Taking place in a futuristic post-Brexit London, Watch Dogs: Legion has players embody a hacker group called DedSec. Giving them the ability to recruit and play as almost any NPC found throughout the game world. DedSec will be going toe-to-toe with a private security company called Albion that has taken over the city.
Set to release at the end of October, the game builds upon its street hacker theme by allowing you to create your own “Legion” to face Albion and other criminal organizations. Gameplay demos and early access gameplay have revealed many new features present in the game, so here are 14 things you should know about Watch Dogs: Legion.
“Anyone can be your weapon” is the new tagline for Watch Dogs: Legion, and they’re not kidding. From construction workers to badass grannies, NPCs from all over London can be recruited to DedSec.
All of the recruits will have their own perks, weapons and habits, bearing a striking resemblance to the Shadow of Mordor style of randomized recruitable characters. There will be a limit of 20 active agents and 60 candidates and while some NPCs might not have much to offer you, others can have game-changing value.
To recruit characters, you will have to find someone useful to your squad and start the recruitment process. Once the process is started, they will ask a number of favours of you depending on their relationship with the organization. It is entirely possible that someone you are trying to recruit dislikes DedSec and they will have their own reasons why. They will simply take more convincing to join, so basically more favours/missions, turning every recruitment process into its own questline.
2. Character Types/Traits
Characters in Watch Dogs: Legion will have positive and negative traits, making it a risk-reward to recruit some types of people. You might recruit a spy who will dish out but also receive more damage, or maybe an expert hacker who unfortunately spends all your money on new gadgets, or even an elder who has reduced movement speed but a killer outfit. It will be completely up to you to choose who you want in your squad.
There will be different archetypes in Legion. These include brawlers who will do extra melee damage, hackers who can take control of gadgets, and spies who can pass through restricted areas undetected. There will also be characters who will offer passive effects to your squad, like lawyers and medics who can reduce jail time and heal time respectively.
The weapons in Watch Dogs: Legion include the typical GTA options: SMGs, Assault Rifles, Sidearms, melee weapons, etc. However, there will be non-lethal variants for half of the weapons, even shotguns. These will not have much impact on gameplay and will be used relatively the same way.
In an interview with Twinfinite, creative director Clint Hocking said they want the player to have the option of using either/or, because many of the characters that are playable will be civilians, and may not necessarily be okay with casually murdering people.
Characters will come with their own weapons, such as the spy’s silenced SMG. There will also be shops where you can buy weapons and ammo, and ammo is also dropped by enemies. Even with the wide range of weapons, there will be many ways to kill or incapacitate enemies without even firing a bullet. You will be able to set environmental traps with your phone and drop payloads from cargo drones onto unsuspecting enemies, which will make the gameplay more dynamic.
4. Permadeath Option
While Ubisoft had initially planned on fully integrating permadeath in Watch Dogs: Legion, it sparked a controversy over whether it would make the game more or less enjoyable. They finally gave in and made it optional. While turning it off makes the game less frustrating and saves players from losing their favourite characters, the opposite will provide a more realistic and high-stakes experience.
When a character loses a gunfight, the player will have the option of surrendering and going to jail or fighting for their life. If you choose the latter and go down again with permadeath on, that character will be lost forever. With permadeath off, the character will only be injured and unusable for a certain amount of time. You can choose to have it on or not, depending on the playstyle and type of experience that you want.
5. Deep Profiler
The deep profiler is a system available to DedSec agents which provides detailed information on NPCs. It will reveal their traits, schedules and relationships with characters and organizations. Other than being eerily similar to present day technology, the system is also incredibly useful when sniffing out recruits.
You can find all the nitty-gritty stuff about any NPC in the streets of London, such as what kind of weapons and abilities they use. In Watch Dogs: Legion, there will also be stories for why everyone has the traits they have, like someone who is good at parkour because they spent their life on the streets or an activist who is great at rallying people. If you’re lucky, you might find an old lady who is also an ex spy with a burning hatred for Albion, which would be a great asset to your team.
6. Defiance and Unique Agents
Defiance is an area-specific system in Watch Dogs: Legion, a meter that can be filled by completing quests in Albion controlled sections of the map called boroughs. You can liberate the boroughs by filling the defiance meter and once it’s liberated, Albion presence will be greatly reduced, operatives will be easier to recruit and military propaganda will be taken down and replaced with DedSec’s.
When the meter is filled, the borough will not immediately be liberated: you’ll need to complete a takeover mission that will cause an uprising. Additionally, liberating boroughs will unlock unique operatives that will be some of the best in the biz. According to Hocking in an interview with USGamer, these operatives will not only have an extra perk but also have their kit optimized to their class.
In Watch Dogs: Legion, staying true to the theme of the series, you can hack most things in the environment such as cars, phones and drones. Stealing security company tools won’t be all you bring to the table however, as you will have access to an arsenal of your own gadgets. A lot of these have been revealed such as personal drones and temporary cloaking devices.
Since different characters will bring different playstyles, sometimes the right approach might not be a head-on battle. Players will need to use a combination of hacks, stealth and combat to take on difficult encounters. Using a cloaking device will allow you to slip through enemies unnoticed and cloak enemy bodies. Different types of drones will allow you to stun enemies, shoot rockets and bullets, carry the player and drop payloads onto enemies. If that isn’t cool enough for you, spies will have a supercar that can shoot rockets, allowing you to conquer London in style.
8. “Access” Gameplay
On top of having characters with varying combat, hacking and passive abilities, in Watch Dogs: Legion you can also recruit Albion agents that can do some sneaking around for DedSec. They have a special ability called uniformed access which will disguise them in an Albion uniform, allowing you to enter restricted areas easily to find intel.
In a gameplay video, we see the player recruit an Albion agent to complete a main mission. The mission lets you break into a meeting where the leader of the authoritative military group shows a bit of his ruthless personality. We also see that the player isn’t totally exempt from being spotted. Guards will notice that you are an imposter, and will have the typical awareness meter that slowly fills when they are looking at you. Luckily, you will be able to distract guards by hacking their phones.
Recruiting Albion agents can be very useful when trying to find intel, or keep a lower profile. They will likely be a good early-game tactic, while you are building up your resistance.
In Watch Dogs: Legion, all of your characters’ outfits will be completely customizable. You can buy them clothes, hats and accessories at the many shops found throughout London. The whole squad can be swagged up, even grandma.
Only the full release of the game will tell how expansive the cosmetic scene is, but Ubisoft has promised that much of the game’s release content will be purchased with Crypto, the in-game currency. There will however be, to nobody’s surprise, microtransactions.
Characters and cosmetics will be available for purchase, even though they will not offer any in-game advantage. The characters will have unique personalities and stories but Ubisoft has promised that they will not bring any abilities or traits that are not already in the game.
10. NPC’s Fight Back
Throughout the game world of Watch Dogs: Legion, players will witness the people of London being oppressed by Albion. These encounters can often lead to huge fights that are perfect for distractions and taking out Albion forces, without drawing too much attention to yourself.
In a Ubisoft livestream, the player used a megaphone to try and rally people around a man who was being beaten by Albion security personnel. He continued to accidentally punch the poor man in the face, but before he did that he actually convinced one man on the street to help him fight. They fought the soldier afterwards, and his newfound ally landed the final blow to help finish him off.
The megaphone will be an ability some characters have and can amass crowds of people that could seriously tip the scales in some fights.
11. Underground Boxing
Areas in London will have underground boxing leagues, where you can test your metal and break a few jaws. According to Clint Hocking in the livestream, they will also feature some of the “strongest fighters” in the game which can be recruited to your team.
In the fight pits, you will need to face waves of enemies and clobber your way to the boss, who will be a tough fighter with special abilities. The livestream showcases two of the bosses that are placed into the game world and aren’t randomly generated. One of these bosses is actually two tough gents who fight together, while the other is quick and uses smoke bombs to disorient. Melee fighters will be very useful to recruit, and will often make for the best infiltrators as they will spend most of their time in close-quarters.
Multiplayer is a feature in Watch Dogs 2 and will also be present in Watch Dogs: Legion. Four player drop-in drop-out co-op is set to be released on December 3rd 2020, allowing you and your friends to recruit, explore and wreak havoc in London together. The online mode will feature dynamic events found throughout free roam, and tactical ops: essentially very difficult missions that will require strong teamwork and coordination to complete, like raids in Destiny or The Division.
You will also be free to test your arachnid piloting skills against players in the new spider-bot arena that will start off as an eight player free-for-all but will feature more game modes later on. The arena allows players to duke it out in a cockfight-like scenario where the best bot wins. The robots will be customizable and undoubtedly feature an array of wacky gadgets and weapons to help you decimate the robotic competition.
Watch Dogs veterans know all too well about invasions: the thrill of tracking down or hiding from other players, catching them off guard and ruining their day or even just playing some friendly hide and seek. Invasions are coming back in Watch Dogs: Legion, but will have a different spice to them with the random characters.
Players will be able to complete bounties on other players, and players who have been invaded and killed can retaliate to get revenge. Ubisoft have said that permadeath will not be included in invasions because of the potential for griefing. It would be an absolute shame to lose your favourite character to someone who runs over you in the street.
14. Season Pass and Heroes
I don’t think anybody is surprised by the season pass. It will offer a new questline, where you can play as Aiden Pierce from Watch Dogs as he works with another established character Wrench, who was in Watch Dogs 2. They are letting you play as a previously seen character for extra money, absolutely groundbreaking.
Thankfully, the season will include new characters as well, including “Mina, a subject of transhuman experiments who can mind-control individuals; and Darcy, a member of the Assassin Order” according to a recent Ubisoft news blog post. For all you Assassin’s Creed fans out there, yes he will have a hidden blade.
While Watch Dogs: Legion has a lot of potential, only the full release will reveal if Ubisoft delivers a game worth playing. The game will be released on October 29th for Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC and Stadia. It will also join the next-gen wave on November 10th for Xbox series X/S and Playstation 5 on November 12th/19th depending on your region. Have fun hacking.
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