“Watch Dogs” could get a boost from a relatively quiet video game release schedule leading up to the debut of the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles, according to Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter.
“Watch Dogs” establishes a version of London in the near future that has suffered multiple simultaneous terrorist attacks and has become taken over by a private police force and various shady crime groups. You play as members of a hacker group called DedSec, which has been framed for these attacks, and is part of the resistance against the government.
Most people in London fear DedSec and your job is to slowly win back the country by recruiting people to your cause, often by completing missions for them. On missions, you can use weapons like guns or crowbars or simply hide in a corner and send a drone to do the work.
Running into the military in “Watch Dogs” can get you killed (or arrested, depending on how you have customized your game settings.) At several points in the game, I was ambushed by multiple drones or angry militants that would shoot at me at any provocation. Running away by car or motorcycle didn’t necessarily lose my pursuers — there are checkpoints across the city that alert security of your location, and are reminiscent of real-life authoritarian cities. Those fearful moments of fleeing work for the game and help the dystopian setting feel more convincing.
While the game was in development, events like Brexit, Black Lives Matter protests, the Hong Kong protests and the Covid-19 pandemic all shaped the final product of “Watchdogs.”
“We first started working on “Watch Dogs: Legion” in 2015. Back then, the kinds of themes we were looking at were themes of economic disparity, a thorough rise of authoritarianism, of privacy, of how technology influences our democracies,” said Clint Hocking, the game’s creative director, in an interview.
“Our team in particular has worked very, very hard on ‘Watch Dogs: Legion’ to make a game about diversity and equality and representation… we rejected from the beginning the idea of the heroic ‘dude on the box who saves us all,'” said Hocking.