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Aiden Pearce is my best dress-up doll in the Watch Dogs Legion DLC

Iconic indeed

Watch Dogs: Legion - aka Watch Dogs: Lahndahn, you slaaaaags - and its near-future dystopian vision of our nation's capital grows closer to "Yikes, too soon!" territory every day, doesn't it? But yesterday saw the release of the Bloodline DLC, which brings original Watch Dogs protagonist Aiden Pearce and Watch Dogs 2 best boy Wrench to a standalone story DLC. It has also brought me an unexpected source of absolute joy, and that's ditching Aiden's boring cap and trench and dressing him up in Legion's myriad clothing lines.

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Bloodlines takes place a step removed from the main story of the game, just after the opening attack on London, and just before its cell of hacktivists Dedsec is reactivated. Aiden and Wrench are both after a MacGuffin that will allow human minds to occupy robots, but I have found that broadly unimportant. The DLC is actually pretty smart as a thing: it has a slightly modified version of the upgrade system, it gives you the basic tutorial again under the reasonable expectation that this is going to be the first time a bunch of people have played in a while, and also Aiden is really good at shooting people. Like, just bullets everywhere, brutal execution deaths left and right. Truly, he is a murderer. And since London is set in the future, circa 2030, Aiden is also now deep into his 50s.

You can make all the jokes about his iconic cap you like (and I will), but he's just kind of aged out of his asymmetrical leather coat oooh-I'm-a-badass look. Like, he still is a badass, who brutally beats people with a telescoping baton, but he also has a sensible haircut and a salt-and-pepper beard. He was wearing a beige shirt! So after a while I was like, "Clearly this is a man who would appreciate a sleeveless gilet, and went to get him one at a shop. And that's when I realised I could dress him in anything.

A man stands in front of a sign saying "Stay Woke" in Watch Dogs Legion Bloodline
The "Stay Woke" banner behind Aiden is a bit of set dressing you find all over the place. It's one of several hilarious ways the game demonstrates some of London's citizens are socially aware.

You can do this with any playable operative in the main game, but it's somehow nowhere near as funny, because they're not proper characters like in Watch Dogs past. They're faceless drones that I categorise by their abilities. Aiden is a criminal hacker and accused murderer known world over. He is the last of the beardmen and in Watch Dogs Legion even his lack of flavour is as a full buffet. He is also a very serious boy with a gruff voice like Ian Hitman. Aiden has therefore spent a not inconsiderable amount of time as a Catgirl.

A shot of a man in a suit in Watch Dogs Legion Bloodline

This outfit in particular quickly became boring, though. A middle aged man in stockings and a mini-skirt isn't exactly a nuanced or interesting giggle. So I dressed him as what, if you saw him on the street, you would assume he was: a middle-aged history teacher who was trying to appeal to the kids more, and whose wife had recently bought him stone-washed jeans to update his wardrobe (see: right).

This is actually a way better disguise, if you're trying to avoid detection from a police state with an extensive surveillance network, than Aiden's default "I'm A Bad Bad Boy" suit with iconic cap. You wouldn't look twice at this guy! Plus it makes him way more fun to roleplay, especially in the fightclub scenes. Meet Jerry. His Year 8 history of medicine class has destroyed him. He is dead inside. He can't tell his wife why he turns away from her at night. And on Thursdays he goes to the basement of an empty towerblock and gets the shit kicked out of him.

Two men in a boxing fight in Watch Dogs Legion Bloodline
"This is the only way I can feel alive, Deborah!"

It's extra funny because when Aiden gets unleashed on the world in his old leather jacket, it's played as, like, a moment. But in my game, the ambient world undercut it massively because an ambulance crashed in front of me and then it started raining. When I put Aiden in a miniskirt for the first time, I got in a car and The Rockafeller Skank was playing on the radio!

I enjoy playing dress-up with Aiden so much that it has taken up a lot of my playtime of the DLC so far. I am constantly seeking out new clothes for him. The legging selection at the in-game version of Camden's Cyberdog leaves much to be desired, tbh. I've been in Cyberdog and you can get some very stupid things in there. My next plan is to fully deck Aiden out in Union Jack clothes, to disguise him as a patriotic citizen to any cops wandering past. IT'S CAHMIN 'OME!

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