Now that most gamers have honed their hacking skills and saved Chicago from corrupt use of the ctOS, news (and interest) in Watch Dogs has cooled off. One of the most talked about titles at E3 2012 (and 2013), the game released to mostly positive reviews (read our Watch Dogs review) that praised Ubisoft for adding new layers to modern sandbox gameplay but also criticized the title for relying too heavily on its third-person shooter roots. In the end, Watch Dogs is an intriguing (and profitable) foundation for the publisher to build-on, much like the original Assassin's Creed, but fell short of being the full-on next-gen revolution that many gamers were hoping.
Underwhelming vigilante hero, Aiden Pearce, was another of the game's weaker points - with many players preferring personalities and story lines from the Watch Dogs side characters over the primary protagonist. Now, nearly four months after release, fans will get the chance to step back into the hackable Chicago sandbox but this time as fan-favorite sidekick Raymond "T-Bone" Kenney.
To get gamers excited for a return trip into Watch Dogs, Ubisoft has released a full trailer for the DLC, titled "Bad Blood" (which you can view at the top of the page). The add-on will release one week early for season pass holders (on September 23rd) with standalone purchases available on September 30th across all platforms.
In addition, the developer released a full press release detailing what gamers can expect in the upcoming DLC installment. We've highlighted the biggest points below:
- Watch Dogs Bad Blood features an all new story campaign starring T-Bone, the brilliant and eccentric hacker players first met in Watch_Dogs, who is now playable for the first time. The campaign explores T-Bone’s story through 10 new missions set in new locations throughout Chicago.
- Watch Dogs Bad Blood also grants players access to “Street Sweep” contracts, a dynamic new system of side missions that offers players endless hours of challenges. All Street Sweep contracts are playable in co-op mode (friend or public sessions), a first for Watch Dogs, allowing two players to work together to combat Chicago’s criminal groups.
- In addition, Watch Dogs Bad Blood features exclusive weapons, perks and outfits, including the remote-controlled car “Eugene,” T-Bone’s latest creation that can be upgraded with both offensive and defensive perks.
The press release also provides details regarding where the "Bad Blood" DLC fits into the larger Watch Dogs story - revealing that it takes place after the events of the main game.
Shortly after the events of Watch Dogs, Raymond “T-Bone” Kenney infiltrates Blume one last time to plant a false trail in their system. Before he can disappear from the grid, he receives a panicked phone call from Tobias Frewer, a former colleague from Blume’s ctOS prototype days, who’s in desperate need of help. Putting his own escape at risk, T-Bone decides to help, but quickly realizes the details of his old friend’s story aren’t adding up.
Beyond the addition of new missions and a more colorful protagonist, the co-op "Street Sweep" contracts may be the most exciting aspect of "Bad Blood" - since, much like the Assassin's Creed series, adding another player into an objective-based infiltration mission allows for even more invention and strategizing. While the cat-and-mouse online features of Watch Dogs provided a fresh take on sandbox multiplayer, the other team-based mission modes were less inspired (and rarely played) - leaving room for a more focused co-op contract mode.
That said, considering T-Bone's extravagant personality, "Eugene" may be the real standout in "Bad Blood." The remote controlled robot will, without question, inject plenty of new gameplay challenges and opportunities. Similarly, the add-on also includes new weaponized camera turrets - which, like everything else in the game, can be hacked and used against nearby enemies.
"Bad Blood" will feature new weapons, perks, and outfits, but (with Eugene and the new turrets) it's clear that Ubisoft is trying to coax gamers into relying even more on the game's hacking elements (instead of gunplay). The approach serves the story and lead character - since it's hard to imagine T-Bone running into an enemy-filled warehouse assault rifle blazing. After all, in the context of the main plot, T-Bone survived for a long time by keeping a low profile not because he was a ruthless killing machine (though it looks like he'll be doing plenty of that too).
Based on the trailer, the "Bad Blood" DLC should provide a slightly lighter tone than the main game - which is expected with a guy like T-Bone in the spotlight. Even though Watch Dogs attempted to take-on an emotionally charged narrative, the story was often at odds with the tone of the experience and its cartoonish side characters. Without question, Ubisoft can improve the balance in a future installment but, for now, it's probably a smart move for the developers to just embrace T-Bone as an opportunity for even crazier gameplay and story experiences.
Previously, it had been suggested that gamers might actually journey to entirely new location (specifically New Jersey) in a future DLC installment; however, these "Bad Blood" details assert that T-Bone will still be confined to the Chicago area - albeit with the addition of some new locales. "Bad Blood" is the final installment in the Watch Dogs season pass but it's still possible that Ubisoft could release an entirely separate piece of game content in the future. Yet, at this point, we haven't heard plans to suggest that is the case and a "fall" timeframe would be especially strange with "Bad Blood" releasing in September.
Maybe that cryptic New Jersey tease actually hints at a forthcoming reveal of the location in Watch Dogs 2?
TheWatch Dogs "Bad Blood" DLC releases September 23, 2014 for season pass holders and September 30, 2014 for all other players.
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