Detroit: Become Human

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Detroit: Become Human Game Poster Image
Choose your story in a sci-fi tale of morality and society.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Main theme centers on making difficult decisions and dealing with the consequences that result from those choices. There are also strong themes of duty, family, and the struggle to be treated fairly and equally.

Positive Role Models & Representations

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, while others become 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 onscreen prompts. Difficulty lies in trying to respond to these occasionally complex commands in time, causing players to focus more on the prompts instead of what's actually happening.

Violence

Characters regularly punch, shoot, stab, and injure other characters in various ways. Blood is shown, including blood-soaked corpses and executions. Also scenes of domestic abuse, both onscreen and implied/offscreen.

Sex

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.

Language

Frequent use of "damn," "s--t," and "f--k."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, smoking, and drug use are all regularly shown. Characters drink in clubs and under the influence of a fictional but powerful drug dubbed "Red Ice," which could be compared to crystal meth or crack cocaine.

What 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 unfolds. There are some heavy themes, including domestic violence, the struggle for equality, social disorder, drug use, and more. 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.

User Reviews

Parent of a 2 and 5 year old Written byjjhansen30 June 3, 2018

So Many Different Outcomes

It’s hard to do a review of the writing and story of this game as others who have played this might have had a very different experience than myself. Which is o... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byMb54 June 5, 2018

Amazing game!

Detroit: Become Human is an awesome game that visits deep topics but overall, it really opens your eyes. Yes, the game is rated Mature but if your teen (This ga... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byJohnnyH2000 June 3, 2018

Amazing.

There’s some pretty tough stuff to handle in this game. Hits you in the feels. Definitely for a more mature audience. But it is AMAZING. Definitely go out and... Continue reading

What's it about?

DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN takes place in the future -- Detroit in the year 2038. Society has seen a massive shift thanks to the development of advances in technology, culminating in the creation of intelligent android servants. These androids can be bought and sold, programed to fill specific roles, and serve humankind's whims. But what happens when these androids start to question their purpose? The game answers this question by taking players on a journey through the lives of three androids: a caretaker who learns to rise up and unite his kind to resist oppression, a prototype law enforcement investigator tasked with keeping his brethren in line, and a servant whose love for a child's well-being overrides the limits of her programming. While each android has their own story to tell, their paths are intertwined. Choices have consequences. Submit or resist. Violence or peace. Life or death. Their fate, and the fate of society as a whole, lies in your hands.

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 game-like 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 onscreen 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 that they not only 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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Detroit: Become Human different because some of it is against androids? How does it affect things that the androids look realistic and like humans?

  • How do games, movies, etc. like Detroit: Become Human, address current social issues? What are some parallels that can be drawn from the plot to both past and current real-world social issues?

  • Is it important to weigh the possible consequences, as well as the benefits, of making certain life decisions? What are some good ways to work on making the best choices? Are there ways to repair the damage from poor decisions?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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