Detroit: Become Human might be the Quantic Dream’s most ambitious production. Some consider it a glorified movie, with rudimentary gameplay, a paper-thin plot, and stiff performances, barely salvaged by lifelike graphics. Others see it as an important allegory on the United States’ history of slavery and the civil rights movement, with excellent, choice-driven mechanics. Whichever side you take in this discourse, D: BH remains the most widely disputed title of 2018.

Of course, there are plenty of games that tell a great story, at the same giving the player a lot of freedom in choosing how it progresses. This list is about them – the best games that follow similar storytelling and gameplay patterns as Detroit: Become Human.

10 Games like Detroit Become Human

Heavy Rain

PlayStation 3
PC
PlayStation 4
Release year:February 23, 2010 (PS3), June 24, 2019 (PC), March 1, 2016 (PS4)
Genre:action-adventure, interactive drama
DeveloperQuantic Dream
Game modesSingle player

Heavy Rain wasn’t Quantic Dream’s first game, but it set the standard for the quality we came to expect from David Cage and his team. The story featured branching plotlines influenced by the players’ choices, and at that time, state-of-the-art graphics

Heavy Rain - gameplay

The story was a rather simple murder mystery, featuring three distinct characters. Ethan, an architect whose life is shattered after the death of his son; Madison, a journalist in search of her big scoop; Norman, the FBI agent on the hunt for a serial killer; and Shelby, a private investigator on a missing child case. The characters plotlines merge at several points during the game, creating a complicated web of connections – a feature that would become Quantic Dream’s staple. At the time of release, Heavy Rain was met with a universally positive reception, with critics praising the complex, well-written story and excellent graphics.

Key features
  • Uncover the mystery of the Origami Killer
  • Play as four unique characters whose stories tie together at various points in the game
  • Enjoy action-adventure and interactive drama gameplay

The Last of Us

PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Release year:June 14, 2013 (PS3), July 29, 2014 (PS4)
Genre:action-adventure
DeveloperNaughty Dog
Game modes:single player, multiplayer

Gone are the days when Naughty Dog was known only for its colorful platforming games like Crash Bandicoot or Jak and Daxter. Nowadays, the studio is more widely recognized for its epic, story-driven IPs. The Uncharted series might’ve started this new age at the studio, but 2013’s The Last of Us was the game that really flipped the switch on the Naughty Dog’s direction.

The last of US remastered

The strength of The Last of Us didn’t lie in its exciting gameplay, but in the well-written story and fleshed out characters. Joel and Ellie’s epic journey across post-apocalyptic America was something the players hardly ever see. Jaded survivor Joel and headstrong teenager Ellie made for an excellent pair of protagonists. Their epic journey across post-apocalyptic America inspired plenty of other titles that followed, including a continuation of the series – The Last of Us Part II. The Last of Us became an immediate hit and one of the best-selling games on both PlayStation 3 and 4.  It received many accolades, including several Game of the Year titles.

Key features
  • An engrossing story of Joel and Ellie
  • Fleshed out characters the player will immediately bond with
  • Engaging gameplay mechanics, emphasizing stealth
  • A multiplayer with two deathmatch-like modes

Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead series

PC
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
Release year:April 24, 2012 (PC – first episode), October 14, 2014 (PS4, XONE – Season 1)
Genre:adventure, interactive drama
Developer:Telltale Games, Skybound
Game modessingle player

Before the release of The Walking Dead, Telltale Games had been known as the creators of competent adventure games, such as the Sam&Max series and Back to the Future. Marrying the series created by Robert Kirkman with n adventure game formula seemed like a perfect way to bring the world of TWD to life as a video game, ad the developers at TTG were perfect for the task.

The Walking Dead: Season Two - conflict

Over the 8 years and four seasons, Telltale’s The Walking Dead introduced the players to many memorable characters – Clementine, Lee, Alvin Jr., and others. The character and story-driven series renewed the interest in point-and-click adventure games and opened TTG the way to making other games based on popular licenses – including the Game of Thrones, Borderlands, and Minecraft. The Walking Dead series received critical acclaim from reviewers and players alike.

Key features
  • An excellent story set in the world of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead
  • Adventure game mechanics, focusing on collecting items and solving puzzles
  • Innovative use of quick-time events
  • Dialogue options that lead to different outcomes of the game

Life is Strange

PC
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
Release year:2015 (Episodes 1-5)
Genre:adventure
DeveloperDontnod Entertainment
Game modes:single player

Life is Strange was an attempt to take Telltale Games’ patented formula and set it in a more believable environment than a zombie apocalypse. The game introduced the player to Max Caufield, a troubled teenager from the sleepy American town of Arcadia Bay, who discovers she can manipulate time. Said discovery coincides with Max’s childhood friend Chloe returning after years of absence, as well as the girl’s apocalyptic dreams that spell the destruction of the town.

Unlike The Walking Dead, which forced the player to follow through with the choices they’ve made to the end of the game, Life is Strange was less punitive. Max’s powers allowed her to revert time at certain points to undo the choices she had made, giving the player to try out different approaches and learn the full story without having to start the game from scratch. Life Is Strange was released in 5 episodes throughout the year and received positive reviews from the critics for its story and characters. The game became the first installment of the series, followed by the prequel Before The Strom, and Life Is Strange 2, which featured brand new protagonists.

Key features
  • A point-and-click adventure game mechanics
  • Choose your own ending b making choices at crucial points
  • Manipulate time to discover different outcomes of your choices

Mass Effect franchise

PC
Xbox One
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Release year:2007 – 2015
Genre:action-RPG
DeveloperBioware
Game modessingle player, multiplayer

Depending on who you ask, Mass Effect is considered one of the most significant series of all time or one which potential has been completely wasted. The game’s plot follows various protagonists in a space-opera setting filled with warring races, galactic threats, and other elements typical for the genre.

alien race

The series is known for giving the player a lot of freedom in constructing various elements of the plot. For starters, the protagonist can be customized to either male or female, romantic interests can be pursued throughout the storyline, and dialogue options influence the NPCs’ opinion of the protagonist. Combined with other action-RPG mechanics, BioWare’s opus magnum quickly became one of the most popular series. Along with its many expansions and DLCs, all three installments of Mass Effect received positive reviews from the critics.

Key features
  • An epic, space opera adventure
  • Engaging action-RPG gameplay
  • A variety of player character customization options

Fahrenheit

PC
PlayStation 4
Release year:September 16, 2005 (PC), August 9, 2016 (PS4)
Genre:action-adventure
DeveloperQuantic Dream
Game modessingle player

Fahrenheit was QD’s first attempt at making a game that could serve as a cinematic experience. Working with all the limitations of mid-2000s hardware, they’ve managed to create maybe not a storytelling masterpiece but definitely a solid title that would serve as a prelude to their future endeavors.

Fahrenheit told a story similar to what the developers of Detroit: BH would make the players get used to over the years. Presented from the perspectives of three protagonists, the game featured controls reduced to the bare minimum, dialogue options, and multiple endings – the mechanics that would become QD’s bread and butter later on. Fahrenheit was met with positive critical reception. Reviewers praised the game’s storytelling and gameplay mechanics, blending cinematic and gaming experience.

Key features
  • Intriguing story with elements of sci-fi
  • Fleshed out protagonists
  • Unique for its time control scheme
  • Multiple endings influenced by the player’s choices

Infamous series

PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Release year:2009-2014
Genre:action-adventure
DeveloperSucker Punch Productions
Game modessingle player

Back when games with endings dependent on the player’s decisions could be counted on the fingers of one hand, Sucker Punch Productions’ dropped Infamous, a series that let the player decide between saving the world or really messing it up.

The protagonists of the Infamous series were people imbued with special powers they used to fight an oppressive government that aimed to eradicate all anomalies from the society. As Cole, Delsin, and Fetch, the player could traverse the open-world environments of New York and Seattle, sticking it to the Man by destroying public property, tagging up walls with bright neons, etc. At the end of each game, the player’s choices would decide whether they saw a good or bad ending. The games in the Infamous series were met with positive reviews from the critics.

Key features
  • Explore the American cities of New York and Seattle
  • Use your powers to fight THE power
  • Decide whether to follow the path of light or dark…
  • …and suffer the consequences of your choices

The Wolf Among Us

PC
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
Release year:2013-2014 (all platforms)
Genre:adventure, interactive drama
DeveloperTelltale Games
Game modessingle player

The Wolf Among Us, base on the world of comics, introduced alternate versions of characters known from popular fairy tales, living in 80s New York. The protagonist of the game, Bigby Wolf, investigates a Fable prostitute’s deaths and gets drawn into an intrigue reaching deep into the fairy tale community.

The Wolf Among Us - friends

The game could’ve won the players over on the premise itself. The player experienced the story through the eyes of Bigby, formerly the Big Bad Wolf, who doesn’t place high among the fairytale citizens of New York. The gripping neo-noir story and excellent voice-acting make The Wolf Among Us a title that’s hard to pass on. The game was met with universal acclaim and is, to this day, one of the best-reviewed games in Telltale’s repertoire.

Key features
  • Uncover the mystery behind the murder of a Fable
  • Meet the tenants of Woodlands and find out their secrets
  • Decide on Bigby’s standing among other Fables by making the right choices

Until Dawn

PlayStation 4
Release year:August 25, 2015
Genre:interactive drama
DeveloperSupermassive Games
Game modessingle player

If you have ever watched a horror movie, then you must be familiar with the feeling of frustration when a dumb mistake leads the hero into an early grave. In Until Dawn, you can guide a group of protagonists to avoid death at the hands of a psychopath or have them make all the missteps necessary to send them meet their maker.

until-dawn-28-10-2019.jpg

Until Dawn features a system based on the butterfly effect, where each of the player’s decisions branches the story into different paths. For example, in an early scene, the player can throw a rock at the bird. The bird ends up hurting the protagonist who threw the rock. Later on, the bleeding cut on the forehead leads the murderer on the players’ trail. In UD, even the smallest actions can result in dire consequences. Until Dawn was met with solid reviews from the critics.

Key features
  • Survive the night on the murderer’s hunting grounds
  • Save everyone or pick your favorite and leave the rest for dead
  • Consider every choice – you never know if it won’t come back to haunt you

Beyond Two Souls

PC
PlayStation 4
Release year:July 22, 2019 (PC), November 24, 2016 (PS4)
Genre:action-adventure, interactive drama
Developer:Quantic Dream
Game modes:single player, multiplayer

Beyond: Two Souls is a unique title even for Quantic Dream’s standards. Unlike in previous games of the French developer mentioned in our list, B: TS features only one protagonist, Jodie Holmes. She isn’t the only playable character, though. Throughout her journey, Jodie is accompanied by Aiden, a poltergeist-like being. Together they must evade government agents who want to use Aiden for their own goals.

The presence of Aiden influences both the story and gameplay mechanics. The player can use many of Aiden’s abilities to affect the environment, knock out enemies, or even possess them. Aside from that interesting tidbit, Beyond: Two Souls is your standard QD interactive drama, well-written and performed by such Hollywood stars like Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe. Beyond: Two Souls was met with a positive critical reception.

Key features
  • Learn the truth behind Jodies mysterious powers
  • Control her and Aiden on their journey for answers
  • Experience breathtaking visuals, bring the likenesses of Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe to virtual life

One of the reasons for Detroit: Become Human’s success is how Quantic Dream manages to blur the line between cinematic and gaming experience. Every game produced by the French studio pushed the envelope further and further, letting the player create their own experiences. The choices that Detroit puts in front of the player may lead to one of several endings, a standard practice in adventure games pushed to the limit by QD’s creation.

Nowadays, there are a lot of games that give the player a similar feeling of control over the story they tell. They represent different genres and visual styles, but one thing remains the same – at least in some way, the player has the last word in how the game will proceed. No matter how limited the choice may seem, being given a chance to create the plot of the title we’re playing is something everyone will want to experience.