Every now and then someone makes an extraordinary claim about an upcoming game that makes us turn our heads and get excited about gaming again. Then from hype to eventual release it turns out that said revolutionary feature was just a bunch of guff. Molyneux is king of the hype lies, David Cage frequently overstretches stating what his games can achieve. You know the kind of stuff we mean, the "your choices really matter stuff" that Mass Effect nearly got right or the "your actions will permanently change the world" stuff that inevitably gets watered down by release time because it seems most gamers are babies who hate not being able to turn back the clock (or reload their save games) when things don't go their way. We've got our Patrats and our Watchogs on red alert particularly as we're nearing the beginning of the next generation and lying about future games tends to see a bit of a spike. Today's porky pie is courtesy of EDGE magazine's Q&A with Jonathan Marin, Creative Director of Ubisoft Montreal on one of the new IPs at E3, Watch Dogs currently billed for the PS3, 360, PC and smarttabs that attracted a lot of attention. Here's the quote in full:
E: And can you really just pick up side quests by following a complete stranger?JM: If a character looks suspicious you can follow him. And if something happens you can intervene. It has to be that way because when we started to play the first iteration of the game, you'd see someone talking, you'd listen to it and think,'This guy is up to something.' But then the simulation would stop. No! You need to be able to do something.Of course it's a big system but we've been working on it for two years and it is consistent: everyone has a unique personality, and if you go back to the same NPC six times it is the same person- it's not random and meaningless.
It's potentially a game changer but sounds too good to be true. If you ever spent any time stalking NPCs in GTA, the illusion of a working city the game works so hard to create shatters as it turns out that citizens of Liberty City spend their time walking in circles or just walking up and down a bit. Living breathing worlds where anyone could potentially lead to a side quest and where everyone has their own personality? Too good to be true. Our prediction is that it'll only be 'some' NPCs or NPCs with a symbol above their head or perhaps the whole thing will be forgotten with feature creep. One to watch certainly but we're setting our predictometer to "very fucking sceptical".