Taking PlayStation owners by storm on May 25th this year was Detroit: Become Human. Developer Quantic Dream created what I (Jeremy Smith) consider to be the pinnacle of decision-based gameplay. They created one of the most thought-provoking narratives that I’ve ever had the joy of experiencing – I must add that it is also one that you will want to replay at least a few times in order to see everything.
Detroit explored heavy themes of abuse, love and attachment, equal rights, and self-identity. It even made me wonder if androids and humans alike could have souls. The swift pace of the game’s story and the many decisions that I was presented with created a storm of anxiety that I loved and just couldn’t get away from. It kept me engaged from the opening menu until the credits had rolled.
I questioned almost every choice I made. Almost every one of them seemed to have some sort of ramification that was buried into the narrative. Many games have spouted the claim that “your choices will shape your gameplay experience,” but none of them have done it like Detroit.
The futuristic setting is mesmerizing and compelling. The games many characters are written very well, and the acting/voice-work needs to be heard to be believed. The entire package is one of the most visually stunning video games of this generation – and 2018 was full of games that were extremely pleasing to the eyes. I must have taken over 200 screenshots during my journey, which then doubled as a digital photo album to help me remember all the highs and lows of the journey. A journey that made me feel a full range of emotions. I laughed, I smiled, and yes, I even shed a few tears during my time with this fabulous look into the future.
That alone makes Detroit: Become Human deserving of being 7th on this GotY list.