Our “What The Hell Occurred” sequence is often related to video games that when soared excessive as an eagle, however finally dropped right down to the bottom attributable to one purpose or one other. However right this moment, we’ve got a reasonably curious case of a franchise that didn’t begin life on the most effective foot ahead, however continued to make sturdy strikes and finally cemented itself as a invaluable IP. And at a time if you’d anticipate the sport to be gracefully driving on the waves of its new-found success, its future seems to be oblivious to say the very least.
We’re, after all, speaking about Watch_Dogs, which was an try and create a new-age open-world motion recreation centered round hacking. Over the course of simply three main entries, Watch_Dogs has managed to garner fairly a following for itself, and the most recent entry Legion has been acquired fairly properly by followers and critics alike. Nonetheless, it’s been shut to a few years since Legion got here out and the shortage of any updates on a brand new entry is reasonably shocking. So, what the hell is happening right here?
The primary Watch_Dogs was marketed as a showcase title for the ability of eighth-generation consoles, and the E3 2012 gameplay trailer showcased a ton of spectacular lighting results and an open world that regarded higher than anything in the marketplace. Timber would sway to the tune of the winds, NPCs would behave in a practical method, the rain results regarded slick, and far more. Expectation from followers was at an all-time excessive, and all that was left for the developer was to ship on its promise for Watch_Dogs to be a smash hit.
Watch_Dogs would lastly launch in Might 2014, and it was usually properly acquired amongst critics. A reasonably respectable Metacritic rating of 80 backs that sentiment. Watch_Dogs had some contemporary gameplay concepts, and whereas the open-world was usually minimize from the identical material as different open-worlds – it made for an pleasant journey however. The story surrounding Aiden Pearce’s revenge is compelling in some points, but it surely additionally felt a bit too bland because the characters lacked any type of character.
However the greatest criticism by far with Watch_Dogs was its graphics downgrade. It was evident that corners had been minimize when in comparison with that E3 trailer, and the visuals had been simply less than these pre-release requirements. This in flip sparked a ton of controversy over the web and outrage. Regardless of being a good recreation, Watch_Dogs is mostly deemed as one of many greatest letdowns of that yr. Regardless, Watch_Dogs managed to make some spectacular gross sales with over 10 million copies bought in its lifetime. All in all, the developer knew that Watch_Dogs’ IP had a variety of potential, and there was cash to be made with a possible sequel that may appropriate the unique’s shortcomings.
Bounce to November 2016, and Watch_Dogs 2 was launched for consoles and PC after simply being introduced earlier that yr. There was a ton of skepticism surrounding this launch as a result of first recreation’s controversies, however most of these worries finally become anticipation as favorable critiques began flowing throughout the web.
Watch_Dogs 2 transports gamers to a high-tech rendition of San Francisco, and also you tackle the position of a brand new protagonist Marcus Halloway as he joins the Dedsec group in an effort to take down the intrusive ctOS 2.0 community. Watch_Dogs 2 ditches the overtly grim tone of the unique, and as a substitute presents a colourful solid of characters which have a ton of character – and it really works properly to create a markedly extra participating narrative than the unique.
The gameplay had additionally seen main enhancements, with the addition of parkour being one of many greatest additions to the participant’s set of actions. You additionally get new instruments to play with reminiscent of drones and RC vehicles to remotely hack programs, and all of this superbly comes collectively within the recreation’s set of open-ended missions the place you should use these instruments in attention-grabbing methods to finish goals. Even the multiplayer element was much more enjoyable this time round. It featured a complete of 4 distinct recreation modes that served as a worthy distraction from the single-player element.
There have been nonetheless some obvious technical flaws inside the expertise, which had been later patched, however by and enormous – Watch_Dogs 2 was a worthy sequel that corrected virtually each shortcoming of the unique. Followers completely beloved it, and the sport as soon as once more bought fairly properly – regardless of initially having fewer pre-orders than the primary recreation. The developer reported that Watch_Dogs 2 bought properly over 10 million copies, and now that the franchise’s popularity was restored as soon as once more, the long run was trying fairly shiny for the IP as a complete.
Quick ahead to 2020, the business noticed the discharge of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Sequence X | S. A brand new Watch Canine subtitled Legion additionally joined the get together. The sport adopted an analogous sample of a comparatively brief advertising and marketing cycle with an announcement in 2019 and a launch set to align with the brand new consoles’ launch in late 2020. Set towards the backdrop of a futuristic London, Legion supplied a model new twist to the Watch Canine expertise. As an alternative of enjoying as a hard and fast protagonist, you’ve gotten the choice to recruit any NPC to your trigger and play as that particular person.
It’s a reasonably contemporary mechanic that was executed properly sufficient, although Legion was not proof against some inherent flaws that come together with this new system. Every NPC has their very own set of talents and particular instruments that allow extra private expression within the gameplay, however the lack of a well-written protagonist additionally implies that you don’t get a narrative that entails any private stakes.
As for the gameplay, Legion builds upon what got here earlier than – and refines the mechanics in some neat methods. The systemic open-world design of prior entries was introduced over however since there have been completely different characters to play, it additionally meant that there have been completely different instruments, devices, and kinds to play with. The open world of futuristic London additionally seems beautiful with wonderful consideration to element. It’s a principally nice recreation, however reception appears to be considerably divisive as some followers didn’t actually jive with the play-as-anyone mechanic.
The developer tried to resolve these complaints with Bloodline, a post-launch DLC. On the finish of the day, regardless of some issues, Legion appears to have largely turned out to be a profitable enterprise. We don’t know the way a lot the sport has bought up to now, however Legion reportedly bought virtually 2 million copies in simply three days – which was a powerful begin to say the very least.
It’s already shut to a few years since Legion launched, and there’s little data on what’s subsequent for the way forward for the franchise. launch patterns of prior entries, The developer has churned out a brand new Watch_Dogs recreation each three to 4 years on common. Between this and the spectacular gross sales of Legion, it’s a reasonably curious case as to why we haven’t heard something of a brand new Watch Canine in improvement.
As you’ll be able to already think about, it’s fairly onerous to pinpoint why that’s the case precisely, however all hypothesis level to Mirage being the most important fish. Along with the upcoming entry this yr, we’ve got Pink, Hexe, and Jade in improvement proper now alongside a VR recreation and a standalone multiplayer recreation referred to as Invictus.
As such, the developer may simply not have the bandwidth to undertake a brand new Watch_Dogs venture in the mean time, although we suspect that this may change in some unspecified time in the future within the close to future. Gross sales figures and significant reception are proof that there’s a lot of potential within the Watch_Dogs IP, and it’s very probably that the developer will finally circle again to this franchise. Precisely when, although? That’s one query that can probably is not going to be answered for some time.
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