Watch Dogs Legion, the next addition to the popular tech-hacking Ubisoft franchise, is releasing next March. The game will take you to London, in a recent-future era, where you’ll be tasked with creating a huge hacking group, DedSec. Lately, we had the chance to interview Kent Hudson, the game director for Watch Dogs Legion within Ubisoft Toronto. Among others, Hudson let us know about multiple playthroughs, storylines focused on villains and its minigames.
Even though the game is still away from release, we can’t help but get excited over the leap the franchise took since Watch Dogs 2. We’re now looking at multiple playable characters, more complex technologies as in-game features, new mini-games and, of course, replayability.
Here’s the full Watch Dogs Legion interview with Ubisoft Toronto game director Kent Hudson:
How exactly the character leveling will work? Will we be able to upgrade our recruits?
Characters earn XP as you play them. They definitely level up after recruitment; a fully leveled character can have three gameplay-altering perks of the player’s choosing, and some of those perks are specific to their backstory and trait.
Additionally, you can customize their weapons – which often have a synergistic relationship with their trait and perks that support a custom playstyle.
Are all the characters recruited via the story? Are there random side quests for some? Can a roster addition be made during free roam?
Only a handful of characters are recruited through the story. And even those characters only require some basic characteristics, like having a certain job. Within that, the player can still choose any character who meets the criteria, and these characters are all procedurally generated for the game. Each person’s story recruits will still be unique characters with unique gameplay traits that they select.
Other than that, all characters are recruited from free roam – literally anywhere in the world – and they each have an origin story to play as part of their recruitment.
How flexible and variable is the playstyle with every character? The grandma had a pretty unique angle to her. How much of a variety players can expect gameplay-wise?
There are three classes, each of which has a unique ability (spiderbot, cloak, or sticky mine) and a set of nine perks to choose from to help customize their individual playstyle. In addition, a character’s trait gives them access to two more perk choices alongside the core nine for their class. And the character’s trait also gives them a specialization, one that can synergize with their weapons or perks to really customize a specific playstyle. For example, within the hacker class you could go stealth-focused, drone-focused, combat-focused, or even spiderbot-focused. There is a lot of variation and customization within the classes for players to discover and explore.
How long the single-player campaign (in terms of hours) players can expect to be? I know you can’t give us the specific but a rough estimate?
In Watch Dogs: Legion, we have five storylines focused on the main villains, as well as mini quest lines and side quests. In addition, Play as Anyone allows literally any of the characters you recruit from the world to become the heroes of your game, and the stars of your own story and players can replay the game with different DedSec resistance teams for a completely different experience every time. Players are going to find there’s tons to do and hours and hours of content in the world to explore.
What about the replayability factor for the single-player story lovers? Any plans of New Game+?
As I touched on above, the ability to Play as Anyone allows players to literally recruit any character they encounter in the open world to their team. This means you can play with different heroes and teams anytime they want – which gives players a completely different experience every time. We think single-player story lovers are going to find this replayability really engaging.
You Guys have already revealed that there are 5 different quest lines in the main story? Could you elaborate on that a bit; How will these storylines come together for a single outcome?
So we don’t want to spoil any details about the story for players. But what we can say is that for players who look for a great story, we stay true to the Action-Adventure roots of the Watch Dogs brand. We have the main quest line focused on DedSec, and four additional quest lines focused on the main villains, as well as mini quest lines and side quests. So our stories and missions are structurally very similar to open-world RPG experiences. But what’s different with Watch Dogs: Legion is that the characters you choose to recruit into your team become the heroes of your story and the stars of your cut-scenes and game making each player’s story feel completely different.
Let’s talk about Map size and density of Watch Dogs Legion. What’s the size of the map as compared to previous games and is it denser, content and activities wise?
The total built up urban area in Watch Dogs: Legion is the same as in Watch Dogs 2, and our open world is much more dense. Our version of London also has a higher concentration of diverse areas and activities to explore. It was important to our team to represent the urban, busy feel of London in an authentic way.
What sort of multiplayer we can expect Watch Dogs Legion to have? How would players be able to connect with each other? Are we expecting specific multiplayer game modes? What about co-op?
We will have a more details to share soon on the multiplayer experience players will enjoy in Watch Dogs Legion. I can confirm that we will have 4-player co-op, with missions themed around DedSec International. We are really focused on the social aspect of the game and the multiplayer modes will allow players to show off their unique characters and customizations.
Let’s talk about side activities apart from recruiting people in Watch Dogs Legion. Apart from main quests and side quests, what other activities players can expect to have (like mini-games etc)?
There are a variety of minigames and activities that players can enjoy while exploring our version of London in Watch Dogs Legion. Players can play a game of Darts or Kick-Up, jump into a Bareknuckle Boxing match, and hack parcel drone deliveries for loot. There is a ton to do outside of the main quests and side missions that will have players exploring the world to its fullest.
Watch Dogs Legion is also coming to Google Stadia. Were there any major challenges in getting the game ready for google’s new streaming platform?
We are excited to launch Watch Dogs Legion on Stadia in the platform’s launch window. We will have more details about specific features closer to launch.
One final question, and a weird one. So can we take out our own recruits? You must be wondering why someone would like to do that. Well, if someone killed my favorite recruit, can I recruit that character and leave him for die?
Yes. Yes, you can. In fact, the game keeps track of characters who are opponents to DedSec – both the characters who killed your recruit in combat or characters whose lives you’ve negatively impacted through other means (recruitment, missions, etc). You’ll see these characters throughout the game, and they can even kidnap your operatives as revenge (which gives you the opportunity to swoop in for a dramatic rescue to get your operative back).
Watch Dogs Legion releases on March 6th, 2020. The game will be available on Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC and Google Stadia. There’s no word yet about a Nintendo Switch version, although we highly doubt that we’ll see it on the hybrid console.