Detroit: Become Human is the latest PlayStation exclusive title to be released this year and comes developed by one of PlayStation’s most well known developers, Quantic Dream.
Detroit: Become Human is a narrative based game in which the player will play as one of three android characters at a time and experience an interactive story in which the player can control the dialogue options for each character. In the game, what choice you make in certain situations for your character or even what you choose to say during the story will effect the plot as it unfolds.
Detroit: Become Human was one of my most anticipated games for 2018 and I’m sure it is also one for many PS4 owners as well. I had played many Quantic Dream games in the past and have always been impressed with the narratives they create and what they can do in gaming with these branching storylines. So going into this game this week, I had my expectations quite high for it. I had already also become quite keen after the preview I received of the game last year, which was basically the demo that was released this year that many others go to play at home. I have to say that, I do think my expectations of this being a good game were definitely satisfied in many ways, but also I did finish the game with quite a few minor gripes as well. But overall generally happy with Detroit: Become Human.
The main narrative will see you play as three different characters, these characters include Kara, Connor and Markus. All three characters are androids who were built to serve their human owners. But all androids in the world of Detroit: Become Human are becoming self-aware and are slowly running away or disobeying their owners. These androids are known as ‘deviants’ and are to be shut down and killed. The main idea that the narrative puts forward is that these self aware androids are pretty much the same as humans and by putting them down, you are essentially killing them. The game makes it clear quite quickly that the androids fear death just as much as anyone else and their position in society where they can be dismantled at any time creates a lot of fear in their community.
As a story Detroit: Become Human makes a great effort to explore quite a few themes in between each of the character journeys. Like many previous Quantic Dream games, characters in Detroit: Become Human have quite a bit of depth to each of them. Each character has their own issues to deal with and as the story goes on, it is easy to become attached to all three. With my first play through, at first I didn’t really like Connor all that much and it was not only until the end of his story that I came to like him, but that might be different for others depending on how they play him and what choices they make. I don’t want to spoil the story of Connor, but I feel that he’s probably the most interesting character of the three. He’s the only android that sees himself as an android or a machine rather than a ‘deviant’ as the others do. He’s not really self-aware and there’s major questions around him and it’s very interesting to see his story develop.
Kara and Markus are both very interesting characters to explore. Markus’ story is filled with themes of slavery, freedom and equal rights. He’s basically all about becoming equal and achieving equality for his android race and there are many allusions to many similar real world historical events. I find him to be interesting, but I felt that the historical allusions were a little too much at times. Markus’ story is very American centric and it’s very obvious where the inspirations for his character journey were drawn from. Kara’s story is filled with themes of domestic violence and abuse, she’s a female character seeking safety for herself and a young child who are running from an abusive parent.
When coming out of my first playthough, I had experienced quite a lot of big character moments. I was very impressed with the story and the ending that I got. In my first playthough I did quite well with both Kara and Markus and was satisfied with their endings. But because of the way I played Connor, I somehow messed him up and didn’t really get the best ending for the poor guy. Luckily Detroit: Become Human does have some replayability as you can go back after you’re done and find out what happens if you make different choices instead. I’m curious to see how the branching story will change when I do that. My first playthough of the game took about 8-10 hours to complete.
With Detroit: Become Human, I did have the occasional gripe with the game. Most of it was due to the use of the motion controls or touch controls on the PS4 controller that the game utilises. Quite a few times the game will prompt you to physically move the controller to the left or right. A few times for me, I was sitting there moving it and to be honest it wasn’t responsive enough. Eventually after a few goes it’s okay, but it’s annoying. Also shaking the controller or fingering the touch pad to take action in certain moments didn’t make things more fun. This makes up quite a bit of the gameplay experience and for me it always bothered me.
The voice acting in the game is exceptional. I very much enjoyed the voice performance from Valorie Curry who was the voice of Kara. She brought out all the right emotions for the character. I also thought that Bryan Dechart who voiced Connor was good at creating a persona for what was the most robotic character in the game. Other voice actors I enjoyed were Clancy Brown who voiced Hank and Lance Henriksen who voiced Carl.
The graphics in the game are probably the highest point in its favour. There aren’t many other games on the PS4 platform that can match the visuals. When looking at the narrative genre, we have other titles such as Life Is Strange from Square Enix or any of the many games from Telltale that were released in recent years, but they just don’t really match the visuals we get to see in Detroit: Become Human. The game stands out as one of the best visual experiences you can get on the platform.
Overall Detroit: Become Human offers gamers an interesting branching narrative experience, with the opportunity to experience different plot paths with each playthrough. There are three characters you will play as and each of them is well developed and has an interesting character journey to experience. The game is filled with strong themes of domestic abuse, freedom, slavery, human rights and quite a few relatable historical allusions. It certainly is a game that is likely to bring about quite a bit of discussions with your friends who might also play it too. The graphics are amongst the best the PS4 can offer and even anywhere else in gaming at the moment. There are some let downs when it comes to annoying motion controls, but it’s not that bad. The voice acting is good and each of the actors put in some great work to bring the game to life. I’m happy to recommend Detroit: Become Human as a game to get this week on your system, particularly if you are a fan of these types of narrative based video games.
Happy to discuss the game or answer any questions you may have in the comments.
You can get your copy of Detroit: Become Human from Amazon AU right here
Crawl is a film which comes directed by Alexendre Aja who some may know as the director of The Hills Have Eyes (2006). The film stars Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper.
Crawl is a film about a young woman named Haley (Kaya Scodelario) who attempts to save her father (Barry Pepper) who is trapped in his house during a category 5 hurricane. Tremendous damage has occurred to the home and the surrounding area during the storm, with the streets slowly flooding But that’s not the only danger to be wary of, the flood waters have paved the way for dozens of alligators to come into town and they’re ready to feast on anyone still around. Will poor Haley and her father survive though?
Going into this film. I was actually quite excited. I do enjoy these action films where there’s some creature out there and it’s preying on whatever character the film is about. This film is a little similar to The Meg, but it most reminded me of Anacondas (2004). All of these films and Crawl included wouldn’t be ones I’d say were legendary films, but gosh, I definitely have fun watching them!
Crawl as a story is about survival. There are themes all throughout it related to man vs nature and also the idea of the apex predator is scattered all throughout it. Both characters in the film are constantly challenged and struggle to survive in the a town getting torn apart by the storm.
The main reason most people would go to see Crawl at the cinema would be for the action and that’s the same reason I wanted to go along and see this one. I wanted to see what the alligators could do and I wanted to see some people get eaten up. Did I get that? I certainly did! Did I need much more out of this? Probably not.
As for Crawl being scary. I’m not too sure, I find it all quite fun. But there are people who this would probably frighten a little. Much of the film is cgi and for what it is and for the type of movie this is I think it was just the right quality. They didn’t try to go too big like in The Meg where the cgi seemed to struggle in certain areas. Although the limitations of the cgi are visible in Crawl, it’s not too bad in the end.
The acting in Crawl isn’t too bad. Kaya Scodelario is who you’ll be watching for basically the entire film and she delivers a pleasant performance. Some may recognise this actress from her appearance in The Maze Runner (2014) where she played Teresa. Hopefully there is more to come from her in future films.
The tone of the film, while at times can be a little intense with all the danger out there did actually feel a little light. Alexandre Aja seemed to keep the tone not too serious and embraced the silliness of it all in certain areas to keep it light and fun. But it was also tense and scary when it needed to be.
Overall I had a good time with Crawl at the cinema last week. This isn’t a film that is going to blow anyone away with how good it is, but it’s something to see for a bit of fun over the weekend. You get to watch two characters try to survive a massive hurricane and not get eaten by alligators. Crawl was 1 hour and 27 minutes of fun!
Sea Of Solitude Review
Sea Of Solitude is a game which was developed by Jo-Mei Games and was published by Electronic Arts. It is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC via Origin. It is a single player third person adventure game. The game has the player control a character named Kay who explores an abandoned and flooded city.
This was a game which caught my eye only very recently when I first heard about its release. After watching the trailer, I thought the art style, strong colours and animations looked very interesting. Also as a person who went mad one day and subscribed to EA’s Origin Premiere late last year so that I could play some games I had missed out on over the years, I was pleased to see something new added to the store that wasn’t a typical Electronic Arts style major franchise game. Knowing I could get this one for free was enough to give it a go. But if you’re not part of that program to get it for free, I’d say that the $26.95 asking price for this digital title is certainly worth it.
The game isn’t too long, most hardened gamers will probably be able to finish this one in a single session, which I actually managed to do yesterday morning. I didn’t time myself, but I’d say to expect about 3 or so hours out of it, a bit more if you look around for collectables.
On the surface, Sea Of Solitude is about a young girl named Kay, who is searching through a city, which is for some reason flooded. You start the game all alone on a tiny boat, way out at sea on the water. You make your way to the city, where you find a monster clad in darkness is blocking your path. Through exploration and activating certain things, Kay brings light to an otherwise dark city.
Underneath the main plot though, is a game with strong messages and themes related to loneliness and relationships. Kay as a character is someone who has become lonely, isolated and quite depressed after issues with her family and her boyfriend. The game sends the player on a journey to free Kay and other characters from suffering from the effects of loneliness and related themes. What I didn’t expect this weekend, was to play a game which seemed to have the objective of tackling these mental health issues in this way and I never expected to play something this weekend from the gaming genre with such deep meaning to it.
In many ways, Sea Of Solitude reminded me of my experience with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which was also a game that focused on mental health issues and is still a game I hold in very high regard. Both of these games were experiences that I could not put down once I started playing as I just had to find out what was going to happen with my character. Games tackling these mental health themes and the issues involved are quite rare in this medium, so when an experience like this does come along, it’s very unique and interesting. The difference between Sea Of Solitude and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is that Sea of Solitude is a little lighter in tone and not the intense gruelling experience that Senua’s was. This makes a player’s time with Sea Of Solitude one that is peaceful to experience.
The art style in Sea Of Solitude is something I enjoyed looking at. The animations are very rounded, colours stand out on the screen and the use of blacks in contrast with visibly bright blues, whites and orange was what I loved the most. The music and also the voice acting, was soft and did fit in well with the tone of the game’s themes and art style. All together, visuals and audios seemed to be just right.
The gameplay in Sea Of Solitude is something I’d say is probably a little simple. It’s essentially a platforming game where you will jump, swim, drive a boat and shoot flares onto enemies. There aren’t any button combinations to learn or any level up systems. The game is accessible to people of most ages and even to people new to gaming could easily pick this one up and get through it.
Overall coming out of playing Sea Of Solitude, I was filled with positivity and happiness. The story is quite heavy when playing through it, but very warm in the end. The art style and animations are nice to see and the sound and voice acting was just right. I do like to see that the games industry can use the medium to tackle such heavy topics and release games like this which show how well this medium can tell a story and provide its audience with something of great meaning. I’m happy to recommend Sea Of Solitude for your gaming collection.
Stuber is a film which comes directed by Michael Dowse and stars Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani and Betty Gilpin. The film is an action comedy adventure about an Uber driver and a policeman who go on a wild ride together.
Going in to see Stuber I didn’t really know where to set my expectations. Knowing only that the film was a comedy, meant I went in for the lols and didn’t expect all that much from the story. But coming out of the film, I’m sorry to say, but it’s not really that great.
The film starts off okay and the opening scene features both Vic (Dave Bautista) and Sara (Karen Gillan) engaged in a dangerous shootout with some bad guys. Both are seriously injured and Vic loses his eyesight, which means he gets some urgent surgery. His eyes need time go recover, but as soon he’s able to walk he calls for an Uber and continues on with his police business, which is catching the bad guys who got away in the opening scene. This is where Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) comes in and the journey between this awkward duo begins.
I wish I could say that it was all good once the Uber ride began but it wasn’t. The film is only really mildly funny. Dave Bautista who I do really like in action films really isn’t great at comedy. Kumail Nanjiani basically was just screaming and yelling the whole time and talking about his Uber rating and reviews. I admit I did find some of the bad reviews he got from his previous customers in the film funny when they were shown, but that’s about it. Some of the jokes were also drawn out way too long. Dave Bautista’s character being blind was kind of funny in the first minute when you saw him trying to walk around without being able to see. But it’s only funny once and they did this joke over and over again almost all the way until the end!
In addition to this, for quite a bit of the film, I wondered if this was some sort of product placement or advertisement for Uber. There were so many mentions of Uber, Uber reviews and the difference between Uber products and services. What are we paying to watch here? Who cares about Uber!?
In the end I would suggest avoiding Stuber at the cinema this week and choosing literally any other film currently showing. After leaving this I instantly thought that Stuber needs to be on my list of worst movies of 2019 which I created just after seeing this and that says a lot because I was not compelled to make one after seeing X:Men Dark Phoenix.
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