While the likes of Traveller's Tales have been breathing new life into the point and click adventure genre over the last decade or so with PC-led games, Quantic Dream has been carving its own parallel but different path on the PlayStation. With Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls the developer used gesture-based controls to create immersive, cinematic experiences that were supposed to be as seamless as possible. The design was supposed to be invisible and ideally you would forget you were even playing a video game.
With Detroit: Become Human the studio has made the interesting decision to pivot on some of those choices. Now, after every section you play through (or in the middle of it, if you pause) you'll see a flowchart of every decision you made and action you took, so you'll see where you opened up certain options and possibilities for yourself and closed out others. If you're online, you'll even see what decisions other players made. You'll see that seemingly inconsequential actions like leaving a window open earlier on can impact an escape opportunity later in the game, for example. It's an interesting choice that at once makes you aware of Detroit's gamey-ness and dodges that nagging feeling narrative games sometimes create that you might be stuck on the same path, regardless of the choices you make.
It's a design decision that perhaps reflects the game's subject matter. The game is set in a near-future detroit in which human-like androids are now commonplace and striving to be recognised as sentient beings deserving of their own rights. You follow the story threads of several different androids, and this choice of laid-bare decision-making structures mirrors the way computers make choices.
This is all delivered, of course, with Quantic Dream's usual cinematic flair and a level of fidelity that really ratchets up the tension during key moments. Making the right decision or being precise during quicktime action sequences could mean the difference between life or death, and the ensuing flowchart will lay that out for you in glorious or painful detail. The fates of these androids are truly in your hands.