Get ready to travel across the pond because Watch Dogs: Legion players are going to London. The open-world hacking game is set to let you play as anyone as you recruit resistance fighters against the surveillance state that has taken over. Ahead of its launch on October 29, we've gathered everything you'll need to know about this latest adventure in the series.
What is Watch Dogs: Legion?
Watch Dogs: Legion is the third entry in the action/adventure franchise Watch Dogs, a series focusing on hackers and vigilantes that focus on taking down corrupt officials and companies. This time, players will be taking their hacking escapades all the way to London in a post-Brexit society. You'll be able to explore several iconic locations across its open world as you spread the word of the hacker collective DedSec and gather a resistance. A fascist surveillance state has turned the city into a dystopia, and you'll need all the help you can get to save it.
Watch Dogs The story so far
Each Watch Dogs game is generally unrelated to one another. While they take place in the same universe, they each feature different main characters, locations, and plots. The first Watch Dogs followed a hacker named Aiden Pearce throughout Chicago after a job goes wrong and threatens his family's safety. Watch Dogs 2 starred Marcus Holloway, who sets out to take down San Francisco's unethical surveillance technology as he's wrongly labeled as a suspect in a crime he did not commit.
The common threads between each are that they usually deal with corruption, the proliferation of technology, and greedy corporations utilizing this technology in unethical ways to take advantage of the public.
Watch Dogs: Legion DedSec goes to London
Watch Dogs: Legion leaves the United States altogether for an entirely new location: London. With the Assassin's Creed team already having visited London in Assassin's Creed Syndicate—albeit during the Industrial Revolution—I imagine the teams must have shared notes of some kind when creating the British city.
A new authoritarian regime has taken over in the wake of Brexit and turned London into a dystopia. It's up to us to stop them. But in order to do so, we'll need some help, and this may be the most intriguing part of Watch Dogs: Legion. You can play as anyone.
Watch Dogs: Legion Characters
Here's the cool part: You can play as literally anyone in Watch Dogs: Legion. Every NPC—though it may be incorrect to call them an NPC at this point—you see is fully voiced and fully realized with their own lives. Instead of having one or even two central protagonists, the entire population of London is at your disposal, or at least the ones Ubisoft has created. And this leads to interesting gameplay scenarios.
You're likely better off diversifying your squad based on their unique traits, which provide various boosts and nerfs to particular gameplay attributes. These distinct character attributes aren't decided randomly, but rather are informed by a character's background. For example, a quick scan can reveal that a nearby street performer posing as a human statue is an avid fan of zombie movies, and as a result, deals 40% more headshot damage. The amateur boxer walking past might deal 50 percent more melee damage.
If you want to recruit a certain character, you'll need to first profile them in the open world and reveal their background information. Different people may be more or less susceptible to joining DedSec, and it's up to you to convince them that it's worth their time. A team of to 20 members can be recruited at any given time, and you'll be able to switch between them whenever you'd like. They don't just exist in some imaginary storage containers somewhere waiting for you to call on them through an in-game menu. They exist within the world.
And be sure to take good care of your operatives, because once they're dead, they're gone for good. That's right, Watch Dogs: Legion features permadeath. You'll have a chance to save them, though. If you get downed you'll be able to choose to either continue fighting or surrender. Should you surrender you'll just lose access to your recruit as they go to jail, where you'll have a chance to break them out. But if you choose to fight with your last life and die, there's no accessing that operative.
Despite its name and its promise that you can play as anyone, Watch Dogs will not feature any dogs in the game. Why? Because Ubisoft would have felt forced to make them playable apparently.
"There are no dogs in the game," Creative Director Clint Hocking told IGN. "Because if you're gonna play as anyone, we would have to be able to support playing as a dog, because that's only fair."
So there you have it. There aren't dogs because of development limitations.
Watch Dogs: Legion Gameplay
Like its predecessors, Watch Dogs: Legion will feature a mix of parkour exploration and platforming, melee fights and gunplay, and of course hacking. Ubisoft notes that enemies won't tend to escalate fights, so if you don't bring out the guns, they won't either. It's entirely possible to complete the game using only melee attacks.
A variety of abilities, non-lethal weapons, and other gadgets are at your disposal to augment your playstyle depending on the situation you find yourself in.
London's citizens are all fully voiced, and whether you're playing as an elderly pensioner or a tough-as-nails boxer, the game's cutscenes will change to reflect your character's presence and personality. Your choices also have an effect on the world around you; put up your fists instead of drawing a gun, for example, and your enemies will attempt to arrest or take you down non-lethally. But if you draw a gun – even a nonlethal one – they'll do likewise, and the confrontation could end with your character permanently killed.
In a video for Watch Dog: Legion at Gamescom, we found a little more about the "NPCs" that inhabit the world. Actually, NPC isn't actually the right word. Potential PC is closer to the truth. Once you have helped them with their personal backstory mission, any NPC in the game suddenly becomes available for you to play as your character.
Each NPC has its own special abilities as well as idiosyncrasies that will make the game a lot of fun. One of the characters shown in the trailer can help get your characters out of jail, while another randomly dies whenever because he's old.
That sounds amazing to me. If Watch Dogs: Legion is supposed to exist in a living London, then the characters you meet should be as unique as possible.
Speaking of unique, your potential PCs (PPCs?) can be customized with their own clothes and accessories so you could give them all a uniform style or make each one as individually individual as you want them to be.
In our preview of Watch Dogs: Legion, we said, "it feels a little less like the game came off an assembly line, and instead, feels like it had more of a human touch, with more hand-crafted areas and sequences that add another dimension to the impressive realism of Ubisoft's open-world design."
Watch Dogs: Legion Post-launch content
Ubisoft revealed that Watch Dogs: Legion is getting a Season Pass and some post-launch content that brings a few familiar faces to the game. Not only will Aiden Pearce to cause some mayhem in London, but fan-favorite Wrench from the second game will also make an appearance. For the first time ever, Watch Dogs will be getting a crossover with Assassin's Creed as well. Darcy, a member of the Assassin's Brotherhood, will come to Legion in the Season Pass.
If you're not looking to spend money, Ubisoft is adding some free content updates as well. An online mode will come to the game on December 3, allowing you to explore London in up to 4-player co-op. Tactical Ops is also being added, which are 4-player co-op missions. Spiderbot Arena, Dynamic events, and Invasion round out the list of free updates.
Watch Dogs: Legion When can I play it?
Thanks to Smart Delivery, purchasing one copy of Watch Dogs: Legion on Xbox One gets you a free upgrade to the Xbox Series X version with enhancements, including ray-tracing support.
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