Quantic Dream’s new futuristic adventure came out last Friday May 25, and the short but thrilling demo got me very excited to play the full game.
(Please note, this article contains spoilers of the demo)
I plan on buying Detroit: Become Human in the next few weeks, but before I came to that decision I played the demo. I was expecting a good game, but I still wanted to “try before I buy”.
In the limited gameplay allowed, Detroit: Become Human did an excellent job throwing my emotions through a loop. The 15-20 minute demo featured the very first scene they showed in their E3 2016 announcement. I knew exactly what to expect but it did not take away from my experience as I coped with androids developing independent thoughts, such as love and family.
The demo only features one of three playable characters, Connor, an RK800 android police robot trying to stop a PL600 android named Daniel. Connor investigates a homicide and hostage situation of a family to which Daniel is assisting. The father was murdered, the mother ran away, and the daughter, Emma, is nowhere to be found. Moving through the demo, Connor finds Daniel holding Emma hostage on the edge of the rooftop. From here on, the ending depends on the evidences and choices uncovered by the player leading up to the rooftop.
Based on the choices that I made and clues I discovered, I received 100% success probability and a satisfyingly grim conclusion: Daniel went rogue because he found out the family was replacing him with another android, killing the father and holding Emma hostage. Connor tries to gain Daniel’s trust to let Emma and everything will be fine. Connor was able to talk Daniel out of saving Emma and trusting him, but an inconspicuous sniper ends Daniel as he lets her go. In the final moments before his shutdown he tells Connor, “You lied to me.” The android is done, and Connor walks away with a mission success. I seemed to achieve an ending which made this demo feel complete, but I was left with feelings of regret.
Quantic Dream succeeds once again in creating a story where every choice matters. Because I played Heavy Rain previously, I had pretense in knowing I should try to investigate as many objects as possible. It felt second nature to be the completionist that I even saved a fish that fell out of its tank. I uncovered 2 important clues, his name being Daniel and the fact he was being replaced, that unlocked two choices to affect the ending. There was 1 clue I was unable to unlock was taking a gun that a police officer dropped, but that’s ok. From playing through, I easily ran through all the scenarios in which Emma or Connor could die and how it affects the story. Although I am wary of main characters dying, any single decision may have lead me in a different direction.
Detroit: Become Human sets up a narrative about humans vs machine. What exactly is the line of who can have feelings, and can we all live harmoniously? It’s a latest trend in storytelling to investigate futuristic means of artificial intelligence because this can be what the world looks like in 100 years. I fully expect morally ambiguous characters just as the main characters of Heavy Rain.
To speak on some game mechanics, Quantic Dream evolves the investigative approach with Reconstruct. It is a way to reward the player for uncovering all the possible clues and re-enact a scene to unlock more decisions and peace of mind. I loved this feature as it fits the android cop setting, and I’m looking forward to finding out what the full game has to offer.
The demo very well convinced me the full game will be worth my investment as a player who enjoys creating my personal journey. I look forward in the upcoming weeks to buying Detroit: Become Human and unraveling the full experience.
Watch my video review of the demo: