Moral Dilemma: It’s Them Or You In Who Must Die

Who must die? You decide! Playing a doctor surveying patients through a bank of CCTV monitors (showing real FMV!), in Who Must Die [official site] you’ll need to figure out which is “contaminated” and must… well, you know. You have the power to tinker with their environments, running tests, then once you think you’ve sussed who the infected individual is, you can choose to kill them. If that doesn’t sit well with you, you can turn a gun on yourself. These are your options in what is ultimately a brutal mix of Cluedo and Guess Who that will test your moral fiber.

Made for this year’s Epic Game Jam, Who Must Die is an interesting concept. There’s no explanation as to how or why things have gotten so desperate – whereby in this situation these are your only feasible options – but the magnitude of your choices feeds the game’s ever-burgeoning sense of dread and tension. It’s a wee bit like Her Story in that you’re made to study real people and draw conclusions based on their behaviour.

A list of symptoms that changes over the course of each playthrough points out what you should look for. Playing calming music might provoke anger in certain patients, while filling one patient’s room with “exciting gas” might have the opposite effect as to what you’d expect. In order to push things further, you’re able to set a guard upon whoever isn’t responding as you’d like. Maybe then you’ll get an adequate return. Maybe not.

The further into each playthrough I went, the more I was second guessing what was right – be that which patient was in fact contaminated, or my decisions and actions overall. While Who Must Die does dance a little close to the ‘mental health is something to be feared’ trope – something I was a bit uncomfortable with at first – it sufficiently sidesteps it by virtue of player choice.

If you fancy putting your morals to the test, Who Must Die is free and can be picked up here.

6 Comments

  1. Monggerel says:

    You can hit me with your trolley problems all day long, but I’ll still never confess to stealing all the pink crayons! Which I, uh, didn’t steal!

  2. JFS says:

    So, plot twist: You Are The Monster ™ ?

  3. Premium User Badge

    Serrit says:

    This might also work with a Mass Effect-y twist, playing as Vigil. Instead of looking for who is diseased, you’d be trying to figure out who would have best value to civilisation upon (hopefully) being awakened, and who could be terminated to save power.

  4. GlazedInfants says:

    I just played the game after reading this article. It sounded amazing in my opinion, so I got it straight away.

    And I was severely disappointed.

    *Spoilers for anyone that actually wants to try the game out*

    You made this game sound like it was the most mind bending thing in the universe, when it really isn’t. Let me analyze this for a second:

    “These are your options in what is ultimately a brutal mix of Cluedo and Guess Who that will test your moral fiber.”

    That’s an extreme exaggeration. There’s nothing brutal about the decisions in this game, and this will most definitely not test your moral fiber.

    “There’s no explanation as to how or why things have gotten so desperate”

    You know, unless you read that newspaper. Then it explains what happened.

    “but the magnitude of your choices feeds the game’s ever-burgeoning sense of dread and tension.”

    For the first few minutes, yes.

    “A list of symptoms that changes over the course of each playthrough points out what you should look for.”

    Ah yes, a whole two other symptoms. Only one of these will be the deciding factor for who you choose, however.

    “Playing calming music might provoke anger in certain patients, while filling one patient’s room with “exciting gas” might have the opposite effect as to what you’d expect.”

    No, calming music does not provoke anger. Out of the ten times I’ve played this game to try and find different reactions, none of the patients were angered by the calm music. The “exciting gas” had the exact effect I expected. They got angry, uncomfortable, and strange (respectively).

    ” In order to push things further, you’re able to set a guard upon whoever isn’t responding as you’d like. Maybe then you’ll get an adequate return. Maybe not.”

    Once again, this is not the case. The patients’ reactions are the same every single time, and nothing changes. They get up after a few seconds and their idle loop plays. Half the time the guardian is not at all reliable, as he often gets frozen in place and is unable to be used again, or he just gets angry and leaves, never to return.

    “The further into each playthrough I went, the more I was second guessing what was right – be that which patient was in fact contaminated, or my decisions and actions overall.”

    What do you mean by “each playthrough”? It’s the exact same patient every time. The further into my first playthrough, the more I knew I had to just guess between two patients.

    Don’t even get me started on what happens when you do choose who to kill. It is both hilarious and anticlimactic at the same time.

    Overall, this an extremely disappointing game, thanks to the glorification of a game that was nothing like the review it was given. I’m not even sure you legitimately played the game.

    • GlazedInfants says:

      It is a very interesting concept, sure, I just don’t think it was implemented very well. It’s literally just something to play with for a few minutes, and never touch it again. There’s no replay value after you figure out which patient actually is infected, as everything is the same outcome, every single time. I just found it so hard to feel invested when there are no repercussions for your actions. It just says “you chose wrong” and then you quit the game, free to guess again until you get it right.