I’ve been playing quite a bit of Watch Dogs Legion, and it’s a breathtaking example of how developers can analyse a city and recreate it incredibly accurately in a game. Most of the time I just explore, because I know the streets I’m walking from my time there. I’ve run the London marathon, so I regularly find myself driving or running the route in-game for next to no reason. It’s a world that I think most people in the UK will find breathtaking, and I imagine it’s how those of you in the US feel when a city over there is so accurately rebuilt. One of the things I’ve noticed that makes the world feel so fresh and lived in though, is the traffic.
If you’ve never been to London, or the UK, you won’t know just how bad the English are as drivers. We’re horrible, and we know it. We’re constantly weaving in and out of traffic just to get to the next red light in time to beep and swear at it. For some reason we turn into absolute monsters behind the wheel.
That’s exactly what the traffic in Watch Dogs Legion’s London is like. I’ve witnessed multiple traffic collisions, many of which I had no hand in. It seems like the NPCs of London are just out to get each other, often leading to hospitalisation. You can come across evidence of previous crashes in the form of wrecks that are cordoned off for further investigation. I love this, because it’s exactly what you see all over the UK. But in London, it causes so many issues because it blocks up the roads and pavement. The exact same thing happens in the game.
The one thing that I’ve witnessed which made me think the traffic was totally on point though, was a bus. Busses in the UK are massive, and they have to compete with bridges and roads that were built hundreds of years ago for horses and carriages. At any given moment in the UK, a bus is doing something stupid. In Watch Dogs Legion I’ve seen them parked across four lanes of traffic while the drive just stares at the bus from the outside. I’ve also seen then edging around roundabouts, knocking into everyone else because they’ve underestimated the turning circle.
This is what makes the traffic of this game so accurate. I hope you too can appreciate it in these small moments as they appear.