Playstation 4; Quantic Dream/Sony
The human v android setup is hackneyed, but this choose-your-own-adventure-style descent into a near-future Detroit is served up with spellbinding artistry
With a gargantuan 4,000-page script, it is a near-miracle that Detroit: Become Human manages to tell a single coherent story at all. Yet this choose-your-own-adventure-style video game, in which humans live alongside an oppressed android workforce, has hundreds of potential storylines. Gradual, ever-developing and interwoven tales lead towards a myriad of endings. So vast is the scope of this mammoth work of interactive fiction that each person who plays it may have a close to unique experience. Indeed, the way that the story bends and morphs around the player is much more interesting than the story itself.
Decisions have weight: do you pursue a rogue android across a busy highway, or let it escape? Do you choose to go against an android character’s programming, or comply with its human masters? Main characters can perish, cutting off their narrative completely. Whole scenes – hours of play – can be missed because of a single, seemingly insignificant decision. The variety of choices, and where they lead, is staggering.