Walking simulators, comic book reading games, and all the alike games have one thing in common – I’m not playing them. I played The Wolf Among Us on Xbox and completed it only because of my lack of games at the time, but I have not returned to the genre. I bought the Quantic Dream Collection for my wife since she enjoyed the Detroit Become Human demo so much, and that was enough for me to join in. I didn’t play the game, but my wife was lenient in times of indecisiveness to allow me to influence her decisions and that was cool.
This “Survival Adventure” game lacks in exploration, the free-will areas are not interesting enough to require or allow it. It’s very linear in that aspect and seems pointless. The player is funnelled into make-or-break decisions and that’s it. There are no in-between options but it does offer multiple dialogue choices when available. An example is a scene that requires the player to venture from one point of the map to another without being spotted by the police. Hide behind a car and wait for the chance to progress, or get caught and suffer the consequences. This is a general basis for the entire game through different scenarios.
The graphics are some of the more human-realistic in games I’ve seen recently and that kept me interested. It intrigued me to spot out humans versus androids without the telling signs, which is a mark on their temple. Character movements can be stiff but facial expressions were enthusiastic in terms of feeling real. This is a good segue into character development, which was much more prevalent in the androids over the humans.
Majority of the humans let off a terrible, inhumane vibe that is almost sickening. They treat androids like slaves, taking many opportunities to humiliate and degrade them. It evoked a sense of guilt, sorrow, and embarrassment in me. Humans showed their anger and frustration towards their own creations while androids became more human. The game follows three androids and their life journey, during which the player can make decisions that cause their downfall or survival. It is very apparent through cut scenes I won’t give away, how the androids show their empathy, anger, and happiness – thus making them more human than the real-life ones. Different characters may take on similar traits or roles as other androids the player controls, with the option to replay scenes once the game has been completed. This is great for trophy hunters, it also shows the tree of decisions so the player can make the appropriate changes.
Another reason I don’t care for this genre is the reaction-type button sequences. They can catch the player off-guard (I know it’s meant to be that way) while thinking it’s a cut scene because the graphics don’t change. The game looks great in that aspect, but I don’t enjoy being at the ready while enjoying what could be compared to a show, or movie. In between these reactions sequences there are decisions that must be made to bring the player there in the first place. I bring up choices again because these sequences can be avoided in some cases by picking less hostile dialogue options. I enjoyed helping make decisions because it really felt like watching a show but partaking in the outcome.
The story ties together multiple characters the player controls, and it’s funny to see the game pit androids against each other. Players are forced to choose one or the other. All in all it doesn’t matter because one can return to previously played scenes, but the first play-through is your true experience of the game. Certain androids become favourites, you become attached and “fight” for that character. Detroit Become Human pulls at the heartstrings at times and can draw emotions from the player in a way no other game has done. Quite impressive for a video game.
I have to hand it to Quantic Dream for the work they did with Detroit Become Human. I am not a fan of the genre and they still drew me in with their emotion-provoking story. It really was a one of a kind experience that I would recommend to others. If you can enjoy it with a friend I would do so as well.
Platform: Playstation 4
Price: $40 ($20 on sale)
Release Date: May 25th, 2018
Number of Players: 1
Category: Survival, Adventure
Developer: Quantic Dream