You’ll play the part of three primary protagonists in Detroit, across a narrative that arches in different directions to string together a bigger picture. Connor, Kara, and Markus are all wildly different from each other, and even on opposite sides of the law for that matter, so it’s interesting to see what sort of decisions you get to make, knowing they can affect your other main characters, or of course the many supporting characters that the game offers.
The story itself has so many arcs that it’s virtually impossible to access every bit of content in just a few playthroughs of Detroit, but that’s what makes it so interesting. Every little action you do, including something so simple as staring at a poster or checking out a hot dog cart, can push your outcome in a mildly different direction. You can’t veer too far off in the story arc though because it would just be a political mess and the underlying messages could easily be lost. While some of the character relationships have some great building and progression, they often lack resolution and you’ll be left with some unanswered questions at various points of the game.
Kara was my personal favorite to play but her story suffered from some bad design choices in the end. However, the story of parenthood from an android’s perspective, and the challenges to overcome from the opinions of humans as well as other androids was quite intriguing. Unfortunately, the story-telling here felt like it was implemented by a novice writer, without any approval from someone higher up. When you reach the part with Markus, the story is such a mess that you basically stop caring, but there’s some solid action scenes that really pull you in and help you overlook the games’ inconsistencies and drawbacks.
Have you ever made a decision that you almost instantly regretted? Well, here’s something that I loved in Detroit. At any time, you can select one of many checkpoints through each chapter of the game and replay that section to change your choice. This is especially helpful when you hit the wrong button, or you just don’t have enough time to make whatever you’d call the right decision. It’s great that you’re never going to be in a position to restart your game because of one unfortunate choice.
Detroit is pretty what I expected to be, and while it’s far from perfect, Quantic Dream has laid the groundwork and with some better story-telling elements, I think we could see a truly phenomenal title in a couple years. While the characters in Detroit were likeable and I felt connected to them at some point or another, the overall plot got a little too messy and I stopped caring about the ending. Regardless, Detroit was a fun adventure and I’ve played through a couple times now just to see what else it offers.