A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Main theme centers on making difficult decisions and dealing with consequences resulting from those choices. Also strong themes of duty, family, the struggle to be treated fairly and equally, and feeling empathy for anyone, human or android, who's oppressed by others' prejudice.
Positive Role Models
Central characters are struggling to find their place in a futuristic world; the game shows how that struggle affects people, making some stronger and more caring, others bitter. The characters have their flaws, but that makes them more relatable and makes their fight for something better a more personal experience.
Ease of Play
Simple controls essentially boil down to a series of quick time events, challenging players to follow on-screen prompts. Difficulty lies in trying to respond to these occasionally complex commands in time, causing players to focus more on the prompts than on what's actually happening.
Violence & Scariness
Characters regularly punch, shoot, stab, injure other characters in various ways. Blood is shown, including blood-soaked corpses and executions. Also scenes of domestic abuse, both on-screen and implied/offscreen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual themes/scenes include partially nude androids pole dancing in a strip club, posters of barely clothed characters, and dialogue discussing the use of androids as sexual partners.
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Frequent use of "damn," "s--t," and "f--k."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking, smoking, drug use all regularly shown. Characters drink in clubs and are under the influence of a fictional but powerful drug dubbed "Red Ice," which could be compared to crystal meth or crack cocaine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Detroit: Become Human is an interactive sci-fi adventure for the PlayStation 4. The game is set in a near future in which artificially intelligent androids are created and sold as pseudo-appliances to fill certain roles in society. The bulk of the game involves players making choices at certain key moments and then watching how the results of their unique chain of decisions unfold. There are some heavy themes, including domestic violence, the struggle for equality, social disorder, and drug use. Over the course of the story, players will see/experience a fair amount of realistic violence: People are shot, stabbed, beaten, and otherwise injured. There's also sexually suggestive content, partially nude androids, and discussion of androids as sexual partners. Profanity-laced dialogue includes frequent use of "f--k" and "s--t," and frequent drug use and drinking are shown as the stories unfold.
Is It Any Good?
This sci-fi tale is less like a standard video game and more like an interactive movie, because your decisions affect and change the development of the plot. Detroit: Become Human isn't like most standard games: You're not upgrading equipment, picking up new skills, or racing to the next waypoint. Instead, you're experiencing a new world through unique sets of eyes, making difficult, life-altering decisions, and then watching how those choices unfold. That's not to say there aren't a few gamelike elements from time to time. Usually these are quick time events, which are tests of reflexes and attention somewhat like a glorified game of Simon Says. But these are a double-edged sword. While they help you feel like you're taking a more active role in the events, tracking the on-screen prompts makes it difficult to pay attention to the effects of your actions.
If you look at Detroit: Become Human as something other than a video game, you'll find that it does a great job of telling its story ... and in some ways, telling your story, too. The decisions you make seamlessly craft a genuinely unique tale catered to you. Even seemingly insignificant decisions like opening a window can have major implications later. There are so many branches in the game's plot that it comes with a built-in flowchart that lets you sort out how your decisions paved the way for the narrative. This comes in handy with later playthroughs, because you can sort out where the story branches and what you can do differently in a way that doesn't give away what will happen if you take a different path at a given fork in the road. No matter which path you choose, Detroit's plot is sure to have an impact. By seeing through the eyes of these androids and experiencing their lives, you can't help but feel empathy for their plight. These are more than just living appliances or tools for modern convenience. These are characters struggling to achieve a higher sense of purpose and to prove not only that they deserve equality in a society that demeans and degrades them, but that, when push comes to shove, they can be more human at heart than the world in which they live.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.