French video game publisher Ubisoft has unveiled the latest edition to its popular Watch Dogs series, revealing a post-Brexit dystopian vision of London that goes way beyond even the worst nightmares of Project Fear.
Set in the English capital in the near-future, Watch Dogs: Legion depicts what British society might look like given the culmination of huge political upheaval and highly-advanced technologies like artificial intelligence.
Unveiled at the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles, Watch Dogs: Legion requires players to navigate the futuristic city streets and recruit members to a resistance movement in order to topple an organisation called Albion.
“In the near future, London is facing its downfall,” the game’s trailer explains.
“The people are being oppressed by corrupt opportunists and it’s up to you to build a resistance to give the city back to the people. With an entire population of potential recruits and the city’s technology at your fingertips, you’ll need to hack, infiltrate, and fight your way to a liberated London.”
The game lets players explore London on a huge scale, including famous landmarks like Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Tower Bridge and the London Eye.
Anyone familiar with London will recognise a relatively accurate imagining of the city – aside from the numerous drones buzzing around the skies and the futuristic forms of transport.
Titles from Ubisoft frequently appear to make political references, despite CEO Yves Guillemot previously claiming that the games are designed to “make people think” rather than make a statement.
Ubisoft COO Alf Condelius has also said that being overtly political is “bad for business”. Yet Watch Dogs: Legion seems to make no secret of addressing the issues that helped contribute to Brexit and the chaos that could result from the UK leaving the European Union.
“All the elements in the world that you see are based off lots of real-world problems that eventually contribute towards Brexit. So autonomy and loss of jobs because of it, global warming, all the other events that you see worldwide happening today,” John Cross, the lead producer of Watch Dogs: Legion, told Gamesradar.
“I feel that all of those events that contribute towards Brexit also contribute towards the world stated of Watch Dogs: Legion. But, it’s not just that, it’s about everything that’s happening in the world today and all of it has culminated to this one situation, a possible future, of Watch Dogs: Legion.”
The release date of Watch Dogs: Legion is set for 6 March 2020.
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