Watch Dogs Legion is doing something very ambitious, allowing players to recruit and play as every single NPC in the game, giving them all unique backstories, backed by animations and voice acting. We’ve already heard a little bit about how it affect cutscenes, with the developers having talked about how the game’s script has twenty different variations. But how does it affect progression of the narrative in particular?
One particularly interesting aspect of the game that gives rise to that question is permadeath- in light of that, how does the story progress if a particular character you’ve chosen to be involved in the story heavily dies? We asked the game’s creative director, Clint Hocking, this question in an interview. According to Hocking, every cutscene in the game accounts for every single character, which means that if a character should die, even though their own story would come to a close, the larger story of the game would keep on progressing in context of that death.
“Permadeath is always an opt-in gamble for the player,” Hocking told GamingBolt. “When your health goes to ‘zero’ you enter the critically injured state. At this point you are always offered the opportunity to Surrender, and be sent to jail. You can systemically free Operatives who have been sent to jail, or wait for them to be released. But if you choose not to Surrender, and Keep Fighting, then you are risking Permadeath.”
“Since every mission, every line of dialogue, and every cutscene has been written to account for every possible character, the loss of one of your characters means that the rest of your team will have to pick up where they left off and the plot and the story will carry on,” Hocking continued. “Each character has their own origin story – the story of how they are recruited into DedSec, and once they are on your team, the main missions and the overall game narrative are the story of DedSec as a team, and how they collectively work to halt the emergence of the authoritarian regime that is trying to take over the city.”
Watch Dogs Legion is out on March 6, 2020 for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia. Our full interview with Hocking will be going live soon, so stay tuned.