In light of various overwhelmingly convincing reports, Ubisoft has now confirmed the existence of Watch Dogs Legion, along with the news that the game will be at E3 2019.
The official Watch Dogs Twitter account, which has now rebranded and renamed itself as Watch Dogs Legion, posted a brief teaser video that showed off a news logo, along with the words; “God Save the NPCs. Reveal at E3. #WatchDogLegion #UbiE3.”
“God save the NPCs” seems to be a clear reference to some of the previously leaked information that had come out regarding Watch Dogs Legion, specifically the fact that the game won’t have a central protagonist, but will instead allow the player to take control of any NPC in the game, which will be set in London.
Yes, I know a Non Playable Character isn’t actually an NPC by definition if you can play as them, but the way I’m justifying it is that they’re NPCs right up until the moment you take control.
The existence of Watch Dogs Legion leaked yesterday via an Amazon UK listing, which was later confirmed by to be legit by various publications. Kotaku noted that the game’s NPC system utilises ambitious procedural generation AI that has been “been causing the developers a lot of headaches”, and may have led to “at least one delay.”
Here’s the official product description from Amazon:
Play as anyone. Every individual you meet in the open world, has a full set of animations, voice over, character traits and visuals that are generated & guided by gameplay systems.
The Amazon product listings also revealed that Watch Dogs Legion would be set in a “post-Brexit London in which society, politics and technology have changed and altered London’s fortunes.”
Watch Dogs 2 was set in San Francisco, and the original took place in Chicago. The listing also notes that “London has one of the highest surveillce levels in the world making this the perfect playground.”
In the past, Ubisoft has shied away from addressing the political subtext of the games it releases – Far Cry 5 and The Division 2 come to mind – but creating a fictional version of a post Brexit London is inherently political. I’ll be interested to see just how deep into the subject Watch Dogs Legion goes.
Mostly, I’m just intrigued to see what a post-Brexit London actually looks like. Did we leave? Did we remain? Did Wetherspoons of out of business? DO WE STILL HAVE NANDOS? I have so many questions.