One of the weirdest parts of previous Watch Dogs games was how poorly it reconciled being a civilian-turned-hacker-hero who also was totally okay with casually murdering just about anyone. Watch Dogs 2 tried to rectify this by adding a paintball gun in a free update (opens in new tab) along with two non-lethal weapons added in a later paid DLC, but those options still left you with a limited arsenal. Thankfully, half of the weapons you can use in the upcoming Watch Dogs Legion (opens in new tab) will be non-lethal, according to its creator director.
Speaking with Twinfinite (opens in new tab), creative director Clint Hocking told them that the team "Really focused on having non-lethal weapons this time around so about half of the weapons are non-lethal and then we focused on making on a pretty robust melee system so if you don’t pull out guns, the enemies won’t pull out guns—in most cases."
As Hocking explains, police won't just roll up guns blazing like they do in, say, Grand Theft Auto 5. Instead they'll attempt to arrest you first so long as you aren't using lethal force yourself. That's a great addition since it'll hopefully making encounters with Legion's authoritarian police force more nuanced and realistic. If you're playing as regular civilians recruited into a resistance movement, it makes sense that most of them probably wouldn't like the idea of murdering people just because.
"We really wanted to make sure that non-lethal was an option in any combat encounter," Hocking told Twinfinite.
That said, unlike Cyberpunk 2077, Hocking isn't sure if it will be possible to beat the game without killing anyone. "It’s not a goal for us," he said. "The goal was to make sure we have robust non-lethal options for players."
That's fine with me. Though it would be cool if you could complete the game without resorting to excessive violence, I can understand that there might be times where it's unavoidable. I just think it's cool that Watch Dogs Legion is striving to get the player more agency in those situations.
Watch Dogs Legion will be out on March 6, 2020. Sam played it at E3 and it was the most impressive demo he's seen in years, so you should read about that. (opens in new tab)