There are three main protagonists: Connor (portrayed by Bryan Dechart) a prototype model that acts as an investigator/negotiator whose assignment is to discover the root cause of androids becoming "deviant", Kara (portrayed by Valorie Curry, recently seen as "Dot" in Amazon’s live action revival of The Tick), a housekeeper android who must care for a little girl named Alice, and Markus (portrayed by Jesse Williams whom is well known on Grey’s Anatomy) another caretaker model who looks after Carl, a renowned painter. Markus eventually believes androids should share equal rights with humans based upon the teachings of his mentor.
In Detroit, it’s the year 2038. The CyberLife corporation (largely responsible for the events that transpire) has invented affordable, lifelike androids that perfectly mimic people in appearance and capability. They can wash the dishes, fold the laundry, cook, tend to your children...they are the epitome of working class labor. However, over time, "deviancy" begins to rise and the androids begin to acquire free will. As such, the player will interact with these characters and discover their personal journeys and role in the grand scheme of the sentience movement.
Based on your decisions, you can change each androids personalities or motivations as well as the tone of their individual stories. The plethora of options are vast and numerous between chapters and checkpoints. How much control you have over the narrative varies wildly from moment to moment, from traditional and clear branching paths to more linear sections where you’re simply providing flavour (sincere, direct, or sarcastic responses).
My favorite character by far was Connor. He inevitably partners up with a human Lieutenant, named Hank Anderson (Portrayed by Clancy Brown). The initial relationship was somewhat hostile at first, but in my first playthrough, I intended to be the best partner I could to the Lieutenant and he eventually warmed up to me. He ended up being a great ally and one that was surprisingly supportive, especially in the final act. I grew very attached to both of them as they carried out their investigation. A grizzled cop and a cheerful android.
Kara’s story is deeply personal and intimate, taking on a very materialistic tone, one that is somewhat refreshing when compared to the machismo, adrenaline-fueled, and testosterone packed stories of Connor and Markus. It's a nice change of pace that provides a welcome contrast to all the running around and explosion dodging you do with the other characters.
All of the characters portrayals show a stunning amount of non-verbal expressiveness. The level of detail you can see in their faces is simply remarkable; facial hair, blemishes, freckles, and smile lines are all rendered in captivating detail with the animation showing just as much dedication. Even the weather effects are elloquently designed, with both the snow and the rain coating the characters and environments in a delicate manner. This game's environmental effects have to be some of the best implementation of weather to date. This game truly is a great experience to partake in.
One of the reasons I enjoyed Connor's storyline so much was due to the implementation of the "detective mode" allows players to scan the environment to reconstruct crime scenes, and fast-forward or rewind possible frames of time,
Markus in particular has a different ability that allows him to ‘pre-construct’ scenarios before executing them. I would have liked the opportunity to play around with this ability just a bit more, but even so, it was a neat feature that kept the gameplay fresh and unique.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Chloe at the main menu screen and it was nice that she greeted you each time you booted up the game. (In my case though, I didn't realize she would comment upon your progression. I played through the entire story all in one sitting and set her free). I was disappointed that she left and that the main menu screen would not have any replacement assistant or greeter.
My biggest gripe was that Markus gains a romantic love interest in North (portrayed by
Another issue I had was with the elevator scene at CyberLife with Connor. There were no non-lethal options and it infuriated me that up until this point I had ensured that he would not use a firearm to arm innocents nor would he disobey the android laws with regard to an unauthorized concealed carry of a handgun. Yet, the game and story would not allow me to pursue my anti-gun ideal. This even happened during the raid of Jericho and I kept asking myself "Where did he get the gun from? Who gave my RK 800 android a gun?!?" It sort of broke the immersion for me just a bit.
The characters can be quite robust and during play, gamers will grow attached to them over time, so much so that it becomes a real challenge to keep the androids away from danger and a sort of pseudo-fear creeps in during the quick time events that a character may not make it out of the scene alive with each failed button press.
The stakes were suitably high - particularly in its final act and I was adamant about Connor in particular. So much so that I was frantically trying everything I could to prevent what I would have considered to be an utter betrayal of my sanity.
Quantic Dream was extremely clever in allowing players to see the multitude of paths transparently through flowcharts introduced at the end of each chapter. This allows players to picture just how differently an intense scene could have played out if you had failed at certain points, enticing you to play through again.
Detroit: Become Human is an astoundingly interactive sci-fi drama where your choices can truly impact events to a greater and more satisfying degree than in most games of this genre.
B+ Solid storytelling with strong emotionally engaging characters