Detroit: Become Human is the latest PS4 release from French game developer Quantic Dream. Set in 2038, Detroit has become the manufacturing centre for CyberLife androids - used for everything from childcare to university lecturers. You follow three android protagonists: Kara, a housekeeper android determined to save her child charge from her abusive father; Markus, a one of a kind prototype destined to lead the android revolution; and Connor, a prototype detective android tasked with locating and deactivating 'Deviant' androids who can think and feel.
It's totally immersive and is really forming the basis of my fannish life right now - so many options, so many outcomes! - so here's a 30 Day Tag adapted from one I found on Tumblr.
#01. How Did You Discover the Game?
Friends told me I would probably like it as it combined robots and buddy cops. They were right.
I'm not saying I'm predictable, but...
So I started by watching a playthrough in German so I could kid myself that I was doing something educational. (I was pleasantly surprised that I understood about 90% of it though. I can scarcely remember how to string a sentence together, but I can totally watch fictional robots living their best lives.)
#02. Favourite Character
Connor. He has snazzy dress sense, cool detective powers, and he likes dogs. How could I not pick him?
#03. Favourite Moment
Connor telling Hank he was scared after feeling Simon die in Public Enemy. It's a really powerful scene.
#04. Favourite Location
There are so many to choose from, and the graphics are always gorgeous, but I have a soft spot for Carl Manfred's mansion. Eclectic isn't the word!
#05. Favourite Kara Chapter
The Pirates' Cove. Creepy abandoned funfairs for the win!
#06. Opinion on Kamski
Part time genius, full time creep.
#07. Favourite Secondary Character
Captain Fowler. That man is headed for an aneurysm.
#08. Least Favourite Character
North. She shares a lot of backstory elements and character traits with Niska from Humans - being angry at humanity, murdering a client while working as a sexbot, etc - and really suffered for that comparison I couldn't quite put to one side. Her development in game was never going to be able to compete with three series of award winning drama.
#09. Favourite Actress
Audrey Boustani was great as Alice!
#10. Favourite Actor
Bryan Dechart. I hadn't heard of him before this but I was really impressed. I think it's super sweet how he has embraced the fannish side of it all too.
#11. Share a Headcanon
Detective Gavin Reed spends most of the game high on red ice. Seriously. His little blurb tells us twice that he is ambitious - yet he's willing to risk his career to damage an expensive piece of equipment that should mean less than nothing to him. And would, probably, if he weren't in the grip of artificially induced rage and irrational thinking.
The downs aren't much better than the highs either; when we see him in the bullpen he can't even get his damn feet off the desk and pretend to be doing some work. Look at him here, those aren't the eye bags of a healthy or well adjusted individual...
#12. Favourite Fanvid
#13. Best Quote
Hank's password? What would a hard boiled eccentric police lieutenant choose?
I thought that was such a cute line, and says a lot about the way Connor sees the world - standard tropes and archetypes applied to his own experiences. Apparently the original line was something completely different so Dechart used the puppy dog eyes on Cage to get it changed. Good call, I say!
#14. Coolest Easter Egg
There are tons of little messages in morse code visible in the androids' scans. The best one, imo, is this shortened google link which takes you to Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up' on YouTube. Yeah, it's 2038 and you're still getting Rickrolled. You can see the full list of messages HERE.
#15. Favourite Connor Chapter
Russian Roulette. You learn loads about Hank, make Connor decide what kind of android he's going to be, and generally get to be the worst kind of house guest. Great stuff.
#16. Opinion on Amanda
I really want to know more about the original Amanda Stern's relationship with Kamski! Did he create the AI in her image as a homage? Or a punishment? Was there any correlation between her death in 2027 and Kamski becoming a recluse by the end of 2028? And what would she think of his weird harem of Chloes? So many questions...
#17. Saddest Death
Simon literally ripping the heart out of his own chest (okay, thirium pump from his torso cavity) to give to Markus. I get that it would have made the branching more complicated, but it would have made so much more sense for Simon to be the pacifist romance route and North the violent.
#18. Best Official Merchandise
There isn't much that I've seen, though there were some cool mock ups of in game magazines. My number one wish for merchandise is, as usual, action figures. (Imagine how cool a 1/6 scale Hot Toys Connor would be!)
#19. Best Unofficial Merchandise
MyPrintSS is selling the cutest 1/3 scale RK800 and RK900 sweaters, and these charms by LessaSelig on Etsy are just adorable -
#20. Favourite Ship
Hank/Connor. The happy ending is literally Connor ditching his revolutionary buddies to hug Hank - and presumably go home to live out the rest of his days petting Sumo and asking personal questions. (Though, realistically, he did just murder a bunch of human guards at CyberLife Tower so he's probably heading straight for deactivation...)
#21. What Else Are You Shipping?
Markus/Simon, of course, and the fandom's favourite crack ship: Gavin Reed/RK900. There can never be too many grouchy cops worn down into the realisation they have fallen head over heels in love with their over earnest android partners.
Here is where I'd put a picture but RK900 appears for literally 30 seconds and the two share zero screentime. It has proved no obstacle to fandom.
#22. Favourite Fanart
The amazing fancomics by sunsetagain. Just check out Last Little Piece of Him - Connor hid a special message for Hank in the coin the latter confiscated from him. It's beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time.
#23. Favourite Theory About The Game
I quite like a fan theory I read that Alice is rA9. Although a child model, she is actually one of the older androids in the game - the YK500 was first released in 2033, though Alice could be an earlier prototype for all we know; there are plenty of them about in the game! - and has been demonstrating Deviant traits before we meet her. Eg. the drawings on her wall of things she does not know, something Carl has to teach Markus how to do. Who knows how many other androids they went through before bringing Kara home.
#24. If You Liked This You'll Love...
I've seen lots of people on Twitter citing how D:BH is a direct copy of Almost Human but, meh, not so much. They're both set in the future with police androids, it's true, but 'Deviancy' or an equivalent is absent from AH, and Dorian is a lot more self aware than Connor. Chances are if you enjoy one you'll enjoy the other though!
Humans (and the show it's based on, Äkta människor) is a better fit in terms of androids gaining sentience and the impact that has on the world around them. My personal rec though, based on my love of nice!Connor and his attempts to make Hank like him, is Future Cop. John Haven is such a sweetheart.
#25. Favourite Markus Chapter
The Painter. Markus does a ton of cool stuff, but this chapter is so essential to everything he goes on to do and be.
#26. Opinion on RK900
I have so many thoughts on that RK900 prototype. Like, Amanda says that Connor was designed to go Deviant. So I instantly imagined that CyberLife, being the creeps they are, have already made RK900 Deviant and then simply contained it. (Kind of like how Mia gets her sentience overwritten with the Anita program in Humans.) Poor RK900 is stuck in there, with all Connor's memories and the full ability to feel remorse, and hope, and fear, and can't do a single thing about it...
#27. Sumo or the Fish?
#28. If You Could Have One Question Answered?
I want to know about androids outside the USA. Russian and Chinese androids are produced with some kind of Thirium 310 knock off - though why an element common enough to be used in a widespread street drug has not yet been synthesized abroad is a mystery - so can they become Deviant? The in game magazine articles suggest they are not integrated into day to day life the way androids are in the USA, and we know that androids are outright banned in Canada and (according to the fandom Wiki) the European Union.
That is such an interesting idea and not one you see all that often in futuristic robo-canons. It's not just some quaint little town that has gone android free, there are whole nations fairly unaffected by them. What does it mean for trade? Comparative studies of the kind cited in game about US kids struggling to communicate with other humans? Even in the best ending androids are only recognized as sentient by the US government. What will it mean for diplomacy when the President is undemocratically elected by, in the eyes of the rest of the world, machines? Etc, etc, etc.
So yeah, I have like 5,000 questions and I doubt I'm even going to get one of them answered!
#29. Most Underrated Character
Ralph is an interesting but immensely weird guy.
#30. What Would Have Improved The Game For You?
Yu Suzuki taught us there is no storyline that cannot be improved with the option of collecting mass amounts of pointless junk. Your father's been murdered and you're tracking down dangerous gangsters to avenge his death? Well, that's great, but have you considered taking time out to blow your entire allowance on Sonic capsule toys?
Quantic Dream are all about the QTE but, you know, Shenmue gave us so much more...
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