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Detroit: Become Human early gameplay—A video game that’s a movie

by Danny Zepeda | December 11, 2017December 11, 2017 10:00 am PST

Detroit: Become Human was announced over two years ago at a PlayStation event. Since then, its developer, Quantum Dream, has been busy trying to get the game ready for release and that’s finally happening in 2018.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the game, Detroit: Become Human is a narrative-based neo-noir thriller that examines the lives of three androids—Kara, Connor, and Markus. Each embark upon different paths, and each story ends up different. That’s entirely dependent on the player. The demo I played at PlayStation Experience 2017 involved Connor in a tense hostage negotiation.

You can see some of the demo footage online, but playing it is something else. It’s like playing a movie. As you navigate the storyline, you will examine evidence and details to help you make different choices. Some choices lead to certain outcomes while others lead to entirely different outcomes.

In the demo I played, I entered an apartment and negotiated with a rogue android threatening to kill a little girl while hanging near the ledge of a high rise. Along the way, I examined details about how things escalated to this degree. You need to complete three main tasks before you address the android.

One of those tasks is examining the dead body of a first responder police officer, and to do so, you’ll use reconstruct mode that virtually recreates his death based on all of the information available. More often than not, this recreation will lead you to new evidence, such as the dead police officer’s handgun found underneath a dining table. You can either pick it up or leave it there, and depending on which you decide, this adds another key twist to your eventual confrontation with the rogue android.

In the end, my choices led to the android attempting to jump off a tall high rise with the little girl, but I managed to pull her to safety. The android and Connor fall to their death, and the mission ends successfully.

The game is not quite ready to be released just yet, which is why it has an open-ended release of 2018. But the demo I played was stable and looked impressive. The visuals were stunning and the gameplay was fluid. If there were some hiccups, it had more to do with me trying to learn the controls.

There are a lot of close-ups of each key character. The close-ups of Connor show off his unique suit that let people know he is human, along with the th wing blue circle on the right side of his forehead. Interestingly, when the rogue android gets real upset during the hostage negotiations, the circles turns red.

In many ways, the demo I played felt like an episode of Black Mirror. It showed how having androids can have some very bad consequences. I was truly intrigued by the game and wanted to continue playing.

I talked to some developers of the game while playing the game, and they said the same thing most developers say when a game is still hasn’t been released. A lot of the game is complete but there’s still work that needs to be done.

Hopefully that’s done quickly because I’d like to see what else Detroit: Become Human has in store.


Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...

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