Ubisoft is so committed to the idea that every citizen of Watch Dogs Legion’s near-future London should have a schedule, that if you kill someone’s spouse, they’ll go to visit them in the cemetery. Then they may even move on and start dating again.
Then maybe they’ll have kids, and those kids will age in real time and start going to school, and their parent will go to pick them up and take them shopping after school for the latest game releases, because every game dev also has a schedule that eventually results in them making a game within a game and alright where did I lose you?
So that entire run-on sentence in the second paragraph isn’t true, but the first bit – about citizens moving on from bereavement and starting to date again – is.
The news comes from game director Clint Hocking via Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo on Twitter (see below).
Also: @ClickNothing told me that they're so serious about every character having a schedule they follow that if you kill a civilian's spouse, they'll start going to the cemetery, may eventually start dating again.
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) June 10, 2019
That’s some serious commitment to the bit. It’s the first idea that, even hearing about it in theory, has made your average videogame character feel anything approaching human. Contemplating the typically unavoidable collateral damage of an open-world game is now making me feel a little dirty.
Legion’s big selling point has been that you’ll be able to recruit and play as any of its citizens – and if you let them get killed while on a mission, they’ll stay dead, and you’ll have to take over as someone else.
Between that and this, Legion looks set to have some of the most believably human AI characters in a game to date. The Watch Dogs Legion release date is March 6, 2020.