Creative director Clint Hocking speaks about how Ubisoft is approaching its speculative yet fictional take on a near-future London.
As far as Watch Dogs Legion is concerned, things such as being able to play as anyone and the permadeath mechanic going along with that have largely dominated headlines. And rightly so- they’re very exciting features that, if implemented properly, can be an incredible accomplishment. But there’s a lot more in Ubisoft’s upcoming open world title that’s worth getting excited about.
For instance, its near-future cyberpunk setting of a dystopian London. Other than presenting a fascinating backdrop of a city in the grips of an authoritative regime that you’re fighting to overthrow, it’s also looking aesthetically vivid. Recently, while speaking with GamingBolt, the game’s creative director, Clint Hocking, got to talking about Watch Dogs Legion’s London, and how Ubisoft went around designing it with their speculative fiction mindset, blending things that are quite believable with others that are less so.
“We are not specific about the exact year in which the game is set, rather allowing the player to interpret the timing for themselves,” said Hocking. “In creating speculative fiction we look at many different social, political and technological trends and extrapolate them all forward into a fictional future where they all converge in an extreme state.
“As such, some of the things we’re depicting – such as the ubiquity of drones in the world, or the presence of autonomous vehicles – might feel more near future. Conversely, some other things we’re depicting – such as the sophistication of AI – might feel decades away. The purpose was not to make predictions about some future year, but to create a world that is able to bring insightful perspective and commentary on a range of trends we see emerging in the world today.”
Watch Dogs fiddled with a near-future setting back when the first game launched, and took it a step further with Watch Dogs 2’s San Francisco. With the upcoming sequel, it looks like the series is going all in on that cyberpunk aesthetic, and we’re curious to see how it turns out. From all that we’ve seen so far, they certainly seem to be implementing it pretty well.
Watch Dogs Legion is out on March 6, 2020 for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia. In this same interview, Hocking also spoke with us about how progression and levelling up will work in the game- read more on that through here. Our full interview with Hocking will also be going live soon, so stay tuned for the entire thing.