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Surprise, Watch Dogs Legion now has ... a zombies mode?

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Standalone PvE mode now available in alpha on PC

a zombified Londoner shambles toward the viewer in a scene from Watch Dogs: Legion of the Dead Image: Ubisoft Toronto/Ubisoft

Out of the blue, Watch Dogs: Legion added a zombies PvE mode with its version 4.5 title update on PC, coming soon to the game’s console versions. Plans for the new multiplayer mode were never mentioned prior to Tuesday’s announcement.

Called Watch Dogs: Legion of the Dead, the mode swaps out the game’s NPCs with undead revenants. It’s separate from the main story in the single-player game and Watch Dogs: Legion Online. It’s a survival mode that ramps up the game’s gunplay considerably. Players are tasked with finding and seizing supply caches guarded by Albion and Clan Kelley adversaries, and eluding the shambling, slobbering horde to reach an extraction point.

“Only days after the first sightings, the streets of London have become overrun with the living dead,” goes the story. “In a desperate measure, the government has deployed autonomous drones to eradicate the unimaginable horrors roaming the streets.”

Watch Dogs: Legion of the Dead is currently in an alpha phase available only on PC. “We want to iterate on and improve the mode with you, and you can expect frequent updates, developer insights, and a constant conversation with our players.”

In the mode, players start their “supply run” with an uninfected survivor NPC drawn from the game’s random population generator. The survivor is equipped with a gadget, also chosen at random. Alone or in groups of three, players sneak about looting supplies, fighting off zombies, or siccing them on NPC enemies. A successful escape awards players with “Z-Creds,” which can be used to buy up gadgets and weapons for their next supply run through zombie London.

“Zombies offer you an opportunity to use Watch Dogs: Legion’s unique character abilities and hacks in unexpected ways,” Ubisoft Toronto developers wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. “We can’t wait for you to test it out.”

Seemingly aware that players will wonder why they’re getting this and not the Bloodline story expansion DLC, developers said that the same Ubisoft Toronto team working on that premium content is also behind Legion of the Dead. “It is, however, a totally separate experience from the rest of our post-launch content.”

Watch Dogs: Legion of the Dead’s alpha version arrives with several bugs and issues already acknowledged. Ubisoft Toronto said it wanted this new mode “to be developed together with our players, meaning we want to iterate on it often and patch it frequently.

“To make this possible, we need to be able to deploy patches fast, and we have full control over this on PC via Ubisoft Connect,” the developers said. When Legion of the Dead gets closer to its Beta phase, it will bring in players on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X, Google Stadia and Amazon Luna.

Watch Dogs: Legion launched Oct. 29. The multiplayer Watch Dogs: Legion Online mode, originally expected in December, arrived in March, and in early May the first premium content for Season Pass owners arrived. Watch Dogs: Legion — Bloodline, which brings Aiden Pearce from the first Watch Dogs and Wrench from the second, is expected to launch in late June. Players will be able to take both characters through the entire Watch Dogs: Legion campaign.