Watch Dogs Legion continues to us interested with its intriguing "play as anyone" selling point. Set in a post-Brexit alternative future London, the lasted entry in the Watch Dogs franchise sees you building your own personal team of Dedsec agents that you plucked and assembled from a whole range of different London citizens. Recently Ubisoft announced the release date for the Watch Dogs Legion has been pushed back, so it looks like we'll be in a longer wait to see just how it all works, but it already looks like it'll be worth the wait. Here's everything we know so far about Watch Dogs Legion.
Watch Dogs Legion release date - When is it coming out?
While Watch Dogs Legion's initial release date was set for March 6, 2020, Ubisoft recently announced that it's now being pushed back and is currently slated at some point during the 2020 - 2021 fiscal year. When it does officially launch, it's expected to land on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Google Stadia. It'll also be available through Ubisoft's new Uplay+ subscription service.
Watch Dogs Legion lets you play as anyone, and everyone's different
One Watch Dogs Legion's most interesting features is that it will let you play as anyone in the city of London. But many have been wondering just how this will work in practise. Well, Ubisoft dropped an explainer video talking about just that at Gamescom 2019, shedding light on the different kinds of people you'll meet, and how each and every character has their own unique perks, builds and abilities. Viktor, for example, is a "chappie" who will take less damage after he necks down four beers. Yep, that's right. Beer-swilling leads to damage resistance. Another character shown is Sue, a top-notch lawyer who can get your operatives out of prison, no questions asked. That sounds very handy. Oh, and there's an old fellow who could randomly die at any moment. Yep, there's permadeath. Every character has their own origin story and after you help them solve a problem, they'll then join your team and become playable. With a lot of variety and so many possibilities, it sounds like Legion will be jam-packed with all kinds of personalities.
Watch Dogs Legion is set in London
As a British woman, the idea of a London Watch Dogs Legion setting seriously exciting, and not just for the tea and crumpets. And now we know it's officially happening, well, I barely know what to do with myself.
This is London, but not as we know it. It's set in a dystopian future where mass unemployment, an ineffective government, and a brand new private security firm called Albion, are causing riots on the streets. It's up to you to build a team of resistance fighters, unearthing the potential Dedsec recruits lurking amongst the common people.
The Watch Dogs Legion map will encompass a wide area of the London area - the official website describes it as "a massive urban open world" where you can "visit London’s many famous landmarks – including Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Camden, Piccadilly Circus or Whitechapel".
It's a high tech London too, where a variety of drones float through the air, automated cars - and buses - are a norm, and hackers are apparently a dime a dozen.
"London is one of the most surveilled cities in the world," explains producer, Sean Crooks. "Also, its cultural backdrop, its history, the contrast between modern culture and very old English architecture is very intriguing. So when we look at the cities where we could possibly set this game all of those elements really made it stand out."
"All the elements in the world that you see are based off lots of real-world problems that eventually contribute towards Brexit. So autonomy and loss of jobs because of it, global warming, all the other events that you see worldwide happening today. I feel that all of those events that contribute towards Brexit also contribute towards the world state of Watch Dogs Legion. But, it's not just that, it's about everything that's happening in the world today and all of it has culminated to this one situation, a possible future, of Watch Dogs Legion."
Watch Dogs Legion gameplay - What do we know so far?
As I explained in my Watch Dogs Legion E3 2019 preview, although hacking is still a huge part of the series, this time around it's much more about building a team of hackers. Instead of having a central protagonist, you're building a team of Dedsec agents, all of which you've handpicked from the London population.
"Watch Dogs Legion is a game about building a resistance to fight back an authoritarian regime that's taken over London," explained producer, Sean Crooks, in an interview with GameRadar. "In the game, you can literally recruit anyone that you see. Anyone in the world is playable. You can find them, look at their stats and traits, play their origin story, recruit them and then build a team to fight the resistance with them."
As mentioned above, every single NPC in the world of Watch Dogs Legion is a potential Dedsec agent. Imagine GTA 5, but a potential playable character pool of up to 20 agents, and even more available to switch in and out at will.
"There's a limit of 20 but that is only at the same time. So you can pop people in and out - you will lose people," adds Crooks.
Watch Dogs Legion does include permadeath, though, which is definitely another sign of the series upping the ante. What that means is that when your agent is close to death, you'll be given the choice whether to surrender - and losing them temporarily to a hospital or prison - or to keep on fighting. But, of course, if you choose the latter you can risk losing them for good.
"It's interesting to have a connection with your characters. The investment and the risk/reward is a lot higher. Knowing that this person that you've maybe grown attached to, you could lose him or her is a good tactical choice."
There are three classes that you can file your new agents into too, heightening the tactical way you build your team. There's the enforcer, infiltrator or hacker, and all of those have a variety of perks to equip as well, meaning that you can really customise your play style.
"We have these things called team traits, which are basically traits on characters that allow them to help you while you're playing with a different character. Say for example a character has a team trait that allows you to hack drones, you may be chased by Albion, the private military in the game, and your other character who is currently in your roster says "oh let me help you with that" and they start hacking cars out of the way and cameras. Even the characters you're not actively playing with right now still contribute towards your game as you play. They'll even chat with you. So you could be playing with a person one minute, switching to another character, and there'll have a conversation with you with your previous character. It's very cool."
Until we see more of Watch Dogs Legion, why not watch our video on the most exciting new games of 2019 below: