December 2, 2021

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Watch Dogs Legion review – a bleak and buggy retread of Ubisoft’s formula

2 min read
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Before we get going, I need to acknowledge something: the numerous misconduct allegations levelled at high profile Ubisoft employees. We know things have been tough and the company is certainly making all the right noises, but I feel strongly that reviews should, where possible, reflect on the culture in which games are created. Though I worry that art can’t be divorced from the artist, at the same time, I appreciate that many hundreds of people contribute to Ubisoft’s vast portfolio, and that their work shouldn’t be overshadowed by the disgraceful conduct of a handful of people. It’s a balance I’m still struggling with, to be honest, but it’s hard to immerse yourself in a game that has seemingly come at such a cost to some. Here’s hoping this is the last time a Ubisoft game comes with this caveat, eh?

The old adage says it’s grim up North, but I’m not sure anything north of the M25 is as grim as Ubisoft’s devastating vision of a broken, near-future London.

As a fairly dark and twisty person myself, I figured I’d embrace DedSec London’s tale a little more greedily than the sunshine and sea lions of Watch Dogs 2’s San Francisco, but Legion is too terrifyingly real, and just a tad too grim. I doubt the very real climate in the UK is helping much – which clearly isn’t Ubisoft’s fault – but I usually play games to escape the ills of Westminster, not to be smacked over the head by them. I appreciate that terrorist attacks and food banks and too many homeless people add a frosty layer of authenticity to this fictional vision of the capital, and I know this isn’t Ubisoft’s fault, either, but good grief, it’s depressing to recognise so many signs of a fictional dystopia from your local real-life news reports.

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