Watch Dogs: Legion next-gen impressions: Hack for more

Watch Dogs: Legion's next-gen release is a pretty upgrade for Ubisoft's hacking game.

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Watch Dogs: Legion is the third installment in Ubisoft’s open-world hacking franchise. Now taking the action to London, Legion sees hacker group Dedsec looking to clear its name after being falsely accused of bombing Parliament. Anchored by its play as anyone mechanic, we were moderate fans of the new Watch Dogs game here at Shacknews. As with many other late releases on last-gen, Watch Dogs: Legion has received a proper next-gen optimized version for the PS5 and Xbox Series X. 

Hack in style

I spent some time with Watch Dogs: Legion on the Xbox Series X, where the game has an official next-gen patch. The upgrades here are also present in the game’s PS5 release. When jumping in, the most noticeable change is the game’s visual quality. The face models, drones, and vehicles all look much prettier in comparison to their last-gen counterparts. 

One of the biggest graphical leaps with Watch Dogs: Legion is the addition of ray tracing. Ubisoft’s London is bursting with color and is riddled with skyscrapers and structures that are covered in reflective surfaces. Ray tracing is the showpiece difference between Watch Dogs: Legion on the last generation vs the current generation of consoles, as it offers a stark contrast. 

One of my disappointments in the next-gen version Watch Dogs: Legion was its lack of graphics settings. What’s been so cool with the next-gen consoles is that players have more options than ever in regards to tuning graphics, shadows, lighting, and more. A luxury that PC players have enjoyed for years. Other than motion blur and HDR, there aren’t too many graphics settings available in Watch Dogs: Legions

World of the future

It was also a disappointment to see that Watch Dogs: Legion does not support the quick resume feature on the Xbox Series X, which allows players to pick up exactly where they were, when switching back from another game. This is especially odd when you consider Ubisoft’s other major next-gen release, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, does support quick resume.

Thankfully, Watch Dogs: Legion’s next-gen patch features fixes for a large number of the bugs that plagued the game’s original launch. However, that doesn’t mean that Watch Dogs: Legion is entirely free of bugs and other mishaps. There are still glitches with character animations and such from time to time.

The load times in Watch Dogs: Legion’s next-gen version rivals that of on PC. When loading into a game or fast traveling across the maps, the loading screen was up for ten seconds or less in most cases. A huge step up from the times on PS4 and Xbox One. 

Digital phenoms

Watch Dogs: Legion’s next-gen optimization boasts some pretty sweet visual upgrades, and trims load times down to seconds. Other than that, there isn’t much more separating the game from it’s last-gen version. That said, it’s completely free to upgrade if you bought the game on Xbox One or PS4, and is certainly worth doing so.

Contributing Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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