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Detroit: Become Human review

On May 24, 2018 by Ash Meehan

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Detroit: Become Human is another branching story experience from Quantic Dream and David Cage. The game takes place in the city of Detroit in 2038, in the city androids have become a common sight as they do everything from running errands to caring for the elderly. The main premise of the story is that the androids are beginning to show emotions and push back against their human masters, but where this pushback leads is up to you, will the androids lead a peaceful rebellion or destroy those who controlled and abused them.

Detroit: Become Human is seen through the eye of three playable characters: Kara – a housekeeper android, Connor – a police android who is tasked with hunting down androids that have deviated from their programmed behaviour, and Markus – a caretaker android who becomes the leader of a free android movement. The actions you take with these characters will affect the story in more ways than you can imagine, even the smallest choice can lead to big consequences.

Out of the three playable characters I found Kara’s arc to be the most fascinating as she plays the role of a mother to Alice, a child she helped rescue from an abusive father. Kara and Alice’s journey is a heartwarming tale and shows that neither side is born hating the other.

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Now, let’s look at the story. While androids developing human emotions and rising up against their masters is an interesting premise, the execution is rather poor. The whole story revolves around humanity considering androids to be property/slaves created to do their bidding without question, the people who own an android have the right to burn cigarettes on their arms or break them when they get angry. The story heavily uses racism and racist actions to get its point across with androids barred from entering certain shops, and when the androids rebellion grows they are rounded up and thrown in concentration camps where they are stripped of what makes them human and scrapped. The concept of how the androids are treated as nothing more than slaves is interesting and sickening at the same time. I guess Detroit: Become Human teaches us that humanity never changes; they will always find someone or something to do their work and oppress.

While there is a heavy focus on racial allegories, the story doesn’t do much else as many important plot elements are either poorly explained or never brought up. Although, the game does have a few pointless plot twists, one of which was so bad I thought it was a joke poking fun at M. Night Shyamalan’s overuse of plot twists.

Looking past the story, we have the branching story experience. This is easily the best aspect of Detroit: Become Human as any action you take can have far-reaching consequences, for example, Kara can kill or run from Alice’s father, killing him makes it easier for Kara to be hidden, but leaving him alive will see him drum up anti-android sentiment and make it more difficult for society to support freedom for androids.

The branching story approach also creates a greater degree of replay value because in one playthrough you might have gone for a pacifist run where humans and androids live in peace, but in another, you might want to go an extremist route and punish humanity for oppressing the android populace.

In terms of gameplay, Detroit: Become Human is quick time event (QTE) heavy as you need to perform actions the game prompts you to perform, this includes pushing, holding or tapping buttons, swiping your finger across the touchpad or flaying your controller around in hopes the motion sensors will know what you are doing. While QTEs are expected in a game that relies on player choice, they can get a little annoying with some button prompts requiring you to make a split second decision due to a fast-moving countdown timer. While the timer makes sense for some situations, I feel the panic it creates may accidentally cause players to trigger a series of events he/she did not want to do.

So, what else is there to say about Detroit: Become Human, well graphically the game does look beautiful, although I felt some human animations looked ironically robotic. In terms of audio, the dialogue was solid and the lines were conveyed clearly.

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Detroit: Become Human is an interesting experience that is let down by a mediocre story and overuse of quick time events.

SCORE: 7.5/10

Pros Cons
+ Interesting premise – Some plot elements are poorly explained or ignored
+ Branching story experience  


Developer Publisher Genre Rating Platform Release date
Quantic Dream Sony Interactive Entertainment Adventure 18+ PlayStation 4 May 25, 2018

*A review code was provided by the game’s publisher.*

For more information on Detroit: Become Human, visit https://www.playstation.com/en-ie/games/detroit-ps4/.

Author: Ash Meehan

Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.