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22nd May 2018

Detroit: Become Human

Detroit: Become Human is a futuristic, science fiction adventure game developed by Quantic Dream and published by Sony for the PlayStation 4. It is released worldwide on 25th May. The plot revolves around three human-like androids: Kara, who escapes the factory she was made in to explore her newfound sentience; Connor, whose job it is to hunt down deviant androids; and Markus, who devotes himself to releasing the androids from servitude. Each character may survive or perish depending on dialogue choices that shape the story as customised by the player.

The game is derived from a 2012 tech demo – Kara – with actress Valorie Curry returning to reprise the title role. Quantic Dream's portfolio also includes the 2010 PS3 title, Heavy Rain. Like that game, Detroit: Become Human features a branching narrative style, which is similar in terms of interaction. It offers thousands of choices and can lead to many possible endings, rather than following a single linear storyline. As a result, there is no "game over" screen following a character's death; the story continues without them and switches to another character. The player can also rewind to certain points in the plot to reshape decisions in the event of regret. Clues can be obtained by highlighting and analysing the environment with augmented vision.

To research the setting, the developers visited Detroit, Michigan. This was chosen as the setting to revitalise a city that succumbed to economic decline after having made a historical contribution to American industry. Writer and director David Cage took inspiration from Ray Kurzweil's The Singularity Is Near, which explains how progress in technology is exponential and proposes that machines could one day have emotions. Androids in the game were designed with reference to artificial organs, how their energy would be generated, human eye movement and other abilities. Experts in artificial intelligence were consulted to discern which technological advancements were the most plausible.

A synopsis from the official website reads as follows:

Enter the near-future metropolis of Detroit in 2038 – a city rejuvenated by the introduction of highly advanced androids that exist only to serve mankind. But that's all about to change... Step into the shoes of three distinct android characters as this brave new world teeters on the brink of chaos. Your decisions dramatically alter how the game's intense, branching narrative plays out. With thousands of choices and dozens of endings, how will you affect the future of Detroit?

You can watch the official trailer below, released today.

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