Watch Dogs Legion Dev Describes Permadeath and Replayability

Open world hacking game Watch Dogs Legion was announced during this year’s E3, with the first gameplay trailer showing a lot of known Watch Dog features. During a Q&A at the Ubisoft Experience event Art Director Joshua Cook announced that, alongside many of the usual Watch Dogs features, Legion will feature a new permadeath system and a unique way the game will approach replayability.

Last month Ubisoft announced that, for the first time in the franchise, you won’t be playing with one main character (as seen in the trailer below). Instead you can convince anyone to join your ranks as you build an army of specialized hackers. Every person has their own backstory, including unique abilities and perks.

But as you can imagine, having this ‘fluid’ character system means they are also expendable. Cook calls the new permadeath system a “controversial inclusion in the game” because it really amplifies the stakes of the game. Thus, if one of your characters gets into trouble, you’ll have a choice: Either you run/fight, potentially losing that character for good, or you surrender and see that character be sent to jail. “Your operatives will enter a cooldown period where they’ll be placed in a hospital or a prison.”

Watch Dogs Legion will also be the first game in Ubisoft’s franchise that takes place outside of the United States. London will be the backdrop of this hacker story, and the city’s many iconic locations will be, as Cook describes them, “recastable”. Depending on the character that you play as, you might be sent to Scotland Yard, or maybe you have to do that ‘same’ mission at the Camden police station or at the MI6 headquarters.

Based on these two new features, Ubisoft might be looking to give each player a unique experience, not unlike the Middle-earth: Shadow of War franchise. In those games the player fights a randomly generated group of orc captains with their own abilities and strengths and weaknesses. It seems that for the third installment in the Watch Dogs franchise Ubisoft will give you the ability to actually control all those unique characters, instead of just fighting them.

Watch Dogs Legion will release on March 6th, 2020 for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Google Stadia.