Going into Detroit: Become Human, I wanted to try to stay as open-minded as I possibly could. I had found the last Quantic Dream game that I had played, Beyond: Two Souls, to be relatively boring and wanted to give Detroit: Become Human the fairest shake that I possibly could. You see, I would honestly say that I liked both Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain. They weren’t the greatest games ever, but I felt both of them were still enjoyable and offered an interesting enough story. At the end of the day, I could at least say I was able to finish them on multiple occasions. Keeping all of that in mind, I have at least experienced these types of games. So I can at least say that there wasn’t really anything that was too surprising for me in terms of how Detroit: Become Human actually plays.
The story of Detroit: Become Human is essentially that androids have started to develop emotions which cause react to them with very irrational behavior. In that typical Quantic Dream fashion, you find yourself playing as a different protagonist with each chapter of the game. These different parts of the game may have you performing mundane tasks, or even something that may or may not affect the games overall story. This means that the narrative of the game can change depending on how you go about doing certain things in your playthrough. For example, in one of the scenes I chose to not do something and this resulted in the death of one of the playable protagonists. In other games, that’s usually where you might see a Game Over screen. In Detroit: Become Human, however, the game’s story will just proceed without that character. Basically, something impactful will change the game’s overall outcome in the end. This essentially creates a high degree of replay value, as you may see the game progress differently each time depending on your choices, with the Flowchart menu showing the number of possible outcomes. While I can’t really say that the games story is original, I did at the very least find the game to be entertaining enough to the point where I did at least feel like I wanted to see how my choices would play out. And even though not everything in the game was perfect, as I do definitely feel that the game started out extremely slow with a lot of the mundane things that happened during the first few chapters. At the very least, I can say that during the 10 or so hours I put into the game I didn’t really have all that bad of a time playing it.
Like any other Quantic Dream game, Detroit: Become Human is an interactive adventure game. The game is played by moving around with the left analog stick, and interacting with everything in the game by either flicking around the right analog stick, pressing buttons, or swiping the PlayStation 4 controller touchpad. The game is basically just a gigantic QTE (Quick Time Event), with each chapter having various prompts. Combat sequences, doing chores, opening doors, you name it. It’s all QTEs.
Outside of the usual Quick Time Events, there are also a few other things worth mentioning when it comes to the games controls. Pressing and holding down the R2 button will bring up the android’s mind palace, which allows you to analyze and see any of the games potential interactive objects. I would also add that performing certain actions in the game, may also change a person’s view on whichever character you are playing as at the time. It depends on the situation, but certain actions during different chapters may result in a character liking or disliking you. This may also result in new dialogue options being unlocked during conversations with other characters.
I also feel that I need to add that the game did seem relatively wonky when moving around. At times, I found myself struggling to make my way around certain objects, and interacting with things that have been laid out around the visited places felt a bit painful. Making things more difficult, is the fact that the games camera offers very little leeway in terms of its movement, as its very restrictive. This all adds up to make the game feel harder to navigate in some of the more enclosed spaces. It isn’t entirely detrimental, but it can be frustrating.
Getting a little more into the technical side of Detroit: Become Human, I honestly have to say that the game looks absolutely fantastic. It runs great, and looks visually stunning. The lighting is absolutely sublime, and I don’t think that I’ve seen many other games that can compete with Detroit: Become Human’s level of detailing in terms of the facial animations, weather effects, and just the overall look of everything. It’s definitely one of the best looking PlayStation 4 games that I can say I’ve played.
Being an interactive narrative, I feel that it would also be worth mentioning the voice acting of the game, and to some extent the games music. I can honestly say that I thought most of the voice acting in the game was well done, but I did feel that at times some of the actors seemed relatively disinterested. In particular, I found the voice actor of Markus to just sound completely bored and dull at times. I felt that his performance was so poor, that it made his character feel like one of the most unlikeable protagonists tossed into a modern video game. To put it bluntly, I hated Markus and found all of his sections to be the most irritable in the game.
Now as for the games music, I honestly thought that Detroit: Become Human’s soundtrack was pleasant. Some of the tracks came off as very soothing, and were just fitting for the scene that the tracks were being playing in. I honestly felt that this game had one of the better soundtracks I can say that I’ve heard in a while. It made the game come off with a bit more emotion in some of the scenes. Overall, the games soundtrack is certainly one of the finest parts of the game.
So now that all of that is out there, let’s get to what I think about Detroit: Become Human. Without thinking too much about it, I can definitely say that I’ve enjoyed the game far more than Beyond: Two Souls. I can’t really say that it’s better than Indigo Prophecy, but I can at least put it on the same level as Heavy Rain. I couldn’t really find too much relatable in terms of the story, but I felt as though had a fun time with it nonetheless. It’s nothing spectacular, but having various outcomes and consequences to your actions does make the game feel a lot more interesting. The game definitely does start out very slow, and there are chapters where things feel pretty boring, but I can’t really say it was bad enough to make me not want to play anymore. It did feel like the controls were a bit unresponsive at times, as I felt that I had gotten stuck on things that I shouldn’t have been getting stuck on, and some of the movement felt oddly restrictive. In all honesty, I felt as though the games graphics and music were definitely the strongest parts. Everything looked and sounded fantastic, so no one can take anything away from that. I guess overall, I want to say that I liked Detroit: Become Human. I don’t think it’s the best game on the PlayStation 4, but it’s a still a pretty good one nonetheless. I think I would be comfortable enough to recommend it to anyone who enjoys a decent narrative adventure game. It has it’s boring moments, but I don’t think they can take from the overall experience of the game, which is still pretty solid. Overall, I think that I’m fine saying that I liked this one.