It should come as no surprise, but Watch Dogs’ first piece of single player DLC is essentially more Watch Dogs. That means if you enjoyed cruising around the beautiful virtual Chicago hacking every little thing in sight, then you’ll know exactly what to expect out of Bad Blood. There are times when it treads that feeling of “been there, done that” in mission structure, but some clever gameplay tweaks and a new online mode that builds upon the original game prove it is possible to teach an old dog some new tricks.
Bad Blood picks up one year later after the events of Watch Dogs, and instead of playing as the mopey and revenge-driven Aiden Pierce, players get to step into the shoes of Raymond Kennedy, aka. T-Bone. T-Bone is making preparations to escape the city only to get thrust back into the thick of things when his long-time friend, Tobias Frewer, gets himself into trouble. The 10 campaign missions reveal some interesting tidbits surrounding the two characters’ shared past. There’s a great dynamic between the two, particularly their banter when travelling between one map point to another. If you found the tone of Watch Dogs a little hard to swallow, Bad Blood set outs to keep things more light-hearted — and for the most part, it succeeds.
Missions in Bad Blood are similar to Watch Dogs but with slightly reworked objectives that still involve infiltrating restricted zones and using your hacking abilities. T-Bone doesn’t control or feel any different from Aiden, but instead of pummelling bad guys with a retractable baton, his trusty taser is equally if not more effective at taking them down. T-Bone also comes equipped with Eugene, a remote-controlled car with a mean stun ability that makes clearing out a room full of enemies a whole lot easier. Because it’s small, you can use Eugene to enter places in the environment T-Bone otherwise can’t access. In most cases, we’d treat it like a scout when it wasn’t possible to see what was up ahead, allowing us to plan our moves more carefully.
"...the most surprising and exciting addition in Bad Blood is the ability to tackle the new Street Sweep missions with an online co-op buddy."
We gushed about it in our original review, but the Chicago setting remains one of the best reasons to dive into the world of Watch Dogs. It’s a tad disappointing that Bad Blood often takes you back to familiar locales, but it does have its own set of side-quests and challenges to keep players busy. Suffice to say, it’s easy to get distracted completing every orange, blue or purple blip on the map. Some of these activities may include eliminating targets without being seen, or racing as fast as possible through a series of checkpoints, etc. There’s a thoughtful balance in the variety of things to do. But the most surprising and exciting addition in Bad Blood is the ability to tackle the new Street Sweep missions with an online co-op buddy. Silently infiltrating a building while another player uses surveillance hacks to help eliminate enemies works extremely well. It’s one of those features that makes you wonder how it never ended up in the first game to begin with. These missions can still be completed solo, but it’s a welcome addition that should absolutely be given a try.
Bad Blood is more of the same solid Watch Dogs gameplay in a compact five to six hour experience. The campaign is fun and it features a more interesting main lead than Aiden Pierce. New gameplay elements like gun-mounted surveillance cameras (yes, you read that right), the RC car, and online co-op are cool additions and should keep fans happy until the next slice of DLC or upcoming sequel. There’s enough extra content here to justify the $15 price tag, but it still ultimately depends on how much you enjoyed playing the main game. If you saw Watch Dogs through to the end and had a good time, then Bad Blood is easily recommended.
Nice review, Anth. I need to get back to this when I have some free time.
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