Review: Detroit: Become Human
City of Detroit in 20 years from now. An evolution had occurred – androids were a common thing, a product for consumers to purchase for the household and companies to have around. And we all know what happens when AI gets too clever…
Here’s a warning for small spoilers: This game is very heavily based on the story and less on gameplay and if you plan to play this and want to experience the story first hand, I suggest you scroll down to the bottom of the review to see the score and read the verdict. I will stay away from key plot points so all in all, my review is safe to read and you will still have a large number of big surprises when you play.
Here’s the roster
The player, you, will follow a number of different androids on their adventure – Kara, Connor and Markus as the primary characters. All three very different stories and they are all three intertwined with each other in some way or another.
As Connor, you investigate cases involving androids as a detective. You solve the cases with your partner, Hank. He’s a tough one to figure out, but that’s part of the game. At some point I thought tough love was the way to go, as he seemed to be sarcastic and when I tried to be too sweet, or asking too personal questions, he disliked me. Find the fine line.
As Markus, you live with an old man, caring for him. A very endearing relationship between the two and you feel there’s a bond that should not be happening with an android. It’s a machine. No matter your choices, you end up in the scrapyard and then on the streets. Markus starts a revolution – androids are living beings and should be treated as such.
As Kara, you are picked up from the store. Conversation between the salesman and the customer reveals that you are not new. You’ve been repaired and have had a memory vipe. The man to bring you home has a clearly creepy vibe and you feel unsafe from the get go. When you get back to the house and sees he has a girl, you start to worry – as the player. Seems like Todd, your owner, is in a bad place.
And the plot point is…
As you play, the story gets more tense and some plots with a very surprising approach to what might happen in the future, should we get technology to have androids. This happens in the last half of 2038, so like terminator, this is a future i might experience myself. While I can see the issue with androids taking jobs, I can also see the really beneficial situation of having an android doing housework leaving you more time with family or hobbies you like to spend time on.
Chasing an android or fighting with someone was some of the hardest parts of the game as you had to do the QTEs really quickly – that’s not something a new gamer can do as you would have to know where the buttons are by heart. Luckily there’s a difficulty option for the gamers that just want to experience the story.
On the other hand, there were a lot of moments where the QTE made use of the PS4 controllers functions that made it feel natural – for example when unlocking or reading on tablet devices you used the controllers’ touch pad to interact with the device by swiping.
Personally I was really emotionally immersed in the story of the magnificent machines. In my first playthrough i didn’t want to kill any humans and I wanted to keep on the good side on public opinion and be on the best side possible of the androids.
So you will experience the android revolution from different point of views and each chapter has a flowchart, so you can actually see what paths you have taken and what paths you still need to experience – so when you’re done with the first playthrough you can go back and load chapters and checkpoints so you can have the chapters at 100%. That way you can experience all possible scenes and outcomes.
The results are in…
When I finish a games’ story for the first time, I often sit a moment to reflect – I do that more so with games I am supposed to review. With most games I also think while I play, what to include, how to formulate certain sentences – I might even make notes. I did not have time to think what to write in my review, and I had a really hard time to stop playing when I had to go to bed or out of the door for one reason or another. No loading scenes between chapters and no “continue to next chapter” was probably the cause. Experiencing this fabolous story did not help either.
Detroit: Become Human is another playable movie from Quantic Dream and David Cage, and it is so much more and better than the previous games (Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls) – partly because of the great story, the acting and the great graphics, and partly because of the introduction of flowcharts so you actually know what you’ve missed. I really love this game and so far it’s my game of the year.
Miss; It’s QTE. Not the best form of gameplay, but this game makes more than amends by having a great story to tell.
Need; Sequences with non-QTE gameplay. A scene on a train where you have to chase someone, a gunfight or even a car-chasing scene.