Detroit: Become Human

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rob25X
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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by rob25X » May 27th, 2018, 12:02 am

Simonsloth wrote:
May 26th, 2018, 1:34 pm
So far I think it’s superior to beyond and heavy rain. The interface is better and I genuinely found the opening exhilarating.

I rarely buy games on release anymore but I’m so glad that I bought this. It does feel very much like heavy rain in its design.

I don’t mind the writing. The characters are definitely Hollywood cookie cutter archetypes though.
As I'm unable to play Detroit just yet I think I might revisit Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls on PS3.

Hope you continue to enjoy Detroit :)

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Todinho
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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by Todinho » May 27th, 2018, 2:07 am

I havent played the game and I dont think I will after the alegations that came out earlier this year but I did watch a good chunk of it on twitch and I think it's fair to say it's by far the game Quantic Dream ever made, that being said Its still very much a David Cage game and it deals with its subject matter as well as you'd think, like all previous David Cage I saw cringe worthy scenes and some terrible writing but I also saw some genuine great moments.

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rob25X
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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by rob25X » May 27th, 2018, 10:13 am

Todinho wrote:
May 27th, 2018, 2:07 am
I havent played the game and I dont think I will after the alegations that came out earlier this year but I did watch a good chunk of it on twitch and I think it's fair to say it's by far the game Quantic Dream ever made, that being said Its still very much a David Cage game and it deals with its subject matter as well as you'd think, like all previous David Cage I saw cringe worthy scenes and some terrible writing but I also saw some genuine great moments.
I think people totally misunderstood the Kara and Todd trailer thing. The game is not a child beating simulator as the Daily Mail and others made it out to be. It is a complicated, intelligent and thought provoking interactive experience. The scenes in question would have been totally acceptable in any TV drama or movie but because it was a video game people freaked out without using their brains and understanding it.

The most important thing here is that games have changed and we're not in the Pac-Man and Mario Bros. age anymore. Games have evolved into much deeper, richer experiences even beyond film and television.

Why is it ok for movies and television to do things games can't? Why can't gaming grow up?

Even if you dislike Cage for whatever reasons he should be congratulated for his efforts to push video games forward and challenge those uneducated about video games such as the Daily Mail and MPs who think gaming is only for kids.

I also think Quantic Dream should also be praised for not putting out sequels and DLCs for easy £'s and working so hard on new projects and experiences over the years.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by KSubzero1000 » May 27th, 2018, 10:42 am

Hm... I think Todinho was talking about the allegations of an unhealthy studio culture at Quantic Dream and not commenting on any kind of problematic in-game content. I could be wrong, though.

PS: The Guardian is a reliable source of info, right? I find it increasingly difficult to remember which foreign papers are kosher and which ones are reactionary rags.


Furthermore, I think the issue a lot of people have with David Cage is not the fact that he's willing to tackle sensitive subject matter, but more how he's doing it. Gaming can certainly grow up, but that doesn't shield it from criticism either.

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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by ratsoalbion » May 27th, 2018, 11:34 am

Precisely. I’m all for videogames tackling serious subject matter, but as Camille says, if they do it in a cack-handed way then they are open to criticism too.

Yes, The Guardian certainly isn’t without its faults but its still credible.

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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by chase210 » May 27th, 2018, 1:31 pm

As much as I am enjoying Detroit, its still incredibly... quantic dream esque. That is to say, incredibly clumsy and heavy handed. But at least its not quite as awful as Heavy Rain.

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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by rob25X » May 27th, 2018, 3:17 pm

chase210 wrote:
May 27th, 2018, 1:31 pm
As much as I am enjoying Detroit, its still incredibly... quantic dream esque. That is to say, incredibly clumsy and heavy handed. But at least its not quite as awful as Heavy Rain.
Can anyone actually think of a game since Heavy Rain that has done what it did and improved on it? I can't.

The only game that comes to my mind is Telltale's Walking Dead: Season 1. Why is it people think Cage's games are clumsy and heavy handed yet a little girl smashing heads in with screwdrivers, firing guns eating human flesh and hearing the F-word every 5 minutes isn't?! And that medic guy in Fallout 3 "You better have cancer". Why don't other games get the same criticism.

Heavy Rain may have been a little clumsy in parts but no more so than any other video game.

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Simonsloth
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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by Simonsloth » May 27th, 2018, 3:29 pm

chase210 wrote:
May 27th, 2018, 1:31 pm
As much as I am enjoying Detroit, its still incredibly... quantic dream esque. That is to say, incredibly clumsy and heavy handed. But at least its not quite as awful as Heavy Rain.
I really liked heavy rain and it became very much a water cooler game for me. It’s also the only game I’ve played through with my wife so its got sentimental value. This is better in every way in my opinion so far. I’m only a few hours in though so much can change

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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by Simonsloth » May 27th, 2018, 3:34 pm

rob25X wrote:
May 27th, 2018, 3:17 pm
chase210 wrote:
May 27th, 2018, 1:31 pm
As much as I am enjoying Detroit, its still incredibly... quantic dream esque. That is to say, incredibly clumsy and heavy handed. But at least its not quite as awful as Heavy Rain.
Can anyone actually think of a game since Heavy Rain that has done what it did and improved on it? I can't.

The only game that comes to my mind is Telltale's Walking Dead: Season 1. Why is it people think Cage's games are clumsy and heavy handed yet a little girl smashing heads in with screwdrivers, firing guns eating human flesh and hearing the F-word every 5 minutes isn't?! And that medic guy in Fallout 3 "You better have cancer". Why don't other games get the same criticism.

Heavy Rain may have been a little clumsy in parts but no more so than any other video game.
I think it gets the criticism because of what it is trying to be rather than for what it actually is.

When other games tell a good story on a fraction of the budget it raises more than a few questions. The main one is why give Cage millions when you could give giant sparrow, frictional games or the fullbright company etc a chunk of the change and get arguably a better result.

I still love Quantic Dream but you wonder if on a tighter budget the games would be a bit tighter and more focused.

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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by Flabyo » May 27th, 2018, 4:33 pm

That’s mostly it. Cage doesn’t promote his games in a very humble way, it’s the same reason people hate on Molyneux (though they’re about as far apart from each other in terms of what they think a video game should be as it’s possible to be).

Games like Firewatch and Edith Finch are promoted as ‘we think we have an interesting story here and a fun way to tell it’, Cage games are always ‘better than Hollywood, best storytelling possible, rest of the industry may as well not exist’.

I’m all for being confident about your work, but there’s a fine line between that and arrogance. And for some, Cage is a long way over that line.

I dislike him for the same reasons I didn’t like 90s John Romero.

Maybe it’s a British thing. We don’t like over confident people :)

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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by KSubzero1000 » May 27th, 2018, 4:41 pm

rob25X wrote:
May 27th, 2018, 3:17 pm
Why don't other games get the same criticism.
Well, it's probably because of the contrast of expectations vs. reality. The Walking Dead is a low-budget indie game with lots of nuanced, understated character moments. Part of its positive reception was due to being an unexpected hit from a random studio. The writing in Fallout is mostly subpar, but it flies under the radar because people understand that an ambitious design philosophy of that magnitude is bound to lead to most of its elements being of lower-than-average quality. I personally disagree with the free pass Bethesda's getting, but I understand the reasoning behind it.

Quantic Dream on the other hand focuses on very high-budget, aggressively marketed narrative-centric titles. The games have nothing else to offer other than their stories, which means that said stories and storytelling techniques are held to a higher standard of expectations. I think that's why they tend to receive such biting criticism from disappointed players.

Not to mention that Cage's egotistic attitude is obviously going to rub people the wrong way as well.

rob25X wrote:
May 27th, 2018, 3:17 pm
Heavy Rain may have been a little clumsy in parts but no more so than any other video game.
...I'm not sure I agree with that. I can think of quite a few games with more refined and elegant storytelling than Heavy Rain, in fact.


Quite frankly, I understand where you're coming from and I too get hyper-defensive whenever I feel like my darlings are being misunderstood or dismissed. But there definitely are valid criticisms directed at QD.

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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by Todinho » May 27th, 2018, 5:35 pm

Yep Ksub is right on the money, I bought every David Cage game to date but I dont want to support a toxic work enviroment especially with how they've handled it with Cage pulling a "Im not racist or homophobic I worked with black and gay people".
Personally I love Quantic Dreams games but not for the reasons they would like I think XD, the biggest problem they have by far is the writing which just brings the whole games down because they all have interesting ideas and themes but the way Cage writes them it's just terrible, his stories have good momments but they dont support the game because the writing that connects it all it's so weak I think.

Its fine if you disagree but I think that's what alot of people think as well and it certainly doesnt help that David Cage is constantly going on and on about the art of his craft and generally shitting on the medium for not "growing up" and other similar things.

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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by Combine Hunter » May 27th, 2018, 5:39 pm

rob25X wrote:
May 27th, 2018, 3:17 pm
chase210 wrote:
May 27th, 2018, 1:31 pm
As much as I am enjoying Detroit, its still incredibly... quantic dream esque. That is to say, incredibly clumsy and heavy handed. But at least its not quite as awful as Heavy Rain.
Can anyone actually think of a game since Heavy Rain that has done what it did and improved on it? I can't.

The only game that comes to my mind is Telltale's Walking Dead: Season 1. Why is it people think Cage's games are clumsy and heavy handed yet a little girl smashing heads in with screwdrivers, firing guns eating human flesh and hearing the F-word every 5 minutes isn't?! And that medic guy in Fallout 3 "You better have cancer". Why don't other games get the same criticism.

Heavy Rain may have been a little clumsy in parts but no more so than any other video game.
It's more than just being clumsy and heavy handed, there a lot of games I love that are little clumsy and definitely heavy handed. So I have a couple of points.

First, what separates David Cage's games from Telltale's output, is the quality of the writing and the tone. YES, The Walking Dead has moments that are over the top, however those moments are par for the course within the zombie sub-genre. It's playing into well established tropes that fit the tone they're going for. But more importantly, Telltale's writers build a world with a consistent internal logic that (the first season anyway) never breaks, and no story thread is introduced that isn't paid off. Character's dialogue feels theatrical, sure, but it flows without any moments of awkward exposition and knows when to hold back and let a character's silence convey information. The big thing for me though, is that character's actions always feel like they are informed by the character's internal world and not by the needs of the plot.

Everything I just praised there in The Walking Dead (I'd extend this to the Wolf Among Us and Tales From the Borderlands too), I could not personally say was true of any of the David Cage games I've played.

Heavy Rain spoilers to follow:
Spoiler: show
Heavy Rain is a crime drama like Seven or Usual Suspects and it clearly aspires to be of a similar calibur. This is a genre that tends to go for more theatrical visuals but more organic and "realistic" dialogue. So when characters continually go off on exposition screeds that have no benefit to anyone around them, only the viewer, not only is this clumsy it actively works against the tone the game is clearly going for. Heavy Rain continually fails to create a consistent internal logic and character's actions are often informed by the needs of the plot, rather than being something that character would actually do. Example of a failure to create a consistent world logic: If Ethan threw himself in front of his son before the car hit him, which the game leaves no room to believe otherwise, why is Ethan alive or not in a wheel chair or anything, while his son is dead? He took the full force of that car and yet walked away with his health, while his son was shielded and died. There are more examples, but this post will be the length of a book if I indulge. Example of a character acting in service of the plot instead of acting as the character would: Literally everything Shelby does before and after he is revealed to be the killer. Once you know this information, a lot of his actions cease to make sense and even actions after the reveal don't make sense either. (Why does he still want to kill Ethan at the end? Surely that goes against his established motive?) Only a small portion of it can be explained by "well, he wanted to collect evidence, so people couldn't find out it was him" (Some of which the game just doesn't show you during his playable sections, which isn't a twist, it's just retconning), the rest is just Shelby doing stuff for the audience and for no other purpose. Then there are the multiple red herrings that have no resolution and simply serve as a distraction. As soon as they are no longer useful, the plot discards them with no attempt to feed them into the larger narrative. Why does Ethan keep blacking out and making paper cranes? Oh wait! no longer serves as a distraction any more, so let's forget that ever happened.
My second, and much smaller point, is that not every game so clearly puts narrative at the forefront of what they are trying to achieve. Fallout 3 has a few rough lines, but people are more willing to forgive it, because narrative isn't all it has to offer as an experience. (That said, increasingly people are more critical of that aspect when compared to New Vegas.) Heavy Rain is a choice driven narrative game. It lives or dies based on your enjoyment of the story and that's why people are so much harsher. Though not the popular consensus, I feel the same way about Life is Strange. The dialogue wasn't meeting my standards, thus the experience wasn't working for me. But Resident Evil 3 has equally bad dialogue and I love that game. What a game focuses on, feeds into our perception of how successful the experience is.

So yeah, that's why I and I'm sure others are very critical of Heavy Rain and Cage's other games.

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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by ratsoalbion » May 27th, 2018, 5:56 pm

I agree with Josh. I can’t count the number of games which I feel offer a far superior story and characters than anything I’ve had from DC and QD, who I feel writes with all the understanding and depth of a sixth-form English student and, for various reasons, has access to a far greater budget than his talent warrants.

As for other developers not being held to the same standard, have you listened to our BioShock Infinite podcast?

I should stress that I haven’t played Beyond or Detroit (yet) - mainly because I thought Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain were so abysmal - but the new game has reviewed pretty well and will no doubt be a success. It’s not that everyone feels as I do about their output.

I also feel that certain elements of Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain - the ambition of the projects to marry the drama of cinema to the interactivity of games led to a few interesting ideas. I remember the opening the opening scene of Fahrenheit impressing me greatly back in 2005... but then I carried on playing.

I also feel that a good number of other developers are marrying better-written stories and characters with worthwhile gameplay (rather than Quantic Dream’s laughable mini-games and QTE’s) to offer infinitely more sophisticated experiences than Cage’s substandard fare.

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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by rob25X » May 27th, 2018, 5:59 pm

You make some interesting points SubZero. Though it's hard to compare low-budget indie games with Quantic Dreams games because of the difference in scale. Heavy Rain and Detroit are hugely ambitious games with multiple playable characters, complex story branching and last the average player between 30-50 hours. How many endings were there on Heavy Rain? 17? Detroit had a 3,000 page script and did motion capture for over a year.

Making a good 2-8 hour experience is much easier than telling a very complex 40 hour story that can take different paths.

The only games I can think of that really branched their storytelling like HR would be TT's The Walking Dead, Dead Rising and Fallout: New Vegas. Smaller budget games could do multiple path storytelling easily but they don't. Why not?

What games would you guys compare to Heavy Rain and Detroit?

I mean, what comes to your mind?

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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by ratsoalbion » May 27th, 2018, 6:04 pm

This doesn’t really stack up; the average time to complete Fahrenheit, Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit *combined* totals under 45 hours...

Branching stories are cool and a thing that games can offer over other media, but when every possibility involves hideously written characters, sledgehammer allegory, cavernous plot-holes and even outright lying to the player in the case of HR, why would I care about any potential outcomes?

I’d rather play a single, compelling and moving narrative than an abysmal branching one. There’s nothing to say that QD couldn’t do what they do but with stronger writing.

If you enjoy what they do then great, so do lots of others and that’s cool, but for those of us who don’t, much of the problem is the level of the writing.

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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by rob25X » May 27th, 2018, 6:20 pm

ratsoalbion wrote:
May 27th, 2018, 6:04 pm
This doesn’t really stack up; the average time to complete Fahrenheit, Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit *combined* totals under 45 hours...
Maybe you're right there actually.

Any chance you'd like to do a David Cage games speedrun at AGDQ? lol.

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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by ratsoalbion » May 27th, 2018, 6:22 pm

Ha ha, nooooo!!!
:D

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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by KSubzero1000 » May 27th, 2018, 6:36 pm

rob25X wrote:
May 27th, 2018, 5:59 pm
Heavy Rain and Detroit are hugely ambitious games with multiple playable characters, complex story branching and last the average player between 30-50 hours. How many endings were there on Heavy Rain? 17? Detroit had a 3,000 page script and did motion capture for over a year.
But that's the thing, though: With such a high amount of branching narrative paths, the writers are basically forced to cut a lot of corners in order to keep up with the realities of development cycles. I think there's a bit of a pyramid scheme effect going on in that people don't immediately grasp the sheer amount of workload necessary to craft a branching story line with, say, 16 different endings that can all be distinct from one another while still maintaining the same average level of quality. It's not that the concept itself is fundamentally bad, it's the practical implementation that has trouble keeping up with it. Plot holes and dead ends are almost becoming mandatory by-products at some point.

In general, I think it's better to overdeliver on a reasonably sized project, than to underdeliver on a ridiculously ambitious one. There are exceptions to this, but Heavy Rain & Co. very much run into this problem, I think.

rob25X wrote:
May 27th, 2018, 5:59 pm
Smaller budget games could do multiple path storytelling easily but they don't. Why not?

What games would you guys compare to Heavy Rain and Detroit?

I mean, what comes to your mind?
Low-budget visual novels are where branching storytelling has had the most success, in my opinion. 999 and Virtue's Last Reward from the Zero Escape series are some of my favorite games ever made, and they certainly follow this template. They have no voice acting or motion capture, mid-range production values and were developed on sub-HD handheld devices, but they also understand their limitations and know how to subvert their own tropes for dramatic purposes. The end result being much more polished and coherent than QD's games. Sometimes it's better to set and meet realistic goals than to shoot for the stars and land in the neighbor's pond.

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Re: Detroit: Become Human

Post by Simonsloth » May 27th, 2018, 6:48 pm

I would be interested to see what others thought of omikron the Nomad soul. I know jay mentioned it on the Fahrenheit podcast (and I think that he thought it was garbage ha) but I didn’t hear many others mention they had played it.

It’s an interesting one because there are the same moments of dodgy writing sand awkward love scenes that cage is renowned for. However the alternate universe/open world science fiction setting with huge variety in gameplay make it far easier to forgive the writing.

It’s ambitious and fails to reach those lofty aims in many areas but it’s probably a much more interesting game because of it. People will hate me for it but I would compare it to a game like snatcher. Point and click adventure at heart with dubious gameplay distractions.

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