On Edge: Anticipating Watch Dogs Legion

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The game developers at Ubisoft are having a banner year for game releases. Beyond the release of upcoming next-generation consoles and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla in November, they are releasing their latest AAA game in another beloved action open-world title: Watch Dogs: Legion.

The Watch Dogs series has previously had all of its action centred in North America, but Legion takes the jump to modern London, revitalising the open-world genre of games. Run by CEO Nigel Cass, private security company Albion has taken over the city, and with surveillance and the city crawling with a private militant force, the Londoners aren’t happy. You’ll regain control of the city conquering each borough from Albion, with a physical reduction of their propaganda, while also being able to see the citizens less oppressed as times goes on.

Oh, and did I mention that every single NPC in the game is recruitable? From hackers and tech experts to stealth and even former employees of Albion itself, all of them can be recruited for DedSec and your resistance. And there are already some fan favourites, such as the elderly Helen Dashwood shown in the E3 gameplay trailer who, with a robot spider she lovingly calls “a darling” and a blunt quip or two, proceeds to wreak havoc in Scotland Yard. Some fans have even expressed their excitement in recruiting an entirely elderly DedSec!

With each NPC and possible recruit having tropes and their own array of skills or even access to unique weapons, you can play however you want. Fancy a stealthy takedown? Then why not pick up a James Bond-esque spy, complete with a rocket-firing getaway car? Want to instead walk around like you’re meant to be there? Select a rogue Albion employee now defected, and bypass all of the security checkpoints. A questline mission will even let you interact with and help out grime music artist Stormzy!

One new mechanic Ubisoft is introducing into Watch Dog: Legion is the permadeath feature. Unlike previous titles where you could replay missions from save points if your character dies, that won’t happen here. In Legion, if your member of the resistance dies, that’s it. Of course, there is a way to turn off that mode, so when characters “die” they are merely arrested or are in hospital, and receive a small cool-off period before being available again.

But not everything in the game is new; the September edition of Ubisoft Forward revealed that a DLC pack would reintroduce Aiden Pierce to the series in a series of missions. This single decision has apparently brought some older fans of Watch Dogs back into the series, intrigued as to how Legion will tie into the original.

Set throughout the UK’s capital city, the title is bound to cover multiple recognisable locations, with the Tower of London and Camden Market already shown in marketing material. From what we’ve seen of the game so far, it looks beautiful, full of bright colours, and small little details that continue to build the world around you. I for one can’t wait to spend hours searching for those little Easter eggs and nods to British media and culture. Perhaps a blue police box tucked away somewhere in Camden? Or, as seen in one Ubisoft Forward trailer, a familiar eagle screech heard during a daring leap from great heights!

The game promises to be kaleidoscopic fun in a game full of ordinary heroes. So fall in love with every accent from London, and tackle any mission however you want in order to take back the city.

Watch Dogs: Legion will be released on consoles and Windows on October 29th. Watch the trailer below.

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Second-year archaeology & history student and Culture Editor 2019/20. Loves archery and Assassin's Creed, and still hoping to one day find the doorway to Narnia.

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