DE­CI­SION MAK­ING IS AT THE HEART OF DETROIT: BE­COME HU­MAN

HOW A Se­ries Of bad CHOICES can quickly get you killed for­mat: PS4 | Pub­lisher: Sony in­ter­ac­tive En­ter­tain­ment | de­vel­oper: Quan­tic DREAM | re­lease: 25 may 2018 | Play­ers: 1

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Detroit: Be­come Hu­man is about choice and con­se­quence. That should go with­out say­ing; this is a Quan­tic Dream game af­ter all. What is be­com­ing clearer still, how­ever, is just how much op­por­tu­nity we are re­ally go­ing to have to shape this wild nar­ra­tive ad­ven­ture come 25 May.

One of the loud­est crit­i­cisms di­rected at Heavy Rain (and, to an ex­tent, its sequel Beyond: Two Souls) was that while it spent a lot of time as­sur­ing you that its sce­nar­ios could in­deed play out dif­fer­ently de­pend­ing on the de­ci­sions you made it never re­ally es­tab­lished how, or why, or when this would ac­tu­ally hap­pen. Detroit, how­ever, is cir­cum­vent­ing this en­tirely by putting it all in front of you; a fluid flow­chart can be ac­cessed from the pause menu at any time, and it cleanly maps out all of the choices that you make as you progress through the game’s story – all while still giv­ing you but a hint of what the paths in the story that you ei­ther failed to un­lock or pur­sue might have looked like.

It’s an in­ci­den­tal ad­di­tion to the game, but it does work in Detroit’s favour. By giv­ing us the abil­ity to track out our progress we’ll fi­nally get a real sense of just how bend­able this nar­ra­tive en­vi­ron­ment is. While the flow­chart seen here is a sim­ple ex­am­ple of an early en­counter, we have been led to be­lieve that amount of late-game sce­nar­ios will be­gin to push into the triple dig­its. Set­tle in, Detroit is go­ing to be a choose your own ad­ven­ture the likes of which we have never be­fore ex­pe­ri­enced.

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