DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on May 24, 2018
Last Saturday morning started extremely well, because the mailman made an awesome delivery: a limited edition box of Detroit: Become Human! The box is triangle shaped and you can fold it open after you remove the lid. Inside the box, there's a card with a PSN code for the complete game, as well as an excellent art book and beautiful character sheets. It looks totally awesome. and that's just the box we're talking about here!
As some of you might know, now so long ago, I have been to the press presentation of Detroit: Become Human, the latest game by French developer Quantic Dream. I was blown away by the graphics, the character details and intense story that this game has to offer. Detroit: Become Human let's you play three different stories, revolving around three android characters: Kara, Marcus and Connor. They all have different backgrounds and will each meet a cast of different people. Kara is housekeeping model android; she's great at cleaning your house, cooking dinner and taking care of children. Markus is built as a caretaker model and spends his days as a companion and nurse for an old and sickly painter.
Last but certainly not least, there is Connor; an advanced type of android that is designed to seek out and terminate a group of rogue androids, the so-called Deviants. Now, taking into account his job description, you may think that Connor looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but then you would be wrong. totally and utterly wrong. Connor looks more like a young desk clerk than a fighter. This doesn't mean, however, that he's not good at his job! It's just that he adopts a more research-based approach to tracking down Deviants. The Deviants are causing trouble in society, breaking the boundaries of their standard programming. and start to think for themselves!
A demo for Detroit: Become human was released two weeks ago. If you played this demo, you will instantly recognize the first scene of the full game. We meet crime fighting android Connor as he enters a crime scene. A little girl is being held hostage by the family's own android. It's up to Connor (and, ultimately, up to you!) to keep the hostage alive and defuse the situation in any way possible. During our time playing the demo, Ferry "Sadhonker" and yours truly took the time to try and unlock all the different possibilities in the chapter's flowchart, which is presented to you after you completed a scene/chapter of the game.
This flowchart is a neat tool to assess your progress and how you did. It gives you an overview of the choices you've made during play and how many other possible ways and outcomes there are. The options are presented by "locked" symbols when you didn't choose that option or it shows a description of the choice or action when you did make that choice. You can consult this flowchart any time while you're playing the scene. The flowchart of the first scene is relatively short and simple, compared to the ones you'll see in later chapters, but it is still quite impressive to see how many different things influence the outcome of a scene.
Some of the more major points on the scene's timeline serve as checkpoints; you can use them to restart the scene at a certain point and try to take a different approach to certain things if you so choose. You can even choose to redo an entire chapter, with or without saving your new progress. When opting to save your new play-through, choosing another path will reset the story from that point on, including everything you may or may not have accomplished after this point in the story so, as always, choose carefully before you act!
I just love the massive amount of tiny details that are incorporated into the game. For instance, the first time we meet Marcus, he is on his way to collect a package for his master. During my play through at the press presentation I noticed a group of protesters (who are clearly against everything android!) and I decided to walk around them, just to be on the safe side. This time however, I walked right through the group, which made them become aggressive towards me. When Marcus comes home, his owner notices that his clothes are a bit damaged and he asked about the reason for this anomaly. I know these minor things are no big story changers, but I still absolute love it when developers take the time to put that kind of details into their game.
Detroit: Become Human is all about the choices you make. What the developers did splendidly is to give you several options to choose from, without offering you too obviously good or bad answers. There are always pros and cons to take into account. When you need to hide and spend the night, would you take a comfy hotel room or spend the night in abandoned building or a broken down car in a parking lot? And of course, it's never a good thing to tell a lie, but what if that lie could save your life? You know you're not supposed to steal, but be honest, is there really no situation you can come up with in which you can imagine yourself stealing? And what if there were lives at stake, say your own or the life of a loved one? Would that be enough to make your morals take a second place to self-preservation?
While exploring the beautifully crafted environments there is enough to discover. For instance, you can find several articles, featuring the news and problems of this future world. Some are more general stories about things like global warming or the threat of a war in the Arctic. Others are specifically about androids, like how human men prefer to have sex with android women, because androids don't need to talk about their feelings afterwards. Or an article about the pros and cons of the latest option in android development: adopting a child android.
There's not much more I can tell you about this awesome game without spoiling the story, so I will refrain from doing so. To me, Detroit: Become Human is nothing less than an absolute gem of a game! It looks awesome, has a touching and thrilling story and it plays very well. The replay value of this game is very high because there are many ways to approach any given situation and there are multiple possible outcomes per scene. It's great how a demo video to show the performance of a game engine results in an actual full-length game, simply because people kept asking about the fate of the main character of that video. So, I don't know about you, but I think Detroit: Become Human is definitely a Game of the Year nominee!
DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN
May 25, 2018