Friday, May 25, 2018

'Detroit: Become Human' is finally out and people feel some type of way

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2018 at 4:32 PM

click to enlarge COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo

"How far will you go to be free?" The tagline for the neo-noir thriller (and the most anticipated video game release of the year) Detroit: Become Human suggests that oppression has befallen the city which has been reimagined as a dystopian titan of manufacturing. Not of automobiles, though, because that's so 1950, but of androids — think Bladerunner 2049 meets Robocop (the 2014 remake) meets that hot guy from Grey's Anatomy (because yeah, he's in it).

Though the game was announced in 2015 and teased in 2016, months of speculation and anticipation has finally come to an end as Detroit: Become Human was released today and god damn people have a lot to say.

First, a little bit about the game for those who have managed to escape the game's recent creepy ass marketing and/or haven't searched #Detroit on social media at all in the past three months.

Set in 2038, Detroit boasts the moral-decision making the choose-your-own-adventure model the game's developer Quantic Dream is known for (á la Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls).

Players are given the opportunity to answer this question by controlling the fate of three androids: Kara, a newly manufactured android who has escaped the factory and "broken free" of her programming; Markus, another rogue character who has fled servitude to take charge in leading the resistance; and Conner, a police investigator tasked with tracking down deviant androids like Kara and Conner. The future of android-kind is in your hands as you navigate sentience, oppression, and very difficult decision making (see below).

However, not everyone is amused. Mashable's Jess Joho calls the game "irredeemable, self-important, pseudo-artistic garbage" due to "its bafflingly tone-deaf treatment of vulnerable populations in our real world."

In a review from Polygon, Allegra Frank addresses the lack of acknowledgment of race in the game's elaborate, allegorical storyline:

"The main character’s blackness in the story is never addressed like it doesn’t matter. It should: African-Americans have a long history of experiencing exactly the kinds of discrimination that’s so important to Detroit. Martin Luther King, Jr. is an inspiration for the androids’ demonstration. And this game is Detroit, Michigan, of all places — a city where race and class figure into so much of its politics. It has a history, but you will be hard-pressed to find it." 

Meanwhile, Peter Brown of Gamespot found the "social disparity between humans and androids" a cliche reference to the Civil Rights Movement and balked at being able to choose MLK's "we have a dream" when asked to choose a protest slogan for the android rebellion:

"Androids are forced into the back of buses, segregated from some public areas and private establishments, and made to use the stairs instead of escalators… for some reason. These references are distracting, and at no point does it feel justified to lift from the history of actual people who've suffered—and continue to suffer—in the real world." 

One thing all reviewers seem to reach a consensus on is that Detroit is graphically stunning, again, a hallmark of Quantic Dream's dream team.

But it seems as though one particular android has people real thirsty.

The game's attention to Detroit's landmarks seems to have enchanted knowledgeable gamers.

We know how the game ends — well, sort of. It's pretty hard to spoil a game with a variety of outcomes. But some people have their idea of a happily ever after.

In the end, it's just a game... right?

In terms of the player's experience, the time to complete the game will run about 20 hours if played on normal difficulty. But if you want to see everything the game has to offer, expect to clock in close to 40 hours. This is nothing if you consider that the game's 4,000-page script took writer and director David Cage over two years to complete.

This means you can successfully play the entire game over the course of the holiday weekend and avoid all human (and android) contact. Don't forget to engage your sleep cycle.

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