To the (re) discovery of… Detroit: Become Human!

To the (re) discovery of… Detroit: Become Human!

To the (re) discovery of… Detroit

There are titles that, for one reason or another, fail to leave the mark that perhaps they deserve within the history of video games. The reasons are really, really many: from wrong marketing choices to small big inaccuracies which, on balance, can make a product something different from what the public might expect. A scenario that we see often and willingly, and that we at Game Division like to deal with in a certain way in this column dedicated to this type of games.

After talking to you a few months ago about Farenheit, today we return to tell about a title signed by David Cage that many of you will certainly have tried: we are talking about Detroit: Become Human, the last effort of Quantic Dream now dated April 2018. An adventure that, after a development that lasted several years and at times perhaps even too troubled, she managed to see the light but perhaps not really get into the hearts of gamers. Could he have deserved something more? Let's talk about it together, starting with a small step back in time…

Detroit: Become Human, David Cage's dream?

In 2013, just three years after the release of the discussed but nonetheless great Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream finally releases a new and ambitious title awaited by thousands and thousands of players from all over the world. Beyond: Two Souls indeed promises to raise the bar even further, with the French studio firmly intent on making the line between cinema and video game ever thinner. An experiment which, involving actors of the caliber of Elliot Page and Willem Dafoe, really aimed to revolutionize the history of this medium.

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David Cage has, however, always worked with a very clear idea in mind: that of bringing the videogame to a higher conception, overcoming the "limits" imposed by the industry standards of the sector. So here is the start of work on a new project based on the impressive Kara tech demo released by the studio during 2012, with the author who is engaged in a trend that he had already experienced some time before. In fact, at the end of the nineties Omikron was released, the debut title of the software house set in a dystopian future which, unfortunately, betrayed expectations by revealing itself to be a more complex product than it should be.

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The adventure takes up some of the characters that made the studio's previous titles famous by going , in different situations, to refine them to create a technologically advanced product from every point of view. From the animations to the interpretations of the main characters - also here actors in flesh and blood, specifically the three protagonists are played by Valorie Curry, Bryan Dechart and Jesse Williams - each element constitutes a mosaic without any doubt truly impressive.

Three protagonists as mentioned, with three stories that will cross each other in a Detroit totally dominated and dependent on technology. We are in 2038, and all over the world androids are now widespread and marketed on a large scale for domestic, military and other uses: a dystopian scenario where the human being is gradually annihilating himself, leaving more and more space for a legion of machines. sentient only in submissive appearance.

In Detroit: Become Human we will take on the role of three different kinds of androids: family assistant Markus, domestic android Kara and police officer Connor. After an introduction of the protagonists and their respective lives, a sequence of unexpected events will bring the three characters and ask themselves questions about their nature: are they really, and necessarily, destined to live a life of slaves? This is a theme that will essentially be the cornerstone of the entire adventure, with a not too veiled criticism of today's society expressed here in an honest and sometimes crude and unfiltered manner.

The possibility of making choices, thus shaping the fate and life of each of the three androids, will allow us to face the game as we believe best: every decision counts in short, in a complex narrative system and as the adventure continues more and more multifaceted. So there were all the ingredients for a masterpiece, so what went wrong?

From Detroit to… Star Wars?

Since its release Detroit: Become Human has seen more sales than satisfactory, reaching six million units sold worldwide and becoming Quantic Dream's most successful game. The final product is, in fact, an adventure with an interesting narrative and an engaging plot but which, in some places, perhaps flaws too much superficiality. The feeling is that in some sections the true focus of the game has been lost, in favor of filling moments that do nothing but dampen the pace of the whole adventure.

While continuing their journey together, the stories of the three characters do not manage to take off in the same way: if on the one hand we will find a strong charisma and a marked emotional component, on the other we will sometimes lack a real underlying empathy towards the stories told. In short, not all three adventures work equally well. To this we must unfortunately add some gaps in the plot which, while not affecting the story in its entirety, could have been avoided also and above all in the face of the previous experiences of Quantic Dream itself.

Despite the 'excellent response in terms of sales, in short, Detroit: Become Human has quickly gone from being one of the most anticipated titles of the year to getting lost in the chaos of the great titles released in 2018. Let's not forget that it is the same year as masterpieces such as Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War and Monster Hunter World: making your mark in a market populated by such products, on the other hand, is certainly no small feat.

The latest Quantic Dream's adventure unfortunately has the "fault" of having missed, albeit only slightly, its goal of really bringing about a revolution: the game is and remains in any case an experience that deserves to be lived by every gamer, as it succeeds anyway to give one series of more than appreciable moments and to entertain also pushing towards important reflections. Following the end of the agreement with Sony, many have wondered for a long time about the future of David Cage's software house, and after a few years of rumors and rumors we have finally come to something concrete: the next project of the studio will be set in the Star Wars universe, in a promising adventure that we think (and hope) will really be the right time to bring something new to the video game industry.

If c 'is a company that deserves most of all to leave its mark, this is Quantic Dream. It is in fact a reality with a strongly pioneering spirit, which has already touched on the definitive consecration too many times without perhaps actually getting there. We will see what the future holds but, in the meantime, we leave you with a double invitation: the first to (re) discover Detroit and the other adventures of the Parisian studio, the second to tell us your personal experiences in this regard. What makes the world of video games beautiful is precisely the soul of those who, like Cage and his associates, really strive every day to create something truly unique. And we, as lovers of all this, can not help but wait and enjoy a truly incredible period in the history of this medium.

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