Detroit: Become Human (“Detroit”) is a single-player, adventure game by Quantic Dream, published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4.
The game takes place in 2039, in the titular city of Detroit during a time where androids have become a part of everyday life and have largely replaced the workforce. As a result, part of the human population feel anger and resentment toward the androids, leading to abuse and segregation.
Typically, androids aren’t programmed to feel emotions, however during these times of strife, some have experienced glitches and display feelings of fear, anger and even, self-preservation. Detroit follows three different androids: Kara, a domestic servant who escapes to explore her newly discovered sentience, while attending to a young girl from an abusive home; Connor, an advanced prototype with investigative abilities tasked with hunting down sentient androids; and Markus, a kind servant who cares for an elderly man and devotes himself to releasing androids from servitude.
Thematically, the game does feels loosely similar to popular sci-fi films about A.I consciousness and freedom. This is what really grabbed me about the game when I first heard about it. The themes of Detroit felt very ‘present’ despite being set well into the future, with very realistic ideas about equality.
The game can be completed in under 15 hours and focuses on multiple narrative paths, following the three main characters. In this way, the game provides players with choice and experiences that vary. However, players must be careful with their selections as player choice does affect the game, characters and ultimately the finale.
Gameplay is fun and intriguing as the narration allows players to affect the story as well as connect with various characters in different ways. Playing as different characters with a wide variety of abilities and personalities makes for a rather unique experience as gameplay is diverse. This diversity leads to interesting challenges and puzzle-solving that makes the game quite enjoyable.
Whilst the game is thoroughly enjoyable, the usage of quicktime events for action sequences often made me stumble and fail, which was frustrating. It’s certainly distracting having to use a varied set of control inputs to execute an action. It’s also quite tough if you’re uncoordinated, like me, to be able to execute these quick time events smoothly, without your fingers developing a mind of its own and pressing random buttons (I exaggerate a little here). This definitely made for some very tense gaming.
The interactions and relationships between characters certainly make for a thrilling tale and Quantic Dream has done a brilliant job in crafting very real, life-like, characters that players will, without a doubt, care about and invest themselves in. It makes it all the more gut-wrenching when a choice a player makes ends up leading to a character’s death.
Visually, the game is breathtakingly stunning with visuals and graphics that utilise CGI in a way that makes characters and environment appear incredibly lifelike. The level of attention to detail makes for an immersive game, as it appears more like a film or something that is occurring in real life right before a player’s eyes. Out of every aspect of Detroit, the visuals are by far the most advanced and incredibly gratifying.
Detroit: Become Human is definitely another PlayStation exclusive hit that showcases the quality of first-party games delivered by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Not only is the game thrilling, immersive and challenging but it looks good too, making gameplay all the more satisfying. If you enjoy story-based games where you decisions matter, then pick up Detroit.