It wasn’t a huge secret that the third Watch Dogs game would be set in London: it was perhaps the worst kept secret of E3.
But, despite this, the reveal of Watch Dogs Legion still surprised many – mainly because it exceeded everyone’s expectations. From the immersive setting, to the colourful NPCs – or in this case, actual playable characters – to the exciting looking combat, there’s so much to be excited about for Watch Dogs: Legion.
1. The huge amount of playable characters
Perhaps the most intriguing part of Watch Dogs Legion so far is the sheer amount of playable characters. Instead of just having one protagonist, there’s a whole range of playable characters, all with their specific skills and character traits. Ubisoft says you can play as any character in the game, giving an incredible scope unrivalled by pretty much anything else ever developed.
Each character can be recruited to your cause, and in the gameplay trailer, we see the importance of hiring the right person with the specific talents needed for the job.
The possibilities here are endless. The notion of being in charge of recruiting people is very exciting, and each character will have their own unique backstory. It’s a really intriguing prospect, and it’ll make the setting of London feel much more alive. In fact, the inclusion of each character having their own backstory could make Watch Dogs: Legion one of the most immersive games ever.
2. The political unrest
The Kaiser Chiefs predicted correctly; there will be a riot. In Watch Dogs: Legion, London is a scene of complete political unrest. From protests to terrorism, Ubisoft has included a very ambitious and poignant cultural setting within London. The political climate of the setting also brilliantly ties in to the main theme of the game: rebellion.
It’s completely believable that so many citizens would be against the current government and political climate, and that they’d want to fight against it. The political unrest in London not only sets up a very intriguing environment, but it also perfectly links to the ability to recruit other characters.
3. Changeable views for each character
Despite the political unrest in London, not every character is willing to join the underground rebellion. Each character has their own set of beliefs, and their ideologies may not relate to what the cause represents. However, instead of simply just not recruiting these people, you seemingly the ability to actually change their mindset.
This allows each character to feel much more real, and there’s the potential for each to have their own story arc. The gameplay footage revealed that the current character being used can either fight to death or surrender. If they get injured and go to hospital (after surrendering) the player can use another character to ensure that they get the best care, which can make the previously injured player more likely to want to join the fight again. It’s a very exciting prospect.
By including the possibility to hire different characters, and by being able to change their views and mindsets, it’s very likely that the player is going to get attached to specific characters in Watch Dogs: Legion. This is why the addition of permadeath is so impactful.
In Watch Dogs: Legion, it’s not a simple case of your character dying, and you’ll simply restart the mission. Instead, that character is dead forever in the world of Legion. Permadeath creates serious consequences. Seeing a character that the player has bonded with die will be a painful experience for many, and that will heighten the importance of each action the player takes. It’s an addition that makes the story, the setting, and the characters that much more significant.
One of the main complaints about Watch Dogs 2 was how the protagonist, Marcus, could go from being friendly in cut scenes to being able to kill hundreds of enemies without any sense of emotion. But the political setting for Watch Dogs: Legion makes the combat more believable and understandable.
The actual gun fighting within Watch Dogs: Legion looks fantastic too. The cover and shoot style looks awesome, and quick takedowns look brutal. There will be an importance placed on stealth, but it’s refreshing to see the player can run headfirst into battles too, and the combat looks perfect for this.
6. The setting of London
London is a setting that has been used in a lot of games, but few have captured the beauty of the capital quite like Watch Dogs: Legion. From the early glimpse of the London skyline, it’s clear that this is a detailed setting with many famous features.
This is not a stereotypical London based on the traditional landmarks; this seems to be a true reflection of London. The visuals are stunning, and the city looks incredible. There may be an underground war happening, but just walking around London in Watch Dogs: Legion looks like it’ll be a blast.