Review: Detroit: Become Human (PlayStation 4)

David Cage returns after 5 years to tell us another story. Previous games by this developer are rated differently. While Heavy Rain is rather highly appreciated, Beyond: Two Souls receives much less favorable reviews. This time, the French invites us to a future in which the world is filled with androids.

The story is the most important aspect of any Quantic Dream game. Their games are such high-budget Telltale games. Fortunately, we managed to create an extremely mature story here, which touches on very interesting and controversial issues. Letting go of the paranormal atmosphere of the Two Souls and returning to the realistic reality, reminiscent of the story of an origami killer, has turned out to be a good thing.

Come to Detroit in 2038. Wherever you look, you will find androids that are cheap enough to produce that everyone can afford them. They are for people what smartphones are today. Robots take care of the most basic tasks, such as cleaning and repairs. They go shopping, help the disabled or take care of children. Some androids are also fun companions. David Cage draws us a future filled with robots, but definitely much more positive than what we could see in Android Hunter. The world is not over, people are still alive, and although the proliferation of machines has its negative consequences, it is still a positive future.

Here we will lead the fate of three androids. The first, Kara, is a home model that is bought by an alcoholic tormenting his own daughter who has lost his job to another robot. Marcus is also a housekeeper, but he serves a wealthy, disabled artist. The last character is Connor, a special android model designed to support police officers in investigating Defects, i.e. androids that broke their own code and began to behave strangely. Each of the robots comes from a different environment, each is treated differently and each has a different experience behind him. It will depend on us how their further fate unfolds.

Geralt cuts promotions on PlayStation Store 09/09/2015

Do Androids Have Any Feelings? Can they think for themselves or do they have dreams? Should they have ownership and voting rights? We may have to find answers to such questions ourselves, as humanity, but until then we can do so by playing Detroit. The story touches on a few very delicate themes and refers to less glorious aspects of human history as well as today. Androids have driven a lot of people out of the labor market, which is why they are not very popular in some circles. In addition, the machines themselves, traveling by bus, for example, have their own compartment… at the very end of the vehicle. This brings to mind specific stages in human history and how it has dealt with the topics of slavery or the treatment of people of a different skin tone. Androids are here a metaphor for how society is coping with new challenges and how hard it is to change some habits.

I like the whole world created by David Cage’s team. Not only does it present a fairly positive version of the future, it is also extremely realistic. The role of collectibles in the game is played by tablets with the latest newspapers and news from the world. I really like the realism of this information, because it concerns problems that we will really have to deal with in some time. Some of the articles that we will find will describe our own actions, but we will read about the war between the US and Russia in Antarctica, the extinction of bees or missions to distant planets of the solar system. Thanks to this attention to detail, I feel as if I am observing a world that could actually look like this in two decades!

Coverage from PlayStation Innovation Party – Mikołajki from PlayStation Poland

Quantic Dream’s previous games have had fairly modest stories. Heavy Rain was an interesting detective story, but the storyline was mostly about the characters we ran. Similarly in Beyond. Here, however, we will create the history of not only the city of Detroit, but the whole world. We will decide the fate of all robots in the world and lead the revolution. It is only up to us whether we go about it peacefully, trying to find a common language, or whether we take weapons in our hands and decide to kill people.

There are several dozen chapters waiting for us, the completion of which will take us about a dozen hours. The first time it will take longer, of course, because we will often have to lick the walls. It will be much easier with the next approach. I also like the pace of the action. The game starts quite calmly, only to gain a bit of speed as the story unfolds. It is also important that individual chapters differ in terms of climate and action. If in one chapter as Connor we tried to catch a runaway defect, in the next we will have a moment of rest as Kara. Thanks to this, the moments of the action are intertwined with calmer moments, so we never get out of breath from the excess of explosions.

Each of our decisions will have certain consequences. We decide how our story unfolds. Every now and then we make decisions about what to say, what to do or how to react. Based on this, we create our own version of the story. There are many variants, and to illustrate it more precisely, the creators have prepared a diagram for each chapter. We have access to it at any time in the game and we see all the possibilities in which the story can continue. But of course, in order not to spoil the fun, we only see the elements that we have found. If we have not chosen a path ourselves, we will not see the further consequences of a given path in the diagram.

PlayStation Store update 01/28/2015

I was quite skeptical about these blueprints at first, but later realized that they were de facto in every Quantic Dream game, and players made maps for themselves with the goal of discovering all the endings or earning all the trophies. Now we have it listed, but in a non-invasive form. We won’t spoil our fun because we don’t know what the branch of history we haven’t discovered is about. After the end of each chapter, the game shows us a diagram of our adventure, which we can additionally enrich with our friends or global statistics. Thanks to this, we can check if others have made similar decisions as we did.

If someone uses David Cage’s games to enjoy the game, he respects it. However, this is not what these productions are about. Gameplay here is just a telling tool, not its essence. And it is a pity that in this aspect nothing has changed too much. We still have the QTE festival here, combined with the weird **** swing or whole pad waving. The only variation compared to the views on PS3 is the addition of gestures on the touch pad. Our characters are still walking weird and terribly slow (although that just fits the fact that they are machines).

For most of the chapters, we will walk around closed locations, and some of them are really large. We will find items, evidence, information and other things scattered around the world. Not every thing is obvious and you will have to figure it out. We will talk to other characters, and our dialogues will have an impact on how a given character reacts to us. We can either win over friends or make enemies. It is also worth remembering that some paths or dialogue options may be unavailable to us if we do not find a specific item or learn something from another character. It’s worth snooping around, because we may unlock a new path for the story development.

PlayStation VR – a new version of Sony goggles has been announced

Graphically, the title looks great. Not only are the character models top-notch, the entire environment looks nice. I beat her on the Pro model and didn’t encounter any technical problems. Nothing crashed and the game ran smoothly. The game is available in the full Polish language version and it is worth adding that it is in no way polite. The actors who cast the voices in the game swear without brakes, so we have quite a festival of bunches here at times. I am glad that the Polish branch of PlayStation has gone in this direction, because the game is not aimed at children, so you can afford more. I highly recommend the Polish language version.

Detroit: Become Human is now my favorite Quantic Dream game. Throughout my adventure with this title, I have become incredibly close to the heroes. Even though they are machines, I cared about them. I wanted them to succeed, to find their happiness. The story in the game is really top flight and everyone should try it. When you first approach the game, I recommend you play your way, not to look at trophies, guides, etc. It’s just worth playing with this story and absorbing the whole world that has been presented to us here. I highly recommend it, because such emotions cannot be found anywhere else.

We thank PlayStation Polska for submitting the game for review.