I had seen a few posts and news pieces after the game was announced at Paris Games Week earlier this year. It looked beautiful, but when I heard that David Cage was behind the idea of the game, I became less excited.
David Cage is probably most well known for his work on Heavy Rain (2010) and Beyond: Two Souls (2013) (Beyond: Two Souls has been remastered for the PS4 already but Heavy Rain is getting a PS4 remaster due to be released on 1st March next year). I really enjoyed Heavy Rain – which the emotionally attachments I made to the characters; the quick-time events making me feel like I was on the edge of my seat the whole time; and the multiple endings making me want to replay the game again and again made this a good game for me.
Beyond: Two Souls is a different story.
When I read the synopsis for this game, I was pretty excited – I’m a huge fan of everything supernatural/unexplainable. And with Ellen Page and William Dafoe playing characters for the game, my hype was amped up. But when it came down to playing it, I was very disappointed.
One of the main problems I had with this game was that it was a non-linear game with no context – for one chapter, I could be playing Jodie (the main character/Ellen Page) in a bar; the next, she was a homeless woman helping someone give birth. But there was no explanation to it – you just jumped from one part of the narrative to the next without finding out why Jodie comes from one situation to another. Another problem I had with this game was the gameplay, or should I say lack of gameplay. Throughout the whole game, there was only two real chapters that consisted of you running around and actually doing something instead of walking around, making decisions and interacting with people/objects.
Many of the reviews for Beyond: Two Souls were split. Many praised the graphics, motion capturing of Page and Dafoe and emotional storytelling – which I agree with (I nearly cried several times during my playthrough) but other reviews claimed the storyline to be ‘too muddy’ and the game fairly unrewarding in some parts – again, something I agree with. But for me, I felt the game mechanics were wasted on moving around and doing very little – such as cleaning up your apartment or taking a shower.
Many reviews for both Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls described the games as ‘interactive movies’, which I feel is the perfect term. These games would have been great as movies (I described the plot of Beyond: Two Souls to my mum after I had read about it, and she said so herself it sounded good as a movie). I just feel that gameplay was wasted mainly on Beyond: Two Souls and just left me unsatisfied after completing it.
And I’m sad to say that my experiences with Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls have impacted my view on Detroit: Become Human.
Detroit: Become Human is actually based off a gaming demo David Cage created back in 2012 for the PS3 called Kara. It was under ten minutes with no actual interactive elements like you would expect for a demo – many viewers of the demo described it as a short movie. It showed a android becoming pieced together while an unseen man (and slight unnerving for me when I watched it) interacts with the droid to make sure she is working properly. They go over her many abilities – cooking, cleaning, childcare, even speaking over 300 languages (which you do get to see/hear and I was very impressed with) and even a sex robot (yes, really). But of course, this wouldn’t be a demo/short film if she was simply make and then sent off for shipping. When the robot (at this point in the demo, she is named Kara) is told she will be sent with the rest of the androids for selling, she reveals that she thought she would ‘live’ – setting off alarm bells. During her dismantling process, she convinces the operator that she will still do her job and not ‘think anymore’.
In summary, Kara is a cliche demo of a robot who is different – she thinks like a human being despite being made up of wires and microchips.
And Detroit: Become Human has no difference – you’ve given more back story and Kara looks a bit different (she is played by actress Valorie Curry, who’s been in The Following (2013) with Kevin Bacon and Veronica Mars (2004), among other things). It seems to be set in a future world (which is understandable considering it’s a game about robots) in which Kara escapes the factory she was built in and seems to be very conscious of the segregation of humans and robots (there’s even separate spaces on trains for them). But she states that ‘this is our story’.
I’ll be honest – I’m not going to go out of way to buy this game. Much like Beyond: Two Souls – despite David Cage stating he would build upon what he had done in the past with his previous games, “but in a very, very different way” – I still think this will be a game that will concentrate more on surroundings, storytelling and interacting with other characters rather than game mechanics. Basically, it’s be another interactive movie, only this time much more clinched and predictable.
Sorry David Cage and Quantic Dream, but you won’t be gaining another fan from me.
Detroit: Become Human will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive. The release date has yet to be announced. In the mean time, here’s some things to check out:
- Here is the official trailer for Detroit: Become Human
- Here is the demo of Kara (2012)
- Also check out Valorie Curry’s IMDB page here to find out more things that she’s done (not that many I’m afraid)
Why don’t you let me know what you think of Detroit: Become Human? Do you agree with the points I’ve made, or would you like to change my view? Either way, leave me a comment – I love seeing other people’s points of view.
Thank-you for reading, I hope you enjoyed. I’ll be back next Saturday with a fresh, new article. Until then, take care!