E3 2019 - Hands on with Watch_Dogs Legion

E3 2019 - Hands on with Watch_Dogs Legion

Watch Dogs is a series that is odd, I enjoyed the first game, but felt it could do with more colour and soul, the second game added that and so much more, that it felt bloated and in both games, I could not connect with the main characters all that way, for Legion it seems Ubisoft listened to me, as there is now no single main character, but having played it, I can say that I am ok with that.


The big draw for Legion is that you are not a set character, you are everyone and each person you can be, has their own skills and abilities, which means you will need to grow your set of people, if you want to cover everything. The demo that I played was an alpha build, which meant things the visuals could go weird, but thankfully nothing do, but as I was so engrossed in the game, I might have missed somethings, because there was so much happening to pay attention to, gameplay wise.

What I was able to do was quite simple, there was someone that we were working with, who thought they had proof of a spy, that was helping the private military groups that have control of London, I ignored that for a recruitment mission instead. The question was who to recruit, thankfully the game made it very easy, you simple need to scan a person, like you could do in the first two games, and you would get the basic information for them, including their DedSec support levels, and once a target was selected, you could track them. Doing that would add more of their history to the phone you had and with it, you can work to increase their DedSec interest.


The guy I selected had a friend who was being harassed by someone and that was causing them concern, so the best way to help was to remove that threat, which doable by interrupting the next threat session. This required me to head over to a different part of London and for that I jumped in a car and drove there, as this is set in the future, the cars have the ability to drive on their own, if you place a marker down, but I opted for the manual method, which proved to be a bit of a problem. While I was driving without issue, I hit no pedestrians or anything, I did accidently, ram into a military car, which gave me some heat to avoid and like other games, after time they call off the search, if you get away from them, but Legion has something different as well.

While the popo might not be actively looking for you anymore, you are still on their radar, which means, if you do what I did and drive through an automated checkpoint, your location is sent to nearby units and the chase it back on. The developer who was guiding me through my time with the game, explained that for the E3 build, the time it takes for that to go away, was set to be short, but in the full game, it will take a fair while. This is something I like, because it means that you are known to the authorities and now, either have to be far more careful on what actions you do, or swap out to a new character, without any sort of wanted level. After some dramatic chases throughout the streets of London, I finally got to where my meet was happening, but as I blasted past it, I slammed on the hand brake and spun the car around, which had the unfortunate issue of hitting someone.


The reason why I was worried about it, was because now that person, when scanned, indicated that they no longer supported DedSec, as they were currently being transported to the hospital. I could have ignored my current mission and tried to change his mind, but the developer pointed out that with a broken leg, he would not be on the street for a while, but I tagged him to sort out later, just in case. Back on target, I interrupted the meeting and went for a melee approach to combat, but I feel I must highlight the character I was playing, was an old lady, so her melee attacks were not that strong, a quick change to a taser weapon saw the fight swing my way.

With the friend helped, it was time to check back in with our prospective recruit, however they stated they could not help, due to some incriminating evidence on a police server, which if got out, would ruin them. So another drive over to a new location, this time, the auto-drive was in control and then it was time to plan the assault on the precinct. This is where it felt more like old school Watch Dogs, as I hacked into a camera, then used it to get the lay of the land, locate my destination and even better, obtained the digital key, without stepping foot inside, I of course did need to go in, but my characters skills allowed for the spider bot to be deployed. Sneaking through was not to challenging, thanks to already mapping out the place, but just as I was about to unlock the door, an officer walked around the corner and without thinking, I drove the spider bot under a table, something which shocked the dev with me, but I did not wait on that, as soon as he was gone, I ran in. I was able to upload the virus to wipe out the data, but my little guy was spotted and destroyed before it could be finished, thankfully I was able to head outside, near the wall it lived again and continue from there.


After all that was done and my granny hacker was safely away, I swapped to my new guy, now recruited for the cause and hit up the main mission, which sent me to the depths of the old Camden Market, now known as being a hotspot of black market goods. Because I had stealthed the earlier portions of the game and time was running out, I jumped the fence, drew the gun and killed everyone around, which made things a lot easier. With the enemy dead, I got what I needed and made for the hills, but before I could do anything more, my time was at and end.

For a whopping 45 minutes, I played Watch Dogs Legion and it was one of the most fun experiences of the show, the number of little systems that I saw, working in concert was staggering, but more so I felt connected to the world. Being able to recruit anyone, may sound like a gimmick, but it works and as I got to choose who I selected, means that the level of replayability is astronomically high and while the game won’t be released for a while, I want to dive back into that world, just see what else I can do.