Detroit: Become Human Thoughts

“Are We Friends?” – Thoughts And Reflections On Detroit: Become Human

Would you, as a human being, enter a relationship with an android (if it were as real as us)? Would you trust an android with your children? Do you believe technology to be a potential threat to mankind?

With its release a mere month ago, Detroit: Become Human gained instant recognition and fame. If you haven’t played the game yet, I must warn you that this article will contain spoilers.

Thoughts And Reflections On Detroit: Become Human

In Detroit: Become Human, we follow the three protagonists Markus, Kara, and Connor. Categorized as “Deviants,” an error in their program allows them to stray from their given tasks, becoming autonomous individuals. They each have their very own personality and unique way of interacting with things, creating three very different stories that eventually intertwine.

The game offers some of the best interactive gameplay and storytelling I’ve experienced in a while, and I was very hesitant to let these androids go when the game was done because I had grown so attached to them. Following their story was much more engaging than I would have imagined, and I genuinely care about each of the protagonists. However, should I feel conflicted that I feel empathy and care for these androids, machines made to serve us?

Detroit: Become Human Thoughts
Chloe quickly became one of the most interesting characters in Detroit: Become Human.

I want to shed some light on a different character in Detroit: Become Human. One that surprised me with her presence and unexpected “conversation”. Serving as Elijah Kamski’s servant (the guy who created androids), Chloe is the first female android to pass the Turing Test, a psychological test that checks if a machine may possess the abilities to demonstrate intelligent behaviour equal to a human being.

But that is not what fascinates me. The fact that she was displayed on the menu-screen, she was the first face I met when I entered the game, and the last when I was exiting. She went from being formal, robot-like in her speech and attitude, to becoming a sentient being, commenting and questioning the choices I had made in the game. Even though our meeting with her in-game was brief, Chloe was a character that I continually looked forward to seeing again. Because she was unpredictable. When at one point she asked “are we friends?” my jaw dropped by surprise. I said yes. Yes, we were friends.

After she asked that question it was interesting to just sit there and observe her reaction. When it became clear that she was paying attention to the choices I made in the game, and even giving her own opinions on them, she gradually realized just how much of a self-thinking individual she is. As soon as she realized that she had said something that was outside of her program, her gaze became gradually more unfocused, and her facial expression turned into uncertainty and doubt… and sometimes fear?

These small, yet intriguing interactions with Chloe made me just sit on the menu for several minutes to wait and see if she said something else. That is how involved I got.

The incredibly hostile attitude of the human beings in the game is not necessarily a way that I would have reacted myself, even though I can, in some ways, understand the panic. Some don’t even render it a discussion, because it is easy to just discard the thought as “ridiculous,” and just throw it away.

Aren’t these androids a product of our own mistakes? Will humanity fall by their own hands?

Detroit: Become Human Thoughts
Is the scenario of androids leading a revolution real?

Historically speaking, Homo Sapiens, that’s us, get most of the blame for the extinction of several animal species, including different human species. Being the remaining Sapiens, we are used to being on top of the world. We are used to being the only creatures being able to converse and develop our language as complex as we do.

Many people are afraid of technology going too far; but when is it too far? Take for example Sophia the Robot, the first robot to gain a citizenship in Saudi Arabia, a country that only recently allowed women to drive. Even though Sophia is not nearly as lifelike as the ones in Detroit: Become Human, I think my point still stands. At this rate, the idea of our creations becoming autonomous seems to be a more and more relevant topic of discussion.

Are the androids simply a projection of who we want to be?

The game developers have made sure to portray the androids as “better than us,” both morally and physically, and that may be why the thought of them becoming sentient beings scares us. However, these are all existential questions that might never be answered, but I think it’s fun to contemplate them now and again, anyway.

Detroit: Become Human is a game that discusses these issues thoroughly and, in my opinion, pretty convincingly.

Detroit: Become Human

What To Expect From Detroit: Become Human

The release date of Detroit: Become Human is just around the corner, and I have taken a little look at the demo. So, if you’re still on the fence about whether to buy the game and want some more information about it, read on…

From the creators of Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream has now created a science fiction adventure game called Detroit: Become Human. 

What Makes Us Human? 

That is the question as the player joins the story of three different androids in a society where they are mere slaves, designed to do our every bidding. What happens when they realize that they are, in fact, self-thinking individuals though? You will be challenged to answer moral questions, leading the androids onto different paths, ultimately to different end points.

Will they stray from their given paths, or will they fulfil their originally designed program?

What these three androids have in common is that they have all broken from their original programming, as the player helps them adapt to their ‘new life’.

Detroit: Become Human
The visuals are amazing!

Connor (played by Bryan Dechart from True Blood; The Remaining) is an android designed to investigate crime scenes, assisting the Detroit Police Department in tracking down so-called deviants – androids that have broken their program, leaving their owners and/or turned to crime.

Will you remain cool and calculated, or will you begin to feel sympathy for your fellow androids, and consequently begin to question the orders you are given?

Markus (played by Jesse Williams from Grey’s Anatomy; Cabin in the Woods) is one of the androids that have broken free from his programming, and he is the one that might be the cause of an android revolution. He becomes a part of a movement that wants to liberate the android population – but in doing so, will you resort to the pacifist route… or to violence?

Kara (played by Valorie Curry from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2; Blair Witch) is a deviant on the run with an innocent girl she has sworn to protect, and Kara must accept the inequalities she faces… or strive to rebel against them as she keeps the girl safe.

Detroit: Become Human
I mean, seriously. Look at these details.

Hostage Situation

In the demo, you play as Connor, who has been assigned to assist in a hostage situation. A rogue android has taken a little girl and is threatening to kill himself, taking her with him.

As Connor, you have to search around the apartment and piece together how this could have happened in the first place. By scanning and analyzing the crime scenes, there are small things in the environment Connor can interact with, challenging his abilities to be empathic.

After you’ve created a good picture of the crime scene, the time has come to confront the criminal; and save the girl.

Deducing from the mere half hour it took to play this demo; I must say it looks pretty darn good. How about visually stunning, as well as having some super smooth gameplay.

The narrative design is familiar if you’ve played Quantic Dreams’ games before, where each decision you make will shape and form the outcome of the story.

How you control the androids will have an impact on their life – if you decide that they will have one. Because there is a catch; if the path you choose leads to a character’s death (and yes, that can even be one of the protagonists), the story will move on nevertheless.

So be mindful – otherwise, a second or third playthrough might be in order.

In other words, if you categorize yourself as a science fiction enthusiast or just love a good story in video games, Detroit: Become Human is probably for you. Something different perhaps.

It’s out on PS4 this Friday.