Detroit: Become Human is a classic thought-provoking story by Quantic. It’s designed from the ground up to make you question your every move, as well as your resolve, emotions, and morals. In this game, you’ll take control of at least three characters, all of whom are sentient robots called androids living in futuristic Detroit.
These androids were first employed as helpers. Naturally, the humans thought this was the perfect role for them as they were to be emotionless beings whose actions are entirely programmed by their makers. But as these types of stories always go, they become aware, and they eventually figure out just how oppressed they really are.
You’ll see the events unfold through the eyes of three such characters:
- Kara: This is the main character designed to get you emotionally attached. Kara is the “nanny-bot” of the story, the typical service android that shows how life with these things should be. She helps a single father whose baby girl needs taking care of. Kara eventually shows signs of becoming sentient, teetering on the lines of obedience and rebelliousness.
- Connor: He’s an android detective, and his entire mission is to track down what they consider to be rogue bots. If a robot is overstepping its boundaries, Connor makes sure they’re corrected one way or another.
- Markus: Say hello to your classic rebel. Markus is probably the most “woke” of all the androids, with a strong play for civil rights, freedom, and equality being his driving force. His role in inspiring other androids to take a stand and fight for their rights is the polarizing issue driving the plot at large.
Detroit’s script is classically long, with its writer – David Cage – known for going over 2,000 pages with all his work. You likely won’t experience all 2,000 of those pages in one sitting, and maybe not even in five.
You can expect an overwhelming amount of branched dialog choices and multiple possible story outcomes. In fact, Quantic Dream suggests there are over 1,000 possible combinations. That’s likely an exaggeration as minor, inconsequential changes in detail will inflate that number, but you don’t have to worry about a shortage of conclusions.
And there’s a lot to it, to boot. The game touches on many of the issues prevalent in today’s society: racial inequality and prejudices; domestic abuse and violence; love. These games have always challenged the player’s soul.
You may be thinking to yourself by now: this is iRobot, The Game. That’s one way to put it, and we won’t argue. While it’s not the iRobot game we imagined we’d get – there were some really cool battle scenes in that movie that you won’t be able to replicate with pure gaming skill – it’s close enough in its underlying theme to make us happy.
Your choices matter
There isn’t much to Detroit’s gameplay. You control the three main characters of the game as you guide them throughout the city’s various environments to look for information, clues, details, and more.
That’s not to say that Detroit won’t have your adrenaline pumping or have your critical thinking skills put to the test. The constant threat to your favorite characters’ safety and your ultimate desire to see the happy outcome you’re hoping to see will have you mulling over each decision as carefully as you can. Your choices of dialog in any given situation are polarizing enough to tear away at the very fabric of your sanity. Your connection to these characters will grow.
Quantic Dreams is trying something a bit different with Detroit: Become Human in that regard, though. In years past, the formula for deciding the outcome of a situation was hidden to the player. You were left to use your deductive reasoning skills to try and figure out where the story would turn. It was obvious in some cases, but really vague in others. To be fair, it added to the feeling of uncertainty that kept you on edge and has become a staple trait of Quantic’s games.
This time, however, we get what’s called a ‘Probability of Success’ meter that shows in real time the consequences of your choices and actions. It seems to be a reliable way to gauge how certain situations will play out and could ultimately help you figure out how you want to react to each situation. But it is only a probability of success, after all, and your outcomes are never guaranteed.
Get ready for Detroit: Become Human
Ready to play Detroit: Become Human? You won’t have long to wait, as its release date is pegged for May 25th, 2018. That date is set in stone, too, with recent news that the game has gone gold, which means they’ve finalized the game and will start producing copies based on the master Blu-Ray disc on which it was preserved.
If early gameplay footage and previews don’t do it for you, there’s a free demo available to download on the PlayStation Store. It features you playing as Connor in a heated attempt to save a woman’s daughter. You’ll get a good serving of that gut-punching dialog and a scenario that does well to preview everything the game has to offer. There are even multiple endings, so there’s a reason to replay it after you’ve run through it for the first time.
If you’ve decided to pre-order it then you’ll want to know the best places to spend your money. For starters, every single pre-order of the standard edition of Detroit: Become Human will net you a dynamic PS4 theme and the game’s digital soundtrack, the latter of which should be able to contend with your library’s most memorable scores.