Detroit: Become Human has been a long time coming and it’s the next big hit from Quantic Dream since Beyond: Two Souls on the PS3 back in 2013, which was then released again for PS4 in 2015 along arguably my person favourite from the studio , Heavy Rain.  The story of Detroit: Become Human takes inspiration from the hit movie Blade Runner, where in a not too distant future, in top of the range, highly intelligent and cable androids are manufactured in the masses to be our daily servants or as some my view it, our slaves.  But something happens and the androids seem to develop a mind of their own, real emotions and the belief that they should be free.  Sadly for them, not everyone in the human race seems to share their sentiment, which refers to them as deviants.

The focus on Detroit: Become Human is on three different androids, with three different lives, circumstances and purpose in life, at least in the eyes of their masters.  We have Markus, an android that serves a wealthy and famous painter of Detroit, but unlike some of the other androids in this story; it seems that Markus is loved by his master, at least on a father/son level.  However, when Markus breaks free from his shackles, he sparks a revolution to let us humans know that androids are alive and they need to be heard.  Then there’s Kara, a house maid of sorts, who lives in a life of domestic violence and a drug abusing father to his young daughter Alice.  However, when something changes in Kara and she can’t take any more of this life, she attempts to save Alice her abusive father.  Finally we have Connor, a top of the range android sent to work for the Detroit Police Department to hunt and put an end to the android deviants that rampage the city.  Connor also forms an intriguing partnership with his human cop partner, Hank Anderson.

I won’t speak too much more of my story here, because I don’t want to give too much away.  But what this game does some brilliantly, is that it makes every story feel equally as relevant, perhaps different stories will resonate with some individuals more than others.  Each of the androids tales feels a variety of emotions due to their varying circumstances and motivations.  With some complex stories to tell, not to mention the deep depth of multiple paths and branching storylines, it would have been easy for this game to be a confusing cluster fuck.  Don’t get me wrong, I really did enjoy Beyond: Two Souls, but at times the stages of the story changed so dramatically, sometimes very suddenly, it could be easy to lose track of what’s going on at times and lose interest during certain segments.

Yet, with so many variables that could result in each of the stories feeling lost, I felt as emotionally invested in each of the androids tales and I found myself caring for their actions.  There were plenty of times when I was questioning my decisions, whether I was doing the right thing for the wrong reasons or the wrong things for the right reasons, and by the time I approached its conclusion, as cheesy as it sounds, I felt like I really was a part of their stories and there’s not many games that had me immersed on that scale.  Even better still, there are so many moments which can cause the butterfly effect ripple where a simple choice could dramatically affect an outcome much later down the line.  Also, at the end of each chapter, you are presented with a detailed flow chart highlighting your paths, where they went and hinted at where they could have gone.  My playthrough was one mere outcome of a story, so there’s a lot of motivation to playthrough Detroit: Become Human multiple times just to see how each will differ, and they most certainly will.

One of the reasons why the story is so well told is not only due to the fantastic script, but also the fantastic voice-cast that features in the game, even the supporting characters are very well portrayed.  For the most part, while the leading characters of previous Quantic Dream titles did a superb job, especially with Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe in Beyond: Two Souls, some of the supporting cast failed to ooze the emotion that a David Cage game craves.  However, that isn’t the case in Detroit: Become Human and with the likes of Valarie Curry (The Following) as Kara, Bryan Dechart (True Blood) as Connor and Jessie Williams (Grey’s Anatomy) as Markus leading the charge, all equally do a fantastic job in their own right.

Heck, when you’ve also got the added factor of Clancy Brown and Lance Henriksen as supporting actors, you can’t go wrong.  I also have to mention how brilliant the soundtrack is; at times it’s equally as powerful, if not sometimes more so then some scenes through the campaign.  I’ve always believed that if you really are going to tell a truly powerful story, as long as you have all the creative ingredients in place, without a brilliant cast of actors to go with an equally brilliant composer and soundtrack, you can’t have one without the other, so credit must also go to composers Phillip Sheppard, Nima Fakhrara and John Paesno for the lead roles that they played in these set of moving stories.

Now of course, most people going into this game will know what to expect in terms of gameplay from a Quantic Dreams game.  You’re not going to have the kind of traditional gameplay normally associated with most other games, which is always something that sets these games apart.  While from a narrative prospective, this is a very non-linear game, gameplay wise if you go into this expecting something like what’s seen in a traditional action-adventure, you’re going to feel very restricted.  As I’ve said before in the past, Quantic Dreams games are always best seen as an interactive video game/choose your own adventure title.  If you can have that mindset going into Detroit: Become Human, you stand a good chance getting the most out of a game such as this one.  That said, despite being QTE heavy, there are some brilliant Batman Arkham-like crime investigation scenes with Connor, which were one of the many highlights from the game for me personally.  However, the biggest issue I had with the gameplay are clipping issues, chunkiness of manoeuvring the characters within some environments and the frustrating invisible walls that you will encounter from time to time.

Detroit: Become Human isn’t without its flaws, its gameplay feels heavy at times when manoeuvring the characters and the whole gameplay approach isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  However, if you can look past some minor issues and can except the game for what it is, which is an interactive movie of sorts, then you’re going to experience one of the most compelling and immersive games of this generation.  Heavy Rain is one of my favourite PlayStation exclusives of the last generation and now Detroit: Become Human joins that illusive list of favourites as of the PS4’s finest.  This is a game I most certainly recommend for PlayStation 4 owners, though you must have an idea of what to expect before going in.



Author

Richard Lee Breslin
Richard Lee Breslin

Gamimg has been my life for 30+ years and will always be my passion. I have a BDes Hons Games Development and Digital Media, and I hope to one day turn my passion for gaming and writing into a living. My favourite gaming series are Resi Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Assassin's Creed, Uncharted and The Last of Us. I collect gaming merchandise, comics and movies. I love football (namely Aston Villa) and WWE. I can also often be found wondering the outskirts of Raccoon City. Follow me on Twitter @Solidus5nake