Detroit: Become Human: What You Need to Know

Ready to choose your own adventure? Detroit: Become Human is the latest from developer Quantic Dream, which makes story-driven titles that rely on player choice to swing the narrative. The company's latest game focuses on androids in the city of Detroit in 2038 and what it means to be a human.

When is Detroit: Become Human releasing?

Detroit: Become Human is releasing on May 25, 2018, exclusively on the PlayStation 4.

What is the game about?

Developer Quantic Dream has kept a lot of information about the game close to the vest, but we know that Detroit centers on three android characters: Kara, Connor and Markus.

Kara is a helper android, functioning as a household maid who serves a single father, Todd, and his daughter, Alice, who live in an impoverished part of Detroit. As things go south in the household, Kara must decide what to do to keep Alice safe.

Connor is a police android. In the demo, "Hostage," we see Connor serve as a hostage negotiator who spends his time searching for "deviant" androids (like, say, Kara) who have found emotions, abandoned their programming and chosen to serve their own interests. Players will have to decide how Connor deals with deviants and if his job is even a good idea.

Markus is another deviant android, a protester who has joined an underground movement to free Detroit's androids. He'll have to decide the best way to achieve this mission and decide whether to be peaceful or resort to violence.

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Like in Quantic Dream's other games, in Detroit: Become Human, the characters and their plotlines will likely intertwine. The plot, like those in Quantic Dream and director David Cage's other games, is open-ended in that a player's choices can affect the plot much further down the line. And character deaths don't end the game; they just affect the story. One report says that Detroit's script is 2,000 pages long.

What kind of game is Detroit: Become Human?

Detroit: Become Human is best defined as a third-person adventure game with an interactive story line. You'll explore each level looking for clues and hints to make decisions about how to tackle the situation, and then you'll make choices that will affect how that situation plays out.

Each scenario has a wide variety of branched story lines and conclusions, so no two play-throughs will be the same.

Is the game optimized for PlayStation 4 Pro?

Detroit: Become Human is optimized for the PS4 Pro and can render in 4K on 4K televisions and monitors.

Can I try the game early?

You can. There's a demo of an early scene,"“Hostage," that went live on the PlayStation Store on April 24. You can play this scene as many times as you want and go through every scenario and every ending ("Hostage" has five conclusions). If you have an Amazon Echo, you can use an Alexa skill to will help you through the demo.

What's the controversy around this game?

Warning: This section containers potential spoilers for Detroit: Become Human and may upset those sensitive to domestic abuse and child abuse.

In October 2017, a trailer for Detroit: Become Human debuted at Paris Games Week, with a scene showing child and domestic abuse. It portrayed Kara trying to figure out what to do as her owner, Todd, attacks his daughter, Alice. In one scenario, Kara grabs a gun to attack Todd. In another, Alice appears to shoot Todd. In many scenes, Todd physically attacks both Alice and Kara. Activists questioned the use of domestic and child abuse in a video game.

"The scene we are presenting is a very important moment in Kara's story," Quantic Dream said in a statement shortly after the trailer was released. "We discover that Kara is owned by a human, Todd Williams, the single father of a little girl called Alice. Confronted with Todd's violence toward his little girl, Kara feels compelled to disobey and risk her life to save Alice."

In an interview with Eurogamer, Cage attempted to justify the scene:

"For me, it's a very strong and moving scene, and I was interested to put the player in the position of this woman," he said. "I chose her point of view. If I'd have chosen the point of view of the man, it could have been a totally different story and with totally different emotions, but in this case, I chose her point of view. There's a context in the story. There's a reason for that — where she comes from and where she's going to go. What's important to me and what's important in Detroit is to say that a game is as legitimate as a film or a book or a play to explore any topic, such as domestic abuse."

Is there a special edition?

The game will be sold on its own for $59.99, while a $69.99 digital deluxe edition will include the game, the soundtrack, a PS4 theme and some avatars, as well as a copy of one of Quantic Dream's older titles, Heavy Rain.

Credit: Quantic Dream

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is an editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming as well as keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag among others.