Watch Dogs: Legion continues to throw me in unexpected ways, with its all over the shop writing, its numerous bugs, and for the way everybody in its world being connected can have completely unforeseen consequences.
I’ve followed a mission path where at one point I thought I’d somehow started playing another game entirely, as I stepped out of a lift into a basement only to find what could have been an area behind a Demon Door in Fable, and even though some of elements of what came next had been rather loudly telegraphed beforehand, the full story behind it turned out to be far more dark and twisted than I could have first imagined.
I’ve rescued the grandmother of one of my operatives from a beating at the hands of some leopard print wearing thug in a random encounter on the streets of Lambeth.
I’ve witnessed atrocities that made all the very worst things villains did in the first two games in this series look tame by comparison, and decided that there could be no mercy in return. Fuck the non-lethal weapons in this particular case. The shameless evil of it, coupled with the fact that the authorities in this game are so notoriously corrupt that the villains are openly bragging about how soon they’ll be back out and I’ve seen enough to know that they’re right, made me send a hacked counter-terrorism drone to their building and open up on these bastards in what I can only describe as a full Godfather 3 helicopter scene of righteous fury.
Then, it happened.
I walked into the DedSec safehouse to find one of my earliest recruits, a construction worker called Donny, screaming mournfully at Antonina, my most useful hacking specialist. “You’ve torn my family apart!” he cried. I scan him for his latest activity report. I am gobsmacked by what I read.
Wife killed by DedSec Operative Antonina Kozlowski.
I’ve done that. I’ve done that without even noticing. I have no idea when or how it happened.
Did she die when I hacked a parcel delivery drone, and the package exploded as it hit the floor, as they are wont to do because either the packages are bugged or the people of London are just mailing semtex to each other by drone?
Have I accidentally run her over? Have I misfired a rocket from a drone and taken her out by mistake? Oh fuck, what if she was a gang member and I’ve taken her out not realising that she and Donny might have been married once, but ended up worlds apart as she pursued a life of crime?
Was she that poor woman I crushed between a cargo drone and a wall because I just couldn’t see her as I was landing the thing due to the camera controls managing to swing around wildly at that particular moment?
I’m never going to know. But I feel I have no choice. I must retire Donny from DedSec service, and keep Antonina as their differing skillsets mean she’s valuable to me and his are far less so. I let him go, as a kindness to him I think, so this procedurally generated virtual man with no definable personality beyond the one line of emotion I’ve just heard, doesn’t have to share a working space with the woman who murdered his beloved and/or estranged wife. But due to the way the game retains all people unless they are specifically killed, there is every chance that I will encounter Donny on the streets of London again. I wonder what colour his icon will be when I do. Will it simply show him as a retired operative, or will it be red, and have him be aggressive towards either shameless, remorseless Antonia by herself, or towards the rest of DedSec as a whole?
I continue playing for a while longer, but my mind keeps going back to poor Donny, and his torn apart family.