Last year when we got our first look at footage of Watch Dogs Legion, I spotted an interesting character trait in one of London’s NPCs. “May die randomly” it said. Given that one of my hobbies in any open world game is following NPCs around to see what they do, I imagined tailing a citizen around London and witnessing them just dropping dead. It sounded both grim and fun.
When Watch Dogs Legion came out I found a character in the city with the ‘Doomed’ trait, which means they’ll just croak at some point. I followed them around London for hours, waiting for them to die.
They didn’t die.
I eventually wrote to Ubisoft to find out why, and it turns out you need to have recruited the Doomed character to DedSec and be inhabiting them for at least an hour before the Doomed trait kicks in and they kick the bucket. Coulda saved me some time, but okay. Now that I know, I recruit a guy named Lawrence Goud, a living statue with the Doomed trait, and run around London as him for a while.
It doesn’t take anywhere near an hour for the Doomed trait to do its thing.
After completing one quick mission and engaging in a little DedSec graffiti, I take a cargo drone up to a skyscraper to collect some hidden tech points. Lawrence doesn’t make it to the top. My living statue is now in an eternal pose. RIP. (Rest in Paint.)
I recruit another person with the Doomed trait, an interior designer named Melissa Al-Faruqi. Rather than give her a mission, I want her to enjoy her last few moments of life, so I take her to the pub to play darts.
She pretty much kicks ass, defeating a Shakespearian (is that a job?) named Mike with 10 throws while he’s still in triple digits. There’s something rotten with your darts game, Mike.
Then I head to the park to kick a soccer ball around. Life is short and death could be right around the corner, so you might as well blow off work and have some fun.
Melissa doesn’t make it to the park. While sitting on a stolen scooter and invading the privacy of a nearby couple, she suddenly keels over and sinks through the bike like a nosy ghost.
Melissa died as she lived, with her phone stuck to her hand. It really makes you think.
The next Doomed recruit I find is a senior citizen named Jen Nakamura. Given her age, I feel double the pressure to help her live life to the fullest now that I’ve started her death clock ticking. I take her to the park for some soccer, but I’m surprised to find she refuses to kick the ball around, saying it’s for young people only.
That’s a terrible attitude, Jen! Just because you’re in your autumn years and the game has dictated that you’re going to flop over in the street like a bag of flour doesn’t mean you should give up on living life to the fullest!
With keepie-uppies out of the question, I take Jen shopping in Camden instead, hoping a change of wardrobe might make her feel young and vibrant again. What’s next? Hey, how about a few rounds of bare-knuckle boxing? It might put some pep in your step.
But again, I’m denied. Just because Jen is elderly and has mobility issues, I’m not allowed to smash in some punk’s face in London’s finest illegal bloodsport arenas. This is bullshit! In my rage, I start a fistfight with a member of the Kelley Gang outside, and discover Jen is even too old to even dodge a standard punch. Luckily, some do-gooders step in and beat the gang member unconscious, even after I use my electro-fist gadget and accidentally knock out one of my helpers. Sorry, young man! Maybe barring the elderly from underground mixed martial arts tournaments is a good idea, actually.
No footie, no fist-fighting. The end of days are looking pretty bleak for granny Jen when it comes to entertainment. I go shopping again. I fly around on a cargo drone to find a few collectibles. I play darts and I visit the Eye of London. It’s been a couple hours but Jen is simply not dropping dead.
Finally I seem to be out of extramural activities, so I figure why not take on a massive Kelley Gang stronghold to rescue a hostage?
Things go well. For a bit. I drop explosive cargo on a Kelley captain, and take out a few other members of the gang from above. I thoughtfully equipped Jen with a DedSec grenade launcher (every grandma should have one, if you’re planning some holiday shopping) and I mow down another half-dozen enemies. But this Kelley Compound is filled with goons, including, somehow, a second captain who calls for reinforcements.
With the place swarming, and Jen unable to properly use cover due to her mobility limitations, things get out of hand. First I run out of grenades, then shotgun shells. They’re sending spider drones after me and flanking me not just from the sides but from above. My electro-punch gadget is worthless since no one will thoughtfully get into punching range. I can’t sprint, I can only hobble. Even climbing over walls takes forever.
Eventually I just have to run for it, and Jen is sadly not setting any speed records.
She’s lost in a cloud of gunfire and chipped cement, finally falling and rolling over (a few feet above the ground) before expiring.
Farewell, grandma Jen. We’ll never know if the Doomed trait kicked in at the last second to take you to video game heaven, or if it was the dozens of bullets fired by the Kelley Gang. Since you were such a cool old lady and lived way longer than I expected, I’d personally prefer to think it was all the bullets.