We review the Watch Dogs franchise ahead of the launch of its third installment, Watch Dogs: Legion. How we got to London and background.
This final stretch of the year is especially relevant to Ubisoft’s interests. In just half a month of difference, it will launch two deliveries of its main headend IPs. On the one hand, the Viking odyssey of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla awaits us on November 10. Meanwhile, the next stop will take us to the other side of the time machine: a future that is not that far away.
The London of Watch Dogs: Legion has already passed through our hands on more than one occasion. From the first impressions we told you how Ubisoft Toronto had managed to innovate through the Play as Anyone mechanic. Being able to recruit and control every NPC in the world is one more step in an open world formula that is familiar, recognizable to us. But to get to this point we had to go through Chicago and San Francisco. Let’s recap the antecedents that have led us to this post-Brexit England.
Watch Dogs, the Chicago vigilante
Everyone will remember the presentation of Watch Dogs during E3 2012. Beyond the graphic aspect that it looked, the company presented an open world with a different, dark tone, fleeing from the tropical light game of Far Cry 3. We saw a character who controlled the city at the click of a button. Traffic lights, trains, the potential danger of an individual … all the weight fell on a smartphone as a look into the future that awaited us.
Once in the market, the cards were on the table. The first installment would arrive just six months after the new generation of consoles. PS4 and Xbox One received an intergenerational port that served as a cover letter towards what was to come. Chicago was the setting chosen to star in the misadventures of Aiden Pearce, the proclaimed vigilante by popular opinion.
Watch Dogs at the controls felt like the traditional sandbox anchored in the present. There was room for driving, research, third-person shooting … all the ingredients that we could see in any Grand Theft Auto. That recognized base had a compelling motive: hacking. The ways of interacting with the environment expanded compared to what was seen previously. It felt different to be able to get into surveillance cameras to control the environment, or to be able to create escape routes with our smartphone. The city offered the necessary elements to change its situation in real time. Do we need to flee from the police? Just turn the traffic lights green and make traffic collapse a junction.