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Watch Dogs: Legion free trial starts Thursday, and you can preload now

Hack the planet!

Ubisoft are running a free trial for Watch Dogs: Legion this weekend, offering half of its open-world London and a fair chunk of the hacktivist story, as well as multiplayer. Sadly it's only a timed trial, available until Monday, but you can at least preload now to be ready to go when as soon as the trial starts on Thursday. I'm a sucker for virtual versions of real cities I know, so I'll be jacking in myself to do the Lambeth walk while I hack the planet.

The weekend trial will have four of the game's eight London districts, including the City, Lambeth, and Islington & Hackney. God, is Slimelight in the game? No, don't tell me. I'll recruit a goth into DedSec and look for myself. And you can play the storyline up until the Skye Larsen mission, which I think is about half-way into the game? That's not bad.

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The free trial will start at 4pm (9am Pacific) on Thursday the 25th, then run until Monday the 29th at 2pm (7am Pacific). Preloading started at 4pm today, available on the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Connect (look for the banner in rotation on the News tab). While the game will become unplayable after the trial ends, progress will carry over to the full game. And to tempt people into buying that, it will have a 50% discount for a fortnight.

See Ubisoft's announcement for more info. Oh, the trial's also on PlayStations and Xboxes.

I used to live in London but have barely been back in years, especially given the past year, so I'm quite looking forward to cutting about some old haunts. See if I can recreate some favourite walks. Or, if the virtual San Francisco of Watch Dogs 2 is any indication, I might find semi-familiar streets jarring for e.g. having flats in the place of a café where I used to watch dogs (this isn't a pun; it was a real café and the dogs were good). Still, sounds like the game's Virtualondon might be a good place to make new daft memories.

Our Nate liked the game, saying in his Watch Dogs: Legion review that the ability to play as random NPCs was "genuinely unlike anything I've played before" and there's a lot of fun in the game as "a great big chaos generator" - though this undercut the story.

"I really do appreciate what it's trying to do with its story, but the end result is like Jason Statham beating you to death with a book of Nietzsche's aphorisms," he said. "It's still Jason fucking Statham, and you're still getting battered."

A classic London saying, there.

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