Watch Dogs Legion Devs Discuss Replayability and Avoiding Permadeath

Watch Dogs Legion's Art Director, Joshua Cook talks about potential replayability and tactical permadeath.

September 11, 2019

At the E3 2019 conference this year, we finally got to see some Watch Dogs Legion gameplay as Ubisoft took center stage to showcase the titles vast array of characters players can take charge of in its huge open world. I think it’s safe to say gamers around the world instantly fell in love with one of the games most colorful characters Helen – an old lady who complains about no longer being able to feed the ducks, and then promptly sets her robo-spiders to get into vents while following it up with some kick-ass moves.

The Ubisoft devs previously made a point that whoever you do decide to choose to take onto the gritty London streets, permadeath is never too far away and can kill off your favorite NPC’s for good, however, the game’s Art Director, Joshua Cook talked at a community event called ‘Ubisoft Experience’ about the concept of permadeath, and how players could avoid it as they are free to make their own choices within the game’s dystopian vision of post-Brexit London.


“I think it’s very important to note that permadeath is a result of a tactical choice,” says Cook. “You have the decision to make, you have the opportunity to surrender, and your operatives will enter a cooldown period where they’ll be placed in a hospital or a prison or in different circumstances depending on how they go down.”

Cook further discusses the impact permadeath has in highlighting the games decision making, thus providing some thrilling key moments and giving the player more to lose or gain depending on what they do in a situation “It’s a tactical choice. If you choose not to surrender, then you’re putting your operative at risk and they are at risk of dying, they will be done and they will be dead and they won’t be coming back” Cook continues “It really raises the stakes, it makes the game very exciting. It’s a risk/reward situation – losing them for a brief time, or continuing on and finishing up that last bit of progress – that makes for some really exciting moments in the game and I’m glad we have it. I personally love it, I think it’s a great idea.”

Cook also touched on Watch Dogs Legion’s replayability potential “Something else within that city that maybe people really don’t know about know about is the locations are recastable,” Cook said. “To make a complex system like play as anyone work, we have to have that opportunity to return to different places and do different things; so you might see the E3 demo, where you’re sent to Scotland Yard to perform an objective. If I was to do that mission again with a different person, it might be sending me somewhere else. It might be sending me to Camden police station, or down to the one in Nine Elms or over to MI6. The locations and the world are very diverse and recastable, so we have a huge amount of potential for replayability within our version of London.”

Watch Dogs Legion releases on March 6, 2020, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The game will also release on Google Stadia at a later date. Watch Dogs Legion is available for preorder now on Amazon.



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