Get Ready for a Living City Like Never Before
I’ve been a bit iffy about the newest Watch Dogs game’s main selling point: that every NPC is recruitable and playable.
I get the idea, and why it’s exciting. In fact, it’s not that I’m not excited for it, because I am- it’s just that I have some doubts over how character progression would work. Every character may have a back story but I don’t see how every one could be satisfying, or how every one could get a resolution. Part of the reason I loved Watch Dogs 2 so much is because of the characters and their relationships and, while the new approach is fresh and exciting, I don’t see how I can grow to care for characters on the same level if I can recruit anyone.
Still, it’s definitely something fresh and innovative. Watch Dogs already let players control seemingly regular NPC’s as they invade their opponents’ games (at least from the opponents perspective) so this adds a whole new level (and the bonus, of course, is the chance to create an entire team of old grannies)
One big bonus has come up: In a recent interview with Games Radar, Lead Producer Sean Crooks went into detail about how the NPC’s work- in the most literal sense.
“Players can take those characters, wear the uniforms, wander through locations and suspicion is a lot lower. They can get away with more, as long as you walk slowly, and don’t do anything outstandingly suspicious.”
In short, if a mission requires you to infiltrate a setting, you can recruit someone who works there to help you keep below suspicion. Everyone has schedules and calendars, making the city feel alive in a way few cities have before. Even better, you can use what information you have on characters to help you recruit others. In the example Crooks gave, you can often find football hooligans in bars. If you want to recruit one into Dedsec you can do so by following a bartender to their place of work.
This doesn’t alleviate all my concerns about what we’re losing, but it does look like what we’ll be gaining is something special, so it’s hard to feel too let down.
What do you think of the new system? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or down in the comments.