One thing that makes video games different from other popular forms of entertainment like movies and books is that players are often put in the role of the main character. Today, many games go beyond the idea that the player controls the main character by giving them a wide range of choices and decisions that change the way the story goes.
This is not a new part of games, as it was one of the main selling points of many graphic adventures in the 1980s and 1990s. But it’s safe to say that many games today have a lot more options than they did in the past. The popularity of games where your decisions matter has also led to a lot more games to choose from.
Unfortunately, because decision-based games are so popular, many developers and publishers have tried to force decision-making into their games, even if the choices don’t change the story much or at all. Luckily, there are a lot of games where making choices isn’t just a gimmick but a key, deep part of the game. All of the games on this list give players a lot of options to choose from. Many of these choices can completely change the story or a character’s path.
Since the games in the XCOM series became popular, they are mostly known for two things: how hard they are and how often their hit percentages are ridiculously high. People who hadn’t played the game thought it was a trick because of this, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Even though the game can be ridiculously hard at times, players who figure it out will be rewarded with a challenging but rewarding turn-based strategy game that requires them to think a few moves ahead, like chess. Not only do players have to think ahead and carefully plan their moves to finish each mission, but if a team member dies, they’re gone for good.
It’s not a new idea for a game to let players choose whether to play it peacefully or aggressively. Fable and Mass Effect are just two examples of games that do this well.
But Dishonored is much more subtle than those games. For example, Commander Shepard’s Renegade face scars in Mass Effect 2 are a clear sign of what happens when the player does something good or bad. For example, if players kill a guard in a certain area of Dishonored, the next time they go there, there will be more guards and more traps.
The Stanley Parable
Galactic Cafe also has games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Slender: The Eight Pages. The Stanley Parable was one of the first games that got a sudden boost in popularity, mostly because of YouTube streamers. This is because it’s fun to see how other people get to certain points in the game, and because The Stanely Parable made people want to play it themselves and see what story paths they could find.
The real stars of The Stanley Parable are without a doubt the British actor Kevan Brighting, who did the voice of the narrator, and the people who wrote his script. The narrator will tell the main character what they’re “supposed” to do, but if they don’t do it, strange things will happen.
Only the PlayStation 4 could play Until Dawn when it came out in August 2015. The game was made by Supermassive Games, who are best known today for making The Dark Pictures Anthology.
If you like games where you have to make choices, Until Dawn is a great choice. All of the playable characters can live or die depending on the choices players make. Even though the game isn’t perfect, Until Dawn is one of the best choices on this list for people who want a real adventure where they make choices.
Beyond: Two Souls
Beyond: Two Souls was made by the same people who made Heavy Rain, which was one of the first games to let you make choices. Beyond: Two Souls has a co-op mode, which is unusual for games with a lot of story. Each player can control one of the main characters, Aiden or Jodie.
Beyond: Two Souls was the second video game, after Rockstar Games’ L.A. Noire, to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival. This shows how much the game focuses on stories.
Heavy Rain came out in 2010 exclusively for the PlayStation 3 and was one of the first games to bring back games with lots of choices. Many people today don’t take the game seriously, which is sad because it’s hard to deny that many of its parts haven’t held up well over time. It’s important to note, though, that many of the games that people say are better probably wouldn’t have been made if Heavy Rain hadn’t come out.
When it was first released, Heavy Rain did very well with critics, as shown by its impressive Metascore of 87. The game also won a lot of awards, such as the Interactive Achievement Award for Outstanding Innovation in Gaming.
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is a graphic adventure game that is based on a series of comic books with the same name. The Walking Dead by Telltale Games doesn’t have puzzles like the popular graphic adventures of the 1980s and 1990s, like Grim Fandango and The Secret of Monkey Island. The game doesn’t have any puzzles, but that’s not a bad thing because it lets the story, which is its best part, take centre stage.
Like Heavy Rain, The Walking Dead won a lot of awards when it came out, such as Destructoid’s Game of the Year and the D.I.C.E. Awards’ Outstanding Achievement in Story.
Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age: Origins is the first game in the Dragon Age series. It was first released in 2009 by the AAA team of BioWare and Electronic Arts.
The fantasy setting of the role-playing game is similar to that of BioWare’s Baldur’s Gate series, which was praised by critics. Dragon Age: Origins has a unique approval system when it comes to making decisions. The player’s choices and actions during the game will affect the companions’ approval rating, which can have a big effect on how well they fight.
Catherine: Full Body
Catherine: Full Body is a remake of the first Catherine game. It adds new content, like a new character, which gives fans even more decision-based gameplay. This game is an odd mix of puzzle, horror, and dating sim elements, but it works well, and the player can choose between different endings based on the choices they make.
You can choose from three different women to pursue as you try to stay alive in the game. Each girl also has more than one ending, giving the game a lot of replay value and more chances for humour depending on which ending you get.