FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
Story image
Hands-on review: Play as androids in Detroit: Become Human
Fri, 25th May 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Detroit: Become Human is an interesting game that looks at a near future where androids are living sentient beings. Does that make them human? The theme of robots becoming smarter than humans and being classified as "living things" has been explored in many other movies such as the Blade Runner series and Ghost in the Shelljust to name a few. Detroit: Become Human is developer Quantic Dream's own unique take on this theme where gamers see through the lives of three different playable android characters.  The fact that Detroit: Become Human has three different playable characters already makes this game far more enjoyable than Beyond: Two Soulswhich only had one playable character. Having three characters allows the story to be more unpredictable because there's more room for error and different storylines to develop.  The thing that makes this game so intriguing is its main storyline and themes. The androids in this game feel like they are being slaves to humans and they just want equal rights. On the flip side of that though, some humans are annoyed that unemployment is really high because machines are taking over.  As the player, there are times you will play the game and feel conflicted because both androids and humans have good points to their arguments. This is a game that will make you think because a future where androids live amongst humans is something we could see in real life in the next few decades! Another cool thing about the game is that each character has their own story to tell. Connor is the first android you get to play and he works for the police needing to investigate crimes being committed by androids. Kara is a female android who wants to escape the city of Detroit with a young girl named Alice. Lastly, there's Markus who is a pro android supporter and wants to see his people free from human captivity You will switch between all three characters and see the different ways they interact with humans. Some humans are good, while others can be complete douchebags. It's up to the player to choose how the androids will react under certain situations which can lead to different outcomes.    Much like Heavy Rain, this game is meant to be played multiple times so you can see all of the possible outcomes that this game has to offer. Writer and director, David Cage, reportedly wrote over 2000 pages worth of material for this game so there's a lot of scenarios for players to explore! This means characters can fail some missions, and this affects how the main story unfolds. Without giving away too many spoilers, I will say the game has multiple different endings so you will need to play it more than once to see the type of end results you really want for each character.  In terms of gameplay, Connor arguably has the best missions because he has to investigate crimes and find clues to locate suspected criminals. That said, the other two characters also have cool missions you can do although I will not spoil anything that they do as that will ruin the story.  However, the gameplay is very similar to Quantic Dream's other video games such as Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. Getting the characters to walk can be fiddly at times because the walking animation is stiff and kind of slow. Not to mention this game features a lot of quick time events (QTEs) so people that hate doing button prompts may not like playing this game,  Detroit: Become Human is more like an interactive movie which is why the game features a ton of QTEs. Choice based video games is nothing new and they are usually aimed towards a specific type of audience. You may want to avoid playing this game if you're an impatient type of gamer that just wants to shoot things instantly.  Graphically, this game has some of the best character models that I have ever seen on the PS4 console. I played this game on my 4K TV with the PS4 Pro and all of the characters look eerily lifelike. The facial animation is very realistic looking while the rain effects are just mind blowing to see. If you have a new TV set, this game is perfect to show off to your friends as the graphics are phenomenal.  The only flaw I can find for this game is that the story wasn't as intriguing as the plot of Heavy Rain. Without saying too much, I'll just say Heavy Rain was more unpredictable and the main characters in that game were more likeable. That's not to say the story in Detroit: Become Human isn't good, but it wasn't as enjoyable as Heavy Rain.  Anyway, if you love choice-based video games. you will instantly fall in love with Detroit: Become Human. The game offers a ton of replay value and has one of the best graphics I've seen on the PS4 console to date. Try to play this game without looking at spoilers on YouTube because it's better for you to uncover the story for yourself.  Verdict: 8.5/10