I remember when Quantic Dream first introduced us to Kara back in 2012. Originally just a tech demo, the short about an erroneously sentient android begging not to be disassembled was haunting and beautiful. The tech itself was gorgeous and lifelike beyond anything I had seen before, but hearing Kara cry out, “I’m scared!” was what stayed with me years later.
Seeing that idea brought to fruition as Detroit: Become Human is nothing short of stunning. Kara is joined by fellow leads Markus and Connor to weave a moving tale about empathy, choice, and what it actually means to be human. Over the course of the story, the player’s perspective shifts between these three protagonists, each living a different life and trying to figure out its place in the world. The story’s pacing is well thought out, and I never tired of any of these characters as they grappled with the concept of sentience in ways that could spell out life or death at any moment.
It’s not just that the titular hero Astro is adorable (he is). It’s not even just because the levels are a marathon of creative platforming experiences (they are). It’s because in a year filled with excellent takes on the virtual reality medium, Japan Studio have expertly threaded the needle to create an insanely fun platformer that will stand as a landmark for what all VR games should aspire to be.
In every Assassin’s Creed game, there is a moment where the assassin clambers up to some high-reaching vista — a tower, a balcony, maybe even a ship’s mast — and briefly focuses their eagle eye on the land below them before bounding forward into a leap of faith.
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