We’ve played Detroit: Become Human a handful of times now and our takeaway has always been the same: this is tense. Like, it’s really freakin’ tense. We’re, of course, referring to the hostage demo (again), where android detective Connor is tasked with defusing a rooftop situation that sees a small girl inches from the edge of a skyscraper ledge.
The game’s approaching photo-realism on the PlayStation 4 Pro; Quantic Dream’s set-dressing remains as impressive as ever, as you slope through a futuristic apartment hunting for clues that will help you talk down the kidnapper. But for as fun as the investigation is, it’s not until you step outside that the situation truly becomes fraught.
Helicopters whiz overhead, as the Parisian developer pans across the glittering glass walls of its vertical American backdrop. The game asks you to approach slowly, as you tip-toe towards the edge of the building hoping not to spook the child’s captor. Dialogue options are determined by your detective work, like whether you address the abductor by his name or not.
It feels like there’s real purpose to everything that happens in a way Beyond: Two Souls never did, and while we’re sure the demo will collapse under scrutiny, the illusion is enough for us. It’s this kind of fraught, every second counts decision making that made Heavy Rain so memorable – but the acting and overall presentation is vastly superior here.
We haven’t had an opportunity to see the title’s infamous child abuse scene first hand, but it’s clear that Detroit: Become Human hopes to keep you on the edge of your seat at all times. Whether the developer’s cheating or not by relying on the perils of small children is up for debate, but you simply can’t argue against the stakes.
Are you kinda anticipating Detroit: Become Human’s high-stakes drama, or do you play games to unwind? Put a few lives on the line in the comments section below.