Game Reviews

The Androids Are Alive! Detroit: Become Human Review

Detroit: Become Human is an action/adventure game developed by Quantic Dream and released on the PlayStation 4 on 25th May 2018, a PC release is slated for 2019 although at time of writing there is no official date set for that release.

I, of course, played this on the PlayStation 4 and put roughly 12 hours into the game, which took me about four three-hour streams. I would like to share my opinion on the game with all of you in this review.

All screencaps are made by super talented Veronica, check out her Blog and Patreon!

Overview

This game had been on my radar since getting my PS4 later last year.

Having received this game for my birthday from two of my friends/stream viewers (thank you again Veronica & Bjorn!), I decided to stream it for my viewers. Wow, just wow! I will delve more into the finer details later. All I can say right now is, if you have a PS4, PLAY THIS GAME!

The first impression of the game

Well, this game sure doesn’t mess around, the opening sequence of the game has you in the boots of Connor, an Android from Cyberlife who works alongside the Detroit Police Department. He has been sent to assist in talking down another domestic android who has gone Deviant and is currently holding a small child hostage on the roof of a building having shot and killed 2 people and injured a third.

You first have to look around the crime scene and examine various bits of evidence in order to assist with your task, using Connor’s ability to scan and recreate the events that transpired in detail unlocks different dialogue options for the confrontation and thus enables various different outcomes, ranging from the best to the very worst, this theme runs throughout the entire game!

Graphics & sound

Graphics

Markus (Jesse Williams)

What can I say about the graphics of this game? From the very start, I was blown away by the level of detail that this game has! The characters are all perfect recreations of the actors who portray them, this is something Quantic Dream have also done with their previous games.

The environments are stunning and Detroit itself looks like a lively, bustling city, the futuristic setting of 2038 (which really isn’t that far away!) was executed perfectly in my opinion. They didn’t go full Jetsons in terms of flying cars and houses in the sky, but it was a believable level of technological advancement!

Music

There were three different composers who created beautiful scores for each of the characters. Each character’s soundtrack fitted the mood perfectly; from an intense action-based soundtrack during the opening sequence with Connor to a more somber sound for Kara.

Voice acting

Connor (Bryan Dechart)

Without a doubt, my favorite character to play as was Connor, voiced by Bryan Dechart, who has a very unique voice. I found myself laughing at some of his dialogue during the game with some of the choices I made for him. Including telling an angry police lieutenant (played by the amazing Clancy Brown) exactly why he shouldn’t “damage” him after Connor threw his drink away in order to accompany him on an investigation!

The other two voice actors for Kara (Valorie Curry) and Markus (Jesse Williams) also do a fantastic job in their respective roles. Kara, who is a domestic android owned by an alcoholic, drug-addicted father Todd, and Markus, a caretaker android, who looks after the extremely sweet and likable elderly artist Carl Manfred (Lance Henriksen).

  • Graphics, Characters and Environment – 10/10
  • Soundtrack – 10/10
  • Voice Acting – 10/10

Gameplay

I’m going to get my main gripe with this game out of the way early. Quick Time Events (QTE’s) are used heavily for the action sequences of the game and I did struggle sometimes with them. Maybe it’s me getting older and my reflexes slowing (aging gamer here folks!). Or maybe it’s because I predominantly play another console and I forget the button locations.

Kara (Valorie Curry)

Either way I did find moments of frustration with these, especially as every action in this game has a consequence. Mess up a sequence in a QTE and it can have drastic effects on the outcomes of each story.

Now that’s literally my only negative of this game out of the way; if you also aren‘t a fan of QTE’s I’d still recommend playing the game. It really is an amazing story, which i will touch on more later.

There were some cool sequences and features used later on in the game, however, one such feature has you “pre-visualising” several parkour sequences as Markus in order to determine the best route to take to get to his destination.

The sequences of the Androids “breaking their programming” and becoming Deviants was also done extremely well. You literally had to break through walls that represented the built-in constraints of the programming. My favorite instances of this were with Kara and Markus, who had to decide to disobey orders to protect a child and whether to fight back against an abusive son respectively.

Daniel

Another little quirk I liked was the use of the PS4 controller’s touchpad, interacting with things like tablets in the game required you to “swipe” as you would in the real world.

This game has so much replayability, purely because of the decision-making mechanic. There is a flowchart at the end of each chapter which shows the route you took and the outcome you got as well as all the other alternatives.

If you‘d have done X instead of Y in a particular part, it would have lead to a different outcome. It will take me a while to go back through this game to unlock all the alternatives, but it is time i would be more than willing to put back into this game!

  • Controls – 7/10 (purely for the QTE‘s)
  • General Gameplay – 10/10
  • Replayability – 10/10

Story

The premise of the game is based entirely around decision making, doing this and saying that will have this outcome and that’s the way it is. This is what lends to the replayability as mentioned earlier as there are so many alternatives.

The game follows three unique narratives, Connor, the Android from Cyberlife who works with the DPD, Kara, a domestic assistance Android and Markus, a caretaker android.

Markus

We find ourselves in the (not too distant) future of 2038 Detroit, the Android has been perfected by Cyberlife. As a result, human existence, while having had their day to day lives improved, has also caused a huge rift and anti-android sentiment among other humans as they have slowly been made redundant from their jobs because of the far more efficient A.I

This is a theme that almost always permeates these types of stories. We ultimately create the thing that leads to our destruction, I think it was handled perfectly in the game. You can draw a lot of parallels with the real world, most noteably with the Equal/Civil Rights movement, Androids being treated by many with fear and abuse, being segregated in almost all areas such as public transport and having their own entries and exits to buildings.

Nowhere is the hate more apparent, in my opinion, than in Markus‘ storyline. While the other two androids we play suffer the same hate and prejudice, it’s in Markus’ that we see the worst of it, being told by a preacher that he is nothing more than a “Slave”, that he should obey without question the orders of his Human “Masters” and being set upon by a group of protesters who are protesting the fact that androids took their jobs.

Connor

The parallels with the real world are scary really, especially in an age where it is ever more apparent that this kind of hate and prejudice is on the rise towards other members of our society. If we‘re like this now, what would we be like if we ever reached the same level of technological advancement?

All in all the story delivers an engaging, entertaining, shocking, and upsetting narrative. I was hooked in the first few minutes and stayed as such right up until I finished the game!

Story: 10/10

Conclusion

In conclusion, this game has immersed me in a way that few have recently, so much so that I’m still playing it in my spare time. Also, I have become part of Bryan Dechart‘s Twitch community and found an amazing fandom of friendly welcoming people to share my experiences with!

I would recommend this game to anyone who has a PS4. The story, graphics, performances, and soundtrack are Hollywood-worthy and definitely a great investment of your time.

Let down only slightly by the QTE‘s in my opinion I will give the overall game a 9/10

Play it now!

WE ARE DEVIANT!

All screencaps were made by super talented Veronica, check out her Blog and Patreon!


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