Last updated on April 19th, 2018
Quantic Dream, the French video game developer known for it’s narrative driven games like Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain, delves into a world where choices have human consequences. Detriot: Become Human is an action driven AI adventure game coming to Playstation 4 May 25th, 2018.
As we draw closer to the release in May, it’s time to have look at what we know so far about Detroit: Become Human, a game that combines storylines, drama, and choices that have unpredictable repercussions. Choose your protagonist, take control, and lead them through a future full of uncertainty.
As AI becomes a more prominent presence in our everyday lives, it begs the question whether this game is drawing inspiration from what is happening around us or telling a side of the story that is yet to come. This thought is both provoking and chilling at the same time…
Detroit: Become Human Preview
Detroit: Become Human Features
- Choice of 3 characters point of view to choose from.
- The ability to rewind actions to see different outcome possibilities.
- A plot driven action game.
- Make decisions to decide what happens in the story.
Story & Setting
Set in a futuristic rendition of Detroit Michigan, androids have become prevalent within society and become tools used by humans much like cars or cellular phones. The game follows the “lives” of three different androids who are dealing with plausible situations that will test their morals, character, and purpose. Many games in the past have shown AI in a negative light, “the bad guys”, but what if this time it’s humanity that is in the wrong?
The plot is dependent on which character you choose, each has their own story to tell, with the player being able to make choices and choose their destiny.
Quantic Dream introduces three playable AI characters to the game: Connor, Markus and Kara, with their own backstory and role to play in this sci-fi universe. Although the narratives are told separately, there will be a point in the game where these paths become interwoven, forming the bigger picture of what is actually happening in this android-centered world.
Originally created by CyberLife, Connor’s purpose is to aid human detectives in their investigations via the unique technology he possesses. Connor is a prototype with a real-time molecular analyzer that has the ability to reconstruct past events, and also has an on-board social module that helps him become the “ideal partner” for any team.
He is exceptionally intelligent, cold and determined, ready to do anything to succeed in his mission.
His story starts when the first case of android anomalies is reported and CyberLife agrees to send this AI prototype into the world of justice through the Detroit police department. Although Connor has participated in field tests, this is his first experience in a real investigation.
Connor is partnered with Lieutenant Hank Anderson, an alcoholic detective notorious for his unfriendly opinion of androids. In order to earn his place, Connor must use his “psychology” module to find out what is really going on, as everything isn’t as it appears to be.
An android caregiver who belongs to a famous old painter Carl Manfred, who has lost both of his legs. Carl grows to care for Markus in a paternal father-son sort of relationship, and treats him as if he is human. Much to the disdain of his biological son, Leo, Carl teaches Markus about painting, literature and music, growing this android’s spirit.
Through his choices, Markus will write the history of his people and lead them to freedom… or destruction.
However, Markus’s journey is neither simple nor smooth, as he goes from caregiver to android revolutionist, facing dilemmas and moral choices at every turn. You must choose which path he must take; one of violence or pacifism, to lead his people into the future or face chaos.
Designed as a domestic assistant by CyberLife, Kara can cook over 9000 dishes, speak 300 foreign languages and can look after children effectively. She is an android owned by Todd Williams, an unemployed taxi driver and single father of a girl named Alice. Kara begins as an obedient android, taking responsibility for the house and care of Alice, but the story takes a turn as Todd becomes violent towards his daughter.
Kara feels compelled to disobey and risk her life to save Alice.
Through certain events it becomes clear that Alice is no longer safe with her father, and Kara must find a way to keep Alice protected as they become fugitives in their road trip journey through the darkest corners of Detroit.
Detroit: Become Human is played in third person with the chance to interact with other characters in the game. However, since the game is heavily story driven, there will be times where the player must choose from a pre-selected decisions to determine how the scene will play out.
Taking some of the stress out of agonizing decisions (which usually takes a while due to searching for outcomes online), Quantic Dream has added the ability to rewind chapters without having to replay the whole game. At the E3 2017, David Cage (one the developers of the game), explained that the decisions you make in the game have different consequences and that they wanted players to be able to see the different options:
I really encourage people to play one walkthrough without going back, so that they get their very unique version of the story…But you can go back at any time and replay from the beginning or a specific point in the story and see all the different branches.
Audio & Visuals
Not only does Detroit: Become Human have a storyline that is intriguing and told by three different characters, the visuals do not fall short. From what we can see of the gameplay trailers, there has been a lot of time and effort spent on giving life to this game. Characters both look and act realistically and you can even recognize some of them…
You might find that the android Markus looks awfully familiar, that’s because the look of character and the voice is from the actor Jesse Williams, known for his role in the long running series Grey’s Anatomy. But that’s not the only recognizable face/voice, Kara is played by the talented Valorie Curry known for her roles in the TV series The Following and Amazon’s The Tick. Connor is voiced by the actor Bryan Dechart, who also did some voice acting in the game Mafia 3, and starred in the horror film The Remaining.
The fact that Quantic Dream adds the ability to rewind chapters, skipping an actual playthrough, leaves questions about the longevity of the game. If players don’t have to actually play through scenes to see alternative outcomes, will they be bothered to go back and play through the game a second time? I think it will really depend on how compelling the story is, and if it’s any reflection to David Cage’s previous work, then players will want to re-play their choices several times over. Hopefully the game will be able to balance between storyline and engaging gameplay which, is not always easy to pull off.
As someone who really loves story driven games, I am highly anticipating which direction this game will take, how the stories interconnect and whether the future is really doomed with the existence of human behavior and AI. Hopefully they will include “ending stats”, letting you be able to see how other players made their decisions, as this is always part of the fun!