July 1, 2022

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I Cannot Finish Watch Dogs: Legion (Update)

(Update, 11/11/20): Earlier this morning, Ubisoft Toronto issued a new patch for Watch Dogs: Legion on Xbox One, addressing issues with stability and crashing. After installing the update, we were able to get past the game-breaking bug detailed in our original story. Generally, the game also seemed to run better with less framerate drops. Read more about the new patch here

Original Story: Every time I boot up Watch Dogs: Legion, a timer starts ticking. At some point the game will crash. It’s inevitable, and something I’ve come to accept as the price for playing the game close to its October 29 release (rather than holding off until patches resolve the issues). Sometimes it happens quickly, other times it takes a few hours. A crash could spoil my open world fun or derail a critical story mission. On a good day it happens once. At worse, the game falls apart multiple times a session. Either way, since the day I started playing Legion, I’ve had to learn to deal with the game crashing while I’m trying to enjoy it.

But now, a game-breaking bug has effectively barred me from finishing the game. Every time I try to play the late-game mission “Justice4Claire,” my game freezes, crashes, and kicks me back to my Xbox One’s homepage.

Since its release, Legion has been a technical mess for many players, especially those playing on the base versions of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (I’m playing on the latter). Texture pop-in, crashes, and poor framerate are among the more common issues, which I can independently verify for each. Some of these have been ironed out (somewhat) in the week or so since Legion launched, but the game is still underperforming on the hardware for which it was originally released.

Developer Ubisoft Toronto is releasing patches and updates trying to sort out these issues. The game’s most recent patch, TU 2.00, fixes a bunch of individual crashes across the console and PC versions of the game. But as Ubisoft pointed out on the game’s official Twitter, on Xbox One, where the patch was delayed for a day, TU 2.00 has only caused more crashes. Stated in a follow-up tweet, the developer says it plans to release details and a schedule for future patches early this week. The team is also asking for specific use-cases from people replying on Twitter with their own examples of the game crashing. A peek at the game’s official forum shows a bevy of players experiencing myriad issues. Other press members, such as Kotaku’s Nathan Grayson, are reporting corrupted save files, barring the game from being played. Ubisoft did not respond to our request for comment.

No matter how many times I try to get through Justice4Claire, the game will crash, leaving me unable to finish the mission and progress in the game. I don’t have an exact number, but I’ve likely attempted it more than a dozen times over the past few days. I’ve also encountered new problems where the game would take upwards of five minutes to load; sometimes then crashing during that load screen. Ubisoft has acknowledged this specific problem as a launch issue, but it’s unclear when it’ll be fixed, leaving me unable to progress in my own game until a future patch. It’s worth pointing out, Justice4Claire is the fifth-to-last mission of the game, meaning I’m likely only an hour or two from wrapping the main campaign. 

It’s a shame Watch Dogs: Legion has so many issues. It’s a really fun game, and its play-as-anyone tech can be pretty magical when a plan comes together. It’s also important to note that many players seem unaffected and able to complete the game. Our own reviewer had one crash but a relatively smooth experience overall in his playthrough on Xbox One X, and liked the game quite a bit. But it does seem clear that Legion, which came out two weeks before next-gen consoles and will be available at-launch for both, is pushing some PS4 and Xbox One consoles to their breaking points. If you are one of the individuals affected by these technical problems, it turns an otherwise exciting game into something much less enjoyable.

For more on Watch Dogs: Legion, make sure to check out our review. To see the wildest characters we found walking around its open world London, check out our photo essay. We also have spoiler-free tips for anyone just starting the game.