From choose your own adventure games, to Dungeons and Dragons, to fully immersive RPG experiences, having player input in the form of choices adds an interesting discussion piece to a game, as well as making it nicely replayable.
The most famous examples of gaming narratives with real weight to your choices include Bioware’s spectacular Mass Effect 2, Quantic Dream’s Beyond Two Souls and Detroit Become Human. A single lapse in attention could potentially lead to NPC storylines being cut short, budding romance being snuffed out, or even companions dying.
Then there are the games that try to imitate the same feeling of granting you control over a huge fork in the narrative, only for you to realise that your choices didn’t affect the ending whatsoever.
The illusion of choice can often leave you feeling kind of cheated. Sometimes, a specific outcome leads to the opposite actually occurring. Other times, a huge moral decision leaves you screwed either way. You can't win at these games.
9. Firewatch - Romance
Firewatch is an emotional journey. A walking simulator presenting you with some simple dialogue choices throughout, it puts you in the role of Henry, who has left his wife in the later stages of early-onset dementia. He heads deep into the forest to take some time to himself, as he reflects in seclusion as a warden who living in a tall tower, watching out for dangerous forest fires.
When you are introduced to Delilah over the radio, who is very openly flirty with you, you will have to make decisions on how to respond to her dialogue, either leading her on and flirting back, or spurning her advances and keeping your poor sick wife in mind instead.
All the way through the short game, you're expecting it to culminate in a final choice - will we leave our wife in pursuit of this healthy, new, interesting woman?
A terrible fire breaks out and you will have to make a final decision. Perhaps you choose to beg Delilah to wait for you, so the two of you can escape in helicopters together?
But no matter what you choose, when you arrive at Delilah's tower, she has already left, and you never have the chance to meet her - no matter how close the two of you became through the game.