Before I sat down with this single-player downloadable content for Watch Dogs, I was excited to dive back into the game's world. After finishing the entire content patch in under two hours, my gut decided that there were probably better ways to spend my time. You can get a lot more fun elsewhere for your $6.99.
The Access Granted single-player DLC was released on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and Uplay yesterday, but it's far from Ubisoft's best work in this area. For your $7, you'll get three single-player missions, three perks, two boosts, two weapons, and five new outfits for Aiden. Those who purchased the Watch Dogs Season Pass actually received this last week, so this release is for those not heavily-invested into the game already.
The immediately unlocked bonuses and perks may give you a slight edge, but don't add meaningful gameplay if you've already completed Watch Dogs. The Auto-6 gun is a burst-fire pistol, the Dedsec Battery Boost that adds another battery to your phone, the Blume Weapon Boost minimizes recoil and lowers reload time, the Driving Master Boost makes your vehicles tougher, and the ATM Hack Boost increases the money you recover from ATMs. (The latter was already a toll-free highway to infinite money, the Boost just makes it worse.) Then there's the new outfits, which I took one look at before returning to the ones I had purchased before. You may find a DLC color and texture combination you enjoy over what's already in the game, but that's probably not worth the price of the whole DLC.
When it comes down to it, the three single-players aren't much different from the basic non-story missions already in the game. The first mission, "Signature Shot", has you tailing a member of the Black Viceroys gang to a specific area in The Wards area of the city. Once there, you'll sneak past (or kill) a number of enemies to steal the Biometrics Rifle, a five-star assault rifle. Signature Shot adds up to little more than one of the existing Gang Hideout missions.
The "Breakthrough" mission is equally lackluster and is just another Criminal Convoy: high-level criminals are trying to get from point A to point B and Aiden has to stop them along the way. There's more enemies involved and the bosses have to be knocked out, not killed, but that's it. I was confused when I finished the mission because I expected much more. Instead, it just ended and I received my skill point.
The most robust mission in the DLC is "The Palace", which has you sneaking into the mansion of a prestigious hacker. You'll sneak past guards, disable two junction boxes protecting your hacking target, hack it via minigame, and then chase the hacker into the city. The Palace is probably the longest mission in Access Granted, but it still lacks the overall narrative kick of Watch Dogs' story missions.
It's a shame, because one area Ubisoft usually excels is in downloadable content that takes the existing story in new directions. Assassin's Creed III had The Tyranny of King Washington, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag had Freedom Cry and the PlayStation-exclusive Aveline missions, all of which are some of the better DLC releases in the industry, alongside Skyrim: Dragonborn, The Last of Us: Left Behind, Mass Effect 2's Lair of the Shadow Broker, and most of Borderlands 2's DLC releases.
For Watch Dogs, it looks like the deeper, more revealing DLC will be the unreleased T-Bone campaign and this release is merely a stopgap until then. The Access Granted Pack is like Splinter Cell: Blacklist's Homeland pack or Assassin's Creed III's Hidden Secrets Pack; only for the players who are absolutely desperate for more or those who purchased the Season Pass. The latter is probably closer to the truth, with releases like this providing more content to make a $19.99 Season Pass worth it. If you're not a part of the aforementioned groups, it's better to skip this DLC release and wait for T-Bone to make an appearance.