M for Mature Price: PlayStation Store Official website For a game so focused on presenting a seamless interactive cinematic story, the most striking thing about Detroit: Become Human is its exposed seams. An unbelievable future The year is , and the city of Detroit is the center of a new manufacturing renaissance thanks to the creation of believable intelligent human-shaped androids.
The world has been transformed by the existence of subservient machines that can do anything a human can do and more. People send their tireless automatons out for errands, ask them to cook and clean, and even take them along as glorified bag-holders on shopping runs.
The military uses androids for combat operations, and space agencies use them for exploration. Every facet of human life, from sports to entertainment to sex work, has been revolutionized by the availability of cheap, plentiful, hyper-intelligent superhuman servants.
Yet none of the humans presented in Detroit seems at all happy to be finally free of menial manual labor. The game takes pains to show mass protests over the unemployment rate spiking past 35 percent, never really acknowledging that even unemployed slobs can apparently afford to buy a capable android to cater to their every whim. Street vendors warn androids away for fear of scaring off customers, even though dozens of subservient androids wander every street.
The police mistrust what seems to be the best, most reliable tool ever created for criminal investigations. Nor does it delve into the interesting social, economic, political, and interpersonal problems of a society no longer centered around productive human labor. Monopoly android-maker CyberLife ends up being a bit player in the story despite being unquestionably the most successful corporation in history.
Instead, humanity is by and large presented as a sneering, vengeful, unsatisfied ruling class, exploiting and oppressing its creation just because it can.
Anyone who has even a passing familiarity with science-fiction tropes knows what happens next. How the resultant wave of self-awareness among these millions of machines plays out depends on the dialogue and action decisions you make through three cross-connecting android narratives.
As a highly advanced android model helping the Detroit police investigate crimes involving other androids, Connor provides a perfect framing device for unraveling the mystery and consequences of rising bot independence. Despite being all metal and electronics, Connor somehow shows the most humanity and growth of any Detroit character. His frequent work with Lt. Hank Anderson—a hard-boiled, alcoholic android-skeptic—shows a subtlety and humor that is almost entirely lacking from the rest of the game.
Small decisions on how to handle Hank can lead him to become more hostile or more accepting of Connor and all androids, each with significant repercussions for how the story plays out. All the while, Connor is constantly fighting through his own potential instability, with your decisions determining his final fate. The game is full of informative pop-ups like this to tell you just how you're doing at any one moment. If you try to wander off the beaten path, Detroit will sometimes push you back onto it.
Unlocking other options down the line is one of the game's biggest "rewards. The bathroom graffiti is not subtle.
The human protestors' chants are not subtle. If you ever feel lost, a quick tap on R2 will lay out the options for what you should be doing. Most interactions are handled with pre-scripted analog stick flicks like the one shown here. You're quite good at turning me on. Incidental, essentially meaningless decisions like this one are actually where the game shines the brightest. Kara, by contrast, presents a much more personal story with fewer knock-on effects for the larger narrative.
The domestic servant android is quickly forced to defy her programming and rescue a young child, Alice, from her cartoonishly evil, abusive father. From there she has to learn to become a surrogate mother to Alice as they struggle to survive in a cold and largely indifferent world.
While there are some touching smaller moments where this effort bears fruit—like crafting a personalized bedtime story for Alice—for the most part the game is too nakedly emotionally manipulative to really be satisfying. He has journalism and computer science degrees from University of Maryland. He is based in the Washington, DC area.