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Here's a trippy Watch Dogs: Legion short film

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Ahead of the big Watch Dogs: Legion (opens in new tab) reveal during today's Ubisoft Forward online presentation, Ubisoft rolled out a faux-live-action short film setting the game's stage: The city of London in the grip of an authoritarian surveillance regime, where every step is seen and tracked, and no deviation from the strictures of the law is tolerated.

The first couple of minutes of the video provides a quick overview of a familiar but fantastical London, which has rapidly spiraled downward into an embrace of bigotry, fascism, and technology without oversight. It's not pleasant, but there's a glimmer of hope at the end: A common man, standing up for what's right, because he knows the consequences of staying silent.

At the core of the video is a modernized take on First They Came (opens in new tab), a famous poem about the rise of Nazism in Germany, that replaces socialists, trade unionists, and Jews with protesters, journalists, and street artists. It's a reasonable thematic fit, but it feels ill-conceived: I don't think that turning a reflection on the ease with which humanity stood by and watched while the real-life horrors of the Holocaust unfolded into a marketing blast for the latest update to a mainstream videogame series is really such a great idea.

Watch Dogs: Legion will be out on October 29 (opens in new tab). You can watch 20 minutes of the game's hacking, holograms, and spiderbots right here (opens in new tab).

Andy Chalk
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.