Watch Dogs: Legion (Xbox One)

Recent real world reports revealed Donald Trump’s administration performed forced hysterectomies on immigrants, a story that compares to the blathering fear mongering over illegals and terrorists in Watch Dog: Legions. A privatized police force roams the city, guns almost always drawn, leering checkpoints scanning every Londoner as they pass. Given the number of cameras, there’s no way any of this is profitable either.

There’s a lot of V for Vendetta in Watch Dogs: Legion. Parliament blows up, and rebellion comes from anyone, anywhere. On the street, hacktivist DedSec members recruit the elderly as much as the archetypal, edgy, blue-haired zennials. But it’s pandering slop. All of it. Watch Dogs: Legion is the liberal equivalent of The Division 2; publisher UbiSoft covers all bases.

There’s something to say about overcoming a corrupt police force by throwing their own technology back at them. It’s slick in that way. Ridiculous, but clever. Yet to Watch Dogs: Legion, there’s no wrong way to do any of this, and that means snapping a janitor’s neck because he happens to be on the property, complicit for working a minimum wage gig. It’s shooting and fighting because Watch Dogs: Legion’s moral compass is thinly sculpted, and one side is universally right.

The fantasy is that everyone agrees, eventually. Recruiting the 80-year-old grandmother means she’ll immediately fight in underground bare knuckle brawling tournaments, sit for a beer while a smarmy AI reads out mission plans, and gun down anyone she’s asked to. It’s an interactive equal to the social media bubble too many live in, where if only the right person saw that last retweet, they’d flock to the ranks. And in this case, kill for the cause too.

To justify this, Watch Dog: Legion casts impossible, obviously evil villains, like the organ trader who enslaves victims, then cuts them into pieces if they disobey. An entire system failed so egregiously, only a handful of smugly superior, mostly 20-something core characters, armed primarily with their smart phones, can disband it.

Much as DedSec is in the right to stand against an oppressive police state, it’s equally impressive to make their growing members universally punchable because of their methods.


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