<img src = "https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/watch-dogs-legion-listing-800×450.jpg" alt = "If you are looking for an open world adventure full of general unclear rebellion Guard dogs: Legion could be just the thing if it starts later this year. "/>
Enlarge /. If you're looking for an open-world adventure full of general, unclear rebellion, Watch Dogs: Legion may be just what you need when it starts later this year.
Last year, Watch Dogs: Legion emerged from Ubisoft's coffers with an ambitious pitch for the open world genre: play as every character in the game. Security guards, grannies and even members of rival factions can be "recruited" to become playable (some are more difficult to convince than others). It's certainly a premiere for a GTA-like: Why do people run over your car when you can register them for your cause?
But is this twist enough to get the Watch Dogs series into a raging frenzy years after the imagination "GTA with hacking" had waned? After a delay from the original 2019 launch window, players around the world will find out on PC (UPlay, Epic Games Store), Stadia, Xbox One and PS4 on October 29th. (The game will also be released "after launch" on next generation consoles, Ubisoft representatives told Ars.) In the meantime, I had to play a preview build for almost four hours last week to find out for myself. And while imagination as everyone really works as advertised and is impressive as a technical feat, it is currently hard to recommend doing it in a video game.
Remove the "N" from the NPC
Look, it's the hero of the Watch Dogs Legion! No, I'm just kidding. Every single person in the game can be your controllable hero. (Note: Every image in this article was taken from the live demo gameplay.)
Note that each member of your crew has different advantages in this right sidebar. This construction worker can, for example, sneak into construction sites more easily.
And this tagger can more easily access a graffiti side quest chain.
You can spend game currency to improve your skills, but a character must have built-in skills in that skill or weapon before they can use them.
How do we grow your WDL troops?> By using their services in the wild. Some people agree by default.
Some have a red thumbs-down symbol and need to be convinced …
… by helping them with worrying problems in their travel route. (What you can scan and spy on.)
Yes, even this armed guard can be brought into the ranks of Dedsec.
Unfortunately, their dialogue is fairly general, as every single NPC can become playable in the game.
I've heard this particular speech from two different new recruits.
Unfortunately, I couldn't convince this moody woman to join my team before my demo ran out.
This version of Watch Dogs takes place in a version of London in the near future (with most historical landmarks intact) on the eve of a terrorist attack. A flood of explosions sweeps through the city, and the evil mastermind behind frames a vaguely anti-government and corporate group called Dedsec. A privatized, automation-oriented security company removes control from London police forces and then drives up checkpoints and security drones to scan bodies. Dedsec's ranks are arrested and detained in other ways, but their message – to fight power, but not in a specific or controversial way – lives on, partly carried by an AI unit.
Although Ubisoft hasn't shown us the intro of the game, the intro seems to be about a single converted Londoner starting a Dedsec revival at the base. A citizen picks up the coat and then does someone a favor (in the case of WD: L a series of open-world video game missions) to convince someone to join the group. Do this again and again to attract more strangers.
In my demo, Ubisoft was clearly proud of this core functionality because I was told to recruit who I wanted. As in Watch Dogs 2, with a charged smartphone, players can scan anyone who walks by, revealing deeply personal information. In WGL, you are expected to use this information to recruit Dedsec. If the person already agrees to the matter, you must ask them what kind of favor they may need to do. At this point, you take on a chain of two to three missions.
More persistent Londoners have a red "thumbs down" icon on their scanned profiles, which means you have to study their entire travel route (yes, your phone can display all of their calendar dates). Find a moment in their schedule that looks sensitive to dealing with a debt collector, and then appear at the specified time and place to help them (usually with brutal force). This will unlock a similar "Please do me a favor" chain of two to three missions.
Ubisoft forces you to recruit strangers by setting certain benefits and skills for different NPCs instead of offering a robust skill tree system. Some characters can use certain weapons. Others have location-specific cladding that allows them to fit into areas and temporarily pass through them secretly (like a construction worker for the game's dilapidated construction sites). Others have certain skills, e.g. For example, the creation of new drones during operation, faster stealth kill movements or temporary invisibility. Everyone can have up to two weapons and up to two active skills, as well as some passive benefits.
Before hiring someone, their specific skills are shown in the background scan, so you can choose who you want to help and / or sign up for. Once you have a roster, you can move freely from one Dedsec member to the next – in fact, new ones move where your current player is already, as if your headquarters have a working Star Trek transporter.
One-way life, necessarily exploding transporters
In related messages, WD: L has no QuickSave system and no "life" either. When your current character dies, they are either "arrested" or "injured" – meaning that they are in a video game timeout. A timer in the game starts ticking until it can return to the action (approx. 10 minutes). As soon as they are back, they are like new: no penalty, no hospital bill, no deposit.
This enables players to cheat themselves out of certain challenges. For example, almost all of the missions I played during my preview test ended up with some sort of "escape from the enemy zone" that you can either do in combat or in stealth. I once died foolishly falling into a jumble of enemies. I expected the game to rewind and try again after my death, but instead I became one of my other comrades who moved into the zone to replace my "injured" character. This new comrade happened to appear outside the zone, away from the bad guys. "Mission complete," the game told me. Ubisoft employees said that this worked as intended. "Really?" Hmm.
However, with some deaths, an entire chain of ongoing missions is canceled, especially the multi-part missions that you must complete to recruit new Dedsec heads. Twice during my session I came to the last part of a mission just to fail; In my case, both errors were due to vans apparently exploding for no reason. This was, of course, unfinished software and I was assured that transporters burning spontaneously are not intended for the final game.