Recently I was invited to attend PlayStation’s Playfest in Sydney and got to preview some of their upcoming games. The one that stood out to me the most was Detroit: Become Human.
If you’ve not heard of Playfest before, it’s basically this event that PlayStation made where they had set up quite a few games for visitors to be able to play. It took place in a nice house in Double Bay in Sydney Australia and for the duration of the event the house was decorated with all things PlayStation related, it was all very nice. There was also a presentation from Michael Denny, the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Studios, who spoke about the company’s achievements, history and future.
But I felt the main focus of it was Detroit: Become Human which had a presentation of its own. We were taken through some of the features of the game and the new branching story elements which make up how storytelling in the game will work. Those who’ve played Quantic Dream games before will know that the stories in them are heavily based on the decisions you make with the characters you play as. Make one seemingly small decision or one obviously large one and it might impact on the future of your character. It seems that Detroit: Become Human is utilising this feature a little stronger than previous titles and as I saw in the presentation, it seems there’s a sort of menu where you can see how the story branches. Although not being able to sit with that myself, I’m not so sure how it works, but it did look interesting.
When I ventured to one of the other rooms, I was able spend some time with one of the levels in the game. I think it was maybe only like a 20 minute preview, but I did get a good idea of what the game was about. In the level which I played, I was controlling Connor who is one of the playable characters in the game. Connor is an android and also has a job as a hostage negotiator. Do androids get paid a good wage for this work I wonder?
The first thing I noticed about the game was the graphics. The Quantic Dream games were always amongst some of the most impressive looking titles in the PS3 days and that continues on with their release of Detroit: Become Human on the PS4. The attention to the small details in characters faces, the design of the levels and also all of the objects in the game, all helped to make the game look beautiful when playing.
The gameplay I felt was okay. It had me playing as Connor and he was involved in a hostage situation. There were a few characters that you could talk to and depending on what questions you asked, you might get some clues about the suspect in the case. There were also some items scattered about on the ground which were also sort of clues for you that you could use to be successful for your negotiation.
The negotiation section had the criminal holding a little kid hostage and was endangering her life. There were dialogue options there for you to choose and you basically just had to read the criminal’s emotions to determine what to say. This was all good, but I did feel that it was quite similar to detective scenes in Heavy Rain, although this game looks much nicer.
I would be more interested in playing some of the other characters in the game to see what their story is all about. Detroit: Become Human does have you switch between a few characters as the story progresses, which I think is interesting. I do wonder how each of the character’s stories might impact on one another, or if you can make decisions which negatively impact one of the other characters instead of just your currently played one. I’ve also been reading online that characters can die at certain points and the story will continue on without them, I’m curious to see how this would work with the story branches they created for the game.
I’d be quite interested to see more of this game when it releases next year. My preview of the game was only short, but I was very impressed with the graphics and the overall look and presentation of it all. Detective gameplay is something I’ve seen before in other games, but I do believe in Quantic Dream’s ability to tell a story and have always enjoyed their games in the past. From what I saw at Playfest for Detroit: Become Human, the story they have come up with sure does seem very interesting. I can’t wait to experience more of this game next year.