The marketing for this new gaming generation has been interesting, particularly as far as Xbox goes.
They’ve been pushing the fact that games releasing on older consoles run best on the new crop. And so far that is absolutely on the money.
My experiences with both DiRT 5 and Watch Dogs: Legion have already made it very difficult for me to ever look back in the rear-view mirror at my OG Xbox One. After playing current-gen builds of both and then sampling them on Series X, the difference is monumental.
As I talked about in my review, Watch Dogs: Legion’s pre-launch Xbox build was rough. And post-launch, frankly, it wasn’t a lot better. I was getting freezes, lock-ups, and some grueling loading times.
Next-Gen, everything feels ironed out and mostly glitch-free. And those load times haven’t just been slashed in half, they’re almost non-existent once you boot into the game. Even that delay when opening the map is completely gone and hopping between options in the menu screen is like a dream.
But it’s other things as well, like panning the camera around my character. Before it was jaggedy and jumpy, but on Series X, I feel like I’m putting them through a slow motion scanner and my eyes are just gliding through London.
Same with racing up and down the streets, going top-speed in taxis and buses, getting into firefights and hopping between cameras. Everything just feels sharper and smoother.
But the icing on the proverbial cake is the much-hyped ray-tracing and reflections in puddles which just add a level of touch and finish to a beautifully recreated London that now truly make me feel like I’m in my second home. It’s worth the play on next-gen alone just to see what Ubisoft have accomplished here.
This is actually shown off really well when you go up The Shard – as seen in the video above – because you’re looking out across all of London through the plexi-glass and you can see your own reflection blurred against the length and distance of London Bridge. The attention to detail here is not just marvelously put together but also incredibly authentic, and clearly only really shows through on this new brand of consoles.
Watch Dogs: Legion definitely feels like it was built for Series X, and scaled down for OG consoles, rather than scaled up to take advantage of the newly available technology. This is the game’s home console and the ‘plays best’ tag-line certainly isn’t just hype-train spiel.
Whether Watch Dogs: Legion is the game to invest in right now, however, is another matter entirely. Since we last looked at the game, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla has come on the scene and, well, that’s on another level entirely. But I’ll let my colleague tell you about that in the coming days.
Suffice it to say, though, if you’ve already made your mind about Watch Dogs: Legion and are just looking for the best place to play it, Xbox Series X will absolutely not disappoint.
For our full impressions of Watch Dogs: Legion, check out our coverage here.
Watch Dogs: Legion is now available on PC, Xbox, PS4, PS5, and Stadia
Tested on Xbox Series X
Code kindly provided by Ubisoft