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Gamereactor UK
reviews
Detroit: Become Human

Detroit: Become Human

In a future dominated by technology, how much choice will we really have?

Detroit: Become HumanDetroit: Become Human

We predict that a lot of players will follow similarish paths during their first play-throughs, executing the key story moments that Quantic Dream has set up for them. However, there's still enough potential variation within a relatively straightforward path through the story for two people to have quite different experiences without going to extreme lengths. You only have to miss one big clue and similar stories will start to diverge, and we discovered whole sequences of action on our second pass that we accidentally skipped on our first. Easier to miss are the little details that open up additional dialogue options and there's a lot of subtle clues hidden away for players to discover. Finding these little clues will potentially open new conversations and allow you get to know other characters better. Kara can talk to new friends met on her journey to escape her past, while Markus has an entourage of characters who'll like him better if he follows their desired path to freedom.

It's Connor's sparring partner, Lieutenant Hank Anderson, who perhaps best characterises this approach to subtle detail and deepening dialogue options. The better you get to know him the more he'll open up over time, and the relationship between this hardened cop and his android partner is one of the highlights of the game. Perhaps that's also because of the quality of the performances, which so much of this experience hinges on. Bryan Dechart does a great job as Connor, but Clancy Brown delivers an exceptional performance as the grizzled police lieutenant working outside his comfort zone while trying to crack the case of a lifetime. The contrast between Data-esque android cool and emotional loud-mouthed detective works a treat, and both actors do a fine job. In fact, that's a compliment you can extend to the entire cast with Jesse Williams, Lance Henriksen and Valorie Curry all delivering decent performances.

The acting was also good in Beyond: Two Souls and that being the case it's the quality of the story and setting that elevates Detroit above its predecessor. The more powerful themes explored in the three-pronged narrative - slavery being the most obvious alongside the questions raised about our collective relationship with technology, but there are challenging scenes including domestic violence too - are dealt with carefully and we had no complaints with how they were handled (and we hope nobody else does either, but these are hard-hitting themes). Quantic Dream doesn't pull its punches and this results in a mature game made for grownups that doesn't shy away from exploring the questions that it asks, even when the answers are violent. This intensity is present from the start of the story and it veins through the narrative until the very end, although come the credits you'll probably have seen events wrapped up more or less to your satisfaction.

Detroit: Become HumanDetroit: Become Human

If that's not the case you can always go back and replay the game with a different mindset. Perhaps your first Markus was a peaceful protestor and your second is a violent revolutionary. If your first Connor wrestles with his place in the police department, perhaps your second is going to be a cold-hearted android hunting machine. Perhaps you'd rather play your second Kara as a thief prepared to do anything to survive, while your first hid timidly in the shadows. There's plenty of depth to each character for players to explore and you'll get a decent second play-through out of Detroit at the very least. Certain sections with multiple outcomes can even be revisited as standalone scenes, so you can really push the game to its limits if you're the kind of player who has to see absolutely every conceivable outcome.

Overall we enjoyed several quality evenings playing through Detroit: Become Human, and a couple more exploring what could have been if we'd played things differently. It doesn't offer a perfect user experience and once again Quantic Dream hasn't quite nailed the camera angles which leads to some frustrating moments here and there. The pacing of the story isn't flawless either, but given the structure of the game and the variety on offer that's something we're prepared to live with. This is a fascinating game with a strong setting, a decent story, and some stellar performances, all brought to life with stunning visuals and crammed full of interesting things to discover. It's the studio's finest game to date and another great first-party exclusive for Sony and PlayStation 4, and if you're at all interested in narrative adventures and interactive storytelling then we'd certainly recommend that you take a closer look.

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Detroit: Become HumanDetroit: Become HumanDetroit: Become Human
09 Gamereactor UK
9 / 10
+
Great setting and compelling story, interesting characters, looks great, lots to discover, plenty of alternative outcomes to explore.
-
Some pacing issues, the odd funky camera angle.
overall score
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