Watch Dogs Legion’s multiplayer is a profound disappointment

Bagley wouldn’t be proud of me. Dedsec London, as organised by the sarcastic AI, is a community movement founded on the collaboration of strangers. United by ill feeling towards the establishment, they need not have anything else in common—judges and petty thieves, bankers and buskers. 

In that spirit, the most Dedsec way to play Watch Dogs Legion’s co-op mode would be to matchmake with new acquaintances—raiding Albion compounds with randos, entrusting my life to people whose names I only know as name tags on-screen. But I’ve tried that, and I don’t like it.

Inegalitarian though it may be, I believe co-op games are almost always at their best when played with close friends. These are the partners who will stick around while you fiddle with your loadout in Borderlands, or match your careful pace in Hunt: Showdown (a stranger in the Bayou once fired two barrels into my back because I insisted on crouch-walking to our extraction point). They’re the people you can have on voice chat without feeling guarded in your own living room.

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft is familiar with the pleasures of private sessions. Most of the co-op focused games the publisher has put out in the past decade, like Ghost Recon Wildlands and Assassin’s Creed Unity, have enabled you to shut out the noise of public matchmaking and play with friends only. That choice might inflate the difficulty of missions balanced for four players, rather than two, but it’s one you can make with your eyes open—knowing there’s a pool of public players to pull from should the challenge prove insurmountable.

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