While they had plenty of ups and downs, I quite thoroughly enjoyed Quantic Dream’s previous titles. They are really the pioneers of story immersion, making sure you know that no mistake goes unchecked, just like in real life. It may not work with every kind of game (or be liked by everyone) but that’s what makes Quantic a unique company. I honestly like realism in games, I absolutely love games where your choices actually make a difference within the story and it actually isn’t the illusion of choice. Their latest title, Detroit: Become Human, is no different.
Set in 2038 Detroit, humanistic androids created by the company CyberLife have taken over mundane human jobs. Construction, service, cooking, taking care of kids or the elderly or disabled; these are all jobs given to androids, much like the ‘Synths’ in the British TV series Humans. In Detroit, you switch about between the stories of three androids: Kara, a housekeeper android taking care of the household of a child and her drug-abusing father; Markus, a caretaker android of a famous painter who becomes the leader of the android revolution; and Connor, a prototype detective android tasked to capture ‘deviants’, androids who gain consciousness. The storylines of these three crossover and choices you make in one can impact the stories of the other two. Don’t worry, there are no spoilers ahead.
My first entire playthrough of the game took me about 12 hours but as there are many different choices to make that leads to more scenes to experience, replayability is definitely there which could extend gametime towards the 40 hour mark. I’m not entirely sure how many paths there are to take but I have to say that all your choices matter. One small move you make two chapters ago can cause the death of someone and it greatly impacts the general storyline. And yes, it actually did happen to me.
The story is really interesting overall and I found that the criss-crossing of character paths is where your choices actually matter. Alas, once you really get into the finer details of some of the stories, you can see some big flaws and I feel like there was one major cop-out in the writing that could have become so much more than it was allowed to go. There were points where gameplay was unnecessarily dragged out. The ending that I got was definitely one of the oddly written/frustrating ones that doesn’t really make any sense. That said, it isn’t something new when it comes to Quantic’s games.
The graphics in this game are amazing, I’m glad Quantic took the 5 years they did to develop this. From the shining technological vision of Detroit city in the not too distant future to its run-down outskirts down to the freckles on character’s faces. The motion capture performance is complemented by the performances of the actors, both I have to say are quite on point with the exception of one character model that’s a little bit awkwardly animated, though I’m not sure if it is intentional. Still, kudos to you guys, Bryan, Jesse, Valorie and the rest of the cast. Brilliant work. I have to mention a joke made in game by Hank to Connor that I kind of feel bad for laughing at coz it feels like I'm laughing at Bryan's voice. Sorry, Brian!
I did encounter a couple of bugs during my playthrough. One of which being a sort of bug with character movement, while smooth at most points it does bug out by going the complete opposite direction of where I push the analog stick and there is a mechanic within the AI where the characters know not to bump into NPCs but it does not work all the time. I found that quite annoying when trying to complete certain tasks and an NPC is in my way. Another is inconsistency seems to be in the meta. In the scene where you free androids from CyberLife stores (shown in the E3 2017 trailer), you can choose the design of the android revolution’s flag, but the design I chose did not carry throughout the rest of the game. I can only hope Quantic is able to fix them as soon as possible since launch is only a few hours away (or maybe they’ll already be fixed by launch!).
All in all, this game is definitely the most ambitious title under Quantic Dream’s belt to date. I enjoyed my initial journey and look forward to unlocking the various pathways and endings. However, do not expect an action-packed gameplay within Detroit: Become Human, it is definitely not that kind of game and its not something Quantic Dream is known for. This is a game to play to step away from the violent, consequentless games that are popular today.
Detroit: Become Human launches May 25th for the PlayStation 4 and the Standard Edition is priced at RM229 while the Collector’s Edition is RM259. You can purchase both editions at Gamers Hideout. I was given a review code courtesy of Sony Interactive Entertainment.