Detroit: Become Human Hands-On

Posted on October 15, 2017

Undeniably, the game that stole EB Expo for me was Detroit: Become Human. From the makers of Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls is this choice-driven, sprawling narrative adventure game that has me absolutely chomping at the bit for more. The 15 minute demo sucked me in more than any other game on the show floor, and hasn’t been far from my mind since.

The demo had me playing through the roof-top hostage scenario, which we’ve seen glimpses of in other conference presentations previously. As Connor, an android working for the police force, I was tasked with investigating a murder/hostage crime scene to piece together the series of events and hopefully resolve the conflict.

The game features Quantic Dreams’ iconic control schemes, with twists of the joysticks and swiping the touch pad integral to the exploration and interaction of the environment. In older titles, this felt clunky and counter-productive (at least to me), but in Detroit: Become Human they have ironed out the kinks and made it feel responsive and seamless. Speaking of the environments, I should mention that the visuals in this game, even for a demo, were outstanding. The facial features on the characters were impeccable, and the penthouse apartment and rooftop pool area the demo took place in were immaculate and polished.

As you explore the environment, clues and evidence would increase your chances of success in resolving the conflict. Recreating events by utilising Connor’s android abilities is a great gameplay mechanic, and hopefully will see many uses throughout the game proper.

The near-futuristic setting of Detroit: Become Human lends itself well to the game design. Mechanics that would seem out of place in a different setting flourish here, which in turn helps the game feel genuine and immersive.

How extensively you investigate the area has a direct impact on your dialogue choices, leading to different possible endings and outcomes in your eventual face off against the villain. Failure to find certain critical evidence could lead to a totally different conversation than if you took the time to explore the penthouse and learn about the victims, the culprit, and the circumstances. Every little detail matters, from a news headline on a table, to a stove pot bubbling away, and has an impact on your effectiveness in resolving the situation at hand.

With many possible outcomes to each scenario, the game feels like it will have a strong replay factor, and I for one am excited to get involved and see what different decisions cause what outcomes. For the demo, I only got to see one ending to the hostage situation, and am very intrigued to see what else could have happened.

Detroit: Become Human is due out in 2018.