I should start by saying that I didn’t purchase Bad Blood willingly – I only got it because I realised I’d accidentally bought the season pass, and downloading it was free, and I’m cheap like that.
Don’t get me wrong, I had fun playing Watch Dogs, whether it was riding the cameras, luring heavies into traps, or taking out pursuing cars by blowing up streets – all had the visceral ‘I’m smarter than you’ charm that I imagine real hackers feel, but it’s a long game, and towards the end I was growing tired of the same old missions. Even the ultra-trippy digital trips were starting to bore.
The circumstances were therefore ripe for an innovative piece of DLC to draw me back into the game. Bad Blood, for all its good qualities, is not that piece of DLC.
It’s a pity, because Bad Blood certainly has some potential. Following the exploits of Raymond Kenney, aka T-Bone, as he plans his escape from Chicago, it has a far more likeable protagonist than the main game (not hard, considering the small bits of filth excreted from a hobo’s crusty armpit are more intrinsically likeable than Aiden Pearce), and gives him a radio controlled sidekick, who might, in better hands, have added some variety to gameplay. Instead, Eugene (the RC car) is almost wasted, showing up in one mission and then practically forgotten about, as you come to rely on the same gadgets as the original game; still in their awkward, difficult to manage menu.
Is it too much to hope that an expansion pack should actually expand the game? That it should give us something new to see or different skills to mess around with? Even a few fresh ideas would be nice. Instead, Bad Blood continues Watch Dogs’ ridiculous vigilante side missions, with T-Bone – a man who’s meant to be on the verge of running – pitching in to help a very open-minded police detective with some extra legal law enforcement. I get that the game would be short without this padding (it took me about four hours), but Watch Dogs itself was so packed with optional (and often repetitive) missions that I ran out of reasons to keep doing them. They didn’t even bother coming up with new digital trips – an arse that was sitting there, waiting to be kicked.
So, in conclusion, is Bad Blood bad? No. Is it worth getting? That depends on how much you liked Watch Dogs, because that’s exactly what Bad Blood is: Watch Dogs with a nose ring and a shaggy hair cut.