Detroit: Become Human

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Genre Action-adventure
Gamming Style Single-player
Platform Playstation 4
Release Date May 25 2018
Developer Quantic Dream
Publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment
Website Detroit: Become Human

Detroit: Become Human is an action-adventure game developed by Quantic Dream and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Set in futuristic Detroit, the story centers around a handful of android servants who become sentient. The conflict of the game revolves around the revolt of these against their human masters.

Players may play as Kara, who escapes from her creators and explores her identity, Connor, who hunts down nonconformist androids, and Markus, who fights to release others from bondage. Depending on the actions of the player, the stories of these characters could be tragic or triumphant. The game is set to release in May 2018.


Gameplay in this game is done in the third person and the story switches off between the three main characters. Decisions are usually timed and require that the player choose a decision or usually the opportunity is lost or the situation worsens in the form of quick time events. Decisions in this game usually have long-lasting impacts which may not even manifest until later in the game. At the end of each chapter, the game will show you how your decisions impacted other events that happened in the chapter as well as if a decision you made in the past impacted the current chapter. The choices one character makes may also impact the story of another character. There are even decisions which may leave your character gone forever. The game also employs various statuses attached to each character based on the decisions of the player which the game uses to track the overarching change in the story, one of the major ones is the status of the cities sentiments towards androids which affects all of the main characters.

Plot Synopsis [1]

History in Detroit: Become Human

In the world of Detroit: Become Human androids have reached a point where the bodies themselves are human-like and the voice and mannerisms are very human-like. The only things that set them apart are the clothes they are required to wear in public, their blue blood, and a circle on their temples which lit up with activity. The androids are usually preprogrammed with a set function to fulfill like housekeeper, reception, or even sex worker but recently some androids have gone deviant. In Detroit: Become Human, deviancy is the status in which an android is able to break free from its original programming and make its own decisions. The characters in this game will try and pretend to be human once they become deviant by changing their clothes and removing the flashing circle. Other than the fact that all androids of the same model look the same, this essentially hides them completely.

Connor's Story

Connor is an android designed to track down and deal with androids that have gone deviant. Cyberlife, the major company that makes the androids, sends Connor to work with law enforcement on deviant android cases and find out why and how the androids are able to become deviants. Connor gets assigned to work with the detective Hank Anderson who is shown to have obvious dislike for androids. After each case, Connor is shown to be in a Zen Garden talking to Amanda who represents Connor's original programming and his tie to Cyberlife. Connor is the only character where his death does not mean the end of his story. During their cases tracking down deviants, including Kara another main character, it is revealed that Connor himself is developing deviant tendencies. This comes to a head when it becomes known that Markus is the leader of the Android revolution and where their base is. Based on the players' choices up to this point Connor may become a deviant and work with Markus and the android revolution. Otherwise, Connor will remain true to his programming and hunt down Markus until the ending where there is a chance to shoot Markus during the fighting or after the demonstration is done and he is giving his speech. If Connor survives he is shown to have been replaced by the next model and is scheduled to be deactivated. If Connor turned deviant he assists Markus with the revolution and goes to Cyberlife to convert the androids in storage to become deviants and join the revolution. In both endings Connor is pulled to the Zen garden, losing control and if he does not escape Connor will shoot Markus during the speech.

Kara's Story

Kara is an android designed to help out in the household. We first meet her in the repair shop which is revealed later to have because she was beaten by her owner, Todd. Her owner is very abusive towards her and is revealed to have a very unpleasant personality. While eating dinner his child, a little girl named Alice, is shown to be obviously uncomfortable which causes Todd to fly into a rage and threaten to beat Alice. This causes Kara to become deviant as she tries to stop this. This either ends with Kara and Alice escaping unharmed and Todd chasing after them, Kara shoots Todd and escapes, or Kara is beaten and Kara's story ends. Kara and Alice's story is their journey to escape to Canada where androids have been banned and they are likely to blend in as regular humans. Their story ends in two ways; either they manage to pass border security and escape to Canada or they are caught and are sent to a camp where androids are being dismantled and they are able to either try to escape with either both or one making it out or they accept their fate and are dismantled. The major themes in this story are what constitutes a family and what you are willing to do for loved ones.


Markus is the personal android of an elderly man who is an artist. He is treated very well by him and they have a father-son relationship. This changes when the actual son of his master arrives and Markus is provoked into fighting back triggering his deviancy. The events that follow end with him being shot by the police and being sent to a scrap yard and dismantled. Markus then rebuilds himself and climbs out of the scrap yard with resurrection symbolism. Markus then finds the other androids that have gone deviant and motivates them to start a revolution. The main choices that follow are whether the revolution will be nonviolent and focus on civil disobedience or if it will be violent and actively fighting back against the humans. Based on the choices the player made the ending is either a demonstration from a fortified position against the army and in the end if public opinion is high enough of the android revolution, the soldiers are ordered to stand down after a demonstration of "humanness". However, if public opinion is not high enough players may opt to set off the dirty bomb in Detroit irradiating it for all biological life but not for the androids. If the player decided to go the path of violence then Markus will lead an assault on the army position which if it succeeds cements Detroit as an android controlled city starting a human and android war. Markus's story has very many parallels to the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi if he chooses to go down the path of nonviolence while if he chooses the violence path then has more parallels to the ideas of Malcolm X and the Black Panther party. Markus is also depicted as a Messiah figure who is saving all of android kind which has parallels to religion.

Critical Reception

The review aggregator gave Detroit: Become Human a 78 out of 100 [2]. Many reviewers of the game thought that on the whole Detroit:Become Human was thought-provoking and was well designed in showing how your choices affected the story. The graphics being well done and the voice actors behind the characters feeling believable were also things that were said about the game in its favor. On the negative side, some reviewers thought that the game was too heavy-handed in how it made ties to the civil rights movement in America. In one scene at the beginning of the game, we see that on public transit androids are required to stand at the back of the bus in the "Android compartment". Some reviewers thought that decisions like these were done too bluntly and was distracting from the game. Some cited that the decisions that the characters made were too predictable where the decision the game expects you to make was too obvious and felt black and white.

Ethical Concerns

The Butterfly Effect

The term "butterfly effect" refers to a concept in chaos theory which states that in a deterministic nonlinear system, a state change at an earlier time will affect all later states. [3] Ergo, we live in a chaotic existence but Fate guides us, and when we do something in the present it will affect all future possibilities for us. The butterfly effect is used in video games a style of gameplay that allows the player to control the game outcome, most often through dialogue choices with other characters. Many games before Detroit: Become Human have incorporated the butterfly effect including horror game Until Dawn and episodic adventure game Life is Strange.

In Detroit: Become Human, players experience the butterfly effect of the choices they make in relation to the android main characters. For example in Kara's storyline, she works as a servant for a man who is physically abusive to his daughter. The player must make choices to either defend the child or allow the father to hurt her. The choices made will have major consequences for Kara's treatment by other characters later on in the game.

The ethical concerns of the butterfly effect in Detroit: Become Human are clear. Players are given a superficial choice to act benevolently or malevolently in this virtual world. Allowing or participating in in-game violence may not seem that serious but when we consider that some people choose to do this for fun, we may find a problem. There are entire videos made on players making the "bad choices" in video games that use the butterfly effect because they want to explore what it feels like to be the "bad guy."

To the opposite effect, players also choose these options to explore all of what the developer has created. Often playing through a game multiple times for the sole purpose of discovery resolved with choosing different in-game options.

Human vs AI Rights

Humans and androids are constantly in conflict throughout the game. The majority of the game's conflict occurs once many of the androids begin to become sentient. They battle their human masters for their own autonomy. A major plot point in the game is the organization of androids by Markus. At first, it begins as peaceful protests but then leads to an armed revolt. The concept is very familiar to people in this time of increased social and political revolt. The android revolt mirrors real-life social revolts that have become violent such as some Black Lives Matters protests and political unrest in South America.

Are sentient androids humans? Do they have rights comparable to human right? Is an android life worth the same as a human life? These are the questions that this game asks players to consider. As we continue to develop androids in real life to have human-life capabilities, these are questions we will all have to consider. So far Saudi Arabia is the only nation to make an android a citizen, but we may see more of this in the future.

The game has an interesting stance on how it handles the treatment of androids as it constantly makes references to the civil rights movements of the 1960's which makes the players draw an obvious connection to the racism of the time and humanizes the androids. However, in the game, the androids are treated more like objects and property there are many scenes where unarmed androids are gunned down in the streets during protests, which is very jarring to witness.


The choices involved in Detroit: Become Human are generally shrouded in violence. All the major plot points surround violent conflicts. Kara deals with an abusive owner. Connor attempts to disarm violent androids attempting to hurt humans. Markus plans an armed revolt against humans. The game continues a trend of extremely violent futures that have been established with action-adventure games like The Walking Dead, Fallout, and Bioshock. But it also includes everyday acts of abuse such as domestic violence, child abuse, and more. It is up to the player to either save victims or let the abuse continue. This has caused a lot of outrage from those who actively speak out against domestic violence. [4]

The original counter to critics regarding the violence in video games like Detroit: Become Human resides in Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors mini-game, Desert Bus. A Sega game in which players drive a bus from Tuscon to Las Vegas in real time at 45mph. The game takes eight hours to complete the trip and showcases how bland and monotonous a game without thoughtful choice is. The purpose was to create a game that was as inoffensive and realistic as possible as an alternative to "violent games". The game was never truly adopted and only gained popularity as a cult classic [5].

See Also


  1. Walkthroughs. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  2. Detroit: Become Human. (2018, May 25). Retrieved from
  3. Gaming Conceptz:
  4. Daily Mail: