We’ve all thought it whereas cruising by way of Los Santos or galloping in direction of Hyrule Castle Town: positive, this is enjoyable, however wouldn’t or not it’s a lot cooler if we may discover the world’s biggest metropolis? No, I’m not speaking about Washington DC or New York, as featured in The Division, and undoubtedly not the Chicago featured in the unique Watch Dogs. I’m speaking about London.
Which is why it was so thrilling to see that Watch Dogs: Legion shall be set in Britain’s capital – and in contrast to the Victorian period Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, it seems like we’d lastly get to expertise a London that is greater than vaguely acquainted. Not since The Getaway on PS2 have we seen a triple-A London sandbox that appears fairly so lifelike.
The query then is… simply how life-like? Let’s take a dive in and discover what the sport has constructed, based mostly on the E3 2019 reveal video and trailer.
How huge is the Watch Dogs Legion map?
Now only a fast word earlier than we go any additional: we have but to see the full Watch Dogs Legion sport, so what we now have right here has been pieced collectively from reveal trailers, our personal in-depth data of London and what else we have heard and seen from Ubisoft to date. All this might change, and till we have got the closing sport in our arms, all this stays hypothesis.
First, an necessary query: Just how huge is the map? Though Ubisoft doesn’t seem to have to date stated so, we might wager that the dimension of the metropolis was given away on the bus cease seen in the launch video close to Piccadilly Circus.
This is a protected wager to be the sport’s quick journey system, and it reveals a map roughly bounded as follows.
Kings Cross St Pancras -> Notting Hill Gate -> Battersea -> Brixton -> Elephant -> Tower Bridge -> The City of London -> The Isle of Dogs -> (An enormous, non-existent highway in actual life reducing by way of Whitechapel) -> Old Street -> Back to Kings Cross St Pancras.
So roughly this:
Now let’s discover a few of the locations we noticed in higher element.
The reveal video began in Piccadilly Circus, and good grief, have they completed a very good job of recreating it. All of the buildings look fairly accurate to me. There’s only one downside: the 42 bus doesn’t go wherever close to right here in actual life. It is truly a route that goes from East Dulwich to Liverpool Street. And simply as egregiously: the actual route doesn’t use double-decker “New Routemasters” – it sticks to single deckers. And “City Centre”? What the hell is that? The sport is ruined.
Here’s a wider daytime shot from the trailer – word the arches and the domed constructing. Even the highway structure is fairly spot on.
We additionally be taught that the Tube is out of motion, with an indication reporting upkeep. Presumably this is so the sport can keep away from having to have a quick journey system the place the participant has to spend ten minutes pushing by way of crowds and descending on a number of escalators to get to the prepare, with NPCs passing out as a consequence of the lack of air-con. Though on the plus facet, it implies that it received’t annoy us with a very fictional and implausible orbital railway, like Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate did.
It’s additionally curious to see the precise TfL roundel brand current in the sport, on condition that Transport for London has been traditionally protecting of its model. For instance, although Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 had a sequence set on the Tube (don’t get me began on the geography), it was unable to make use of any TfL branding.
After the participant beats somebody up, we see them get right into a taxi and race off – heading down Coventry Street in direction of Leicester Square. Good element on the vacationer tat outlets, and until we’re mistaken it seems that the Prince of Wales theatre, at present house to Book of Mormon has made it into the sport.
The taxi then approaches the North West entrance to Leicester Square, the place we will see the giant constructing that changed the Swiss Centre. There is one essential omission although. Look at the floor ground of that constructing: M&Ms World doesn’t exist in Watch Dogs Legion. So perhaps the dystopian future isn’t so unhealthy in any case?
The automobile then turns and offers us the first indication that although tonally very accurate, the map does seem to have been compressed: Haymarket and Whitcomb Street seem to have been mixed. On the proper you’ll be able to see the Horses of Helios statue, and on the left you’ll be able to see the purple glow of the Angus Steakhouse. Presumably in the sport you received’t have the ability to go inside, as the builders absolutely received’t have the ability to discover a single Londoner who has ever truly been inside an Angus Steakhouse.
We then hit the Pall Mall method to Trafalgar Square which seems accurate, with Canada House on the proper and the National Gallery on the left. There undoubtedly isn’t a bus cease there in actual life although.
Incidentally, the outlook for Canada House in the sport doesn’t look too good. Here’s a shot from the trailer:
Trafalgar Square seems fairly faithfully recreated – try St Martin-in-the-Fields church in the distance. Try to not knock over any of floating Yodas in your method.
Here’s a glance again at the National Gallery, which seems to be internet hosting some surveillance drones. Well, they do have form for this sort of thing:
Here’s the south view of Trafalgar Square. Aside from the general accuracy of Nelson’s Column, the fountain and the steps, I additionally like how the LED warning signal seems accurate for Britain too.
The reveal video then crosses to the Victoria Embankment. The river facet seems spot on. The arch on the proper hand facet is presumably for the Victoria Embankment Gardens – however it doesn’t look fairly proper to me. Though it does look vaguely acquainted.
New Scotland Yard is in broadly the proper place – although in actual life the precise constructing seems very completely different, even when you take away all of the luminous sci-fi stuff.
The proximity of the Golden Jubilee Walkways to New Scotland Yard does, nevertheless, additionally present additional how the map has been compressed – in actuality, it might be barely additional away.
Here’s a better up shot of Westminster which reveals us one thing we at present can’t see in actual life: Big Ben (sure, we know) with none scaffolding round it. Note an accurate Portcullis House subsequent to it (that’s the constructing on high of Westminster Tube Station which is a part of the Parliamentary property), and, Of course, the London Eye and the outdated County Hall constructing throughout the river.
It does, nevertheless, present quite a few lacking buildings together with, most clearly, the Shell Centre. Though look by way of the Eye, and you’ll see the new One Blackfriars skyscraper that was presumably impressed by Arrival.
Here’s one other shot of Big Ben, this time with the remainder of Parliament connected. In the background we will see what seems to be the silhouette of the Millbank Tower, an workplace block from which the Labour Party ran its 1997 marketing campaign, and the place as we speak the People’s Vote Campaign is based mostly (although presumably they’ll have moved out by the time post-Brexit dystopia Watch Dogs London truly occurs).
Also further factors in case you noticed the most annoying factor about this picture: as soon as once more it is the 42 bus. Still wrongly a double decker, and nonetheless not on the appropriate route. What’s flawed with the 159, Ubisoft? Maybe the TechRadar UK group begin a marketing campaign to make the bus numbering accurate.
On the different facet of Parliament, right here’s Parliament Square. This is the view from the north facet trying in direction of Parliament. I can’t inform for positive, however it undoubtedly seems as if St Margaret’s Church – the smaller one subsequent to Westminster Abbey – might have been reduce. What I’m most focused on although is to see whether or not the sq.’s latest statue, that of suffragette Millicent Fawcett, has made the reduce.
The most incorrect factor from this screenshot although is staring us proper in the face – and it isn’t the “Kensington Rovers” bag. It’s the pub that the character is leaving. Called “The Earl’s Fortune”, it seems that it might be the participant’s house base. Unfortunately, there isn’t a pub there in actual life, as an alternative it’s the Supreme Court and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
One last item from Westminster. Behind the character right here is the Guard’s Memorial in St James’s Park, and behind her we will see a wall coated in greenery, suggesting we’re trying North in direction of the Mall. However, that constructing behind, no matter that is, shouldn’t be there. To the proper and simply out of shot ought to the Horseguards grounds the place Trooping the Colour takes place.
South of the River
Crossing the river we get to see somewhat little bit of South London. In this aerial shot from the trailer, going left to proper look out for Guy’s Hospital, The Imperial War Museum (inexperienced dome somewhat additional again), the Shard (after all), and the Baby Shard – now house to Rupert Murdoch’s empire in London. A little bit additional again is the large Park Plaza resort that sits to the South of Westminster Bridge, and we will see One Blackfriars once more.
Here’s a dramatic rooftop shot. The constructing on the left was the headquarters of MI5, however as we speak has been repurposed as some very costly flats.
We additionally acquired to see this very transient shot of Brixton – we all know that as a result of there’s some huge letters saying “Brixton”. Though what’s curious is that I can’t fairly place this: It seems prefer it must be Windrush Square, however the constructing on the proper doesn’t match the structure of both the church there or The Ritzy cinema. Though architecturally, it is undoubtedly similar to many different church buildings in London.
Here’s maybe the most obscure spot although – and full marks to Twitter follower Liam Blizard for recognizing this. Remember this shot of what seems like a reasonably casual housing property from the trailer? It seems it is a reasonably accurate recreation of Southwyck House in Brixton. Maybe one among the builders lives there?
Amazingly it seems that the sport even makes it down so far as Battersea – as we will see from Battersea Power Station in the background of this shot.
We additionally get to see Vauxhall Bridge and the Vauxhall Tower – in addition to a few of the new blocks of flats which are down that method.
Oh, and right here’s the Tate Modern and the Millennium pedestrian bridge:
And what comes after the Tate Modern? City Hall, after all!
Going north once more
It wouldn’t be a London sport with out Tower Bridge, and we will additionally see HMS Belfast, St Paul’s, Mansion House and the Walkie Talkie.
It seems like there’s going to a mission at the Tower of London.
Here’s an in depth up of St Paul’s:
Here’s one other aerial shot of the metropolis that seems to have completed an excellent job hiding the Walkie Talkie. If solely we may try this in actual life. Most clearly we will see the Gherkin and the Cheesegrater, in addition to what seems like a stand in for the large boxy skyscraper in the metropolis that is nonetheless below development.
It additionally seems we’re going to get somewhat little bit of East London, as that Chimney belongs to Truman’s Brewery on Brick Lane.
More north of the river
Here’s Kings Cross St Pancras, full with large clock on the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.
This is a cool shot. It is perhaps an odd one to work out at first however this is a view of BBC (right here known as “GBB”) Broadcasting House on the left – which retains its form and (decorative?) antenna on the roof. On the proper is All Souls Church, which sits reverse the entrance. The BT Tower seems acquainted however has had a little bit of a redesign on high. It additionally reveals how the map has been shrunken barely – in actual life it isn’t seen from this vantage and feels prefer it must be barely additional away.
There wasn’t a transparent shot sadly, however we do see the retired murderer girl take somebody down proper in entrance of the Victoria Memorial and Buckingham Palace. There’s one other bus promising to take riders to the “City Centre” too.
Here’s Admiralty Arch on the Mall facet with that sodding bus once more. No buses go down this highway for a really apparent cause: it is repeatedly closed and disrupted by varied royal happenings. Not a very good place for a bus route.
China Town additionally will get a look-in. Here we see it appropriately positioned behind Leicester Square.
Though annoyingly, we then see this arch, which is actual… however isn’t positioned right here. Wherever right here is presupposed to be.
I’m not completely positive which bridge this is presupposed to be. It seems a bit like London Bridge, however the landmarks don’t completely match up.
And now we’ve reached Camden Town, which options closely in the reveal as we noticed a rescue mission happen there. It’s an extremely spectacular recreation. The “Camden Market” branding is spot on, however in barely the flawed place. The reduce by the facet of the railway arches we see the mission happen in although? That’s completely actual, and is known as Gin Alley.
And lastly, right here’s a few of the different London areas that we have to date been unable to position.
This fashionable store entrance with a colourful bridge?
This place has a really sturdy Camden Town vibe, however it is exhausting to pin it on something particularly.
The location of this home is irritating. It seems prefer it might be both Downing Street or Doctor Johnson’s House, however neither match up appropriately.
And lastly this soccer pitch at the backside of a big tower. If you’ve any concepts please do tweet as we shall be genuinely and unironically .
So that’s London, as seen by way of the eyes of Watchdogs: Legion. And… it is fairly unbelievable what the builders seem to have completed.
Now all we now have to do is wait till March subsequent 12 months to play it, by which period we may have tipped over into Brexit dystopia anyway (meals shortages, civil dysfunction, the 42 bus being rerouted, and so on), so the sport may ultimately turn into much more reasonable.
All picture credit: Ubisoft
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