I'm not exactly well versed when it comes to Watch Dogs, but god I loved Legion, not to mention when the original Watch Dogs came out my brother was obsessed with it and I would sometimes watch him play, which sparked my inspiration. 2 was great in its own right, and Legion was the first one I officially played, but I saw a lot of criticisms about Watch Dogs Legion – it's both a step up and a step down at the same time. Don't get me wrong, I love Legion and 2, but combining them would be cool and would probably make an AMAZING game. I'm just going to put down my dream for Watch Dogs 4 or possible alternatives.
I thought the "recruit anyone" in the game was a cool concept with both benefits and drawbacks, like you could get a hitman granny or a drone operator for certain missions, but there weren't a lot of opportunities to really exercise the "recruit anyone" thing since they only kidnap an operator once and force you to switch twice. Also, it felt sort of frustrating finding people with skills I liked, but just didn't vibe with me because they were flatuent/hiccups or had low mobility too. So – either a skill tree that improves mobility/stealth/gun/whatever, or return to the cast of static characters.
What I'd love to see in Watch Dogs 4 would be a group of characters that you can switch between, which is what I do in my playthroughs of Legion. I had a "main cast" of a hooligan, a former guard, a hacker, a drone operator, a street artist, a normal woman who had a 6G Data Plan and made up personalities for all of them. The character you start with could be a fully customizable character with an established personality, but you could get to know the colourful characters of DedSec around you like Marcus did in 2. Each of these roles could have skill trees and can be chosen for any mission. I've always wanted to play as Wrench, and the Motherload mission was a really amazing one. I think a lot of characters got shafted in terms of character development in 2 – especially Josh, I wish I could have played as him as well.
Which leads me to a bit of a controversial opinion: I think there should be a romance option in Watch Dogs. Or at least, a sort of relationship branch, where you can talk with fellow operatives and you can do missions with them to increase your relationship, and after like maybe 3 or 5 missions together they give you a character-specific mission that sort of goes into their playstyle. Drone Operator might give you a mission re: drone racing/hijacking, ex-Albion/whatever the police is now(sticking with Albion for now) might give you a run-and-gun or dismantling propaganda, one might give you a stealth mission, etc. And then once you finish, you can choose between a romance option or a best friends option, or for shits and giggles do a one night stand thing. Can the character end up cheating on their partner and bring up a shit load of questions and situations that becomes a programming nightmare? Absolutely, yes! Is this a bad idea? Possibly, yes! But I thought it would be cool. Besides, they've done it before in Assassin's Creed, so I don't see why not! Besides, character-specific missions also act as sure character development without shafting anyone else in Dedsec. I do have ideas for specific characters and personalities that make them stand out if y'all are interested in a DedSec Toronto game. It's the Torontonian in me, what can I say?
I want to put this out there – the missions in Watch Dogs are always fucking mint. Legion had absolutely amazing ones where I could be guns ablazing or sneaky stealthy, or even just using a spiderbot. My favourite mission was the Skye Larsen mission – on one playthrough, I went as an Albion guard on stealth mode, on another a drone operator on full guns mode. And the borough missions are no different, I absolutely loved all of them!
I'm mostly basing my criticism off of Watch Dogs Legion, but after the Game ended and I finished the side missions, everything just felt kind of stale, save the 404 Contracts, and even those were just "Steal Tech from X". I think maybe if the missions were more varied, they'd be better, like "Steal a car and go from X to X" or "Neutralize X" or "Rescue X". Maybe Albion could "take back" a borough/neighborhood/whatever and it's a constant war between Albion and Dedsec.
So what's the story? I mentioned a completely customizable character, so the protagonist (who I'll call MC) maybe is the new recruit, or an old member of DedSec who rejoins or reawakens. 1 had a really dark tone with a more edgy vigilante type aesthetic, while 2 had a more punk anarchist graffiti type, and then Legion combined the two taking on a more "fight against the system" feel. This post by /u/Chattywindow pretty much says it all, although it's a bit dated since Legion didn't come out then. The post did actually have some cool predictions, including one part where normal people were the protagonist, and the theme of Watch Dogs Legion was people and technology working together. (Apparently this is the same guy who posted a lot of cool fan skins/Human Winston in the Overwatch sub – I knew the name was familiar!) I think 4 should go a bit back to the more brighter colours and maybe go towards a more corporate-feeling sort of aesthetic?
I say this because I think this particular branch of DedSec is starting to lose their touch, and what they do starts to feel oddly bland and they need something to fight for. But there's too many problems out in the city and what would they even fight against, or for? In 1, Aiden was a lone wolf seeking revenge on his daughter's death, in 2 Marcus was finding friends and coming together, in 3 the operatives come together to save London. In 4, DedSec sets out to find what they were fighting…4. Please laugh. I'm begging you. But in all seriousness, 1 was about finding closure, 2 was friends, 3 was the fight, 4 is purpose.
In terms of antagonists, I definitely think there should have been more gangs. I'm surprised that in Legion, there wasn't a gang that rivalled Clan Kelley, although I guess that could be explained by the whole power vacuum that was left in the Zero Day bombings or whatever. Bringing back followers would be cool where the more followers you have, the more people are willing to help, or even unlocking specific missions, or spreading your influence could even change the city. You might have Albion employees defecting, or even at the start, people not hesitant to report you to the authorities, but with more influence, they're more hesitant, or even lie to people hunting you – which brings up another issue I had with Legion – I thought the whole "DedSec vs. Albion" felt a tiny bit too one-dimensional. I would have liked the idea of Albion employees at least questioning what they do at some point in a conversation, or civilians who completely buy into snitching, which I remember seeing in this post. The OP also said it felt a little too V for Vendetta, but I thought that would have been a good nod, mostly because they're both British media dealing with rising up against the system.
I'm at a blank for good antagonists, but fighting another CTO for Blume after Dusan and Skye feels both eehhh and also interesting depending on how well it's executed. If we're continuing with the whole "What are we fighting for?" stance, we could explore more sympathetic villains – Skye, Cass and Kelley were all too easy to hate because they were all implicit in murder in the first place. I do think that fighting against less "evil" villains and moreso people who made a bad decision or people who have a different take on business practices would definitely make DedSec question themselves. Hell, maybe one of the CEOs could actually team up with DedSec.
I do think that in terms of an overarching story, there should be a Big Bad who's behind everything and the primary reason DedSec is questioning themselves in hopes that they disband and that they can take over the city or something. Maybe a false informant at the beginning who tips them off and leads them down a rabbit hole of self doubt. These could be reflected in character arcs too, like the ex-Albion guard doubting if he can be trusted, someone struggling with self esteem issues, someone with trust issues, etc. They could have two sets of voice lines – one for before their final mission, and one for after where they go through their development and change, depending on what they say.
In terms of game mechanics, I definitely think that each chapter would have a borough to unlock to progress the story, and each chapter would unlock a new character – you start off small and slowly you build DedSec and find your footing again. Sort of like Persona, although the big problem with Persona was that the last character to join never had much screentime (re: Haru, Naoto was fine) so the final person should be someone with established screentime beforehand (the CEO maybe? Or a rival who joins as redemption).
Also game mechanics I want to see return:
- Car-on-demand and in general, smartphones. They have smartphones in Legion, just not utilized anymore which is sad. I get not everyone in London has a personal vehicle because London's urban form was built to be more walkable and less auto-oriented seeing it was developed in the medieval times, but the amount of times I had to run and find a car that wasn't a bus/truck that also wasn't driven was too damn high.
- Enter stores/restaurants and even go on dates/outings with your fellow DedSecs there. Mostly because I thought being able to enter a donut store when you talk to Wrench was cool, not to mention the other restaurants in San Fran??
- Petting dogs.
- Calling the police and triggering possible shootouts/arrests. This can sort of happen in Legion, but also in 2 you can frame a gang member as a traitor.
- Petting dogs.
- More activities, like photography/selfies and maybe uploading them, drone racing, I really liked the ParcelFox and Paste-Up activities Legion had.
- More weaponry maybe? There's no sniper in Watch Dogs Legion, but I also don't know why there would be.
- Petting dogs.
- Skill tree maybe? Like general skill trees like combat, hacking, downloading, and then more specialized ones?
- MUSIC. God, why couldn't we listen to music all the time, that was so cool!
So, in 1 we had Chicago, 2 had the Bay Area, which is literally three cities, and Legion had London. In terms of location, it's hard to guess what's next, but I've seen Paris, Tokyo, New York and Seoul name-dropped. They've also mentioned Houston and Toronto in Legion.
To be honest, a Watch Dogs set in Toronto would actually be a big game changer because there's literally no open world game like Watch Dog or GTA that's been set in Canada, I know Assassin's Creed did like a Montreal office but not like. An entire Canadian city. The Chicago metropolitan area is about 11,000 sq miles, or 28,000 sq km. The Bay Area is actually a little less, around 10,000 sq miles/26,000 sq km. Legion covers the entirety of inner London minus Greenwich and Lewisham, and surprisingly it's 123 sq miles, or 319 km.
So, if Toronto gets the Watch Dogs 2 treatment, we could have a very rough Greater Toronto Area (which clocks in at 2, 750 sq miles or 7000 sq km) or going on the Legion route, we could have the "boroughs" of Etobicoke, East York, York, Scarborough, and then Mississauga, Vaughan, Brampton, Markham, Richmond Hill and Pickering. Obviously that's a lot so there's chances some won't get included, not to mention Toronto is really diverse, so if Ubisoft wants to make accurate voices, they'd have to account for a LOT of ethnic populations and accents and languages and AGE, not to mention variants with Toronto slang.
Alternatives would be Montreal, which is about 166 sq miles/431 sq km or roughly could translate to a map of similar size to London, although there are 19 boroughs so. We'll probably have to combine a few like Legion did with Islington and Hackney. But on the plus side, it's really dense, not to mention Ubisoft has a literal office in Montreal and there could be some fun gameplay going on the 67 Expo, the Olympic Tower, etc. Although they'd have to work hard to nail the Quebec accent and make sure a good chunk speaks French.
Dedsec Houston was also brought up a few times, and that's an area of 671 sq miles or 1,700 sq km. If Montreal and Houston have borough missions, there's going to be a lot, because Houston has 88 neighborhoods, but we can cut that down to roughly 30 if you go by the inner ring road, and then divide that into 7 areas based on the highway system, and maybe include Uptown, Northside, Jensen, Central Southwest?? Not sure. It would be really cool to see a cyberpunk take on a Western.
So all three of these cities are pretty up there on the list, especially considering Toronto and Houston are up there with Chicago on "most populous cities in North America" , with the Bay Area replacing Los Angeles as fourth most populous. Although non-north American cities would be so cool – it's a pipe dream, but imagine a Dedsec Lagos? Or a DedSec Singapore? Or even one in Russia or Australia/New Zealand.
In terms of the city itself, wherever it is, I think that Legion really messed up in not allowing us to enter stores and restaurants and whatever. I thought it was so cool in 2 to see literal INDIVIDUAL DUMPLINGS or go into stores and feel like I was in IN the store. Please give us more full interiors!! Having the Battersea as a full on mall would have been so cool, not to mention maybe seeing people's apartments or other places too!
So, what would your take on your dream Watch Dogs 4 be – what would your ideas for stories, characters, locations, mechanics, missions? What are your thoughts on what I already posted? Any concepts you've had in mind? I'm always happy to hear!
TL:DR – I thought Wrench was hot, we should have dogs, more varied after-game missions means more replayability, DedSec Toronto Houston or Montreal, what are we fighting 4?
- Who the 4 iconic characters could be
- Favorite game in the series so far?
- Here’s what we know about Watch Dogs Legion (so far)
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