In V’s final tables for Vendetta, an explosives-laden train was launched through the tunnels of the London Underground in an attempt to destroy the headquarters of the new dictatorship once and for all. Watch Dogs Legion’s incipit turns the situation around completely: in this case, a revolutionary association – the famous DedSec – is desperately trying to defuse a series of devices placed in key places of the metropolis, in order to prevent an authoritarian turn that can definitely destroy the concept of personal freedom.

But saving Big Ben will unfortunately not be enough. The Legion opening film draws inspiration from the Watchmen opening titles according to Zack Snyder, putting the player in front of all the historical events that changed the fate of the UK forever. The introduction of martial law has coincided with a financial push for the country’s large multinationals, as sophisticated military technologies have become a part of everyday life, shaping a future in which private security has taken the reins of political power.

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In the turbulent social chaos that followed the annihilation of basic rights, few dissidents continue to vigorously oppose the regime in the shadow of the army of the Albion organization, painting a very clear message on the walls of the town: “What happened to the DedSec pirates?” “.

This is a very important question, because in Watch Dogs Legion we will not be playing the role of a charismatic protagonist, a cute little face or the Rambo of the situation. No: in Ubisoft’s last dystopia, we will be DedSec, understood as a philosophy of life, an intangible idea impossible to destroy. In short, as Anonymous would say: “We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget “.

All of Legion’s playful fabric rests on one fundamental pillar: anyone from a worker to a cop, from a spy to a loving grandmother, even an agent from Albion can turn into a pawn in the hands. by DedSec. We will carefully select the cast of the protagonists on the basis of necessity, sympathy or a simple taste for the absurd.

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Who wouldn’t want to send a deadly old woman behind enemy lines by having them hunt down hordes of soldiers in true Solid Snake style? On the other hand, no detail can be left out in the pursuit of the revolution. A policeman can casually break into areas usually inaccessible, a carpenter goes unnoticed near a construction site, while a navigated surgeon can quickly restore our injured officers.

It’s up to us to pull the threads of each operation, and it all starts with recruitment. As we roam central London, we can accurately profile any NPC by revealing their unique characteristics, special abilities, weapons or tools they can rely on. The developers embroidered a dozen fundamental archetypes which were then accompanied by “almost” original characters, with abilities decidedly rarer and much more complex to tackle.

In fact, it’s not enough to push a button to grow DedSec’s army. Once a citizen has been added to some sort of wishlist, a much deeper layer of information is accessible that can reveal the issues and events that characterize everyday life. Has anyone witnessed the abduction of a relative? Well, to get its services all we need to do is fix the problem. Is anyone else being blackmailed by Albion? Great, just delete the incriminating data.

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These are real side missions, surprisingly well structured and also quite long, useful for characterizing our DedSec colleagues in advance and especially for increasing the rate of immersion in the confines of the dystopian capital. Because alongside former killers, workers armed with nails, writers loaded with cans and ordinary employees, the role of co-protagonist also falls to the city of London.

Ubisoft has often accustomed us to its extremely faithful worlds, taking us to the banks of the Thames in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate in times unsuspected, not to mention the origins of Egypt and many other examples of excellence. But it must be said that in the case of Watch Dogs Legion, the house artists did an even more fascinating job, if possible.

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You can literally recruit anyone. The most important innovation in the title is the game system as a person.

London run by Albion is close to the edge of cyberpunk, a recognizable and at the same time unrecognizable metropolis. Iconic places such as Big Ben, the Shard skyscraper and the London Eye naturally mingle with the swarms of drones patrolling the skies, the stakes of the demonstrators patrolling the squares and, above all, the troops who do not hesitate to execute civilians amidst busy streets.

Without the military checkpoints and the decadent atmosphere that surrounds the sidewalks, it would appear to be in the real Piccadilly Circus, between historic metro stops, double-decker buses and the inevitable black taxis. The result is more than suggestive, as it sketches a distant but rather near future, a world in which classic beetles mix with automated vehicles, in which mechanized artillery turrets stand out against historic stone buildings.

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But what surprised us, even more than the first aesthetic impact, was the obvious improvement found in the level design. For years the words Ubisoft and open-world have been considered synonymous, but in the face of the meticulous attention given to the visual sector, the playful system has always shown the side of more than a few critics.

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For example, a worker will know how to make himself very useful, especially if there are bones to be broken.

In Watch Dogs Legion, however, the freedom of approach is the absolute master of the scene. There are dozens of ways to infiltrate an enemy base, sometimes it is even possible to reach the goal without even stepping inside structures, using only cameras and robots. More than once, we’ve piloted drones like hoverboards to glide over enemies’ heads, as well as wiped out entire garrisons without even lifting a finger.

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While the “play like anybody” system in itself represents a substantial innovation, when combined with the new level design, it creates a winning formula. Those of being able to exploit the profession of the character to go unnoticed, to focus on individual skills to upset the combat system and to completely change the approach to missions, are characteristics capable of achieving an obvious detachment from the past, bordering on the breath of fresh air brought by Assassin’s Creed Origins.

In short, while picking up a lot of distinctive elements from the Watch Dogs series, Legion at times feels like a completely new game and is a rather rare quality for a house title. But to deserve the praise and the special attention given to the news: having a dynamic roster of protagonists, for example, forced the developers to involve an impressive number of voice actors in the project to play each character, giving the citizens of London very well defined identities.

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Losing your spy, and consequently the missile launcher’s car, would be a disaster. Protect your agents.

In fact, every NPC has a house, friends, relatives, and a backstory that we can actually check out on the streets of the city. By adding one to the list of potential targets, one can choose to follow him, even going so far as to see him walk through the door of his building. Of course, it might not be something that can completely overturn gameplay precepts, but it’s still a feature with huge potential, especially from a multiplayer perspective.

What radically changes the gaming experience is that we can define the “skill set” assigned to each DedSec member. A worker, for example, can rely on a nail gun and a devastating wrench, raising the curtain on an unorthodox combat system. The spy, in addition to driving a car equipped with a 007 style rocket launcher, instead has a silencer gun and a very useful jammer capable of temporarily deactivating all enemy weapons.

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Remember that these are just two in the midst of the dozen different archetypes that you will encounter on the streets of the capital, obviously not counting all the unique elements, between ex-soldiers carrying Desert Eagle and professional drone pilots. , each equipped with personalized animations. The whole system acquires great value in the light of the empathic bond that is built with the different characters: believe us, you will become attached to your spy very quickly, and if he were to be arrested or worse killed during a mission, you would long regret it.

During the four hours at our disposal, rather than throwing ourselves headlong into the narrative component, we preferred to explore the global offer of Watch Dogs: Legion, discovering an open world that is denser and more diverse than in the past. It’s not an overly dispersive map and brimming with optional objectives, but a good compromise that highlights always fun activities, including subversive acts and darts.

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The level design has improved significantly, but the activity skeleton has remained the same as in the past.

Legion’s plot, for its part, appears to come straight from V for Vendetta. The aim of the group of hackers, in fact, is to trace and remove from circulation all the important elements of the new order which has taken over London. On the one hand, there will be the leaders of the multinationals, on the other the representatives of Albion, and in the middle of DedSec, now discredited in the eyes of the population and determined to tear the roots of the dictatorship. In short, interesting, but certainly nothing revolutionary.

Unfortunately, no revolution at the front of the driving sections, with a system that follows the same one seen in the Watch Dogs 2 Bay area, between vehicles that are just responsive and tend to be hard to control. Obviously, for the sake of artistic fidelity, left-hand drive is used in Legion, a factor which, combined with the non-exceptional mechanics, makes the navigation phases quite heavy.

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But overall, the mosaic of dystopian London has managed to surprise us, putting on the plate many successful innovations: Watch Dogs: Legion presents itself as a title capable of experimenting in different directions, rekindling the old dictates of the level. design and focusing on new mechanics. It may not be a variety experience, the result of groundbreaking gameplay and hard-hitting storytelling, but it’s still packed with fun.

Under the watchful eye of Big Ben-branded Albion, practically a small tower of Mordor, we found a city maze to explore, an army to build piece by piece and lots of things to do, but most of all we had fun. to do them. It will soon be time: we will have to wear a mask, recruit an army of old ladies and overthrow the established order. Will you answer DedSec’s call?

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Source : Reddit