By Matthew Lau
Detroit: Become Human is an adventure game that relies on making instinctive decisions to shape the multi-possible storyline, focused around that age-old question of what it means to be human.
Exclusive to the PS4 console and developed by Quantic Dream, this revolutionary game provides some of the most realistic visuals seen on a console to date.
Without giving too much away, the synopsis is based on the uprising of androids after years of mistreatment by the human race.
Set in 2038, androids (human-like robots) have replaced people in most common jobs.
The absorbing story revolves around three playable android characters: Connor, Kara, and Markus – whose respective journeys you get to control – all intertwine into one big story, depending on what choices the gamer has made along the way.
Game director David Cage programmed Detroit: Become Human with a flowchart feature in every mission, in the hope that no two gamer’s would experience the exact same story mode.
The split-second choices made along the way can often test the gamer’s humanity when dealing with other living beings.
It is not only the decision-making that ensures this is a unique game as the action sequences are plentiful, although at times fiddly and unnecessary.
What remains ethical depends whether you deem the androids as living creatures. They look like humans, they function like humans, and you may even deem that they experience emotions as we humans do.
In Markus’ revolution, for example, if you guide him to become leader of the marooned deviant group Jericho, you must decide whether he conducts his protest against the humans in a pacifist or a violent manner.
The intricate level of detail that has gone into Detroit: Become Human has to be admired, it gets you excited for what’s going to happen in the next act.
With its dynamic range of camera angle shots and in-depth dialogue, the game, ultimately, views like a movie.
Some gamers, however, will find the game rather slow-paced in comparison to more traditional RPGs, much of the movements and cut-scenes could do with speeding up to keep users more engaged.
On an ethical level, the game contains powerful hidden messages of how we should treat one another.
With scenes of slavery, segregation, and mistreatment of the androids – it is no wonder the intelligent robots feel the need to fight for “equal rights”. A bit of a throwback to the mid-1900s methinks.
The President of the United States in 20 years’ is a woman who strongly resembles Hillary Clinton, an unsubtle jab perhaps at Donald Trump.
The moral of Detroit: Become Human re-affirms that every choice you make in the real world has a ripple effect that leads to your destiny.
Detroit: Become Human contains blood, violence, sexual themes, strong language, and use of drugs. This game is rated M – Mature.