in the basement of an old factory; it has a well-stocked beer fridge and on the wall is a talking moose which, when activated, recites the funniest thing. Nothing beats a talking moose.
• Stunning Graphics
• Solid Game Mechanics
• Versatile Co-op Gameplay
• Well Developed Story
• Controls Can Get Clunky At Times… Expand