As he looked around and lay witness to the chaos that had fostered by his very own doing, he began to understand something he had not yet perceived. That piles of bodies that were only moments ago the undead, that these carcasses were once living people… like him. These now empty shells before him start to show remnants of their past; Doctors, Teachers, Bankers, a Secretary, a Police Officer are now just fragmenting of a world that once was. It was at this point, he decided to get ice cream.
Yakuza over the years has turned from a niche darling to a flagship title, with remakes of the first two games and now PC ports, the eastern answer to Grand Theft Auto has finally broke the western market. And rightly so. Yakuza is a sweet and sour type of game; two opposing flavours combine as one delicious whole. Sandbox design with arcade brawler, dating sim and arcade classic collection, melodramatic story meets self-aware camp comedy genre; the designers want you to be absorbed in the story and world but they -like Kojima’s team- know why you are here… too have fun.
All video game series have black sheep in the family. A game that may have been misunderstood at the time or just didn’t have the right dance moves to stand out from the crowd, leaving it to walks home alone… with a kebab for one. That game is Yakuza: Dead Souls.
Yakuza: Dead Souls is developed and published by Sega exclusively for the PlayStation 3. Initially schedule for release in Japan March 2011 only to be pushed back to June 2011 due to the earthquakes and Tsunami that hit the country. Here in Europe and the folks in North America wouldn’t see the release until the following year in March 2012.
Acting as a spin off/alternate timeline succeeding the fourth game, Yakuza: Dead Souls uses the established sandbox action adventure with RPG elements gameplay but this time adding the genre of Survival Horror with the inclusion of zombies and monsters acting as the threat instead of rival gang members.
Quantic Dream are a game studio with a difference. See choice is everything! That’s also true in life too. So why not make a few video games that perpetuate the notion of choice determining the direction? Easy! Actually the concept sounds more logical than easy. Quantic Dream games like Heavy Rain, Beyond Two Souls and Fahrenheit provide challenges like no other. The latest edition to the Quantic Dream library is Detroit: Become Human. A story that allows players to take control of three main protagonists in a world which views artificial Intelligence both an asset and the enemy. In Detroit: Become Human we play as, Connor; an upcoming aid to police enforcement. Markus; a hired hand (or butler of some kind) to some savvy rich chap and finally, Kara; a maternal type who is hired to be a maid/baby sitter/cook by Todd. You get the picture. The three all have very different backgrounds and motives within the rebellion. I found it enriching to watch each character progress through Detroit: Become Human.
In essence Detroit: Become Human is whatever you want it to be. As I just completed the game on live stream, I tried to play the bulk of Detroit: by making decisions I would make in real life. You may choose a completely different path; to which different outcomes would occur. All three protagonists have very different personalities but at times their traits are tested. Early on in the game Kara has to make decisions on how to deal with her human owner. Without spoiling too much of Detroit: Become Human, Kara not only has her own A:I wellbeing to consider but has to consider Alice’s safety too. Alice is Todd’s daughter and it is clear from the opening this relationship that Todd is not the best role model for Alice. He drinks too much, smokes too much Pot and clearly does not know how to keep a neat house. Alice is scared of him as Todd often flies off the handle; unprompted. What is Kara’s role within this dysfunctional father/daughter relationship? Well A:I done have feelings right? They don’t feel sympathy, empathy, fear, anger or love do they? The short answer is: you are wrong. In Detroit: Become Human Artificial Intelligence; it could be argued, is the wrong term. What we realise very quickly is that Kara is able to question Todd’s approach. Kara has to make decisions on how to help (or not help) Alice. The rift between humans and Artificial Intelligence is what drives Detroit: Become Human’s foundations. The rest is up to you.
Detroit: Become Human is a game that will push your decision making. At times your decisions are forced to be made within a certain time limit which adds to the pace of the game. Be prepared for your palms to get sweaty! Ultimately I enjoyed the connection between the game and myself. Detroit: Become Human got my heart racing and at times I felt the devastation of knowing that I made the wrong decision within seconds of making it. By then it was too late. Detroit: Become Human does not give you a second chance so every decision has to be made with certainty. This is not a bad thing. Arguably it makes for great replay value as Detroit: Become Human can be played multiple times with multiple different endings. I believe Heavy Rain had over twenty different endings. It is reported that Detroit: Become Human has over forty different endings!
Does Detroit: Become Human surpass previous Quantic Dream games? I would say that it is not as good as Heavy Rain but it is much deeper than Beyond Two Souls. If you have not played either of those two games then all I can say is that you really will enjoy Detroit: Become Human. If you have played Heavy Rain and beyond Two Souls then I firmly believe Detroit: Become Human will give you a run for your money.
For the most part Detroit: Become Human flows. The pacing can easily slow down at times when the script becomes stagnant. At times certain scenes seem awkward, with stale lines of dialogue. This is a minor detail and perhaps it is something you might not experience when playing. In addition, I found that some tasks did not have a big enough purpose. When Markus played the piano in the mansion it seemed to serve no purpose other than to extent meaningless dialogue. Ultimately these small gripes do not detract from Detroit: Become Human being a fantastic addition to the PS4 library. It might not be on the same gripping level as Heavy Rain but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Is Detroit: Become Human worth buying? Given the replay value alone I would say that it is a must own PS4 game. Even if you chose to play Detroit: Become Human only once you’re going to get an experience that stems much further than the crippling generic woes of a, say a Battle Royale game. If you don’t buy Detroit: Become Human then I believe you are truly missing out. Happy gaming!
Post by Gemma @ Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
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