This has been an amazing year for games, with titles like Spider-Man, God of War, and Red Dead Redemption. The one title that stood out to me was Detroit: Become Human. Detroit made its initial debut as a tech demo called “Kara”. It was a stunning tech demo that had promise. Little did we know that Quantic Dream was working on amazing game.
Detroit is truly a choose your own adventure game. Every choice you make in the game has consequences, not only within the story, but with the three protagonists as well. The demo shown off at E3 2017, which was the first mission of the game, did not waste any time forcing you to make a choice. In this scenario, you had the choice whether or not to save a goldfish that was lying on the ground do to a broken tank. This simple decision has long lasting consequences. This is what makes this game brilliant. Most games take you along a predetermined path that may have slight variations in the story, similar to the Mass Effect series. That is not the case with Detroit. Every decision truly matters, and unless you make the same exact decisions as someone else, your game will be different than that of a friend.
The voice acting and motion capture were on point. When you see a picture of the the actor next to their in-game character, you truly see the devotion Quantic Dream put into this game. Two characters are instantly recognizable in both their look and voices. Veteran voice actor Clancy Brown who has played some iconic characters(Hades in God of War 3, Mr. Krabs in Spongebob Squarepants, and Lex Luthor in the Animated Adventures of Superman) jumps out the second you hear his voice. He plays tough cop Hank Anderson, who has an unfortunate history with androids, and he lets it be know. On the other side there is the legendary Lance Henricksen known for his roles as Bishop/Weyland in the Alien franchise, as well as Admiral Hackett in the Mass Effect trilogy. The second you see him on screen and hear his voice, you instantly know who it is. There were a trio of actors that were the focus were impeccable. Valorie Curry, as Kara, brought a vulnerability to her role. Depending on the choices you make, this vulnerability can be her downfall. The first android we meet in the game, Connor, is played by Bryan Dechart. Connor is very much straight forward and by the books. He is committed to seeing the course through on his mission. Finally there is Markus played by Jesse Williams of Grey’s Anatomy. Markus is the very emodiment of this game. He is caring, loyal, and protective of those that are in his care.
Where this game really excels is with its social commentary. So many parts of this game harken back to the freeing of the slaves and the civil rights movement. Much like the slaves, androids are treated as property vs something that could be sentient. Just as it was with the civil rights movement, the androids demand certainly inalienable rights. It is through the eyes of the androids that you really begin to understand what the slaves and the people involved with the civil rights movement were going through. In the end you care about the characters and the choices you have made with them; wanting to see things through until the end.