Set shortly before the TOAN bombing, the Bloodline DLC brings back Aiden Pearce, Wrench, and Jackson, and follows them as they work together to prevent a new authoritarian threat from a corporate giant.
How did the art and concept team go about bringing a future look to returning characters? Art Director Patrick Ingoldsby digs into the conception and thought process of recreating Aiden, Wrench, and Jackson.
When the Bloodline expansion first began development and the characters and story had been outlined, the fun part for our art team was to figure out what Aiden Pearce, Wrench, and Jackson would look like in the near future London of Watch Dogs: Legion.
The challenge we gave ourselves on the concept team with Aiden and Wrench was to update their look while also respecting the legacy aesthetics that defined them in the past. We tried out a range of ideas, and worked closely with our Narrative and Marketing teams to ensure that the characters would remain visually recognizable at a first glance.
Aiden, for example, had to be quite a bit older. Many years have passed since we last played him in the windy city, but by this period of his life, he still survives by picking up high-risk jobs and laying low. Laying so low, in fact, and still carrying a deep personal pain, that he’s verging on being on the down and out . This has kept him physically in shape, even though he’s just tipped past the prime of his life.
Despite the years that have passed, Wrench is still a wild card. He comes out of nowhere, complicates matters, and adds his signature delightful element of snarky and ‘explosive’ chaos into the chemistry of our ensembled cast. With this in mind, the concept team wanted to retain the visual notes that his chaotic mind added to his design; the random tattoos, prickly studs, and meme-core art and scribbles on his clothing. But we also added some updates and new-gen refinements. For example, Wrench’s mask emotes have higher fidelity display tech, and the team were able to really push in some gorgeous materials to his leathers and hoodie fabrics.
When we started talking about bringing Aiden’s nephew Jackson into the Bloodline story, we quickly realized that he would now be a young man, who would be finishing up his college education. His age and fiction provided us with a channel to express a more modern near-future aesthetic. He would be more up to date on street sport fashion trends, and he gave us a reason to push on some edgier, forward-thinking designs; going from his hair style, shoes , and the overall language that was pushed by his fashion style.
Contrasting our visual vision for Jackson with Aiden, Jackson’s design was about “pushing towards the future”, while Aiden’s design reflects his struggle with “living in his past regrets”. This is something we also experience in the story of their relationship in the Bloodline DLC.
Another fun part with working on the Bloodline expansion, was conceptualizing the new “rabbit holes” that our teams crafted. With both the new, and the expanded, key locations, we worked to imagine new ways that science could be used in the future; both as a tool of creativity, and as a new form to exert authoritative control. The new locations were a lot of fun to develop and explore out ideas, both for our concept team, and for our level art and design teams.
We’re very proud of what we’ve created, and it’s been very exciting to see our players’ reactions to the new expansion.
Thank you very much to Pat and the rest of the team!
If you haven’t played through Bloodline yet, you can play it for free as a Season Pass owner, or you can purchase the expansion separately via the in-game store.
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