Stormzy’s new music video filmed inside Watch Dogs: Legion

The British grime and R&B artist has teamed up with Ubisoft for his latest single Waterfall, which was created entirely inside Watch Dogs: Legion.

UK grime artist Stormzy announced that he’ll be featured in Ubisoft’s upcoming video game Watch Dog: Legions. The music video for his latest single ‘Waterfall’ was created entirely inside the game and shows off various notable London locations, including Brixton, Tower Bridge, and Trafalgar Square.

Watch Dogs: Legion will be dropping at the end of October and is set in a virtual imagining of a post-Brexit London that gives off an apocalyptic, dystopian vibe not too dissimilar to Insomniac’s Sunset Overdrive. Being a Londoner myself it is very odd seeing well-known areas of the city recreated virtually as fully explorable spaces – I’m used to only ever seeing Los Angeles or New York in games like GTA and Spiderman.

Stormzy will have his own playable mission as part of the game’s storyline called ‘Fall On My Enemies’, which sees players help him secure a broadcast of his track across London. No word yet on additional Stormzy content later in the game though. Perhaps you have to make your way to the main stage of a nearby festival? Drop a banger at Glastonbury in a bulletproof vest designed by Banksy?

The visuals for ‘Waterfall’ are impressive and a testament to the technological innovations being made in the gaming industry. We’ve seen these kind of ideas explored by other artists in recent years as virtual reality, life-like cyber avatars, and motion tracking becomes more accessible. This video for ‘The Birthday Party’ by The 1975 uses digital versions of its band members in similar ways to Stormzy, for example.

Pop and trap musicians are also using gaming to create live renditions of their tracks alongside full blown music videos. Travis Scott and Dominic Fike have both taken part in live Fortnite events that can be watched and interacted with by players in real time. It’s a great way to tap into the younger Gen Z market and with coronavirus restricting production on real-life videos, virtual alternatives are more appealing than they’ve ever been.

For Watch Dogs: Legions, Ubisoft says it chose Stormzy after asking Londoners which current UK musician they felt best represented the social and political causes of young people. Stormzy has repeatedly called out the UK government for failing to support working class citizens and wilfully ignoring victims of the Grenfell tower fire. In 2018 he specifically mentioned Theresa May during his BRITs performance and has thrown shade at Boris Johnson numerous times in his tracks.

Watch Dogs: Legion heavily emphasises public resistance and political pushback, with a focus on diversity within the city centre. In a statement, the game’s creative director Clint Hocking said he was ‘thrilled’ to have Stormzy involved. ‘His music is extremely relevant for our London setting and for the larger themes of our game. It was a career highlight to get to work with him’.

Alongside his outcries against the current UK government, Stormzy has donated large chunks of cash to fund scholarships for disadvantaged students and set up a publishing programme with Penguin Random House in 2018 called #Merky. He’s been a consistent force for good ever since he rose to fame and continues to champion creative talents from struggling backgrounds in the public eye.

I’ve no doubt that this will be a great opportunity for Watch Dogs: Legions to appeal to an even broader market than it would otherwise, and it also brings Stormzy into the realm of virtual performances for his young fan base.

Now all we need is a big music event in Fall Guys and we’ll be all set. Perhaps we can get Drake on the phone?

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