Detroit: Become Human manages to be a frequently moving melodrama that bends to your choices with meaningful results. I felt like I was binge watching a TV series but I was controlling the actors and outcome. It become so addcitive.
Each of those playthroughs took around 10 hours to complete I am going through my second one as I speak, and during that time Detroit’s pace rarely lags thanks to the deft juggling act it performs, by swapping between three android characters across multiple chapters: Kara, a housekeeper who must care for a little girl named Alice, Connor; a prototype police model whose assignment is to round up ‘deviant’ androids, and Markus; a carer model who believes androids should share equal rights with humans.
The voice acting I loved my favourite has to be, Bryan Dechart as Connor thanks to his navie innocence, which makes for great balance, against the whirling dervish of his cynical partner, Lieutenant Hank Anderson. Valorie Curry brings quiet strength to Kara, and excels at selling her love for her ward. Jesse Williams employs all of his dreamy Grey’s Anatomy warmth as Markus and is never unlikeable, no matter how you choose to play him.
Through the choices you make throughout the game, it can kinda change the personailites of the characters as well. My first playthrough, I played Connor’s character wanting to be and have a friendship with Hank, which made for some great humour and loving moments. But for my second I want to try and play it a little bit more differently. For the most part, supporting characters adapt to the way you choose to play, but there are occasional misfires. All three of Detroit’s central characters to be dramatically interesting, which meant putting them in compromising situations – or worse, killing them – was a real fear throughout, I was constantly on edge throughout certain scene, and again it adds pressure to your choices you make. It’s testament to the writing and performances that I found making decisions “just to see what would happen” teeth-clenchingly hard. I didn’t want my favourite connor dying at all, and I was always on edge I would miss time scene, or say the wrong thing.
There were enough moments of quiet tenderness to keep me emotionally invested, and the stakes were suitably high, particularly growing closer the end, that kept me thrilled.
Characters are certainly capable of non-verbal expressiveness. The level of detail you can see in their faces is astounding; facial hair, blemishes, freckles, and moles are rendered in stunning detail. The animation is just as good; as Kara and Alice hurry through the rain on a freezing night, hunched over and miserable, I could have been watching two humans from the side-streets. At some points when my parents would come in, they thought I was watching a TV series or movie, but with actual real people.
This is a dark version of a future Detroit where androids are so omnipresent that they’re old news, sold in chain stores for the price of a discount mobile phone. Even through when you start Marcus’s playthrough its all sunny and naturally beautiful, it has quiet a hidden dark side that you uncover as you playthrough.
Action sequences are generally executed using timed button presses, swoops of the thumbstick, and occasional motion control, which evoke the action you are performing on a case-by-case basis.
An android detective mode allows you to scan your environment to reconstruct crime scenes, and fast-forwarding and rewinding through these I found a lot of fun,as it reminded me of blader runner or iRobot, as is a new ability to ‘pre-construct’ scenarios before you execute them, which is great. But I found reconstrucing a crime scene so much fun and I think thats why I enjoyed Connor’s more, because I was my own investigator.
The way you play Detroit is primarily through the choices you make within it. While there’s that backbone of a story that can’t be detroyed, which can occasionally result in frustration when it makes a decision for you to keep you from straying too far off the beaten path, I found its branching paths to be multiple and deep, and wanting to know more.
Quantic Dream has been smart in making this multitude of paths transparent through flowcharts introduced at the end of each chapter, showing you just how differently it could have played out if you’d made another choice, enticing you to play through again. It really has massive replay value for this game, one to get all the trophies, but also you want to see what happens when you make different choices what other branches will it unlock, you make even get scenes you hadn’t seen before, replaying is the only way to see all of this beautiful game.
All of the choices do effect everything in the game, as sometimes it might lead to the same result, but by a surprising new means or new meaning. Sometimes it might change your relationship with another character and unlock a path that wasn’t there before. Sometimes it might result in death, whether that be of a supporting character or one of the central trio, as they can all die at some point in the game, which makes it so scary.
I found myself feeling genuine distress or scared even anxious, when they were in danger and a sense of victory when they triumphed, lots of cheering and fist pumping. Most importantly, Detroit offers a multitude of transparent branching paths that entice further playthroughs, and choices have a permanence that raise the stakes throughout. I am finding it even more fun going back through for a second time as well, its a pleasure to go back to see what I’d missed in scenarios that are deceptively complex. Which I think is its greatest draw, you have to replay to see it fully.