When the original Watch Dogs was revealed at Ubisoft’s E3 2012 conference, many were blown away by its ambition – rightly so for its time. Watch Dogs was later released in 2014 to mixed reviews.
Fast forward to E3 2019, Ubisoft has revealed Watch Dogs Legion. Legion allows the player to play as any NPC in the game. Many remain cautious as to whether this will fully come to fruition, but from the gameplay demos we have seen at E3 it is look promising.
Watch Dogs has never been a series that has ever grabbed my attention. The first Watch Dogs had a very serious tone, and in my opinion fell flat in terms of story. Watch Dogs 2 was an improvement. Marcus (the protagonist) was much more interesting and compelling compared to the tiresome Aiden Pearce. San Francisco was more vibrant and a better playground as compared to Chicago. However, like Watch Dogs, the story and had a lot to be desired.
Watch Dogs: Legion – The Turning Point.
Watch Dogs: Legion is exactly what this franchise needs. Prior to the announce of this game, I wasn’t expecting anything new as compared to its predecessors. I was expecting a bog-standard protagonist, with a modern setting. The dystopian future setting itself has me more hyped about this game. Combine that with the control any NPC, we have a game that has huge potential.
What made the previous games so unique was the hacking. Despite all these new changes, hacking is still a fundamental part of the overall gameplay in Watch Dogs: Legion. The developers felt it was important to keep the core pillars of a Watch Dogs game, whilst also adding new and fresh ideas.
My main concern for this game is the story. Watch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2’s narrative were uninteresting. With their not being a main protagonist in Watch Dogs: Legion, we as the player may find it difficult to connect to these characters, and connect to the overall narrative.
Permadeath is also an issue players will have to deal with. Once an NPC has died there is no going back – that NPC is dead, and you can longer use them – think your survivors in State of Decay. So when my Grandma Helen dies after raiding Scotland Yard, am I going to feel gutted? or am I just going to move onto the next character? who will likely have better stats than my slow and sluggish grandma anyway. My point is, that I don’t expect to feel attached to any of these characters as there is 20 of them in your resistance. if one dies I just recruit another grandma!
Ubisoft Montreal had previously taken the lead on the franchise. With Watch Dogs: Legion, Ubisoft Toronto is doing the heavy lifting. Clint Hocking is the creative director of the game. He is previously known for leading on Far Cry 2 (2008), and Splinter Cell: Blacklist (2013).
Unlike the previous games that were set in the US, Watch Dogs: Legion is set in London. This is a welcomed change. Many games are set in the US, and is the first time we have seen London in a video game since Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – which was Victorian London, so is not representative of what London is today.
Game of the show?
Watch Dogs: Legion is my game of show for E3 2019. Granted I haven’t payed the game yet, but from what I have seen I am very impressed. The setting is perfect, the play as any NPC is new and innovative, and if pulled off could be a gamechanger.
Many peoples and outlets game of show is: Cyberpunk 2077, and rightly so. At E3 2019, the people who were lucky enough to sit in on the Cyberpunk 2077 demo were blown way yet again. But I wasn’t at E3. I haven’t seen Cyberpunk gameplay. So for that reason I couldn’t give it game of show.
From all the games that I saw at E3, Watch Dogs: Legion has grabbed my attention. From a franchise that I didn’t expect to come back to, I am fully on board and will be picking up the game when it launches in March next year. It’s just a disappointment it doesn’t release this year!