Watch Dogs: Legion Drops E3 2019 Character Classes For Something More Free-Form

Watch Dogs: Legion Drops E3 2019 Character Classes For Something More Free-Form

Instead of pulling characters from three restrictive classes, Watch Dogs: Legion is now truly free.

When Watch Dogs: Legion was shown off at E3 last year, the theme of "Play As Anyone" was already a primary focus. At the time, characters were randomly-generated with various abilities, but pulled from three broad classes: Enforcer, Hacker, and Infiltrator.

The Enforcer was intended as the combat-heavy class, with access to the Sticky Mine and lethal guns. The Infiltrator had the AR Cloak to hide themselves, with a focus on stealth gameplay and melee weapons. Finally, there was the Hacker, the class that leaned on Watch Dogs's primary hacking mechanic and had the Spiderbot as their starting gadget. Each class had their own skill trees, with unique abilities that could be unlocked. Ubisoft has now cast the planned class system aside.

Instead, characters will now pull from a wider set of weapons, traits, skills, and occupations. The latter is very important now because of a new system called Uniform Access that allows characters with certain occupations to access certain parts of the environment, similar to Agent 47's many disguises in the Hitman series. If your character is a police officer, they can openly walk into a police station. Another character doing the same thing would raise alarms. A character in the medical field can not only walk into hospitals, but they have an ability called Triage that speeds up the healing of any member recovering in the hospital. (It can't save the folks that died in action.)

It's not clear if there's any progression for each character anymore, though there is a skill system that allows you to augment the abilities of your entire team. That's information Ubisoft is still holding onto as Watch Dogs: Legion heads toward launch. You can read more about the latest build of the game in our lengthy hands-on preview.

Watch Dogs: Legion is officially coming to PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia on October 29, 2020, with potential launch on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Ubisoft has five titles planned to launch before the end of this fiscal year on March 31, 2021: Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion, Rainbow Six Quarantine, Gods & Monsters, and the recently-revealed Hyper Scape.

As part of a larger reckoning with sexual harassment and misconduct within the industry, Ubisoft has been the focus of numerous allegations. Those allegations include sexual assault and predatory behavior, and have led to a public response from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot promising to make "fundamental changes" to the publisher's culture and working practices.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail took a leave of absence from Ubisoft Montreal following allegations of manipulative behavior. Two Ubisoft vice presidents, Tommy François and Maxime Béland, were both placed on administrative leave. Both were members of the Editorial Department, an advisory group for every Ubisoft title. Watch Dogs Legion brand marketing manager Andrien Gbinigie was accused of sexual assault and his position at the publisher is currently unknown. There are also further investigations involving misconduct happening within Ubisoft, with Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoet, Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat, and Global Head of HR Cecile Cornet all resigning yesterday.

While Ubisoft's games were developed by large multinational teams, it's worth noting these issues and the impact they've had on developers at those studios. Especially in regards to abuse from executive level employees.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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