Enter a world where androids and humans get along perfectly fine, said no-one in Quantic Dream’s dystopian sci-fi universe, ever. Detroit: Become Human has been the subject of much debate since its official reveal in October 2015. It’s been unclear just what kind of game the studio and its director, David Cage, have been working on.
Yesterday, during Sony’s E3 2016 press conference, the developer finally showed some gameplay footage from its latest title. It was cut rather heavily, though, so don’t expect to get an understanding of what the game feels like from segments no longer than five seconds.
We first saw this game in the form of a tech demo for the PlayStation 4. That was in March 2012, a year before the console hit the market, and even before the studio announced Beyond: Two Souls which was released in March the following year. Then it got quiet for a while, but since last year it seems like Quantic Dream has decided to pick up on marketing this game.
Last year we met Kara, the character first introduced in the tech demo. She felt alive, and questioned her role as a robot slave. Now we’ve been introduced to Connor, another android, but one with a seemingly much more conservative point of view: Androids are to obey human orders, and that’s that. In the trailer we see Connor act as a negotiator at a crime scene, another android has taken the very child it’s supposed to care for hostage. Given that the robot’s standing on the edge of a rooftop with a gun in his hand, things aren’t looking too good. It’s up to Connor (the player) to choose a solution to the problem. And boy, are there alternatives to choose from. If the trailer is any indication, players will have no shortage of moral and ethical dilemmas in the game. But be wary, there’s no guarantee it will have a major impact in the finale, such as with Beyond: Two Souls.
Both Kara and Connor both ended their respective trailers with the same words: “This is our story.” It brings us back to David Cage’s two earlier games, Heavy Rain, and the aforementioned Beyond: Two Souls. In the first game, the player was often in control of more than just one character. Taking on several different roles that all revolved around the same issue was a neat concept, but there are differing opinions as to how well David Cage pulled it off. In the second game, players instead took on the role of one character, and while it may have been a story well-told in Beyond: Two Souls it your actions didn’t feel as consequential as they did in Heavy Rain. Those weren’t Quantic Dream’s first titles, but they were the first to reach a broader audience — over 2 million copies were sold.
Detroit: Become Human will be released exclusively to the PS4, but has no announced release date.