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‘Detroit: Become Human’ offers a look into a future with androids

“Detroit: Become Human,” released on May 25, 2018, is a new, futuristic adventure game set in 2038 where androids are a prominent part of everyday life.

Androids are human-like robots that are devoid of emotion and must follow their programming. They take up jobs in the CIA, work for people as house-cleaners, and also act as care-takers.

The narrative is split into three stories where the player participates as an android. It is a choice-based game, and there are multiple different endings to some chapters of the story. This allows for different versions of each character, whether they be evil or compassionate.

The game opens up with an android named Connor (Bryan Dechart) who works for the CSI and is programmed to hunt down self-aware androids. The computer in his mind allows him to play out the scenes from clues of the crime scene and figure out what went wrong. He specializes in finding rogue androids who wavered from their given commands.

Kara (Valerie Curry) is the next android the player can be. Her story starts with her in a maintenance shop; a man walks in to pick her up from the shop, hastily claiming she was beaten up because of a bad car accident. The mechanic says that she is good to go, but they had to wipe her memory in order to fix her. She goes back home with Todd (Dominic Gould), her owner, only to find out that he is a substance-abuser who abuses his daughter, Alice (Audrey Boustani).

Because she does not have emotions, she does not flinch when Todd wounds Alice. When he gets very violent very suddenly, he tells Kara to stay still. Somehow, she manages to break through the strict programming in her mind to disobey him and runs after Alice, saving her from her father.

The last storyline follows Markus (Jesse Williams), an android who works as a care-taker for a rich, crippled painter named Carl (Lance Henriksen). Carl is a humble man who lives alone; his son, Leo, does not live with him.

When Leo storms into his father’s mansion demanding money for (presumably) drugs, Carl yells at him to leave. Leo gets angry and demands to know why his father would rather live with Markus than him. The player acting as Markus then has the option to fight Leo or stay passive and not fight back.

The concept of this game is amazing because of the three separate storylines that provide the different points of views as to how the androids are treated. Markus is treated the best, almost like a son to Carl. The game really captures the theme of discrimination and how it impacts society.

Even though the world is seemingly a utopia, the androids are treated as just “plastic” and not respected like humans. They are forced to ride in the back of the bus with no seats. Protestors bash on them for stealing their jobs. Playing from an android’s perspective in all three stories makes one really live through it.

Freshman Jacob Labaska says, “It is crazy to think that all of this stuff could be happening in the near future. The game takes place 20 years from present day, and they already have the technology for androids.”

The game is also diverse in the way that it handles many controversial issues. It does its best to include topics such as abuse, violence, basic human rights, and morality. The situation that Todd and his daughter, Alice, are in seems very life-like.

It also makes the player question themselves: why do humans have to be “superior” to androids? Are they only made to serve a master, or should they be able to act with free will?

Freshman Tarun Krishnan says, “Overall, the game had a very interesting approach on the future of mankind. At first, the storyline seemed a bit confusing, but the setting and what was going on became more clear as the game progressed. It was also interesting to see how every single thing the player does affects the end. It makes you think about how it could really happen in the future.”

The cast itself is also diverse, starring many different races and ages. The stunning visuals of the game come from motion-capture technology. This means that the actors who play each character are recorded in real life. The advanced technology records their every move, and it is then put into a software that adds in facial expressions and eye movements. This allows the characters to look immensely life-like, along with the gorgeous backgrounds and brilliant voice-acting.

What aspects of “Detroit: Become Human” do you think could become a reality in the future?

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