In Watch Dogs: Legion, I remember doing a mission at a construction site when one of my operatives showed up like he worked there. He did, actually. Construction workers are very useful recruits to DedSec, but like everyone else in the game, when you’re not controlling them they have lives to lead, too.
YouTube’s DefendTheHouse tracked the daily routines of Watch Dog: Legion’s NPCs, following them to work and as they go about their days. The Parcel Fox driver has an eventful day, before finally wandering home in what seems like an existential fog.
DefendTheHouse says there’s not that much more to it, though. After following an NPC around for TWO WHOLE HOURS (that has to be … more than two days in the game’s compressed time cycle) he finds that NPCs usually walk somewhere inaccessible, like a Tube stop to begin the day, or their home’s door at the end. If the work outdoors, they’ll perform a specific activity, but not more than one.
I’d expect a little more if this was The Sims 4 or Tropico 6, but it’s not — Watch Dogs: Legion is an open-world stealth adventure, so the fact it has any level of NPC life simulation is somewhat impressive to me. Ubisoft Toronto had to do something after all, to support the game’s “play-as-anyone” illusion. If folks were just wandering around or sitting on benches out of context, it wouldn’t be as immersive.
I’m sure the developers realized that if they gave players the ability to save any NPC to a recruit pool, that they should answer the question of what they do all day, and where players might bump into them later, and why. That had me hopping around from operative to operative like they were cars in Ubisoft’s Driver: San Francisco (which, by the way, have you noticed that the autonomous taxi service in this game is called DRIVER: LDN?)