Watch Dogs Legion is so focused on replayability that it will ship with over 20 different versions of the script, with each one using different characters, personas, voices, and acting. Watch Dogs Legion was the semi-surprise reveal from Ubisoft at E3 2019, having been leaked just days prior to the big show but nevertheless impressing audiences with its huge swath of playable characters and flexible game world.
According to hands-on reports with Watch Dogs Legion at E3 2019, nearly every critic who had a chance to take a look at the post-Brexit-style London that Ubisoft has built as the setting for the next instalment in its franchise came away impressed. One of the major selling points for Watch Dogs Legion has been the developer's intent to make sure every character can join Dedsec. That's obviously a massive undertaking in a game world as populated as the one on offer in Watch Dogs Legion, but it's a tantalizing prospect that put the game on several must-own lists coming out of E3.
According to Watch Dogs Legion creative director Clint Hocking, there's even more variation to come with the game. During an interview with Edge magazine (via GamesRadar), Hocking was prompted to answer a question regarding the ways in which the proposed variations of the story play out functionally. Hocking responded with a mind-blowing revelation: Ubisoft has commissioned 20 different versions of the Watch Dogs Legion script. Here's more from Hocking:
"There's no dude on the box who's there to start all the cinematics and the people you recruit are just the supporting cast. 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...we used photogrammetry to capture dozens of different faces, which have been combined using innovative animation techniques to produce literally thousands of unique heads."
It seems fair to say that there's a chance someone could play Watch Dogs Legion five or ten times and never get the same cutscene or dialogue between two characters, which puts the game's replayability on the same level as giants of the industry like Skyrim and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Those games still had stricter script responses, though, and a protagonist that was locked in from the very beginning. What Watch Dogs Legion is attempting to do completely goes against many of the practical lessons we've learned from the games industry, eschewing a marketable main character to plaster over every advertisement and embracing the fluidity of chaos instead.
Will it pay off? It's tough to say - there are a lot of things that can go wrong with a game attempting to be as open-ended as Watch Dogs Legion. Narratives can get watered down and lack emotional impact, for instance, or characters can never feel like they got off the ground in terms of development. That hasn't changed people from being extremely excited about Watch Dogs Legion, however, which could mean big things for the franchise's sales even if the finished product is less replayable than it currently sounds.
Source: Edge magazine (via GamesRadar)