Controversial 'Detroit: Become Human' game announces 2018 release

Androids, Detroit, and domestic abuse?

Not the most enticing formula for a video game, but the long-awaited neo-noir thriller, Detroit: Become Human finally has a release date.

Though the game was announced in 2015 and teased in 2016, Detroit: Become Human is slated for a Spring 2018 release for Playstation 4. The third-person game is story-driven and is completely decision-based. Not unlike Detroit’s developer Quantic Dream’s ambitious efforts á la Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, Detroit: Become Human is a choose-your-own-adventure. But does it flirt too closely with the exploitation of child abuse as The Guardian suggests? Or does it follow the trend of cinematic gameplay? According to director David Cage, it's the latter.

"For me, it's a very strong and moving scene, and I was interested to put the player in the position of this woman. I chose her point of view." Cage told in October. "If I'd have chosen the point of view of the man it could have been a totally different story and with totally different emotions, but in this case, I chose her point of view."

The scene Cage refers to is featured in the most recent trailer and depicts an abusive father threatening Kara, an android who is then faced with a series of choices in how to protect herself and the youngest family member, Alice, from the throes of violence. And yes, the choice is yours.

The script, which took director David Cage two years to write, revolves around three androids whose fate and future remain undetermined. There is no "game over." But the main character and the game's backdrop, a near-future Detroit, might court just as much controversy regarding the all-too-real violence. As the plot suggests the economic decline of Detroit leads to a manufacturing revitalization thanks to the creation of the every-day android. Is it an odd homage or a strategic marketing opportunity?

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