Like previous Quantic Dream games, Detroit places a huge focus on letting players choose how the story unfolds and what path they want to go down. After you complete a chapter in Detroit, you’re shown a flowchart that details exactly what you did, and what you didn’t do. You can also access worldwide statistics in there so you can see what everyone else did. Sometimes these charts are staggeringly complex and sometimes they’re so flat you wonder why they needed to be shown at all. While this is intriguing in the same way that seeing statistics at the end of a Telltale game is intriguing, it’s also extremely effective at destroying your immersion in the events unfolding. Particularly when you learn that the flowchart can be loaded up from the pause menu with real time data at any point during a scene.
At the end of every beautifully crafted, gorgeously animated and sometimes confronting scene you are forced to watch a chart unfold that screams, ‘You are playing a video game. These are all the possibilities and outcomes we programmed in.’ Beyond that, you are also awarded points for every action you performed which include crossing off optional objectives and even something as trivial as reading a magazine.
The flowcharts, while an intriguing idea, are problematic in their execution in part because they break your immersion, GameSpot's Jess McDonell argues in a new video feature. Overall, Detroit is worth your time and attention, but the flowchart system, which publisher Sony heavily marketed ahead of launch, is arguably its worst mechanic--and that's too bad.
Check out the full video above to hear Jess discuss the issue at length. And for more on Detroit, check out all of GamSpot's previous written and video coverage.