Quantic Dream’s upcoming PS4 exclusive, Detroit: Become Human, has caused quite a stir since it was announced back in 2015. It’s understandable too, given that the game deals with some rather heavy themes — ranging from domestic abuse to grotesque homicide — and there’s clearly a fine line that the developers have needed to tread. That said, following some hands-on time with the game’s opening hours, I came away fairly impressed with what I played. It seems like the French studio have learned a lot from their previous efforts, refining and crafting an interactive narrative experience that feels much closer to Heavy Rain than it does Beyond: Two Souls.
Detroit focuses around three main characters: Kara, Connor, and Markus. It’s evident from the protagonists’ opening ‘scenes’ that Quantic Dream have strived to make each feel noticeably different from one another; not just in terms of character traits, but also through the way the story develops around them. Kara’s narrative revolves around an abusive father and his daughter, whereas Markus takes care of an old wealthy painter who has a love for the fine arts, while Connor’s involved in the policing of the city. All three main protagonists are androids (though their android classes and versions differ), with the game taking place in Detroit, 2038. So we’re a bit ahead in the future, but not that far.The world that Quantic Dream have crafted feels as close to what you’d imagine if you were to logically look forward in time, where androids have taken over most of the laborious and time-intensive tasks, while also acting as assistants for humans. Understandably this has been the catalyst to the rise of civil unrest, as androids have pushed a lot of humans out of work.
This is where the game’s central plot, I assume, will look to unfold. The growing tension between androids and humans can only rise so high before all hell breaks loose, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the developers explore this issue. Further, all three characters started to feel human-like emotion and distress with the problems and challenges they were faced with as I played through, and I’d say this’ll also become a central element to the plot as well. There’s a lot of potential here, and I hope Quantic Dream can handle it.Of course, one of the defining gameplay characteristics behind Quantic Dream’s games is the idea of choice and consequence. It’s a more refined formula than Telltale’s titles, where you dabble around decisions and ultimately finish in a similar area no matter what you choose, and Detroit looks to push those boundaries further.