Most android stories would have you debate on the apparent “human-ness” of robots. From Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner to Bethesda Studios’ Fallout 4, we’ve been asking if androids deserve the full treatment of human rights.
In Quantic Dream’s upcoming Detroit: Become Human, you can witness the debate first-hand. The game centers on three androids in the technologically blossoming city of Detroit.
As seen in the game’s widely released demo, Connor is police-owned android detective tasked with hunting down other androids who have deviated from their programming. In one of the game’s sequences, you can control Connor as he handles a hostage situation between a small child and an android who killed the former’s father.
Secondly, Kara is a fairly new android living as a maid and surrogate mother to an American family. In contrast to Connor, Kara’s sequences are more serene—doing housework and taking care of a child.
Finally, Markus is a servant robot tasked with assisting an infirm artist in day-to-day life. As his master interests in Markus’ development beyond the confines of artificial intelligence, sequences tackle heavier philosophical questions of self-identity in the android world.
Each perspective is its own short story revolving around a main plot. As you may have noticed, each individual has his or her own special flavor. Besides their primary story, they differ in lighting, scoring, and even cinematography. Each sequence is designed to fit a specific character.
With their differences in style, you’ll find yourself immersed in each of their characters. The desire to adopt different game choices and roleplays with each of them is present.
Speaking of choices, in typical Quantic Dream fashion, gameplay revolves around specific character choices and actions that you can take to further the story. Depending on the choices you take, a sequence can end in many different ways. From just failing to read something to choosing a character’s fate, every choice in Detroit: Become Human has a consequence in the game’s lore.
And yes, characters can die depending on your actions. Regardless of how you play or who dies, the story will continue towards an ending of your own making.
While the main story takes around 25 hours to beat, Quantic Dream states that it will take almost double that time to see every possible ending that the game can offer. Choices can be revisited in a flowchart menu so you can alter the ending you get.
From a gameplay perspective, Detroit: Become Human is an immersive marvel. Rather than telling a story between androids and humans, the game has you play from the perspective of the ostracized. The game has you, a human, enter the heart of an android and tell it what it should feel.
More than narratively becoming human, androids are turned human from a gameplay perspective. They become human through you. Alternatively, you become android through them.
Detroit: Become Human launches on May 25th. Like its predecessors Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, the game will be an exclusive on PlayStation, specifically the PS4.