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How Real World Events Shaped The Story Of 'Detroit: Become Human'

Unlike other games, 'Detroit: Become Human' was inspired by real events that involved death and destruction.

[Credit: Quantic Dream/Sony]

Of all the games that were on display at #E32017 Detroit: Become Human was a surprise, in part for its unique twist on the fairly standard "social revolution" plot. David Cage, founder and CEO of Quantic Dreams, began working on the game in late 2013, building on the narrative style his team created in Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, but approaching it in a "very, very different way," as he told The Verge.

Cage began scripting, generating thousands of pages before he relayed the details to the design and production team. Then development on Detroit: Become Human was rocked by the tragic events in Paris, France in 2015. After a series of suicide bombs, mass shootings and a raid on the Bataclan theater, Cage was forced to rethink everything that he had created over the last two years for Detroit: Become Human.

There is always a choice [Credit: Quantic Dream/Sony]

As a video game creator, Cage sat at an unsettling crossroads in an industry that often considers death (in games) a success and the violence that leads to the final conflict as progress. It's all in the name of blockbuster action.

Killing, death and destruction have become the gears that drive games. Cage felt more aware of this dynamic after the Paris attacks and wanted to give players true choice in Detroit: Become Human. The choices made in-game carry real consequence, hopefully, rather than just being entertaining for shock value.

Detroit: Become Human allows players to choose their own path at every turn in the game. The game revolves around three androids: Connor, Kara, and Markus. Each of the three characters have stories that run parallel to each other.

  • Kara is a fugitive seeking freedom
  • Connor hunts 'deviants' who have gone rogue
  • Markus has the potential to be a revolutionary leader

During a 4-day span in the not-so-distant future, actions in-game play out to affect more than just your experience. They can change the entire story in unforeseen ways. Each character plays a unique role in shaping the narrative.

Revolution isn't always violent; there's always a choice.

After the Paris attacks in 2015, Cage was afraid the concept of a revolution using violence and fear wouldn't sit well with gamers, the media, or his own soul. He wondered whether Detroit: Become Human should even be finished.

In the end, after considering the weight of such a game, he felt obligated to carry on as a message of sorts to our culture:

We're working on a game that is connected with our world, and maybe that's a strength. We should use it as a strength and not be scared of it. And I think it's important to work on a game and not be afraid of saying something about our world and just accepting and embracing it. - David Cage

Throughout the entire design process, Cage wrestled with the idea that perhaps the androids in Detroit: Become Human were actually the protagonists, while the human culture was in decline after years of relying on technology and neglecting the very elements of being human. To be human is to have a choice; and that is the story of the androids in the game. "I think it's really a game about us," Cage says. "Humans. It's about what it means to be human. It's about identity. It's about civil rights."

Markus: The face of revolution [Credit: Quantic Dreams/Sony]

Detroit: Become Human is primed to be a beacon in the gaming industry as the first to offer in-game choices that dramatically affect the outcome of the game. Whether you choose peace, violence or some combination of both - your game will shift from that of other players, and that is honestly one of the most intriguing aspects of this game: choice and the consequences of your choices.

Detroit: Become Human is a PlayStation exclusive and is expected to release in 2018.

[Source: The Verge]

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How Real World Events Shaped The Story Of 'Detroit: Become Human'
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