Watch Dogs: Legion
Watch Dogs: Legion
Released Oct. 29th, 2020
Published by: Ubisoft
Developed by: Ubisoft Toronto
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Watch Dogs: Legion - Launch Trailer | PS4
Watch Dogs: Legion: Launch Trailer
Watch Dogs: Legion - Xbox Series X Inside Look
touring Watch Dogs: Legion w A LONDONER (Rahul Kohli)
Details
Watch Dogs: Legion is a 2020 action-adventure game published by Ubisoft and developed by its Toronto studio. It is the third instalment in the Watch Dogs series, and the sequel to 2016's Watch Dogs 2. Set within a fictionalised representation of a future, dystopian London, the game's story focuses on the hacker group DedSec as they seek to clear their names for a series of bombings that impacted the city, as well as liberating its citizens from its surveillance state by an oppressive private military company.

Alongside traditional elements of gameplay from previous titles, Legion uses multiple playable characters that can be recruited and controlled at any time to complete missions. Each playable character has their own unique skills and backgrounds, and can be lost permanently if players enable the option of permadeath before starting a new game. Four-player cooperative multiplayer will also be included, allowing players to team up to complete missions or explore London together.

Legion was released in October 2020 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Stadia, and is due for release in November as a launch title for the Xbox Series X/S, the PlayStation 5, and Amazon Luna. Upon release, the game received generally favorable reviews, yet faced some questions over the multiple playable character aspect and repetitive mission style, and criticism over its open world design and driving mechanics.


Gameplay

Watch Dogs: Legion is an action-adventure game played from a third-person perspective, and takes place within an open world setting based upon London, which can be explored either on foot - utilizing parkour moves - vehicles, or fast-travelling via the city's Underground stations. The game is composed of several missions, including those that progress the main story, liberation missions aimed at freeing the city's boroughs featured in the setting, recruitment missions for new playable characters, and various side-activities, with players able to freely pursue a mission or activity, or explore the city for secrets and collectibles. Each mission's objectives can be handled via one or several different approaches: an open-combat approach utilizing a variety of weapons; a stealth approach utilizing the environment to avoid detection and monitoring enemy patterns; or a hacking approach using any hackable object to subdue enemies with traps or distractions, while seeking out objectives via cameras and remotely accessing them. Combat includes a mixture of gun fights - involving lethal and non-lethal fire-arms - and hand-to-hand combat moves, with enemies making use of different methods depending on how the player acts against them in combat (i.e. a guard hit with a punch will use melee attacks). Players can be pursued by enemies when escaping, including hostile drones, but can lose them by utilizing hack-able environmental objects (i.e. vents) and avoiding line of sight with pursuers.

Unlike previous games in the series, Legion features the ability to use multiple characters during a playthrough, each of whom can be recruited from around the game's setting. While the player must choose a character to begin with after the story's prologue chapter, others may be recruited upon completing the initial story missions of the game from anywhere around the game's setting, which can also include those working for hostile factions. Those recruited become operatives that the player can freely switch to at any time, as well as customize with different clothing options, with each recruit-able character maintaining their own lifestyle and occupation when not active (i.e. spending time drinking at a pub). Each character that can be recruited have different traits and skills, based upon their background - a spy operative has access to a silenced pistol and can summon a special spy vehicle to travel around with, armed with rockets; a hooligan operative can summon in friends to help in a fist-fight; a builder operative can make use of large drones for heavy-lifting and a nail-gun for combat; while an "adrenaline junkie" operative can deal more damage, but risk the possibility of being knocked out/dying at any random moments. Operatives can gain experience when used by the player, which allows them to gain additional skills and abilities to improve them, with the player able to provide additional upgrades for all character by spending "tech points" - a collectible scattered around the city, which can be spent on weapon and gadget upgrades.

All potential recruits have an additional statistic, which details whether they can be recruited when approached - their thoughts on DedSec. Some recruits may not join if either they favour those that oppose them (such as a hostile faction), if the player has a character in their roster whom they hate or if DedSec did something to harm another NPC they have good relations with. If a recruit can be brought in, players will be required to complete a mission from them related to a problem they need resolving. An example of such a mission would be helping someone determine why they are being constantly spied on more frequently of late working as a vigilante in shutting down a criminal operation they seek to disrupt. Any character that can be recruited, can be killed during a playthrough by criminal gangs or law enforcement, and thus be permanently removed from the player's roster of playable characters, provided the player has the permadeath option enabled; if not, the character is merely arrested, and can be simply rescued by another operative. If the player loses all their characters from death or arrest, the game ends.

The online component of the game would be introduced through a free post-launch update in December 2020. Players can also join a team of up to four players in cooperative gameplay, sharing progression between single-player and multiplayer modes. They can also access Tactical Ops, which are co-operative missions designed for 4 players, or simply explore London together. The asymmetrical multiplayer mode Invasion would also return. The game also features a competitive multiplayer mode named "Spiderbot Arena" in which players assumes control of a gadget named spiderbot and compete against each other in free for all matches.