Published on May 27th, 2018 | by IceCube
REVIEW: Detroit – Become Human
Summary: A third-person, action-adventure game that revolves around the separate stories of three playable androids: Kara, Connor and Markus. They may survive or perish depending on choices and actions made by the player.
Concept: From the very opening scene, I was captivated by the mood and atmosphere of the latest game from Quantic Dream (Heavy Rain, Beyond Two Souls), in what I found was by far the finest and most engaging entry on their resume. The story follows the separate journeys of three androids, whose paths have individual agendas that cleverly intertwine. I was reeled in by a range of emotions tackled throughout the game, from the adrenaline of action scenes, and shock of crime scenes, to fear of eerie horror moments and occasional laughter of banter. Aside from a few compulsory character-building scenes early in the game, the entire story is a brilliantly-written rollercoaster ride that kept me wanting more from start to finish.
Graphics: Visuals have always been a strength of Quantic Dream and that is only stronger here. The ultra-high detailed facial capture is incredibly human like and arguably the best I’ve ever seen to date. Movement is also very realistic and allows adjustable camera angles so that you can always see around you. The world you play in is strong and diverse in various lighting, particularly strong in dark moments of the game. Most chapters are fairly enclosed for tight exploration, but quite open comparatively to story-heavy, point-and-click games.
Gameplay: Much like the previous games by Quantic Dream, you’ll be following a fairly strict narrative where your interactions occur progressively as the story unwinds, but this time your choices have dramatic twists that greatly affect the future of the story. This is all made very transparent between scenes, as the story displays a timeline of paths taken and “could have” taken, which works in the games favor. Controls are a mix of press-to-interact sequences, quick-time events, enclosed exploration, detective work and conversation choices – all of which have a bearing on your path taken. Some gamers consider this style of gameplay limiting, but I disagree. Not all games need to have jump buttons and shoot triggers. There’s never a dry moment or lull in the constant interactivity I experienced.
Sound: The voice acting – and acting in general – was brilliant across the board. I was particularly fond of Connor and Kara as playable characters. Connor’s somewhat young voice made him incredibly likeable even as a strict android figure. Even non-playable NPC’s were Oscar worthy; Connor’s human sidekick on the force, Hank, is a drunken, suicidal detective who may have just become my favourite video game character of all time. Meanwhile the soundtrack is also fine-tuned to perfection. There’s nothing memorable or catchy here, but the attention gone into setting the right moods for the right scenes is worthy of selling as a standalone album.
Awesomeness: The debut trailer of this game told me that a) the story seemed pretty intriguing and b) it’s time to block my eyes and ears until I got the chance to review the game in full. When that time arrived, my mid-tier expectations were left for dust. I simply couldn’t put this game down. Every scene was so intense and engaging that I’m left with a number of impactful memories that will stay with me forever. It’s probably the only story-heavy video game you’d want to play multiple times to uncover all the paths you missed to see where they take you. It’s shameful to admit that there will be some gamers out there who can’t ‘deal’ with the pacing of this thought-provoking masterpiece. To them, I hand a copy of Call of Duty Black Ops 16 and bid farewell.
Final Word: Detroit: Become Human is a masterpiece. As reviewers, we don’t want to give narrative-driven games a perfect score because we feel they lack that freedom you get from more open-world gameplay. But this is simply not that kind of game, and why should it be? I got far more enjoyment from playing this gripping experience than I’d ever get from the waves of generic, first-person shooters that are spat at gamers today. This by far the best and most engaging effort from Quantic Dream studios, whom have seemingly addressed our gripes of the past and had me hooked like fish to bait. This is one of my favourite experiences on PS4 to date.
Score out of 5 Bugs