Ubisoft At EGLX: Interview About Watch Dog Legion

EGLX (Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo) decided to rear its head this past weekend, being bigger and badder than ever before. With every new year showing that the gaming community is continuously on the uprise and our more nerdy endeavors becoming commonplace.

That said, I got the chance – amongst my perusing of nerdy trinkets I didn’t need – to sit down and have a chat with Lathieeshe Thillainathan, the live producer for Ubisoft’s upcoming game Watch Dogs: Legions. A friendly man with an easy attitude awaited me as we sat down for a quick meeting where I got to ask a few questions that I had been wondering about the upcoming title.

SA: Is this the last installment in the game franchise? Do you have many DLCS coming out for the game?

LT: It’s not the last installment for Watch Dogs at all but were not really thinking that far ahead at all. We’ve got a big post-launch plan going on with a ton of new and surprising content coming your way. I can’t wait for you guys to see the evolution of Watch Dogs’ legion we have planned.

SA: Why decide to make this recruitment system for Watch Dogs Legion? What advantage do you feel it has?

LT: It started with us wanting to tell a compelling story. We wanted to tell a story that was grounded and that you can relate to. Throughout the series its been a natural evolution as you started playing as a singular person, then you started playing as dedsec, and for us to tell a story that was in a future where there’s a lot of chaos in this downward sinking world was the next step. A world where there is no trust in the government institution and people are being taken from their homes. There are people who are being mass murdered across London and that’s where the idea came from. With everyone being affected by this new world order and people’s need to rise up is where the idea and start came from. You can’t solve this problem as an individual but rather as a group. The next logical step being playing as anyone and everyone.

SA: Why add the feature of permanently losing a game character and will losing them have an effect on the storyline or how a mission progresses?

LT: Permadeath for us was a way of ensuring your decisions have a real consequence. It’s not something that happens accidentally but is rather a choice. So when you go down we tell you when you get back up you’ll go into permadeath if you get put down again, whereas the other options will have you captured or put in the hospital for a while. We don’t want you to just lose an operative that you have put time into.
The story we are telling is always the same, and it is something that you will engage no matter the character, just the angle and perspective might change due to playing with a specific character as you have invested time into them.

SA: Does the cooperative multiplayer work for the campaign and if so, how does that affect the main storyline as I imagine main characters can’t die.

LT: I can’t really talk much about how online works just right now, but we will be talking a lot about it real soon.

SA: Any new features that you feel will really stand out too long-time fans of the game? Or anything in particular your proud of on the title.

LT: Fans will naturally fall in love with London as it’s a very different setting and we’re really happy we went global. The level of operatives you can build, with different characters and personal characteristics is completely different than what’s happening these days. There’s tons of stuff to do in the world from playing in the sandbox to just following the storyline – you’ll have tons to do.

SA: Why another Watch Dogs game and not a new IP? Ubisoft has all this manpower yet chooses to repeat titles instead of investing in new titles so why not a new one?

LT: The game has a strong resonance with the fans and we wanted to respond to that by sticking to the core of what Watch Dogs is but also taking a huge step forward with the game. When have you ever played as every single person in the world, when have players ever seen a story that is so strong and grounded. We also love Watch Dogs as a game and we think that play as anyone is a big leap and we think it will be very different than what people are into. The game is still very young and has a lot of life left in it yet.

As you can probably tell by the tone of the interview, Ubisoft seems to be banking a lot on the upcoming play as anyone system. As a not long-standing fan of the Watch Dog series myself, I don’t know if it will be enough to keep people interested. However, I am sure that will be interesting enough to get people to buy it and bring in a new wave of players to give it a try – whether that ensures people will continue to play remains to be seen.

I do still think companies should continue trying to make new and exciting IP’s, but you can’t fault a company for sticking with something that seems to be working for them.