Watch Dogs: Legion preview: Three hours with Jane Bond and a building employee

Watch Dogs: Legion preview: Three hours with Jane Bond and a construction worker

My title is Margareta Ionescu, and I’m a spy.

I spent the final a number of minutes on the path of a potential informant, investigating a sequence of crime scenes and tailing the ghostlike AR apparitions of getaway automobiles in my Aston Martin-inspired spy automotive that fires missiles like I’m in Spy Hunter. I’m carrying a designer swimsuit and way-beyond-smart watch, which is beneficial for hacking into the excessive know-how of near-future dystopian London in Watch Dogs: Legion.

All of that led me right here — a metropolis block that’ll sooner or later be a constructing however is now little greater than a crater full of building gear and ramps and naked concrete rooms. I crouch behind a Jersey barrier and contemplate my choices.

I put my spy expertise to the check, and I appeared good whereas doing it. But now I’m carrying a masks that appears like a pig with a monocle mouthing a stick of dynamite prefer it’s Churchill’s cigar, and truthfully, it’s cramping my model.

I can’t take off the masks, although. And anyone who sees Jane Bond right here will throw me some severe side-eye. Probably assault me on sight, now that I consider it. Everything that makes me a reputable MI6 agent additionally makes me a horrible match for the subsequent section of this subterfuge.

I contemplate the probabilities, pull out my telephone, and name my teammate for an help. A couple of seconds later, I’m not a spy.

A spy car fires missiles in front of Beg Ben in Watch Dogs: Legion

Image: Ubisoft Toronto/Ubisoft

My title is Pam Ahmadi, and I’m an unassuming blue-collar building employee.

When I saunter into the development website, no one cares. My reflective vest, hardhat, and the wrench that I’m carrying replicate my humble origins and in addition disguise me in plain sight. To the baddies patrolling, I appear like I belong right here. No pig masks needed.

I spend the subsequent 15 minutes or extra role-playing as a lowly building employee. But I’m actually a DedSec agent, a member of the heroic faction in Watch Dogs: Legion. We struggle for the individuals, I’m informed, and towards the forces of technological oppression.

I hack the closest surveillance digital camera and use my digital vantage factors to mark enemies. I arc to a different digital camera the place I disable the alarm programs above doorways. A couple of cameras later, I even discover the hostage I’m searching for.

I flip the surveillance programs towards their homeowners, and I sneak up behind armed guards and choke them unconscious. When stealth fails me, I knock the forces of evil out chilly with my wrench.

This is the perfect, I believe. This is how these at Ubisoft need me to play Watch Dogs: Legion.

The moment-to-moment gameplay in an open-world metropolis is so acquainted that it’s hardly value discussing. I can do the entire issues I count on — wander round, hijack vehicles, stumble upon individuals, quick journey, by chance punch individuals once I hit the fallacious button, discover missions and liberate neighborhoods. Exploring better London lifts the fog of struggle that’s masking most of my map, so incentive abounds to verify my map for hotspots, missions, and landmarks.

If that was all there was, I’d be bored. But Watch Dogs’ twist has all the time been a layer of futurism — a not-too-distant, roughly credible model of our future world the place excessive know-how lets you do extra than simply run round a metropolis. That continues in Watch Dogs: Legion with ambition — everybody you meet in its huge open world of near-future London is doubtlessly a playable character.

That’s why I may commerce my spy for a building employee. I’ve a roster, and I can and will deliver the perfect particular person potential to the entrance. But I’d have to put within the work first utilizing the system to recruit Londoners to my squad. If I confirmed as much as that mission with out a building employee, issues would have performed out very otherwise. But if, say, a number of hours earlier than, I discovered and recruited somebody from a building website, contacted them, went on a mission to persuade them that I used to be useful, after which folded them into my group of rebels, I may very well be higher ready later. Apply the identical logic to a Bobby or an workplace employee, and the argument for group range makes itself.

Speaking of which, my building employee remains to be on the path of the prisoner, and there are two doorways main into the room the place he’s tied up. Both of them are locked. (Of course they’re.) I would like a key. Fair sufficient, I determine. I’ve performed video video games earlier than. I do know what I have to do.

A construction worker hits someone with a wrench in Watch Dogs: Legion

Image: Ubisoft Toronto/Ubisoft

I spend the subsequent 5 minutes or so searching for the individuals I haven’t knocked out but. And I’m getting good at this. I’m hacking and downing drones, I’m stealthing my approach by way of, and I’m having fun with myself. It’s solely once I assume that everyone’s incapacitated and no one’s dropped a card that I discover myself confused. Where’s the important thing card?

To reply that, I’ve to assume like Watch Dogs: Legion, which is in contrast to mainly another recreation.

So I stroll again to the room the place the prisoner’s ready patiently. I peek by way of a window and hack right into a surveillance digital camera, and wait — what’s that I see within the nook of the room? An merchandise labeled “Smart Tablet / Access Key!” But if I can’t get within the room, how do I get the … oh.


I’m not pondering in the best way that Watch Dogs: Legion needs me to. I don’t want a bodily key.

I spotlight the pill, press my controller’s left bumper, and I’m downloading the important thing’s information. A couple of seconds later, I open the door and save the prisoner’s day. Not dangerous for a building employee. And not dangerous for an open-world recreation that’s making an attempt to do one thing completely different.

This is Watch Dogs: Legion’s potential, for those who ask me (and thanks for asking, by the best way!). It’s additionally what units Watch Dogs other than its city-based open-world competitor cousins. Grand Theft Auto video games have grit and dirt. Saints Row video games have smut and superpowers. Watch Dogs has a layer of in-game tech that twists open-world concepts right into a recreation that wishes you to depend on the near-future hacking expertise as a lot as (if no more than) your punching or capturing.

If you aren’t constructing a group of everyman subversives and switching between characters and cameras, you then’re simply taking part in it like one more open-world recreation set inside a metropolis, and that’d be fairly boring. This, however? Whether I’m Margareta Ionescu or Pam Ahmadi or doubtlessly hundreds of different characters, this twist has potential.

Watch Dogs: Legion will probably be launched Oct. 29, 2020 on Google Stadia, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows and afterward next-gen consoles.

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