PC Gamer

Who has two thumbs and loves The Division 2's NPCs? This guy!

Christopher Livingston
 

I have the distinct memory of bumping into an NPC in Grand Theft Auto 4. The citizen dropped his smart phone, which he'd been using to take a photo of a building. He groused about my rudeness, and then rather than picking his phone up off the ground, he simply took a second phone from his pocket and resumed taking pictures. One of the easiest ways to see how deep the simulation of NPCs goes is to interrupt their routines. Someone is walking down the street and you stop them. Do they eventually continue on their way, or do they stroll off in a completely different direction? And where do they go when you follow them?

Nowhere? Somewhere? Do they travel aimlessly in circles or do they actually have a starting point and an end point? While playing The Division 2 beta over the weekend, I ran into some NPCs who were heading out to gather food (according to the omniscient readout on my UI). Having spent a lot of time in my gaming life following NPCs around, my expectations weren't high that these settlers were really going to gather good. I figured they'd just wander through the streets randomly until they got into combat or circled back.  I'm happy to say I was completely wrong.

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