While Assassin's Creed and Far Cry are the two series that come to mind when you think of Ubisoft, Watch Dogs has quickly become a major franchise for the publisher.
Watch Dogs: Legion is one of Ubisoft's biggest fall 2020 releases alongside Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and it features one of the most ambitious mechanics of any AAA game launching this year: the ability to play as anyone you encounter in London.
If you want to know about this game, that ambitious gameplay concept, the excellent short film accompanying the game that aired during Ubisoft Forward in July 2020, and its post-launch support, we've rounded up everything you need to know about Watch Dogs: Legion.
When is the Watch Dogs: Legion release date?
Ubisoft announced on July 12 during its Ubisoft Forward presentation that Watch Dogs: Legion will be released on October 29, 2020. Watch Dogs: Legion was originally going to come out in March 2020 but was delayed after the failure of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
Creative Director Clint Hocking explained to IGN that the delay allowed the developers to add "a lot more refinement to traits and the abilities that you find on characters in the world, and better ways for aggregating those into individuals." On a broader level, the delay also resulted in a new "layer of polish and realization and clarity to the game."
Of course, this release date only applies to the current-gen versions of the game. Ubisoft confirmed that Watch Dogs: Legion will be on next-generation consoles and has outright confirmed that it will be on Xbox Series X and S at launch on November 10 and on PS5 at release on November 12, 2020. A physical version of the PS5 release will come a couple of weeks after launch on November 24.
Is there a Watch Dogs: Legion trailer?
Ubisoft aired the world premiere trailer for Watch Dogs: Legion during E3 2019 in June which showcased the central concept of shuffling between a myriad of different playable characters, each with their own abilities. That presentation included a gameplay walkthrough. Then during August 2019's Gamescom, Ubisoft followed those up with a trailer explaining the core "Play as Anyone" concept.
Each of these includes a mix of cinematic and gameplay, as does the 15 minutes of footage shown during Ubisoft Forward. A few weeks ahead of the game's release, a new trailer focusing on its story was released, and you can check that out below.
What platforms will Watch Dogs: Legion release for?
When Watch Dogs: Legion launches in October, it will be available for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia. As we've mentioned, the game will also come to PS5 and Xbox Series X, and will be a launch title for those platforms, as we previously mentioned.
Ubisoft has also teased that the game will be part of the Ubisoft channel on the cloud gaming service Amazon Luna, though a launch date for that hasn't gotten shared yet. These release platforms are in line with Ubisoft's other major upcoming games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Far Cry 6.
Pretty much anywhere you play games, you'll be able to try Watch Dogs: Legion, with one notable exception: Nintendo Switch. While the original Watch Dogs came out on Wii U, Watch Dogs 2 skipped Wii U and Switch, and so is this game. As the game is being made with next-generation consoles in mind, it's unlikely that it comes to Switch due to the power difference between the platforms.
What is the story of Watch Dogs: Legion?
Watch Dogs doesn't follow single protagonists like the first two games in the series did. Instead, it focuses on Dedsec's fight to take back London. The British city has devolved following a series of bombings blamed on DedSec and is now heavily patrolled by a private military force called Albion. The people of London unite against Albion under DedSec, and players complete a series of missions to take both them and a crime boss down.
Can you play as anyone in Watch Dogs: Legion?
Yes, you can. While the story and basic gameplay loops are fairly straightforward, this particular mechanic will make Watch Dogs: Legion stand out. There are thousands of characters roaming the streets of London, and they can all be recruited to help in the fight against DedSec. If your character is properly upgraded, you can do side quests for anyone you want to recruit to gain there trust and add them to your DedSec region.
This isn't purely cosmetic either; Each character has unique abilities. Some of these are just funny, like being a tough drunk that can take more damage in a fight, but others are useful for specific situations. These include a construction worker that can summon a rideable drone at any time, an Albion soldier that can infiltrate their base or a beekeeper that can use robotic Nanobees to fight enemies.
While there is a permadeath mode, this is something players will have to opt into. Otherwise, your operatives will just go to the hospital or get arrested if they are captured, but you can free them early if you have a doctor or police officer in your Legion. It's one of the most exciting and ambitious features in a AAA game in some time and has some awesome dynamic storytelling implications..
What is the Tipping Point short film?
The main themes of the game were shown off during Ubisoft Forward with a short film trailer titled "Tipping Point." It follows a taxi driver who finally decides to take action against Albion and help a fleeing Dedsec agent after coming to terms with the fact that he let a lot of personal freedoms go away. While the short story is intriguing, it will catch your eye more for its bombastic and colorful visuals.
Watching the DedSec operative flee through the neon light and screen-filled streets of London is a visual spectacle reminiscent of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. That isn't a fluke either. This short is directed by Alberto Mielgo, who was a Production Designer and Art Director on Sony's animated Spider-Man film, serving as a key influence for its memorable style. Tipping Point captures some of that Spider-Verse magic, so it's definitely worth watching if you haven't yet.
Is there Watch Dogs: Legion multiplayer?
Yes, but not at launch. Ubisoft has confirmed that multiplayer will get added to the game on December 3, 2020. This update is free and adds both cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes. When it comes to cooperative multiplayer, up to 4 players will be able to explore the open world together. While they can mainly do side quests and objectives, there will be some new co-op missions that utilize co-op specific mechanics.
Then, when it comes to competitive multiplayer, the main mode on December 3 will be Spiderbot Arena, a free-for-all deathmatch where players fight with the small spider-bots that can get used throughout the game. Invasion is also returning, and that mode lets players sneak around other players' worlds, hacking things in the hopes of ultimately defeating the player they are invading.
What is planned for Watch Dogs: Legion post-launch support?
Outside of multiplayer, a lot of single-players post-launch support is planned as well. In terms of free additions, more characters, abilities, and missions will get added in 2021. A New Game Plus mode that allows players to go through the game again with upgraded abilities is also planned for a free post-launch update.
Watch Dogs Legion also has a season pass called Bloodline, which tells a new story with some old characters. Aiden Pearce from the first Watch Dogs and Wrench from Watch Dogs 2 will both be added as playable characters during Bloodline. Additionally, a woman name Mina that can mind control people, and a member of the Assassin Order named Darcy will also be part of the DLC.
What version of Watch Dogs: Legion should I get?
If you plan on picking up Watch Dogs: Legion, there are four versions of the game you can get. For $59.99, you can get the standard edition, and for $99.99 you can get the Gold Edition for the game and get "a major expansion with two episodes, extra missions, four iconic heroes with unique abilities, and immediate access to the original Watch Dogs: Complete Edition.
If you're willing to spend even more on the game, a $119.99 Ultimate Edition comes with everything in the Gold version plus "three new operatives, new masks, and four weeks of VIP status to earn in-game currency more quickly." Finally, the Collector's Edition for the game comes in at a whopping $190 and includes a large mask statue, a poster, stickers, and a steel book as well as everything from the Ultimate Edtion.
While you should get a complete experience from the standard edition, the Gold Edition seems to be the way to go if you want to get all the extra DLC Ubisoft puts out for the games. The Ultimate and Collector's Editions just come with less consequential, albeit cool, bonuses.
Watch Dogs: Legion will be released on October 29, 2020.