There is really just something about a game that can have you crying one moment and clutching your chair in the next. Let me tell you something, Detroit: Become Human is really one of those games. I didn’t get a chance to play Quantic Dream‘s action based game when it was released on PS4 in April of 2018. I knew when it was released on PC on December 12, 2019 through the Epic Game Store that this was my chance to play! After a few hiccups getting the game started, I finally was able to play, and my what a journey this was. I’ll try to keep this review spoiler free for the most part, but be warned that there might be some along the way.
By far my favorite part of Detroit: Become Human is the story. With over 32 chapters to venture through, Quantic Dreams is able to make you feel for these characters and for the world around them. The game takes place in Detroit in the year 2038. It is a time where androids are more than just talking smart phones, they are beings who look like humans and are able to speak, move and even behave like humans. While at first it seems like the world is okay with this idea, as almost everyone owns one, it seems that the public opinion of them have greatly fallen.
The story is split between three main characters, Connor, Kara, and Markus. They are each androids who are all affected by the events happening around them. Connor is a special prototype that is sent to investigate androids who have become deviant, disobeying orders and hurting their owners. Kara escapes with the young Alice after her father tries to abuse the young girl. Markus’ life is turned upside down when his owner dies and he is blamed and sent to die in a parts yard.
Each story overlaps and helps build up the larger story. It brings about questions like why are androids becoming deviant? Why does society hate androids? What is the real meaning of being free? While Detroit: Become Human had me invested from beginning to end, it did have moments that left me frustrated like the constant victimization of the female characters. Kara’s story, which I felt closet to not only as a female but as a mother, left me wanting her to be portrayed as stronger after everything, only to be saved by a male android.
In each chapter of Detroit: Become Human there is a mixture of exploration, dialogue, investigation, quick time events, and special character abilities. As you explore the little bit of world included in the chapter, you are able to unlock dialogue options. At some points I jumped into dialogue too quickly and missed out on some options. It is also possible to find different options that unlock choices during quick time events.
Personally my favorite character ability would be Connor’s. During his investigations with Hank and the Detroit Police, he is able to reconstruct events by picking up on key things or people/androids. This is useful in trying to track down a missing android later in the game and with making it a timed event it really makes things interesting.
What really intrigued me when it came to mechanics, was how well they were able to adapt controller mechanics to a keyboard and mouse. It was never just a point and click adventure, you were required to move the mouse in different ways or use keys to facilitate your actions. Even the quick time events felt natural and whether you were required to click, click and hold, or even mash were displayed well. I felt like I only missed a few key ones.
This is where I was most impressed and most stressed during Detroit: Become Human. The game without a doubt is beautiful. The likeness for Connor (Brian Dechart) , Kara (Valorie Curry) and Markus (Jesse Williams) look like their respective actors and actresses. The world they build and the attention to detail does not go unnoticed. Believe me, my computer is still trying to catch up!
The last minute announcement of the minimum requirements to play the game left me scrambling to swap around graphics cards. When I went to start the game the first time I was only met with issue after issue. Thinking at first that it had to be my setup I took to the internet. Thankfully I wasn’t alone and it was more of a bug than my computer’s ability to run the game. Once I got through that fix, I was good to go.
Where Detroit: Become Human excels is within it’s overall story and visually. There is no doubt in my mind that this is a beautiful game, and hopefully has set some high standards for games in the future. Where it fell flat for me was really in the idea that only two of the characters story lines felt like they made an overall impact on the world itself. The choices you make as Kara, while drive her story, only make small dents in the others. She felt like a tool used to show just how abusive the world can be to androids.
Knowing this though, I highly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys the ability to make your own choices and see how they effect the outcome in the end. Along with the different paths you can take and the two difficulty levels, it is easily replayable.
Detroit: Become Human is available to play now on PC through the Epic Games Store and the PS4.
This article was originally posted on 12/17/19