Watch Dogs Legion E3 2019 Hands-On Preview | When the People Rise Up

Watch Dogs Legion is another step forward, providing you with hundreds of characters to play as and multiple avenues to complete your objective

By Grayshadow, Posted 14 Jun 2019

Since the debut of the Watch Dogs series, the franchise has seen a massive surge. The first game was mediocrely received due to the dull protagonist Aiden Pearce and bland optional missions. The second game was a massive improvement, with a collection of layered characters coupled with well-designed missions that took advantage of the hacking system. Watch Dogs Legion is another step forward, providing you with hundreds of characters to play as and multiple avenues to complete your objective. You are not 1 person, you're everyone.

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Watch Dogs Legion has DeadSec taking on a new objective, releasing the hold the new totalitarian government has on the people of London following the destruction of their economic system. The pound is worthless and everything runs of cryptocurrency and the people are not under the constant threat of an all-seeing surveillance state. Private militaries are on the street, people are oppressed, and a powerful crime syndicate is preying on vulnerable people. And those same people are turning to crimes such as blackmail to simply survive.

When I first saw the trailer for Watch Dogs Legion it seemed unrealistic, play as anyone? That was entirely true, the demo proved this to me when I picked someone at a bar, learned about his life and ideas, changed his opinion of DeadSec, and recruited him to the cause. In a matter of 15 minutes, this NPC was part of my legion. 

This doesn't mean you can just pick anyone. Watch Dogs Legion features an entire profile system, similar to the previous games, with the player given access to the NPC's entire history. Knowing their likes, dislikes, and opinions on both the state of London and DeadSec allows you to better understand what it would take to recruit said person. In addition, a system similar to Monolith's Nemesis System is present here. With the player's actions constantly being taken into consideration when performing actions. Attacking, killing, or using non-lethal attacks will not only change your reputation among the people but individual NPCs. Some will go to the hospital if fatally hurt but not killed and family members of that NPC could seek revenge on DeadSec. Ubisoft went the extra mile and provided unique character animations for the cutscenes based on who you're using. While playing I saw 2 of the same cutscenes going on with different characters, each with their own body language.

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Each NPC has their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, Enforcers are combat heavy but can use a non-lethal stick mine. Infiltrators can utilize an AR cloak to turn invisible and even turn bodies invisible to avoid detection and Hackers can deploy a spiderbot to aid in combat or sneak into areas. Each NPC has its own leveling system and unlocks perks the more you use them. 

If you do find yourself in combat the melee system has been altered. Instead of the one-hit KO found in the other Watch Dogs, Ubisoft has implemented a rock, paper, scissors system. Simply spamming melee won't work this time. The developers also made a note that NPCs will often avoid lethal combat until the player pulls a gun out.

Your legion is always with you. During the game, they'll wander the environment, serving as fast-travel stations, and will even aid you when you're in trouble. During the demo, I was chased by the police and one of my allies suddenly put up barriers to slow down the cops.

During my demo session, I saw a few other players completing the same mission in a variety of ways. One player used a spiderbot to sneak into the facility and another starts killing people left and right. There was no "right" way to complete the mission, you're given the tools now it was up to you to use them in whatever way you wanted. However, it does come with consequences. Once an NPC dies, they're dead. They can be arrested or incapacitated and open to rescue, but if killed everything you unlocked with that person is gone. This goes double for the possibility of recruitment, once that NPC is dead you cannot recruit them to your cause.

True to its name, Legion will have more than just NPCs. You can bring 3 of your friends into the world and take on cooperative missions. However, this option was not available in the demo provided.

Watch Dogs Legion is staggering. Much like Watch Dogs 2, Ubisoft has taken the feedback from players and even systems from other games such as Assassin's Creed Odyssey to provide a more open-ended game. On paper, this seems like an impossible feat but somehow Ubisoft accomplished this, giving the player access to all the NPCs in the world. Recruiting, leveling, and building DeadSec's legion to becoming a formidable force against the oppressors that feel they're untouchable. While the game doesn't seem connected to the previous games the ideals present are still there, with one side using technology as a way to control people and the other using it to liberate them.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Ubisoft
Developer(s): Ubisoft
Genres: Action-Adventure
Themes: Hacking
Release Date: 2020-10-29

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