Thursday, 24 May 2018 22:00

REVIEW: Detroit: Become Human (Playstation 4) Featured

Written by StacefaceMayhem
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Humans are greedy. We are never strapped for choice. The moment we have that choice taken away from us, we whine, we moan, we lash out, we revolt. What would we do if our basic rights to equality were taken away, if we were to be told to obey? Would you rise, or sit back? Androids have sat back for too long, they no longer want to be slaves.

This game first caught my eye at it's E3 reveal, but I was truly intrigued after seeing emotionless actors tapping on the glass display in the PlayStation booth at PAX AUS. I was drawn to the booth, and the next minute I was in playing the demo. I was itching to know how the rest panned out as I left the booth.

Detroit: Become Human developed by Quantic Dream known for ‘Heavy Rain’ and ‘BEYOND: Two Souls’, with Sony Interactive Entertainment, is the massively anticipated action- adventure title, where every decision or action you make has a ripple on effect, for you or even multiple characters.

2018 05 23 00031

The year is 2038, in a not so distant Detroit, the hub of android/human integration, where robots are an everyday part of life, and like humans full of their own trials and tribulations. Cyberlife are the leading manufacturers of these realistic machines, and so effectively that they have been assimilated perfectly into all facets of society. So successful, that due to replacing the ever-expendable humans, unemployment is at a 35% all time high, and civil unrest between the two is at boiling point.

With this conflict setting the scene, we follow 3 androids on their own journeys to humanity. I appreciate a game that gets into the action quickly, and right out the gates we meet the cyber – detective, Connor, assigned to the human Lieutenant Anderson, hot on heels of cases involving androids. With tensions so high, will trust be an issue in the future for them to both work harmonically? We also meet Kara, a common maid, and Markus the caretaker of an old, rich but oddly endearing painter, who both are fighting their instincts to obey, but also fighting their instincts to survive. As the violence between android and human rises, the robots are evolving and adapting quickly. Realising they can say NO and act in irrational, emotion fuelled ways, these ‘Deviant’ rouge bots, who defy their orders and programming beg to differ, can they really be part of our world, and should they be treated as our equals?

2018 05 23 00032

Detroit: Become Human is a story driven game. Just like Detroit’s Twitter Post says “We didn't want the story to be told through cutscenes. We wanted the story to be told through your actions", and you can tell they have really strived to do that. The player really controls the destiny of each character, which is so intricately interwoven into the interactions between others and the makeup of the world. I was amazed, as I have never seen a game’s plot so well braided into each action. The ending of each scene really highlights this, revealing each action and the butterfly effect of consequences that followed in a flowchart. Luckily, after each chapter you can replay the scene and catch new scenarios and solve any loose end questions you may still have. Believe me you will have a few, as some chapters can have up to more than 8 different endings, that branch out from the chain reaction of choices.

While is seems very point and click, it takes exploring to a new level. Each character you play can scan the environment for clues, and can at times use it in a different way. Connor, who is a police detective, may scan a crime scene and use it to piece evidence to create a re-enactment of crime, while Markus may scan an environment and analyse the best options to say, jump across a pit.

The whole game strives for that meta-realness, so much so that even the starting menu has an A.I that talks to you. She even questioned me after leaving her idol, asking if I was her friend, and looking conflicted when I answered, yes. I was shook by the implied feeling of integration of myself with the game even.

2018 05 23 00034

Visually, this game is beyond stunning. Everything about the gameplay is cinematic quality. Raindrops on their faces glisten under the light, you can see every pore or freckle on the characters faces and even their facial expressions convey so much that they literally suck you in and drag you along on an emotional journey too. The environments themselves even tell a story. Each blade of grass, each plant just feels so organic, detailed and alive, almost as if mocking what the robots don’t have. Each building, intricate and neon, seems like a sign of advancement slowly inching its way over the humans, much like the potential of their android brethren. In any other game all this would look like just a cut scene, but the rendering,volumetric lighting, shadowing and shading is perfect throughout, it is just that stream line. It's beautiful on the PS4 and will be slightly better running 4K checkboarded on the Pro.

The audio backing tracks are also so atmospheric, it's as if they are alive themselves. They are brimming with character so much, that each individual character has their own set of tracks, recorded by 3 separate composers, to tailor to each of their own personalities. The game really tries to develop that sense of identity, right down to even the last note you hear.

2018 05 23 00030

At the conclusion of the game I was torn, exactly the way the game wanted me to feel. I had so many burning questions, so many doubts, so many frustrations in actions I had chosen. I was unresolved. I needed to play again, and I have begun, and will probably again even after that. I quickly became attached to each character and their motives, I felt for them, and I haven’t been that engrossed in characters since Titanfall 2’s BT-7274. I really wanted them to have a better ending, driving on for me to play again to change outcomes.

This game could potentially be my game of the year, but in saying that, people will love this game if they are into these styles of games. It’s an interactive story, a beautifully designed, strikingly developed story. Even after starting my second run through I was still left reflecting on what Hank the Detroit Lieutenant uttered previously “What if we’re on the wrong side? What if we’re fighting against people that just want to be free?” ... a true sign of an epic game.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 5.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Developer: Quantic Dream
  • Publisher: ‎Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Genre: Action / Adventure