For those of you that are new to the website, I’ve spent the 2018 ranking games for my “best of” end of the year ranking. With every review, the ranking is subject to change. What may end up being my “game of the year” this week, may easily change with the next review. And one other thing before the review officially starts is that it’s important to note that I try and write my reviews a little differently than other reviewers. With every game, I try and find a way to write the article in a creative way that mirrors the game in some way. Some games are easier than others… With all of that being said, I hope you enjoy this week’s review! I’ll see you guys soon when I review The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit.
Chapter One- Lucas
Lucas, early 20’s, can be seen sitting in front of his laptop typing away as he tries to finish his next review. This week he’s covering Detroit, a video game about Androids and what it means to be human. Though he desperately wants to find a new way to describe his feelings about this game and for that matter, every game he talks about, he still finds himself regurgitating the same video game cliches that all of his other peers spew out across the internet.
“The number of choices players are given really is impressive. Each character feels unique and interesting. Despite some of the cliches, Detroit still manages to leave players wanting more as the game wraps up. This might very well be David Cage and Quantic Dreams best game yet.”
Out of frustration, Lucas walks away from the review.
“This is impossible,” he thinks.
The funny thing is, he’s right. On one hand, he wants to write a review that will catch people’s attention. He wants to know that when he presses the publish button, the review that he puts out will be like nothing else out there, but that isn’t what sites are looking for. Sure, they want interesting pieces on their sites, but they want them done in their style. So what does Lucas do? Does he try and find a unique style all his own or does he conform, hoping that losing his individuality will result in one day receiving a paycheck? The poor boy is lost, but don’t worry, because help is on the way.
A sudden pounding comes from the other side of Lucas’ door. Lucas, not one for visitors, quickly walks towards the noise hoping that the person he sees through the peephole will just be some little kid selling cookies or someone he can just ignore until they go away. What Lucas sees leaves him a bit lost. A well-dressed man in a fedora stands on the other side of the door. Another three swift knocks come and Lucas slowly opens the door.
“Good evening,” says the well-dressed man. “I’m sorry to bother you, I’m sure you’re busy but you and I need to have a chat.”
Puzzled by what Lucas can only assume is this man’s attempt to sell him something, Lucas does his best to explain he’s not interested. As he begins to slowly shut the door, the well-dressed man interjects.
“Really? You’re telling me you wouldn’t give anything to become a successful writer. Live in a big city, have thousands if not millions of people know your name all because of your work? Lucas, please. We haven’t much time. Now, may I come in.”
“How do you know my name,” Lucas asks.
This time with a much more stern tone in his voice, the well-dressed man continued on. “As I said, we haven’t much time. Now, may I come in?”
Though Lucas was lost as to why it was happening he found himself opening the door and allowing this stranger into his apartment. The well-dressed man then walked over to Lucas’ couch where he placed his overcoat. With the man now in full viewing, Lucas realized that the stranger carried a bag with him.
“Now as I said, we don’t have much time, so I’m going to show you this and I’m going to need you to trust me.”
Before Lucas had a chance to even react, the man opened the bag and pulled out a tablet and presented it to Lucas. The screen was as blue as the sky on a perfect day. All with the exception of one black dot the size of the tip of a finger.
“Don’t ask what it is, don’t ask how it works. All you need to know is that if you wish to progress your story in any meaningful way, you’ll place your finger in the black dot.”
Understandably so, Lucas ignores the man’s orders and begins to ask about what’s going on, but before he can even finish a sentence, the well-dressed man lets out a sigh, and Lucas’ door is blown open by two men in riot gear. The well-dressed man shoves the tablet into Lucas’ hands. This mysterious riot squad opens fire on not only the well-dressed man but Lucas as well. The stranger pushes Lucas out of the way of the shots saving the young man’s life, but before Lucas hits the ground the countless number of bullets fired turn what was once a nice suit into tatters.
Lucas frantically gets to his feet and runs to the fire escape. As he begins to make his way to the street though, he sees that there are more people in riot gear waiting for him.
“There he is,” one of the shouts.
Lucas quickly changes direction and heads towards the roof as bullets begin firing past him. Like something out of an action movie Lucas somehow manages to make it to the top unharmed but he quickly realizes that it doesn’t matter. There’s nowhere for him to go and right on cue, the riot squad makes their way to the roof.
“Lucas! Just hand over the device and this will all end.”
Lucas still in shock at how quickly his life has changed in a matter of minutes, tries to piece all of this together.
“Now Lucas,” shouts another man dressed in riot gear.
Lucas realizes that this isn’t the end. Even if he hands over the tablet, they aren’t just going to let him go free. They killed that man. They would have killed him too if he wasn’t pushed out of the way. Lucas suddenly realizes there’s only one thing he can do and with one swift motion, he pushes his finger to the black dot. To his surprise, the black dot seems to actually raise up and prick his finger. Very quickly his finger, his hand, his arm, his entire body become warm.
Suddenly, decades of a life he hasn’t lived yet come rushing into his mind. Finishing the Detroit review, the success that it brings, the woman he falls in love with, the children he has, the generation of writers that are inspired by his work. Visions of the well-dressed man come streaming across his mind. That man wasn’t a stranger, that man was Lucas.
With so much information burying itself into Lucas’ mind, the young man collapses to the ground. With this moment of opportunity, one of the members of the squad walks forward.
“I’m sure you have a million questions, Lucas. Maybe they would have all been answered too, but you hesitated. You said no questions, just push the button, but you, in fact, did ask a question. And now, I have to kill you for a third time today. All because you asked questions.”
Exhausted from everything that’s happened, Lucas asks breathlessly, “I don’t understand. Why would me writing a review in a different style cause any of this? All I wanted to do was say that Detroit was a great game and a step in the right direction for a company that many gamers believed made a huge misstep with their last game. I just didn’t want to sound like everyone else.”
By the time Lucas was finished with his words, the riot squad member had made his way to Lucas.
“I know all about your review kid. We all do. It was a great read. The way you described how characters like Conor and Kara were some of the best video game characters of the PS4 era was really powerful, but it doesn’t matter what I think. We were hired to do a job and seeing how you made the wrong choice, this is how your story ends.
Before Lucas can say anything else, the trigger’s pulled and Lucas is killed. Across town, a detective who drinks too much and argues with his boss only because he hopes it’ll result in getting him fired sits at his desk. Little does he know what kind of case will make it’s way to his desk in just a few hours.
As someone who has played every Quantic Dream game since Indigo Prophecy (personally my favorite game of all-time) it has been really interesting to watch the studio’s journey up until this point. Heavy Rain resulted in the industry praising Quantic Dream and Director David Cage as visionaries and masters of the industry, but with how quickly that praise came, it went away with Beyond Two Souls. Suddenly, Quantic and Cage found themselves the joke of both the industry and community. Detroit Become Human really was an important game for the studio. If it came out and flopped like Beyond Two Souls, the studio could have been in real trouble. How many missteps would Sony allow the company before they cut ties with them? Thankfully though, even if some parts of the internet don’t want to admit it, Detroit is a remarkable game.
Is it perfect? No. There are moments early on in the story where I was personally left confused at the actual lore of the world. I didn’t know what it meant to be an android, yet I was being presented with questions that would define one the many playable characters. With that criticism out of the way, I think almost everything else Detroit tries to do, it succeeds at. Interesting set pieces, great characters, and tough choices are some of the biggest things Detroit tries to present to the player and it nails it. Easily one of the best games of the year and I can say with ease that it’ll take some real classics to knock it out of my top 5.
Final Score: 9.25 (Amazing)