LONDON has gone to hell.
In Watch Dogs’ vision of post-Brexit London, the jobs are gone, thousands are sleeping on the streets, and people are going hungry.
4 You can pick anyone you want from the entire city to recruit to your revolutionCredit: Ubisoft
But it’s not due to Brexit itself, but the rise of technology.
The pound has seen its value plummet and cryptocurrencies have taken over as the disaster capitalists seized on growing popular dissatisfaction with their lives to grab power for their own ends.
The greedy corporations have seized control via populist authoritarian politicians who have shredded workers’ rights and seen swathes of jobs from doctors to cabbies be replaced by AI tools.
Self-driving cabs run through the streets, and drones buzz through the skies.
Some are just delivering packages, others spy on you and others are there to intervene with deadly force when things get out of hand.
Every inch of everyone’s lives is under surveillance too, with vast databases tracking your every move, search and purchase.
But that database is key to the most interesting thing about the game, though – and that’s that it allows you to play as literally anyone you see.
A huge swathe of the city is simulated, down to the individual people walking the streets.
4 Everyone has their own skills and weaknesses – and sometimes the most unassuming people have hidden secretsCredit: Ubisoft
Walk into a pub and you can scan anyone drinking in it, hacking into that all-knowing database to immediately see the most mundane details of their lives.
Dig deeper and you can see when they leave for work in the morning, who they hang out with, and what skills they might bring to the resistance.
Using that data you can turn literally anyone to your cause by hook or by crook – and once you’ve done that, you can step into their shoes.
In their shoes there’s a story to follow as you foment rebellion and try to bring back some measure of freedom to the streets.
How you do that, though, is up to you.
On a basic level you’ve got multiple classes to choose from depending on whether you want to focus on stealth, combat or hacking, but it runs much deeper than that.
4 Every single person walking the streets has their own profile, their own routines and their own life, independent of but open to be influenced by what you doCredit: Ubisoft
For example, one mission we got to play saw us needing to get into New Scotland Yard to delete some incriminating material on a recruit we found in a Westminster pub to win them over.
You can walk in the front door and take a direct approach, or you can hack your way through the rear and sneak through, hacking cameras as you go and stealthily disabling anyone in your way.
The weapons at your disposal can kill, but they certainly don’t have to – and in most cases it’s better for everyone if you don’t.
Leave a key guard alive and scan them before you head on your way, for instance, and you’ve now got data on a potential recruit – one who already has access to all sorts of areas that might otherwise be off limits.
4 The hellish vision of London will still be familiar to anyone who knows the cityCredit: Ubisoft
Due out in March of 2020, Watch Dogs Legion gives a fascinating glimpse of what might be possible in games of the future, with AI, cloud computing and development all coming together to create an actually living, fully realised world.
The ability to choose literally anyone to play as – from a punk strolling the streets of Camden to a little old lady feeding the ducks in St James’ Park – and see the story through their eyes, told with their voice definitely feels like a glimpse of the future, and is unlike anything else you’re going to play next year.
Back in the world of the present, though, Microsoft just revealed its plans to release its next Xbox in time for Christmas next year, giving gamers a first glimpse of what they can expect with their big annual briefing.
Keanu Reeves also dropped by to let fans know he was starring in next year’s Cyberpunk 2077, and that the game would be available in April.
They also revealed more about Project Xcloud, which will let you play the latest Xbox games on any screen you like, whether you own an Xbox or not.
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Elsewhere around E3, EA has revealed more details of its new Star Wars game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and has admitted that it’s not going to be bringing the real Fifa 20 for Nintendo Switch.
You can also see all the best new trailers revealed so far right here, with highlights including Gears 5, Halo Infinite, Doom Eternal and, of course, Cyberpunk 2077.
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