Detroit: Become Human tackles civil rights without a grasp of history | Polygon

By Allegra Frank: "With the rest of Detroit, what we have instead is a story equally overstuffed and underdeveloped. Quantic Dream has mastered making a very playable, even enjoyable interactive experience. But there’s always this performative feeling behind it — always this reminder that, for as much as someone wants to help out a cause, there’s a difference between saying it and doing it."

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Nyxus146d ago (Edited 146d ago )

"But reducing the androids’ fight for humanity — or struggles with discrimination, or escaping brutal abuse — into grabbing nearly every button on your DualShock controller is a cheap, ignorant way to skirt the real impact of these subjects."

"The main character’s blackness in the story is never addressed, like it doesn’t matter."

It's always something with these people, isn't it? If a game doesn't tackle these subjects, it gets blasted. If it does, it isn't allowed to be translated to button presses on a controller. What else can they do? It's a video game. If the cast consists of all white males it's not diverse enough, if they include a white protagonist, a female and a black protagonist his 'blackness isn't addressed'. I'm certain that if it was addressed they would criticize it as well.

bluefox755146d ago

"The main character’s blackness in the story is never addressed, like it doesn’t matter."
Because it DOESN'T matter. They're the ones obsessed with race, not the rest of us. They can't look at anything in the world without seeing it through the eyes of race or gender. Must be an exhausting way to live.

Nyxus146d ago

I haven't played the game yet, but I assume the androids are just made to look like humans, but they don't really have a 'race' as such, nor the history that comes with this race. That's what i would assume at least. Also, I didn't even notice the character's race until Polygon brought it up. As you said, it shouldn't matter. The characters should be defined by who they are, not by their race.

gangsta_red146d ago (Edited 146d ago )

"They're the ones obsessed with race, not the rest of us"

Must be pure bliss to live in ignorance though.

UCForce146d ago (Edited 146d ago )

@gangsta_red Quantic Dream want to tell story of their own vision, not politics. Even there is political in Detroit Become Human, but it’s more about character and story and presentation. For example like Markus, you can make him a terriost or peaceful protester. It’s about choice.

bluefox755146d ago

@gangsta I wouldn't call rational thinking "blissful", but it is nice to see people for who they are, not their skin or genitals. More people should try it.

jokerisalive146d ago

It never gets old with those people cuz its a crutch they use for everything and that shit is played out already! Get over yourselves and your nonstop agenda to push race and gender on everyone and everything.

UCForce146d ago

@gangsta_red it’s more about choice, not race, not gender here. Polygon just made dumb statements to be honest.

Septic146d ago

"They're the ones obsessed with race, not the rest of us"

Lol- you dont really know the community on here that well then. Oh they definitely care and have some interesting stances on all things race, religion, women and a lot of other things.

But OT- Polygon's assessment on these issues always leaves a lot to be desired. Without having read this article, I recall their piece on Bayonetta...yeesh

TheKingKratos146d ago

" black and a main charactar "
Ewwww,What??...someone need to explain this NOW.

"White and main charactar "
Oh sh1t, again ??...why we don't have black people in games ?!

Sad state of gaming journalism

OB1Biker146d ago (Edited 146d ago )

100% agreed. It sounds racist to me. What were Polygon thinking?

jambola146d ago

lol yeah
what did they want?
"i'm gonna start a revolution"
"shut up black guy"
they think everyones focus is on race, when really it's just them

Sayai jin146d ago

@Bluefox, who's obsessed with race?

Sayai jin146d ago

@gangsta_red, people will pretend that movies, games, etc didn't cater to one predominately race all these years. I don't think a game company should feel forced to include diversity. The buyers will decide if they choose to support it. It won't change until people of different background write, create, etc upcoming games.

Skull521146d ago

Civil rights were tackled 60 years ago, go find your own fight SJW’s.

chiefJohn117146d ago (Edited 146d ago )

Pure ignorance, shame on you bluefox

VenomUK145d ago (Edited 145d ago )

There are some great comments on this.

@gangsta_red I think the issue of Polygon here is that they are criticising a game for it NOT being about the subject matter they would have preferred not what the publishers said it was about. Of course there is racism in the world and there could and should be games about this. However Quantic Dreams never promoted Detroit as being about this, it was always promoted about being the story of androids in society and the prejudice they face. Sure there are overlaps with racial prejudice but Detroit is not meant to be an allegory for racism in society - it is exploring a possible future scenario of advanced AI androids and the prejudice they face. Polygon is wrong to criticise games for not being the game they wish for.

subtenko145d ago

Exactly, here i'l give you an example (not that you or any of the smart people here need it) I never thought about race as a kid. I mean I knew people looked all kinds of ways, then society started coming up with this BS indoctrination trying to set kids of to think certain types of ways each level they grow up.

Society is sick, and when we try to be good people and help them out they retaliate shoving us away saying theres nothing wrong with them. Dave chapelle knows a little about this...I think...

+ Show (13) more repliesLast reply 145d ago
ArchangelMike146d ago

Well said.

SJWs! That's all you need to know.

Eonjay146d ago

For the love of God he makes this about the Android's skin color? I'm done.

trooper_146d ago (Edited 146d ago )

They're extremely annoying at this point.

G3ng4r146d ago

Kotaku, is this your review?
But really, let's fix our race and gender problem with more division. Triggered activists are ironically the biggest current problem here, pointing out everyone who isn't white while shaming whites and pissing off everyone in the process. Counterintuitive if you ask me.

fewDankMemes146d ago

Since when do SJWs care about historical accuracy when they want black female soldiers in world war 2 games?

subtenko145d ago

They dont wanna know, they want their agenda. Dont let them ruin our gaming hobby dude.

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AKS146d ago

What about his "blackness" needs to be addressed? These people are lunatics.

Eonjay146d ago

Spoiler Alert: I'm black and I never mentioned it here and I don't think it needs to be addressed. My 'blackness'. What the actual fuck.

RpgSama146d ago

But, but, but, but, now how can I take you seriously knowing that you never addressed your "blackness" before now??!!!

WOW! This must be one of the most idiotic statements I've ever seen in my life, that an Android blackness was never addressed, because yeah, I guess in Detroit futuristic world it's important if you're a black Android or a White Android. /S

morganfell146d ago (Edited 146d ago )


You are right, you have never mentioned it. I never knew. Guess what? I don't care. You know why? It doesn't matter. Yes racism is an issue of consequence when it occurs, but it doesn't matter in the respect that knowing you are black I still see you the same way. As a gamer whose opinions I have valued. That's it. I'm white. Doesn't matter. Not one iota.

Do our skin differences exist? Yes. Are there some social differences? Possibly, possibly not. Where did you grow up? Do they matter? No. Should we ignore them? For the time being, but hopefully the day will come when people do not have to 'ignore' because ignore carries the connotation of still being conscious of the thing to which you are not giving the weight of consequence. Think of it as learning to enjoy the light when the sky is clear. When the sun is shining we don't think about the rain. We don't have to ignore it, it just isn't a thought. But some people still leave the house packing an umbrella. Our surface differences do exist and if they arise at all we should be able to laugh at them harmlessly because the reality is they are there. We can't pretend they are not.

In this case when someone makes a conscious decision to build a mountain out of nothing we should question the person and their motivation.

Keep picking at the scab it will never heal. Keep adding fuel, the fire will never go out. I guess there are some people that need the angst of burning. It gives them a sense of purpose. Or like Robert in the original Red Dawn it keeps them warm. But this is a case of tilting at windmills. For the writer it gives them a crusade so they can feel like they are making a difference. The reality is such people as this writer do this not because the cause matters but in taking social action they believe they themselves matter. At the bottom of this is ego and the self.

Yet the very sad truth is they are damaging the very healing they claim to desire.

subtenko145d ago

Its not just them, look at the rest of the media, so much BS.

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antikbaka146d ago

they just can't imagine living in the world where skin color doesn't define anything... narrow minded as hell they are

CaptainObvious878146d ago (Edited 146d ago )

Dear Pologon,

Stop being racist.

Also get your pathetic SJW rhetoric out of my hobby.

Kind regards
Some one that actually plays games and can relate to protagonists of any race or gender (trigger warning, there's only 2 genders) even though I'm a filthy straight white male.

johndoe11211146d ago

As a black man who isn't an android and whose race has never been addressed on N4G, you won the internet for the day.

rainslacker146d ago

Somehow, I don't think polygon is one to chastise someone for not knowing history. Even if they're correct in their assertion, they believe that suffrage should simply disappear without any real effort, and do nothing to make their case, or take the actions necessary to further their cause. What's worse is they are not interested in civil discourse, which is absolutely vital to affect change. There's a reason polygon was implicated during gamergate, and a lot of that reason is trying to manipulate narrative and history to further an agenda.

WeebLord146d ago

No one's blasting games for not tackling social issues. But if you try to tackle those subjects, perhaps doing so without being so ham fisted would be a start.

There's one line in the whole game about human slavery, there's zero irony when you find Android's having to sit at the back of the bus or not being welcome places. It's like the whole world forgot the 20th century happened.

Add in that in Detroit humans are either Hitler or a saint, it makes the whole thing incredibly rote. I wanted Quantic Dream to learn from Heavy Rain/Beyond and they haven't still, it's amazing that they can be guilty of the same thing three times but here we are.

trooper_146d ago

Absolutely pathetic how this game is being attacked.

CDzNutts146d ago

I'm liberal and I agree if everything you just said. lol.

It's becoming ridiculous.

Christopher146d ago

***I wonder if Detroit’s creators seek to elevate a message of social justice, or if they hope the message will lend importance to the game, giving it a weight and seriousness Cage has sought throughout his career. The answer is probably a bit of both.***

This is my problem with shitty journalism.

You first propose a question without actually asking a question, then you provide an answer that you legitimately can't answer.

***Powerful imagery like civil unrest and peaceful demonstrations are reduced to quick-time events with copious button presses. Those events and button presses end up becoming a gimmick, and an often uneasy one: The snap decisions aim to change your mind or your position without any of the required introspection.***

Actually, the decisions aim to force you to make decisions quickly based on your feelings at that time and not in depth introspection. It aims to force the player to deal with their own thoughts, not timed to make the 'right' choice.

Muzikguy146d ago

Definitely some shitty journalism. Not everything is going to be how one person may want it to be. You bring up a valid point about the timed decisions. The “journalists” at Polygon should critique less and enjoy more

Kryptix146d ago (Edited 146d ago )

"The main character’s blackness in the story is never addressed, like it doesn’t matter. It should: African-Americans have a long history of experiencing exactly the kinds of discrimination that’s so important to Detroit. Martin Luther King, Jr. is an inspiration for the androids’ demonstration. And this game is Detroit, Michigan, of all places — a city where race and class figure into so much of its politics. It has a history, but you will be hard-pressed to find it. "

LOL It always seems like SJWs make it about race than the average person. If the average person enters a bar, they don't care, they go in for the drink. If an SJW enters a bar, they scan around to see if there are enough black or transgendered people in there in order to perceive the bar as likable to make a purchase. They couldn't care much about the overall quality, if what it offers is good, they get bothered by that one single thing.

It's like they wanted them to get side tracked and educate the masses on something we already know from our history books. They have that, we don't know, "we're more aware," mentality. Truth is, SJWs are more controlling than they even know, that's why outside their little bubble, they're the laughing stock in these kinds of matters. Like gangsta_red and Sceptic in gaming for example as noted above.

Kryptix146d ago

Also, Deus Ex: Human Revolution took place in Detroit and had similar topics. Nobody gave a shit at the time, but that was back when SJWs kept their mouth shut in gaming journalism. That's the problem, you let one slide, more will do the same and it becomes like this where being "diverse" or whatever will factor into review scores to "make a difference." Fuck off.

bigmalky146d ago

Yeah... Make a game in Dreams when it comes out Polygon, and we'll see how great your ideas are.

DemonChicken146d ago (Edited 146d ago )

Have to agree, having played the game I thought it is severely underrated. There are dips and by no means a perfect game but I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it and no way is this game a 4/10 as given by some outlets. Essentially this is as story driven as a game can be so kind of like a interactive movie but it's a movie that is driven by the choices you make therefore you are shaping your own version of the movie. If you are not a fan of these games and QTE then I would completely ignore this game.

I enjoyed the setting they created and the characters plus without taking the plot so seriously, I found it engaging and it kept me playing for more. The graphics and acting are also top notch. First playthrough took 15 hours but now I am doing another playthrough making different choices and it feels like a completely different experience. There is so much replayabliity and even by girlfriend is having a blast watching me play and pitching in some decisions; can see this been a great Twitch/streaming game. Choice matters (characters will die) and this is not like TellTale games where choices are insignificant and the narrative direction is predetermined. Worth the $60 I have paid for the game. The main menu android Chloe is also Kojima level shit, kill too much characters and she will comment on that.

It is a shame to see some professional journalists not understanding the definition of 'fiction'. I also get the feeling that some journalists just either hate David Cage or do not like this genre of games which is as unfair this is like me reviewing a sports game because I never play them. Hopefully this game sells well enough and Sony will contract the devs again for another game - god imagine how it would look on a PS5. Not many studios that do this genre of games especially with a large AAA budget. Do not want to see this genre die out in the mist of battle royale and shooter games =/

frostypants146d ago

Yeah, I don't get it. Don't we HOPE race doesn't matter in the future?

Vaud-Villian146d ago

Id love to see a yelp review of a restaurant "loved the food, but my waiter was black and it was never addressed, like it doesn't matter"

subtenko145d ago

Now you see a pattern with the media/press when it comes to this BS.

These people need to 'become human' themselves, they've been programed/brainwashed like an android. Im tired of this stuff

SSj4Yagami139d ago

Welcome to SJW (il)logic.

+ Show (15) more repliesLast reply 139d ago
bluefox755146d ago

Ugh, of course it's Polygon. Starting to understand some of the negative reviews now.

Nyxus146d ago

They don't seem to provide scores anymore. Their latest reviews don't have one.

Cohagen420146d ago

Gotcha, thank you for the clarification.

SubZtx146d ago

That is so you can really soak in their insanity by fully reading their "review" and not just glance at the score.

146d ago Replies(1)
djsilke45146d ago

Still at 80 on metacritic. Some of these reviews man

CaptainObvious878146d ago

You can happily bumb that up to 9 by ignoring all the sjw reviews.