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You Can Now Choose the Lead Characters’ Genders in Indie Romance ‘Haven’

The developers behind the 2020 indie romance game Haven have released a free “Couples Update” that allows you to reassign the two lead characters’ genders.

Haven initially debuted in late 2020 for PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. It’s a peculiar genre mashup by the Game Bakers, the French studio that previously produced Furi. It’s probably easiest to call Haven an RPG, although it’s also a survival game and a dating sim, and your main method of travel is what I can only describe as psychic rollerblades.

Players take the role of Yu and Kay, young lovers who’ve fled their society and their respective arranged marriages. In so doing, they accidentally crash-land on an uncharted planet called Source. That leaves you with sorting out Yu and Kay’s evolving relationship, their attempts at survival, and their investigation into Source’s various mysteries.

By default, Kay is male and Yu is female, but the Couples Update lets you switch one of the lead characters’ genders, with new art, dialogue, 3D models, and voice acting to reflect the change. Nothing else about the game’s plot is altered by the decision.

Assign Genders in Haven video game
You can now make this choice at the beginning of a new game in Haven.

This choice can only be made at the start of a new game, so interested players who’ve already begun a run through Haven will have to start over. You can only change one character at a time, however, so male Yu cannot romance female Kay. Yet.

According to Game Bakers creative director Emeric Thoa, this update has been in the works since shortly after Haven shipped. The original concept for Haven would have seen the game focus on eight couples in total, which would represent a diverse range of relationships, but the production eventually had to slim down its focus to only Yu and Kay.

“The story of Yu and Kay is that of two personalities, two lives tangled with each other, that players would come to know and fall in love with during the game,” Thoa wrote on the official PlayStation blog. “We’ve been asked many times ‘Will I be able to choose the gender of my characters in Haven?’ We’re very proud to be able to provide the lovers’ story in two new ways that more players can identify with.”

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Thomas Wilde Avatar

Written by Thomas Wilde

Thomas Wilde has been working off and on in the video game press for 20 years, starting as a strategy guide author before branching out to criticism and reporting. He likes survival horror, weird platformers, twitchy '90s-style shooters, and the occasional JRPG.

He has won World War II three dozen separate times. You're welcome.

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