Learn how Ubisoft built Watch Dogs Legion’s dystopian London in the new issue of Edge magazine

With E3 2019 in the can and the jetlag (mostly) gone, it’s time to turn our gaze back to the dystopian hellscape of the United Kingdom. And once we’ve done that, we can start thinking about Watch Dogs Legion, which graces the cover of the new issue of Edge magazine. On sale now in print and digital form, Edge 334 dives deep into the creation of a very different sort of Ubisoft open world: one that takes the ‘N’ out of NPC, a London in which everyone is a potential protagonist. 

Edge has strong ties to the game, and not just by virtue of its setting: Creative director Clint Hocking had a column in the mag for years. Legion clearly bears his signature. It’s a game that subverts our expectations of its genre, just like Far Cry 2 did 11 years ago. This is not your typical Ubisoft open-world pasteboard.

And in a refreshing, and long-overdue move, this is a Ubisoft game that doesn’t shy away from the obvious influence it draws from the contemporary political climate. Hocking and team went on their first major research trip to London in early 2016, months before the Brexit vote. “At that point, no one was really talking about it, and then it came upon us pretty suddenly. We had to kind of roll with the evolving political climate.” You and us both, buddy. Legion is not a game about Brexit, but it is certainly informed by it; the Oval cricket ground in South London is here repurposed as a detention centre, a holding pen for EU citizens awaiting deportation. 

Edge 334 is on sale now, available in all major UK newsagents and via digital edition worldwide, and looks like this:

Here’s a glimpse of what else awaits inside:

An Audience With... Siobhan Reddy

As one of the directors of Media Molecule, Siobhan Reddy has stewarded the remarkable growth of not only one of the UK’s premier game developers, but also one of its most diverse. With the studio’s most ambitious project to date, Dreams, now in early access, Reddy reflects on what it takes to build, and run, one of the most distinctive studios around.

State of the Union

Amid renewed concern around working conditions at some of the biggest development studios in the industry, calls are growing for game developers to unionise. But would doing so really help? What obstacles are in the way? And what would an industry-wide change in working conditions do to the art of game design? We do our best to unpick one of the knottiest problems in today’s industry.

Mighty real

If you thought the virtual-reality revolution had stalled, think again. The next generation of VR hardware has begun, and its two major players have markedly different philosophies upon which direction it would take. For Valve, it is about processing power, as evident in the lavish Index headset; for Oculus, it is about mainstream accessibility, shown in the affordable, fully wireless Quest. We spend a little too long with both HMDs and, once we’ve readjusted to the real world, ask if you can really pick a winner when the riders are running such different races.

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