Updated: Apr 8, 2019
David Cage will forever be an interesting developer in the way he thinks about games. His famous statement "Game Over is the failure of the Game Designer" still resinates with gamers to this day. His story-narrative adventure games do stand out in the industry as very few games try to achieve what he is attempting. Whether he succeeds is another question, but David Cage does have a unique view on video games compared to everyone else. His newest title, Detroit: Become Human, involves the questions of human life, what is the value of human life, and whether or not man should control that which they create.
Detroit: Become Human focuses heavily on story, as gameplay is mostly walking, initiation actions with the environment, and quicktime events. Story-wise, it definitely is a mixed bag. Subtlety is not the game of the game, Detroit: Become Human very much has a message that it wants everyone playing the game to understands. There are certain events that happen that creates the emphasis of subtlety, and with the exception of one or two, they are neither built up enough to become valuable, or influential to the main aspect of the story. Acting is also mixed as some characters give little to no realistic emotions to their characters, while others are played so well. The problem is the juxtaposition is so strong that it becomes difficult to relate with certain characters.
Where the game faults is in the gameplay department as Detroit: Become Human simply refuses to be creative anywhere in the gameplay department. The Character choices in the game are valuable, and depending on the choices the character makes, dictates the direction of the story. While there are certain stricted pathways and a handful of endings, it was interesting to see missions later in the game become easier because the player did certain aspects in missions prior.
That said, the act of walking around, interacting with the environment, and the combat in the game do not feel interactive in the slightest. It feels more like watching a movie as opposed to interacting with the world. Unlike the game Nier: Automata, where the character is a robot and the gameplay around the character makes the player feel like they are playing a robot, Detroit: Become Human makes no effort to make the player feel like a robot in the gameplay department, let alone feel like they are a part of the world.
The truth is that Detroit: Become Human does a lot of things well in visuals, in narrative, and in emotions at times, but those moments are few and far between, and they are shown to you rather than experienced. If you can struggle through the gameplay, and dig through a lot of the repetitive narrative, the few moments will be valuable and ample, but the audience that fits into that category is very small. It is not a terrible game, but its quality is not high enough to be a full recommendation to everyone.