Quantic Dream’s long-awaited action-adventure title, Detroit: Become Human, is almost here. The developer hasn’t released anything new since 2013s Beyond: Two Souls, which polarized audiences. A unique title with beautiful visuals, Beyond was overshadowed by the then-upcoming launch of the PS4 and the extremely intriguing Kara tech demo. With that demo expanded into a full game, Detroit: Become Human is almost ready to intrigue the masses as it explores heavy themes such as forced servitude.
With the release coming in just days, it’s time to take a look at some things you should know before Detroit: Become Human hits store shelves.
Detroit: Become Human focuses on three characters players will swap between throughout the game’s runtime. Similar to Heavy Rain, each character comes with their own backstory, motivations, goals and personalities, though players decide their fates throughout the game:
- Kara (Valorie Curry) – A newly created android, Kara grows an artificial consciousness who struggles to find a place in a world where humans use androids as servants
- Connor (Bryan Dechart) – An advanced police model android who is regularly tasked with hunt down androids who rebel against their programming
- Markus (Jesse Williams) – An android leading a revolution to free oppressed androids from human servitude
With three very different personalities comes three different composers. Quantic Dream hired three composers, one for each playable character. Philip Sheppard composed for Kara, Nima Fakhrara for Connor, and John Paesano for Markus.
Choice has always been a strong theme in Quantic Dream titles, though how that choice affects the plot has always been debatable. The more linear story of Beyond: Two Souls featured few choices, but the more open structure of Heavy Rain allowed for interesting consequences, including main character deaths. Detroit: Become Human aims to give players the power of choice seen in Heavy Rain, but on a greater scale.
Detroit: Become Human’s story will branch out depending on what choices are made. Each scenario was crafted to ensure that numerous different outcomes could occur depending on the actions made by a player. Typically, studying the environment and collecting clues give the player a higher chance of success. For example, Connor’s standoff with a paranoid android could end with him shooting the android, sacrificing himself, getting the hostage killer or even dying himself. The ending received is all dependent on the clues players collect prior to the standoff.
The game also lacks a traditional game over screen. If one of the main characters dies, the story will progress without them. Players will, however, be able to rewind to certain points of the story in case they make a decision they regret. While choice is a huge part of the game, Quantic Dream doesn’t want players to feel boxed-in due to a poor decision.
Detroit: Become Human was a massive undertaking for David Cage and his team at Quantic Dream. The game, which entered pre-production in 2013 after development wrapped on Beyond: Two Souls, was first revealed to public at Paris Games Week in October 2015 and will finally released to the public on May 25, 2018.
To develop the game, Quantic Dream built a brand new engine that featured enhancements in rendering, dynamic lighting and shading technology. The script had nearly 2000 pages, and copious amounts of charts and diagrams were created to ensure player choices logically flowed from one story beat to the next. By the end of production, Detroit: Become Human had 35,000 camera shots, 74,000 unique animations, and 5.1 million lines of code. The game cost €30 million (~ $37 million USD) to develop.
Detroit: Become Human’s origins steam from a GDC 2012 tech demo titled “Kara.” Developed on PS3 technology, the demo featured and android named Kara being assembled and tested for release. The demo received widespread praise for its stunning visuals and powerful performance by Valorie Curry. While many players asked for the demo to be expanded into a full title, Quantic Dream announced at E3 2012 that its next title would be Beyond: Two Souls.
David Cage never let the idea die. Though he did not originally plan on revisiting it, he eventually did return to it as he was curious about what would happen next. What happens when the androids gain a consciousness? Kara laid the foundation for what the game would become. Actress Valorie Curry is returning to portray the character in the full game.
At GDC 2018, Quantic Dream revealed that like other PlayStation first-party titles, Detroit: Become Human was built to be a showcase for Sony’s hardware. This means that PS4 Pro owners are going to get distinct advantages over the base hardware. Detroit utilizes checkerboarding to deliver a 4K resolution at 30 frames-per-second compared to a native 1080p at 30 frames-per-second on the standard PS4. Pro users will also get to view the game’s GUI in full 4K.
Detroit will feature HDR support, which both PS4 Pro and base PS4 users can enjoy. You will, however, need an HDR-compatible TV to take advantage of this feature.
Detroit: Become Human is out May 25 on PlayStation 4