This page may include spoilers about the Watch Dogs: Legion plot that you may not have discovered yet. Read at your own risk.
Albion is a private military company charged with public security and law enforcement in London. It has replaced the Metropolitan Police Service in the majority of its duties. Albion serves as an enemy faction in Watch Dogs: Legion and its CEO, Nigel Cass, as an antagonist.
The Albion PMC, colloquially just Albion, is a British private military company (PMC) based in London. By mandate of Her Majesty's Government, it has become the principal organization through which law enforcement is conducted in London; de facto replacing the Metropolitan Police Service. The company has assumed full practical control over the city's public security and even partial control over its courts of law. Albion flags, emblems and propaganda are featured regularly throughout London.
The company is in close cooperation with the Signals Intelligence Response Service (SIRS), which administers mass surveillance throughout London and forwards relevant information to Albion as well as with the Tidis Corporation, which provides Albion with various combat-related products, such as "autonomous drones and human-targeting algorithms". It shares various similarities with Umeni, a private security company that contracts with large corporations. Albion personnel is equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry and combat drones, which has enabled them to set up multiple checkpoints all over London, and has also helped them to keep tight surveillance everywhere to harass civilians.
The company is noted for its frequent human and civil rights violations, regularly apprehending and trashing civilians for bogus or baseless misdemeanors and wrongdoings. Albion has at various times suppressed protests and other forms of opposition against their practices and policies.
Albion CEO Nigel Cass assisted Sabine Brandt, operating under her zealous hacker group called Zero Day, in installing and detonating hydrogen bombs beneath several prominent sites in London. As a result, the British government indefinitely extended Albion's public security mandate and considerably expanded the company's jurisdiction and intervention rights.
Furthermore, Cass planned to introduce a drone program, in which artificial intelligence-controlled, armed drones would have had the power to execute any civilians for alleged, and even potential, criminal behavior. Cass fatally shot the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, who accused the CEO that the drone project exceeded the authority vested in Albion by mandate of Her Majesty's Government.
Cass refused to surrender to authorities – after his role in the London bombings had been publicly revealed and the British government announced a review of Albion's mandate – instead barricading in a bunker below the Tower of London. He even began developing new technology down there which Hamish feared he would unleash onto the streets of London in his manic state.
Albion's establishment is ambiguous; in the mission Inside Albion of the chapter Zero Tolerance, it is revealed that Nigel Cass succeeded his father, Gareth Cass, as the company's chief executive. However, in the mission Justice4Claire of the chapter True Colours, it is in turn revealed that Nigel Cass is also the founder of Albion. Logically, this would mean that Nigel Cass appointed his father CEO after having founded the company and then assumed or re-assumed leadership following his father's death.
The chronological rise and success of Albion is largely unknown; the most likely scenario is that the company expanded its influence as result of automation, a subsequent and dramatic decline in employment, and the ensuing increase of crime, riots, and civil turmoil.
Albion CEO Nigel Cass assisted Zero Day in bombing three prominent sites in London by providing personnel and materials, but stopped short at actually deploying and detonating the explosives to avert any connection with the attack. Cass later unsuccessfully attempted to kill Zero Day leader Sabine Brandt. As Cass anticipated, local law enforcement was overwhelmed by the bombings, which impelled the British government to issue a mandate that charged Albion with the policing of London's civilian population. Some protesters called on the current Queen to intervene with Albion to remove curfews.
At some point Cass partnered with the Tidis Corporation to launch a project termed "THEMIS", named after the Greek deity of divine law and order. THEMIS was an automation program that would have replaced human personnel with fully automated drones, empowered to execute any civilian allegedly or potentially engaged in criminal activity without a warrant. THEMIS sought to employ the so-called "Lifescore algorithm" – a surveillance system that tightly monitors London's populace and thereby yields comprehensive information on civilians – to terminate any person before they actually commit a crime.
The project was formally introduced by Cass at a meeting of top-tier officers in the White Tower. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner who also attended the meeting, voiced his concerns and accused Cass of transcending the legal boundaries of Albion's public security mandate, suggesting to contact the Defence Minister for complementary input. Cass initially agreed, but then abruptly shot and killed the Commissioner; conveying to the remaining attendees that he would not allow for any more delays or interferences.
DedSec, which also secretly attended the meeting, proceeded to steal the schematics for an unreleased micro-drone prototype from Albion's drone manufacturing lab. The hacker group then manufactured the micro-drones and used them to breach Tidis' high-security complex in London to delete the data of the Lifescore algorithm, effectively putting THEMIS in limbo.
Following an attempted assassination of Cass, the chief executive publicly introduced THEMIS, implying that the project would nevertheless launch, despite the major setback. DedSec subsequently infiltrated the Tower Bridge and quashed Albion's telecommunication infrastructure, thereby permanently ending THEMIS. The hacker group later published a clip showcasing Cass' collaboration with ZeroDay in the London bombings, as well as the CEO's murder of the late Police Commissioner. The British government swiftly convened thereafter to review Albion's mandate. Cass responded to the seeming imminent collapse of Albion's status by refusing to concede, instead barricading in a large exploratory bunker under the Tower of London. DedSec breached the bunker and faced off Cass in a static, tank-like machine. DedSec at some point managed to demolish the apparatus and subsequently kill Cass.
Albion replaces the local police force of London, the Metropolitan Police, acting as the main law enforcement of the city. As such, Albion will replace the officers entirely and assume every law enforcement duties including arrests, pursuits, shootouts and so on. While the Metropolitan Police cannot be found on streets patrolling, they are always found at police stations alongside with Albion.
Albion will react to the player and NPCs actions accordingly. For NPCs, they will attempt to arrest them after a fist-fight and/or open fire at them should they shoot at the security members with firearms. They will also react against the Clan Kelley members, attacking or shooting them. For the players, they will always attack them with fists or nightsticks until they are dropped on the ground. In other cases, depending on the player's actions, they will open fire until the player is dead, regardless of the Pursuit Level. At one Pursuit Level, their actions will depend on the player's actions; If the player commits a minor crime such as assaulting too many civilians or incapacitating an Albion contractor, and does not flee in a vehicle, incoming or nearby Albion members will attempt to beat them until they are unconscious, arresting them. If the player flees in vehicle, shoots a member, runs over a civilian or member and so on, they will open fire until they are deemed arrested or dead. The more Pursuit Levels, the more units will be dispatched after the player, with stronger units and drones joining in chase.
In normal duties, they can be found patrolling in a security car either alone or in pairs. They also spawn in restricted areas controlled by Albion. They are also found on the streets arresting NPCs and/or beating them or scanning them. They are also found at Police Stations alongside with Metropolitan Police. Police officers will flee if they spot a player with a gun equipped. If a vehicle is hacked, the security members will investigate the hack and attempt to find the suspect.
Albion's driving experience is not something to underestimate as they mostly flawlessly avoid incoming vehicles during pursuit. They can be very dangerous in groups as they are often armed with automatics.
Albion contractors and employees vary in classes, from Rushers (blue uniform Albion contractors with shotguns) to Albion Employees, who will only in engage in hand-to-hand combat and will flee if a weapon is fired or drawn.
- Albion Employee: These are unarmed Albion agents who are commonly see across London. They wear blue jackets, brown shirts, and black caps with the Albion logo on them. They wield batons. Some may carry P9 pistols, despite not using them. They are mostly seen driving Albion Haulers around the city. In oppressed zones of London, they can usually be seen harassing or assaulting random civilians. If they see the player do an illegal action without using a firearm, or provoke them by stopping them from harassment or assault or by attacking them with unarmed melee, they will attempt to knock them out with melee, but if a firearm is used, they will run away and alert the nearest Albion contractor.
- Albion Security: They are identical in behavior to Employees, but they wear black suits and striped ties, some wearing a ring an Albion emblem around their arm. They are only found in Albion bases, and wield batons, some spawning with a P9 in their inventory. Albion recruiters found around the city are similar in appearance.
- Regular Albion Contractor: The standard Albion contractor. They wear black uniforms and a beret, and wield the P9 handgun. They usually spawn around the city driving Albion patrol cars, either alone or in pairs, and are one of the first responders if the player gains a wanted level.
- Albion Overwatch: They are the main "soldier" types in Albion's ranks. They wear beige uniforms, tactical earmuffs, tactical sunglasses, and a black cap with the Albion logo. They wield the M249 LMG. They are often seen performing random ID scans on the streets of London, and in oppressed zones, can be seen harassing, arresting, harassing or beating up civilians. They are also one of the first responders if the player gets a wanted level.
- Albion Rusher: They are clad in blue camouflage uniforms, and wear blue knit caps, and wield the M590 shotgun.
- Albion Grenadier: Contractors clad in red camouflage and knit caps. They wield the MP9 and APGL. During combat, they drop or throw grenades at the player. They also drop an explosive upon death.
- Albion Captain: These are commanding officers in Albion. They wear white/grey uniforms, and wear balaclavas. They wield the P308 rifle, and can call for reinforcements if alerted.
- Elite Albion Contractor: The "Elite" version of the standard contractors, now with heavier armor, black camouflage fatigues, and helmets. They wield the Vector SMG. As the player progresses throughout the main game, they are usually the first responders should the player gain a wanted level.
- Elite Overwatch: The elite version of the Overwatch archetype. They still wear beige camouflage uniforms, but now wear heavier armor and balaclavas instead of caps. They still wield the M249. They replace standard Albion Overwatch agents if the player gains a wanted level.
- Elite Rusher: More heavily armored than their standard counterparts, plus they wear masked helmets that protect them against gas and smoke. They can also cloak themselves to sneak up on the player's position, and can also cloak during melee combat, which can be countered using a guard break.
- Elite Grenadier: Elite grenadiers with black fatigues, red armor, and helmets with red face-shields. They wield the Desert Eagle instead of P9, in conjunction with the APGL, and they drop an explosive upon death.
- Elite Captain: They wear heavier armor, as well as the same masked helmets as the Elite Rushers. In addition to being able to call for reinforcements like their standard counterparts, they can also send Kamikaze drones after the player.
Players can wear police uniforms, SIRS uniforms and/or Albion uniforms to minimize the chance to get detected by them when trespassing in zones that are controlled by Albion, depending on whatever occupation has access. Their detection system is slowed down gradually compared to normal operatives without Uniformed access. The detection system will slowly rise if the player is in their line of sight for too long, and will speed up if they run. A ding will indicate if the exclamation point has been filled, in which they are recognizing the player who is suspicious. They will then approach the player's position, the detection system filling red. If a ding is heard after it is filled, they will attack the player until they are defeated or if they took the player out by melee or with firearms.
While there are some objective improvements, the police and pursuit system has been downgraded from Watch Dogs 2:
- If Albion members get killed by a faction, no backup unit will respond even if you open fire in air, which is strange considering the security force patrols everywhere.
- There are no armed foot cops.
- The reaction range of Albion members is pretty low and they will not react to distant situations.
- Witnesses to crimes no longer call the police, rather, heat is instantly gained if a gunshot is heard or seen by a drone or other person. If not seen by a drone or person, crimes do not cause a pursuit.
- During search mode, Albion AI appears to "cheat"; they will always park near you once you go hiding. Additionally, their vehicles will also teleport forwards so they are near the player's vehicle (if they are being chased by Albion).
- Tower of London, head office
- Tower Bridge, telecommunications center
- Nexus Tower, technology center
- Palace of Westminster, seat of the British Parliament
- Royal Courts of Justice, court building of the English High Court and Court of Appeals of England and Wales
- New Scotland Yard, Metropolitan Police headquarters
- Albion Station Camden
- Albion Station Wapping
- Albion Station Bethnal Green
- Albion Station Kennington
- Albion Station Nine Elms
- The British Museum
- Buckingham Royal Mews
- UK Fibrecomm Centre
- Imperial War Museum London (banners only)
- Various Checkpoints across London
|10||Gap in the Armour||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|12||Recruit An Albion Guard||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|14||In the Belly of the Beast||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|30||Restoking the Fire||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|31||Nigel's Close Shave||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|32||Defanging the Flock||N/A||N/A||N/A|
- Albion is an alternate name for Great Britain.
- Albion is possibly based on Aegis Defence Services, a real life British PMC founded in 2002. Since then it has been acquired by the Canadian security contractor GardaWorld.
- Even though all Albion contractors wield batons, some use their fists during melee combat with the player or with aggressive/fleeing civilians.
- They will arrest anyone they are fighting with as a finishing move.
- Elite versions of Albion contractors don't have an additional perk in their abilities list.
- In defiant zones of London, civilians will intervene and attempt to defeat Albion contractors if they spot them assaulting a civilian, in which they will flee if the player or the Albion contractor fires their gun.
- When playing as an Albion contractor, random civilians will mock/insult them, such as calling them a fascist/pig or by making audible sounds of disgust. Additionally, Clan Kelley members found around the streets may randomly assault them.
- Strangely, even off-duty Albion agents may do this.
- The name, propaganda, ultra-patriotism and demonization of immigrants (both illegal and naturalized) and refugees seem to suggest that Albion operates as an ultranationalist group using fearmongering. This is backed by propaganda seen around London, specifically around Underground stations, checkpoints and audio from Albion owned drones.
- Some of their posters seem to be inspired by those of Transport for London in 2002 boasting the then new (and extremely controversial) citywide CCTV systems. Interestingly this real life system served as the inspiration for ctOS in the Watch Dogs universe.
- Whenever a borough is freed from Albion control, flags bearing the borough's name and Union Jacks will replace those belonging to Albion. In addition less garbage, graffiti, and even more sanitation workers will be seen in some boroughs, with the addition of civilians fighting with any Albion contractor who assaults a civilian.