The Watch Dogs Legion team was surprised to learn the game is being pushed back, but the delay ended up working in everyone’s favour.
When Ubisoft decided to delay its entire slate of games late last year, it came at a time when Watch Dogs Legion creative director Clint Hocking was ready to finish the game.
But once he got over that, Hocking realised how the extra time could really help the game. Speaking to IGN, Hocking explained that the delay benefited the game’s core mechanic – playing as anyone – the most. Although the underlying systems had all been in place before, the added development time allowed the team to really make each variation of traits its own character.
“So the most important thing I think we’ve done is added a lot more refinement to traits and the abilities that you find on characters in the world, and better ways for aggregating those into individuals,” he explained. “As a consequence of that, we have a lot of cool characters that kind of emerge out of these great traits.”
Some of these changes, according to Hocking, were previously out of reach. The added time even helped the developer update the game’s progression systems to allow for more experimentation and not overly reward players for picking a few agents and sticking with them for the entire game.
There’s another component in the fight against the Albion corporation in Watch Dogs Legion that was also refined thanks to the delay. As you visit the different boroughs of London, you’ll be able to do certain activities that weaken their grip on each of them, which in turn empowers people to rise up against Albion.
“Once you do all of those activities in a borough, you get a borough liberation mission, a really custom beat with unique gameplay and a really cool challenge,” said Hocking.
“And then that causes the people in the borough to rise up and that makes them much easier to recruit, and it gets rid of the Albion checkpoints and reduces the Albion presence in the streets. It really makes it feel like you’re actually taking the city back.”
The ability to play as anyone remains Watch Dogs Legion’s biggest innovation, and it holds up under scrutiny, so far at least. Hit the link for our hands-on impressions, and check out the neat Assassin’s Creed Easter egg Ubisoft managed to hide in London.
Watch Dogs Legion is out October 29 on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Stadia.