Say what you will about Detroit's plot, terrible tropes, or its handling of its subject matter (and we have). Despite its glaring flaws and painful David Cageisms, I can't stop playing Quantic Dream's latest game for one main reason - Detroit: Become Human is possibly the first game that has come through on the promise of a truly branching, reactive storyline.
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“Detroit is forcing me to do things I don’t want to so I’ve paused it in protest and am just sitting here,” I messaged the group chat on Sunday.
I’d resolved to finish the game that weekend, but I’d reached an impasse. It wasn’t caused by the type of question you’d expect from a game - save this or that character, choose between high or low risk and reward. It was because I was being forced into a morally reprehensible act which undermined the central conflict of the game.
Near the end of the Detroit: Become Human demo I saw during E3, renegade android Markus and his partner North incite a riot among recently freed androids. If you choose to set things on fire, North triumphantly declares, "Now the humans will have no choice but to listen to us." Main character Markus, staring into the blaze, snaps back, "They will be afraid. Fear feeds hatred." To which North replies, "I'll take hatred over indifference."