As a hostage negotiator, can you save the life of a little girl from an android that has turned rogue?
A playable demo was released just last week onto the PlayStation Store for Quantic Dreams latest game, Detroit: Become Human.
Quantic Dreams are the creators of Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, both released on the PlayStation 3. Both of these games could be described as interactive films. Scenes play out and at set points, you can make a decision that will alter the outcome. Obviously, this is a very basic description.
In Detroit: Become Human, the story is set several years into the future and in the demo, you play Connor, an android that works as a hostage negotiator in the police force.
You have been called to a delicate situation. A family’s Android has gone rogue, killed the father and is holding the daughter hostage on the edge of their rooftop terrace, seventy floors above the ground.
The androids in this game are incredibly advanced and look almost human. Their only tell is that they feature a small illuminated circle on their right temple that emits a soft blue glow.
As the demo begins, Connor encounters the mother who is being pulled away from the situation by the SWAT team. She quickly becomes angry when she sees that an android is going to try to save the life of her daughter.
You have full control of Connor. Using the controller’s thumbsticks you can walk around the apartment and explore the environment.
Several items around the apartment will be highlighted as you move closer to them. For example, in the beginning, you will find an open case on the floor in front of you.
By selecting the case, you will be shown different points of interest that can be further investigated. In this instance, one point of interest is that the shape cut into the foam lining of the case reveals a gun has been taken.
As you investigate these points of interest, Connor will calculate the data and can virtually recreate what happened in the past. So successfully investigating the case will let Connor overlay a virtual recreation of someone pulling the gun case down from the top shelf of the cupboard and retrieving the firearm.
Discovering this information will increase your mission’s chance of success that initially starts off at 50%. To increase this percentage, you must search the apartment and discover enough information so that Connor can deduct how this situation unfolded.
Then we come to the real pay off for the demo. If you feel you have investigated enough, you can walk out onto the terrace to confront the rogue android.
Connor will initiate a conversation and you will be given choices in how this conversation will unfold. The choices you are given will depend on what you successfully discovered back in the apartment.
There are several ways this hostage negotiation end. Will you be compassionate towards the android, use force and order him to give up or maybe even try to attack him yourself?
I’ve played through several times and have unlocked two endings myself. In both situations, I rescued the little girl but one of them involved Connor sacrificing himself. It is entirely possible to completely fail and the rogue android will kill his hostage.
Once you complete the scene, you will have access to a flowchart that will plot your progress and reveal how man branches of the story are still left to be revealed.
From the get-go, Detroit: Become Human is a beautiful game, the graphics are amazing. I’m constantly amazed at what developers can get out these next-generation machines. The motion-captured actors look very lifelike, so much so that at the end of demo trailer, it’s very easy to recognise people who took part in this production.
The controls are very easy to use and the demo is great fun to play several times over in order to discover clues you may have missed or take a different form of negotiation in the end.
This is also one of the demos downfalls. In order to try different outcomes, you will have to replay the investigation section over and over again. This becomes a little grating especially if you know where everything is and you want to gain every clue in order to have access to the full choice of multiple questions and actions.
The full game, when released, will feature checkpoints, so hopefully, this kind of repetitiveness can be avoided.
Detroit: Become Human will follow the story of three different androids in this future-scape and these can be seen in the trailer at the demo’s end.
This single player game will apparently feature 25-30 hours of gameplay which started life as a 2000-page script! This length of gameplay doesn’t account for the times you can go back and try a different story path.
Detroit: Become Human is a compelling sci-fi story about androids that ticks many boxes for me. Even my wife sat with me and watched the demo unfold. Not only is she a sci-fi fan but for her, it was like watching an episode of CSI, she became involved as well and made some in-game decisions.
In fact, after the second play-through, she announced this game will be my Christmas present this year, so she can play the game with me!
The Detroit: Become Human demo is available to download for free from the PlayStation Store now.
The full game will be released on May 25th.