Quantic Dream is one of those rare studios which dares to be different, and the company's 2018 title - Detroit: Become Human - continues that reputation of peculiarness. You could describe the company's works to date as interactive movies more than they are games, with the experience primarily driven by narrative and decision making.
Expect more of the same out of Detroit. That's not to say that the game doesn't deserve its status as such. You won't need pristine mechanical gaming skills or muscle memory to get through it. It's all about influencing the game through your choices and watching it all unfold. Here's everything you need to know about Detroit: Become Human.
August 10, 2018 — Over a million and counting
It wasn't long ago that we learned Detroit: Become Human surpassed over 1 million sales since launch. Since then, over 1.5 million people are said to have experienced the thrill of fighting for humanoid rights.
While it doesn't sound like a runaway success on paper, Detroit: Become Human is a rather niche game available on one platform. By Quantic Dream's standards, it's by far and away their most successful game in the same time period. To compare, the game is performing well above Heavy Rain, according to NPD. It's up 20% compared to Heavy Rain, the flagship interactive story Quantic Dream produced for the PlayStation 3.
Does this mean Quantic will continue to support Detroit with more content post-launch? That's tough to say for now. The company historically preferred to move directly onto new projects instead of releasing episodic DLC or significant updates.
David Cage hasn't ruled the possibility out, however, noting that there is still a ton of backstory available for many of the characters in the game, as well as room to maneuver for post-story happenings. He also mentioned that stuff could just as soon be introduced as a sequel. Either way, nothing is promised, so enjoy what we have now and hope for the best.
History repeats itself
Detroit: Become Human is a classic thought-provoking story by Quantic. It's designed from the ground up to make you question your every move, as well as your resolve, emotions, and morals. In this game, you'll take control of at least three characters, all of whom are sentient robots called androids living in futuristic Detroit.
These androids were first employed as helpers. Naturally, the humans thought this was the perfect role for them as they were to be emotionless beings whose actions are entirely programmed by their makers. But as these types of stories always go, they become aware, and they eventually figure out just how oppressed they really are.
You'll see the events unfold through the eyes of three such characters:
- Kara: This is the main character designed to get you emotionally attached. Kara is the "nanny-bot" of the story, the typical service android that shows how life with these things should be. She helps a single father whose baby girl needs taking care of. Kara eventually shows signs of becoming sentient, teetering on the lines of obedience and rebelliousness.
- Connor: He's an android detective, and his entire mission is to track down what they consider to be rogue bots. If a robot is overstepping its boundaries, Connor makes sure they're corrected one way or another.
- Markus: Say hello to your classic rebel. Markus is probably the most "woke" of all the androids, with a strong play for civil rights, freedom, and equality being his driving force. His role in inspiring other androids to take a stand and fight for their rights is the polarizing issue driving the plot at large.
Detroit's script is classically long, with its writer - David Cage - known for going over 2,000 pages with all his work. You likely won't experience all 2,000 of those pages in one sitting, and maybe not even in five.
You can expect an overwhelming amount of branched dialog choices and multiple possible story outcomes. In fact, Quantic Dream suggests there are over 1,000 possible combinations. That's likely an exaggeration as minor, inconsequential changes in detail will inflate that number, but you don't have to worry about a shortage of conclusions.
And there's a lot to it, to boot. The game touches on many of the issues prevalent in today's society: racial inequality and prejudices; domestic abuse and violence; love. These games have always challenged the player's soul.
You may be thinking to yourself by now: this is iRobot, The Game. That's one way to put it, and we won't argue. While it's not the iRobot game we imagined we'd get - there were some really cool battle scenes in that movie that you won't be able to replicate with pure gaming skill - it's close enough in its underlying theme to make us happy.
Your choices matter
There isn't much to Detroit's gameplay. You control the three main characters of the game as you guide them throughout the city's various environments to look for information, clues, details, and more.
That's not to say that Detroit won't have your adrenaline pumping or have your critical thinking skills put to the test. The constant threat to your favorite characters' safety and your ultimate desire to see the happy outcome you're hoping to see will have you mulling over each decision as carefully as you can. Your choices of dialog in any given situation are polarizing enough to tear away at the very fabric of your sanity. Your connection to these characters will grow.
Quantic Dreams is trying something a bit different with Detroit: Become Human in that regard, though. In years past, the formula for deciding the outcome of a situation was hidden to the player. You were left to use your deductive reasoning skills to try and figure out where the story would turn. It was obvious in some cases, but really vague in others. To be fair, it added to the feeling of uncertainty that kept you on edge and has become a staple trait of Quantic's games.
This time, however, we get what's called a 'Probability of Success' meter that shows in real time the consequences of your choices and actions. It seems to be a reliable way to gauge how certain situations will play out and could ultimately help you figure out how you want to react to each situation. But it is only a probability of success, after all, and your outcomes are never guaranteed.
Get ready for Detroit: Become Human
Ready to play Detroit: Become Human? You won't have long to wait, as its release date is pegged for May 25th, 2018. That date is set in stone, too, with recent news that the game has gone gold, which means they've finalized the game and will start producing copies based on the master Blu-Ray disc on which it was preserved.
If early gameplay footage and previews don't do it for you, there's a free demo available to download on the PlayStation Store. It features you playing as Connor in a heated attempt to save a woman's daughter. You'll get a good serving of that gut-punching dialog and a scenario that does well to preview everything the game has to offer. There are even multiple endings, so there's a reason to replay it after you've run through it for the first time.
If you've decided to pre-order it then you'll want to know the best places to spend your money. For starters, every single pre-order of the standard edition of Detroit: Become Human will net you a dynamic PS4 theme and the game's digital soundtrack, the latter of which should be able to contend with your library's most memorable scores.
Amazon Prime members will get 20% off the game's usual cost of $60, which brings the total to $47.
Best Buy also offers the same discount for its Gamers Club Unlocked members.
For folks who don't want to pay the cost to be part of either service, Newegg figures to be your best bet with a flat $10 off for anyone who buys it at their online storefront.
There's also a $70 digital deluxe copy available, and you'll definitely want to consider spending the extra $10 here. The biggest benefit is that it comes with a digital copy of Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream's PS3-bound classic. Heavy Rain was a huge improvement on the company's signature formula and still holds up as one of the finest interactive storytelling experiences gaming has to offer. Other goodies include a digital artbook, the digital deluxe soundtrack, 2 PS4 dynamic themes, and 10 PS4 avatars. The digital deluxe edition costs the same no matter where you buy it.
Updated August 2018: Detroit: Become Human is off to a nice start as it's been played by over a million people since launch!
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