After one week of playing, the future of the mode already seems bleak.
It's been around a week since Watch Dogs: Legion released its Online mode, and while console players have been able to dive into the streets of London in small groups, PC players are still waiting for their opportunity thanks to a short delay. I've spent the past weekend mucking about in the Online portion of the game to see how it has changed since the preview I wrote, and without foreshadowing too much, there's still not a whole lot to hammer home about.
Watch Dogs: Legion's Online is a standalone adventure to the main game (but, you will need the base game to play it), meaning all of the work you already did building up a DedSec cell in the story is irrelevant here. You'll have to start from scratch, and that's pretty much the entire premise of this mode. Complete activities, earn Tech Points, recruit new operatives. You might be wondering: 'But what about all those activities? Aren't they really the reason to play?' In theory they are, but they are so shallow and the offering is of such a limited variety at the moment that it's hard to find much enjoyment from them.
Online brings a variety of activities at the moment, including; singleplayer missions that can be completed in minutes and offer minor rewards; playlist missions for up to three people to chew through; overworld activities that are incredibly fast to complete and are quite frankly really dull; and the Spiderbot Arena that offers a unique PvP mode, which I found to be rather enjoyable. There are Tactical Ops coming on March 23 that bring a raid-like challenge to those who face it, but the problem is London is pretty large, and when you spread all of these listed activities out over it, the lack of content becomes apparent very, very quickly.
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It wouldn't be so bad if each activity felt captivating from minute one, but for the most part they aren't. Sure, Spiderbot Arena makes for a chaotic, fun experience, but it's a mini-game at its heart, and the playlist missions lose their individuality quickly, especially since you'll be spending most of your time playing them if you have any hopes of progressing the seasonal battle pass.
This conveniently brings me onto my next point, the progression, which is truly exhausting. You don't earn experience to level up, you have to earn stars from completing activities or daily/weekly challenges that are then used to rank up your battle pass to earn more Tech Points, ETO and Influence (three different types of currency), to be able to further add operatives to your cell, or instead purchase better upgrades, equipment or cosmetics. To make matters even worse, the levelling is quite lengthy. The first two levels can be bashed out in 30 minutes or so, but to go any further, you better prepare yourself for a grind. Granted the battle pass is expected to be completed over a couple of months, but considering the other sources that reward currency do it so sparsely, you're basically relying on the battle pass to be able to expand your cell and acquire new gear.
With all of this being said, the biggest enemy of Watch Dogs: Legion Online is the limited number of players that can be in one lobby. In an open lobby, you can play with three other players - that's it. There can be eight players in a Spiderbot Arena match, but the open world is limited to just four people. As London is rather large, you're often left with an incredibly lonely feeling, unless you've brought some friends along for the ride that is.
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I think one of the best ways to compare where Watch Dogs: Legion Online currently sits is to look at Grand Theft Auto Online as an example. Rockstar has built a world bustling with opportunities that is enhanced by sweeping numbers of playlist activities. You can waddle around Los Santos, complete jobs and heists, buy mega yachts, customise countless different types of vehicles, and that's barely even scratching the surface. Watch Dogs: Legion Online's London is a skeleton of Los Santos, a skeleton that even seems to be missing a vast number of bones.
I'm not saying the writing's on the wall for the Online mode, but content desperately needs to be added if longevity is the current plan of action. The open world of London still looks great, and the mode plays really well (I only encountered a few minor bugs here and there), but the lack of stuff to do is a real killer. Hopefully, Ubisoft has plans to sprinkle in some more activities soon because right now, Watch Dogs: Legion Online isn't really worth your time.