Watch Dogs Legion : How Ubisoft is Ensuring NPC Variety

Watch Dogs Legion was one of the most interesting titles we viewed at E3 this year. While certain dynamics in Legion will be familiar to anyone who plays Ubisoft titles, the design of the NPCs and how the developers are ensuring they remain unique for players, is quite ingenious.

In case you were unaware, in Legion you are able to recruit any NPC to your crew (and Ubisoft did clarify that they truly mean any in that even enemies can be recruited). When doing so, you will play through a short intro mission and they will then join your crew. But the question that has been asked since this was introduced is quite obvious : “How are the developers ensuring this doesn’t get old quickly with the NPCs feeling all the same?“.

The answer is encouraging. In speaking with EDGE Magazine, Creative Director Clint Hocking described what they’ve done to ensure players will nearly always experience something new.

There are 20 different versions of Legion’s script and I don’t just mean people saying the same lines. We’re talking different characters, different personas, different voices, different acting. We’re using technology to alter all the voices so that even if you happen to recruit Joe and John and they have the same actor and the same personality, when they talk to each other you won’t know it’s the same actor because we modulate the voices. We used photogrammetry to capture dozens of different faces, which have been combined using innovative animation techniques to produce literally thousands of unique heads.

Hocking continued:

…whether you choose some suave, sophisticated secret agent dude, or some 80-year-old lady that you saw feeding pigeons in the park, your story is going to be uniquely yours.

Our Take

After witnessing the closed door demo, we had our own questions around how Ubisoft was going to accomplish what they were claiming. They system they are describing certainly sounds interesting and only makes us even more excited for the title to launch. Combined with a gorgeous recreation of near future London, Legion looks like it could another monster title in early 2020.

In case you missed it, you can also find our E3 discussion on the Legion closed door demo below!

Author: Seasoned Gaming

Covering the videogame industry with daily content, unique opinions, and as always, no ads or filler.

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