They’re messy, they’re complicated, and they’re rarely any fun when you’re caught in the middle of one.
At least, they’re not fun in real life. It only takes a brief glimpse at popular culture during pretty much any period of history, however, to discover that people absolutely love fictional “it’s complicated” romances. From Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to Pride and Prejudice, as well as more recent stories like Twilight and The Hunger Games, messy love lives dominate all forms of storytelling.
And now, the love triangle is coming to the most immersive storytelling medium yet. Loading Human, a narrative-rich virtual reality game, centers around the difficult choice between romantic and familial love. What matters most? Is it more important to respect a parent’s wishes and obey their commands, or to follow your heart and side with your romantic partner?
In many ways, this question is far more nuanced and interesting than stories told about saving Earth. Sometimes, saving just one person can mean the world.
All Eyes on Father
The driving force behind much of the family politics within Loading Human is Dorian, the father of player character Prometheus. Dorian has lived a long and distinguished life as one of the most successful scientists of his generation. Ultimately, though, the years have caught up with him, and he requires massive technological intervention to sustain his frail body.
This is where you come in. As Dorian’s son and a trained astronaut, Dorian has tasked you with finding the Quintessence, a mysterious artifact that could reverse your father’s decline. Following your father’s orders involves leaving behind your life and traveling away from home in search of this Quintessence.
The journey will be long, and hard, and not particularly safe. Is saving your father’s life worth the risk? How much does obedience to a parent matter when their life is on the line? Should Prometheus throw away his own life in order to save his father’s?
These are questions that Loading Human leaves up to the player to answer. Of course, it’s not as simple as whether or not saving Dorian’s life is the right thing to do—as a powerful man even at the end of his life, Dorian is not accustomed to being rejected. Choosing to disobey him may come with disastrous consequences.
What’s more, there are other people to consider. While you may feel an obligation to your father, you also have to consider your own romantic interests, and the partner that you have begun building a life with.
Candlelit Dinners and Shirking Responsibility
There are multiple forms of love to explore in Loading Human. While one side of the coin is the importance of obedience to a parent, the game juxtaposes this with your relationship with Alice, your character’s lover.
As Dorian’s assistant, Alice begins the game as a loyal aide to your character’s father, but as the plot develops she introduces a new aspect to the story when she and Prometheus develop an emotional bond.
Prometheus first meets Alice when arriving at his father’s research station. Intelligent, attractive, and fun to be around, Alice quickly catches your character’s eye and distracts him from the mission assigned by Dorian. Before long, Prometheus begins to question whether he wants to abandon Alice in order to fulfil his father’s wishes—something that Alice is keen to see, but that Dorian is less than impressed by.
A lot of the game’s quieter moments involve Alice. Romantic candlelit dinners and relaxing moments in a bathtub help to build up the relationship between Prometheus and Alice as you enjoy their blossoming love firsthand. Make the right choices, and there’s bonus content to enjoy. Cozying up to Alice unlocks hidden story paths with additional romantic gameplay that further builds up their relationship—provided players do a good job of winning Alice’s affection.
As the game progresses, though, the player finds their relationships with both Alice and Dorian put to the test. Which character will Prometheus side with during key conflicts within the game, and are players willing to deal with the consequences of their choices?
Family Politics: A Life or Death Matter
The limitless possibilities of a world of advanced technology can be used to tell an endless variety of different stories, and can teach us a lot about the core concepts that we value as human beings.
Chief among these concepts is the morality of love. Who Loading Human players choose to prioritize within the game will open up new narrative avenues, and will also reflect their own personal thoughts and feelings regarding love, romance, and family responsibility.
Be careful not to make your decisions lightly. You never know what intergalactic consequences might result from even seemingly mundane choices.
To try out Loading Human and fall in love with its rich characters and dramatic story for yourself, pre-order the game today. Loading Human will be released for Playstation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift on October 13.