He’s rough, he’s tough… and he’s a whole lot of crazy. The bearded badass hacker T-Bone makes his triumphant return, this time taking center stage in a new piece of Watch Dogs downloadable content titled Bad Blood. Available September 23 for Season Pass holders and September 30 for all other players, Bad Blood has a full story campaign that includes 10 new missions set throughout the game’s open-world Chicago.
But why T-Bone, as opposed to Clara or Jordi? Because T-Bone makes sense when it comes to both the story and the gameplay. “We had to look at what each character would bring to the DLC that might make them different from Aiden Pearce without reducing our ability to fully interact with the world,” says Scriptwriter Ethan Petty. In other words, the right character had to excel at hacking, driving and shooting – all core elements of the Watch Dogs experience. “T-Bone is an old-school hacker and engineer heavily linked to ctOS. He’s got a rebel spirit and can take care of himself in a fight. He has an unexplored backstory that gives him a solid reason to fight. And he represents the ‘maker culture’ of hacking, which brings new machines and gadgets to our game.”
Which brings us to what might be the best supporting character in Bad Blood: the remote-controlled Eugene, a mini-car outfitted with a variety of cool gadgets. “Eugene is T-Bone’s kind of pet,” says Content Director Bogdan Bridinel. “Being small, it can easily sneak by enemies and pass through small gaps to reach locations normally inaccessible to T-Bone. It can hack anything that T-bone can, and can be upgraded with cool gadgets like a stun gun or a self-destruction mechanism that creates a big explosion.” Don’t worry if Eugene gets blown sky high; Bridinel reassures us that with the right components, T-Bone can craft the RC car again.
Also unique to Bad Blood: armed security cameras. Bridinel describes these as “an inventive defensive device created by literally strapping a remote controlled gun to a security camera.” Playing as T-Bone, you can hack into these armed security cameras just like you would with any camera in the game, then aim the gun and fire on enemies without their having any idea what hit them.
As for the story, Petty tells us the team wanted to “lighten up the mood” in the DLC, which also makes the quirky and headstrong T-Bone the perfect leading man for this raucously fun campaign. When we last heard from T-Bone in Watch Dogs, he was preparing to leave Chicago. “When we catch up to him in the DLC, he’s finally ready to do that,” Petty says. “He’s got one last Blume break-in to plant a false trail for the ctOS, before he heads in the opposite direction and retires to a life of open water and endless mojitos.” Those plans are soon jeopardized when Tobias Frewer calls him from a car trunk. T-Bone must then choose between his desire to finally get out of this life – or risk everything for an old friend. While you can probably guess what T-Bone chooses, Petty offers this helpful hint: “You won’t be sipping mojitos in the DLC!” he laughs.
Bad Blood also lets players explore new areas of Watch Dogs’ Chicago. “Our main goal was to bring a breath of fresh air for the player, to let them discover and explore new outdoors and indoors areas,” says Art Director Cédric Humeau. That means new ctOS and Blume offices in the higher-rent districts – along with some deep dives into the darker corners of the Windy City. “T-Bone is a character with a haunted past, and his journey will lead him through unknown, forbidden and abandoned places,” Humeau says. “On the north coast of Pawnee or in the heart of Brandon Docks, new areas will help build the story and immerse the player as he advances in his journey. There is a lot more to this, but we don’t want to spoil this new adventure for you.” (Humeau did let slip one tasty tidbit: we’ll get to explore T-Bone’s new HQ, aka “Junkyard 2.0”!)
Players won’t just get the narrative-driven, secrets-packed campaign with Bad Blood; the upcoming DLC also opens up the new Street Sweep contracts. “Street sweep missions allow T-Bone to acquire more skills and notoriety by dealing with the gangs in Chicago, killing two birds with one stone,” says Game Designer Aurelien Chiron. T-Bone will learn about gang activities from Detective Sheila Billings. Each situation will have several different objectives that range from taking down multiple gang members and destroying their stash, to protecting a witness from being killed. “You are not only weakening Chicago’s criminal gangs but also getting new exclusive perks and Street Sweep tags,” Chiron explains. “The Street Sweep tags are exclusive tokens needed to unlock T-Bone’s new fancy outfits.”
These Street Sweep missions are generated by a new “Street Sweep manager,” offering up unlimited and varied missions. They also have their own leaderboards, and can all be played co-op. “The new co-op mode was something we really wanted to add in the DLC,” Chiron says. “The fantasy of playing T-Bone and a sidekick with your friends to take down some bad guys together was really strong. With the endless Street Sweep content, we had the perfect opportunity to build a co-op mode for the player that adds a lot of replay value!”
Whether you play Bad Blood solo, or jump into co-op with Street Sweeps, the new DLC also offers a new gameplay experience that fits perfectly in Watch Dogs’ world. “T-Bone is mainly different in his personality, his motivation and the way he’s tied to the Windy City,” Chiron says. “In terms of gameplay, you will see T-Bone dealing with close combat differently from Aiden. He has his own little tricks and he won’t hesitate to use them. We also made some changes in acquiring craft materials to make it easier to use all the crafted tools since it fits T-Bone’s style.”
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