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#1 Posted by mpmp (16 posts) -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtPmIBqRwQU

Looking at this trailer, how can anyone want to play this?

Quantic Dream makes games focused on the narrative, so naturally it makes sense that the game should have good writing to be good. Why, then, do people accept the atrocious writing in this game? The trailer alone shows it.

A game focusing on the subject matter of domestic abuse/oppression? Okay, good start - it's an ongoing social issue that many people still don't understand. But after that it just seems to break down instantly.

The father is simple minded and cliche through and through, blaming the mother and lacking any sort of emotional control. Cheap, easy, and cliche way to create a male antagonist. Not only that, but that design, as well as the overall conflict, is inaccurate to actual domestic abuse. For players, this makes the story far less believable, especially those who know a single thing about domestic abuse. For players who have gone through domestic abuse and may be looking at this as an outlet to help with closure or have a sense of taking back control, this inaccuracy is just insensitive. It misrepresents the issue and makes discussion about an already confused topic more difficult.

What is with the design of the robot? Subservient role, must be an attractive woman. Another cliche design. Male robots in media are cool as shit, while female robots are always the same sexy body type and way too often in some serving role. Would be cool to see this emotional, nurturing role be a male to contrast the emotionally unstable dad and larger perception of men/masculinity in general, while breaking the constant representation of women in such roles. Two birds with one stone.

Finally, why does the trailer show so much? Who decided to include things like "hes going to break you like last time" and the father getting shot. What is the point of spoiling such information, even if it's predictable?

Why are there such low standards for writing and the design behind conveying a story/universe/etc, especially in a narrative game? We would have far better games if simple things like this weren't accepted, let alone applauded for excellence.

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#2 Posted by soulcake (2561 posts) -

I think the part made sense especially when you found out the dude is on antidepressant lost his job and there's a major story spoiler i ain't gonna spoil. I first had the same idea you where having this dude is a major asshole. etc. But in the end i was kinda feeling bad for the guy. And this is coming from someone who seen his fair share of domestic abuse.

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#4 Posted by AcidBrandon18 (1377 posts) -

I've thoroughly enjoyed my time with Detroit and look forward to Quantic Dream's next game. I also feel it is the best David Cage experience to date. Different strokes for different folks I guess?

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#5 Posted by FacelessVixen (2503 posts) -

The Best Friends are playing this so I don't have to.

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#6 Edited by OurSin_360 (6105 posts) -

Because no one is even trying to do it, you can complain about the writing all you want but how many games are even trying to cover things like that? Or at least big budget games trying to do it, i know there are indie games that try and cover topics like that.

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#7 Edited by soulcake (2561 posts) -

Hey if you wanna see real bad writing you should watch WWE. Now that shit is Damming to other people trying to write a good wrestle story.

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#8 Posted by nutter (1812 posts) -

@acidbrandon18: Yeah, I’m always interested in their games and usually enjoy them, even if everything doesn’t critically land for me.

I’ll buy a copy when I have a couple if weeks to dedicate some time to a playthrough.

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#9 Posted by vdortizo (277 posts) -

Because sometimes, you just want to turn your brain off and watch "The Room"

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#10 Posted by Ungodly (444 posts) -

Man, just let people enjoy what they enjoy.

I don’t like Quantic Dream games, and I don’t think David Cage is a good writer, but people enjoy his games. So just ignore it. If David Cage is as awful as those reports imply, then he’s not going to be in business much longer anyway.

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#11 Posted by mpmp (16 posts) -

@vdortizo said:

Because sometimes, you just want to turn your brain off and watch "The Room"

I would argue that it's the opposite. Sometimes people want to turn their brain on and watch "Interstellar"

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#12 Posted by soulcake (2561 posts) -

@vdortizo: I have to turn my Brain on in order to understand the genius that is Tommy Wisseaue the dude is Andy Kaufmann on Steroids.

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#13 Posted by BoOzak (2494 posts) -

@mpmp said:
@vdortizo said:

Because sometimes, you just want to turn your brain off and watch "The Room"

I would argue that it's the opposite. Sometimes people want to turn their brain on and watch "Interstellar"

Interstellar is trash and i've liked a lot of Nolan's non Batman movies. (or is that the point you're making? If so, over my head I guess)

Anyway, to answer why wouldnt the guy in that position choose a male robot it's because he bought the damn thing. Why would you think this guy, who is insecure and wants to feel in control would buy a male robot? And you dont think if robots were made to be like humans they wouldnt be attractive? Some things are cliche for a reason, people are horny. I do agree that there is no nuance (or very little) in his character though, and that's the thing that justifies all the other things you dont like. And I also agree about the trailer showing too much, which is an ongoing problem in movies too. As for the world itself you could poke a lot of holes in it but that's sci-fi for you.

I cant speak for anyone else but I enjoy Quantic Dream's games because they tend to really go for it in a way that other narrative focused games dont, they can be dumb at times but i'm okay with that. Not everything needs to be high art.

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#14 Posted by Marcsman (3823 posts) -

Did the OP play this game or just look at a video?

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#15 Posted by Quarters (2658 posts) -

Because I greatly enjoy their other games and feel this one will continue that trend?

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#16 Posted by notdavid (882 posts) -

I still feel like no one's really doing big budget adventure games the way Quantic Dream is. Yeah, they're not high art. And now that we know about how David Cage cultivated an abusive workplace culture, this one's going to be a hard pass from me. It's just so weird to me that narrative focused adventure games have been around for ages, but QD's games have never been seen as a part of that genre.

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#17 Edited by mpmp (16 posts) -

@boozak: No, I like Interstellar. Not my favorite of his movies, but it's what came to mind. It's still a thoughtfully crafted movie with a beautiful message about love.

As far as your commentary on the robot character. The world is already fiction, so taking liberties to expose people to a better scenario excuses any of the plot holes it would create. "People are horny". Sure, they are, but that's objectively a one dimensional trait to appeal to. Using better design to show people that there are more interesting things than sex appeal is something we are missing in this industry. And again, your explanation for it makes sense, but it's breaking logic for a purpose. People seem to often explain away harmful plotholes as "that's just the way it is, shut your brain off", while getting upset at changes that don't make sense but serve a purpose (such as showing equality in a time period where there was clearly no equality). Not saying you're doing this, it's just what I see often.

Not everything needs to be high art, but my impression of Quantic Dream/David Cage is that they are doing their best to create an emotional experience unlike others. When they are trying to be the best, then that certainly opens them up to critique. They can't promote themselves by saying "look at this game, we are trying to hit you right in the feels", then turn around and say "bro, don't take it so serious" when criticism points out what doesn't work.

Anyways, my issue isn't that people enjoy their games. People should enjoy what they enjoy while keeping an open mind to improvement. My issue is that it takes a topic that is a social issue and misrepresents it, giving people who only have experience about this issue through media a misconception that makes the problem harder to solve. To give an example of this, look at the way pregnancy is portrayed in movies. Woman goes into labor, has to rush to the hospital, then goes through this grueling procedure to give birth laying down. Cheap trick to add suspense and drama to a movie/show. This gives men and women a misconception/normalization of the process, so when they go to through this they think that procedures are normal when they shouldn't be (women give birth laying down in the United States). The result? The United States has one of the highest (if not, the highest), maternal death rates of any first world country. They are even past some third world countries. Obviously there's more to it than just media portrayal, but it really doesn't help that people think that the current US procedure for this is normal, which largely comes from seeing it often in media.

Of course no one game or movie or whatever will change the world for better or worse in a huge way, but it's the repetition of things (messages, themes, etc) that do influence a lot. A game (or anything else) doesn't need to be high art to at least be responsible for a little research and care.

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#18 Edited by Kidavenger (4417 posts) -

All of the other household servant androids in the game are male, including Marcus the guy on the cover of the game, it's obvious you have never played the game so what is your point? You don't know shit.

@mpmp said:

Would be cool to see this emotional, nurturing role be a male

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#19 Posted by mpmp (16 posts) -

@marcsman said:

Did the OP play this game or just look at a video?

Looked at the video. Played other QD games, though, so knowing the poor writing of those combined with the trailer leads me to my conclusions. I'm mostly talking about the writing, here, which there is enough of shown in the trailer to comment on.

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#20 Edited by mpmp (16 posts) -

@werupenstein said:

All of the other household servant androids in the game are male, including Marcus the guy on the cover of the game, it's obvious you have never played the game so what is your point? You don't know shit.

@mpmp said:

Would be cool to see this emotional, nurturing role be a male

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Good job. You addressed one of the complaints I had and not even the most important one. And I specifically mention the trailer. How can anyone want to play this BASED ON THE TAILER?

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#21 Posted by Wrighteous86 (4011 posts) -

@mpmp: Hey, cool of you to criticize someone for addressing one of your complaints and then telling them they are off topic by limiting discussion to the trailer, which is just an uninteresting way to have a conversation and seems like it only serves to make it easier for you to “win” the discussion.

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#22 Posted by mpmp (16 posts) -

@mpmp: Hey, cool of you to criticize someone for addressing one of your complaints and then telling them they are off topic by limiting discussion to the trailer, which is just an uninteresting way to have a conversation and seems like it only serves to make it easier for you to “win” the discussion.

When did I do that? He didn't just address one of my points. He asked what my point was and then said that I don't know shit, so I pointed out that I specifically mentioned based on the trailer (sort of suggesting that I never played the game, so he shouldn't be surprised that I don't know shit). It's not about winning or telling him that he's off topic. I didn't complain about him being off topic by including his information. If I'm wrong, he should point it out as he did. No need for the added aggression when I didn't really do anything to hide what I was asking or that my information is based on the trailer and not the full game.

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#23 Posted by Kidavenger (4417 posts) -

@mpmp: The game is out now; there is almost zero value in evaluating a year old trailer at this point, the game definitely has some issues that people can nitpick as much as they want just like every game that has ever been made, I just don't understand the obsession of people that seem to have an agenda to crap all over this game.

I'll take an imperfect story trying to do something different over shooter iteration #683 that gets dumped on us monthly for the last 10 years.

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#24 Posted by SASnake (612 posts) -

Because I play videogames to enjoy myself, not to scrutinize every detail of it for the sake of having something to complain about. I've enjoyed my time with Detroit, and enjoying it is all that matters.

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#25 Posted by mpmp (16 posts) -

@mpmp: The game is out now; there is almost zero value in evaluating a year old trailer at this point, the game definitely has some issues that people can nitpick as much as they want just like every game that has ever been made, I just don't understand the obsession of people that seem to have an agenda to crap all over this game.

I'll take an imperfect story trying to do something different over shooter iteration #683 that gets dumped on us monthly for the last 10 years.

The point is to see what people say and address some concerns. It's not an agenda. I've played other Quantic Dream games and the writing is just not good, even if what they are trying to do is cool. I wanted to know if this one would be different and based on the trailer it wouldn't be, so I figured I would ask using the trailer as a starting point, to see if it's as bad as it seems. As one person said, my concern with the robot is wrong. But another person said that the father is as simple as he seems. It's not nitpicking - these are not small concerns. It's a narrative game that entirely focuses on the story, so if the story has a poor foundation how can it be fun for someone who has an above average grasp of story? No point in spending time working to go through a story that heavily uses inaccurate and overused cliches about its subject matter. You get points for doing something different, but if the point of the game is the story and the story is poor, then that carries more weight than just trying to be different.

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#26 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3759 posts) -

@werupenstein: I haven't played the game and I might be remembering incorrectly but doesn't that first android murder his owners and is in the process of threatening to jump off the roof of a multistory building with the child in his arms? If so then probably not the best example of nurturing!

I'm sure there's something I'm missing/unaware of.

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#27 Posted by whitegreyblack (1946 posts) -

This thread is already about as toxic as Quantic Dream's work environment (allegedly).

OP, while I appreciate your commitment to the "come out swinging" schtick, you're probably not going to have a great time here doing that.

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#28 Posted by Kidavenger (4417 posts) -

@jesus_phish: The android is the family's servant and was friends with the daughter/felt like a member of the family until it found out the father was planning on trading it in for a newer model and it freaked out/killed the father leading to the standoff.

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#29 Posted by mpmp (16 posts) -

@whitegreyblack said:

This thread is already about as toxic as Quantic Dream's work environment (allegedly).

OP, while I appreciate your commitment to the "come out swinging" schtick, you're probably not going to have a great time here doing that.

I've seen success with it elsewhere, but you're right. It doesn't seem to be working here. Thanks for the advice.

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#30 Posted by Brackstone (838 posts) -

The bar for good writing in videogames is just so, so low. On top of that Quantic Dreams is actually pretty good at disguising it's bullshit. The interactivity alone makes things more interesting than if it were just a movie, and their games look so damn good. Those two aspects are the perfect storm for distracting people from bad writing since you only really need one of them usually.

In other industries, writers as bad as David Cage don't get the kinds of budgets for these kinds of stories, so they're bad films/shows from every angle with nothing to draw attention away from the writing. Neil Breen makes horribly written trash, but if you give him Roger Deakins, ILM and millions of dollars, you'd see the reception of his films get a huge boost regardless of his writing. And yes, I do think if David Cage made movies he'd basically be Neil Breen.

Regarding the interactivity thing, the vast majority of Telltale stuff is also poorly written, Walking Dead Season 1, Wolf Among Us and Borderlands (so I've heard) being exceptions. Game of Thones being a 69 on metacritic is astounding for how awful that thing is. Compared to Quantic Dreams games, they also look like complete shit.

Ultimately, there's still a novelty to interactive stories, nothing else can really satisfy that itch, so the small number of them that do exist tend to be compared only against themselves. When the majority are poorly written, their poor writing doesn't stand out all that much.

Also I will say that each Quantic Dreams game has shown improvement over the last in some important areas, so even if you hate his games it's easy to say "maybe this will be the good one".

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#31 Posted by mpmp (16 posts) -

The bar for good writing in videogames is just so, so low. On top of that Quantic Dreams is actually pretty good at disguising it's bullshit. The interactivity alone makes things more interesting than if it were just a movie, and their games look so damn good. Those two aspects are the perfect storm for distracting people from bad writing since you only really need one of them usually.

In other industries, writers as bad as David Cage don't get the kinds of budgets for these kinds of stories, so they're bad films/shows from every angle with nothing to draw attention away from the writing. Neil Breen makes horribly written trash, but if you give him Roger Deakins, ILM and millions of dollars, you'd see the reception of his films get a huge boost regardless of his writing. And yes, I do think if David Cage made movies he'd basically be Neil Breen.

Regarding the interactivity thing, the vast majority of Telltale stuff is also poorly written, Walking Dead Season 1, Wolf Among Us and Borderlands (so I've heard) being exceptions. Game of Thones being a 69 on metacritic is astounding for how awful that thing is. Compared to Quantic Dreams games, they also look like complete shit.

Ultimately, there's still a novelty to interactive stories, nothing else can really satisfy that itch, so the small number of them that do exist tend to be compared only against themselves. When the majority are poorly written, their poor writing doesn't stand out all that much.

Also I will say that each Quantic Dreams game has shown improvement over the last in some important areas, so even if you hate his games it's easy to say "maybe this will be the good one".

This seems to be the case. ThreeOneFive also said similarly. Thank you.

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#32 Edited by Jesus_Phish (3759 posts) -

@werupenstein: That contextualizes it more. I had the feeling it would end up being something like the android was much more attached caring to the child and something made him worry for her safety but the actual story makes sense too.

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#33 Posted by Mysour (48 posts) -

@mpmp said:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtPmIBqRwQU

Looking at this trailer, how can anyone want to play this?

Quantic Dream makes games focused on the narrative, so naturally it makes sense that the game should have good writing to be good. Why, then, do people accept the atrocious writing in this game? The trailer alone shows it.

A game focusing on the subject matter of domestic abuse/oppression? Okay, good start - it's an ongoing social issue that many people still don't understand. But after that it just seems to break down instantly.

The father is simple minded and cliche through and through, blaming the mother and lacking any sort of emotional control. Cheap, easy, and cliche way to create a male antagonist. Not only that, but that design, as well as the overall conflict, is inaccurate to actual domestic abuse. For players, this makes the story far less believable, especially those who know a single thing about domestic abuse. For players who have gone through domestic abuse and may be looking at this as an outlet to help with closure or have a sense of taking back control, this inaccuracy is just insensitive. It misrepresents the issue and makes discussion about an already confused topic more difficult.

What is with the design of the robot? Subservient role, must be an attractive woman. Another cliche design. Male robots in media are cool as shit, while female robots are always the same sexy body type and way too often in some serving role. Would be cool to see this emotional, nurturing role be a male to contrast the emotionally unstable dad and larger perception of men/masculinity in general, while breaking the constant representation of women in such roles. Two birds with one stone.

Finally, why does the trailer show so much? Who decided to include things like "hes going to break you like last time" and the father getting shot. What is the point of spoiling such information, even if it's predictable?

Why are there such low standards for writing and the design behind conveying a story/universe/etc, especially in a narrative game? We would have far better games if simple things like this weren't accepted, let alone applauded for excellence.

I've played through the game and I'm going to go through and respond to all of your questions. I didn't come through the experience without issues, but I had an overall positive experience. 'Detroit: Become Human' is one of the few games I've played in my life that I actively wanted to return to every day and experience more of. Most other games I can wait a few days before coming back. But I think the narrow perspectives gleaned from one trailer is selling the game short.

1. The trailer shows a small part of the game. Immediately I see smooth animation, detailed models, and good lighting. I hear somber violins that swell and reflect the action and emotions in a scene. I love the technical side of this game, and it's all pretty apparent in this trailer. This game is clearly a leading contender in the arena of visual interactive storytelling. Based on that alone, I'm in.

2. As far as I can tell, David Cage is the only credited writer for this game which is crazy to me considering the extensive writing in the game. I definitely think QuanticDream should have a greater range of writers to really flesh out the stories and give it some diversity, stronger continuity, depth, and overall polish.

3. If the subject matter of domestic abuse from the trailer turns you off, then I can see how buying the game would be unappealing especially if it's painfully relatable. However, domestic abuse is not the focus of this game. That father story is corned into one chapter, a very small portion of the game. If you thought the entire game was that, then I'd understand if you didn't think this game was for you. But I personally, at no point, was under the impression that the game would be so limited in scope, even based on the trailer. My impression of the real world is that there are lots of fathers just like the one in the trailer. I wouldn't say cliche so much as real depressing stereotype. How is it unrealistic or inaccurate? I'm sure lots of kids fear for their lives within their own homes. Maybe it's not the exact scenario you're familiar with, but I don't see how the representation shown in the trailer could be so problematic.

4. Robot designs? That's problematic? Attractive androids cliche? Goodness, who would want to buy an unattractive android? There is a part of the game, early on I think, that mentions that robotic looking androids were unsettling to the public causing the designers to instead make them look and sound like attractive humans. I think many of your complaints are addressed in some fashion in the game, which you wouldn't necessarily get from the trailer. Anyway, I bet the market for homely androids would be too small to be anywhere close to lucrative. I think it's super realistic to think that were androids to be part of daily life, they would be attractive and/or sexy. I don't think it's wrong to desire perfection as long one knows it's not actually obtainable and that all people deserve love regardless of how they look. I can imagine a corporation putting out less attractive models for discount prices, but then realistically, their brand would be associated with the ugly models and that would be counterproductive marketing. I think attractive androids make sense.

In regards to android roles, you should understand that all androids are in subservient roles, not just the female shaped ones. You've assume way too much and your perspective is hampered by limited information and an irrational desire to hate the game. You've established some really strong opinions on it for some reason having not even played it.

5.If you're familiar with Quantic Dream games at all, you should know that chapters can turn out differently depending on how you play. This chapter is really early on in the game and the the father didn't get shot in my play through. The trailer is showing one possible set of outcomes, but the information revealed in the trailer is super basic and I'd say very unspoilery considering how early it is given. There's more contextual information to uncover about that scene when you play through the whole game. I'm also interested to know how you'd market the game, assuming you actually take steps to learn about the game through research or playing it, without showing story (which is at least 80% of the game).

6. It's hard to deal with this point because I think it's part of a much larger conversation that encompasses all story telling mediums. Ultimately, whether a story is good or not really depends on the individual experiencing it. I don't think individuals can validly make the judgment on a story for everybody. Some people will see Detroit: Become Human as a master class in story-telling, and others like Alex Navarro won't. Overall, personally, I think it's good overall. There are parts that I really enjoyed and parts that didn't work for me. I think you'd have a hard time explaining what good quality writing is because if you knew for certain what perfect writing was, you could have the entire world eating out of your hands. But very few people are already not buying what you're selling based on your OP alone making me think you aren't an authority on compelling writing. I'm not trying to say that I am, but I understand that whether storytelling is good or not, is not a binary universal consideration. There's no formula that will spit out: this story is BAD, or, this story is GOOD. Trying to spark controversy doesn't count. That's easy to do. Bringing people together, that's hard. I could argue that's what 'Detroit: Become Human' is trying to do, and it works at points and fails at other...for me, in the physical, emotional, and spiritual place I'm in right now. If I played it again, made the same decisions or made different ones, I could feel differently. Any number of real world factors could influence how I perceive the storytelling. Too much coffee before playing could affect my concentration and perspective and maybe I'd like it less in that situation as opposed to having a good night's rest and eating a balanced breakfast.

I just wonder, is the dialogue not realistic enough for you? Realistic dialogue is full of inconsistencies, pauses, mumbling, etc. Those things are annoying and would make this game terrible more a lot of people. I wouldn't think it would be an easy task to get all of the dialogue in a game of this size to strike the perfect balance between plausibility and functionality.

To wrap this up, I want to say that it's good to have standards, but how can you enjoy anything with unrealistic standards? Everything is deficient in some way, often many ways. You'll never be happy with anything if you don't learn to appreciate the small things. It sounds like you've judged this game based on three minutes of footage. You wouldn't want people to judge you based on some comparable measurement. Learn to be more charitable and fair in your assessments, and your capacity to have fun is unclocked. Broaden your horizons, don't narrow them. You are the one limiting yourself and your enjoyment of things.

This game works for a lot of people it seems; maybe it could work for you if you learn to open yourself up more.

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#34 Posted by mpmp (16 posts) -

@mysour: Thank you for your reply. There's a lot of information and it's very useful. As I've said earlier, I have experience with Quantic Dream games and the writing is usually a let down, so I was looking for information to change my mind about this one. To address some things you said:

3. It's not the subject matter that's the issue. It's not that fathers very roughly like this don't exist. It's an extensive topic to talk about.

4. "I don't think it's wrong to desire perfection as long one knows it's not actually obtainable and that all people deserve love regardless of how they look". This is exactly the problem. It's not just with androids, but in general. Even if people know that it's not obtainable, constant repetition makes it seem like it is. Plastic surgery (for example), especially amongst women, has been rising since Sports Illustrated and Playboy began showing unrealistic, nude/seminude women on magazines. One can argue that people shouldn't be influenced by things like that, but that's not how human psychology works. We are all affected by the culture around us. Of course androids aren't the main offender of this, but it's a feature that has roots in harmful objectification. As people said in another post, this is a sci-fi universe and a lot of plot holes are dismissed/excused by that, so why wouldn't the idea that people "want" normal looking androids (which would be a positive image to convey to audiences) be dismissed? Anyways, not everyone suffers at the hands of something like this and I'm not saying they do.

6. I'm not an authority on writing. I haven't played the game so I can't make much actual criticism beyond what I've already said, but again the main point of this was to see if people who /have/ played the game can dismiss my first impressions of the trailer coupled with previous experience with QD games. Also, there is a difference between enjoying something and something being good. People enjoy things that are bad and vice versa, myself included. Writing, like any art, can be judged objectively to a degree, and a pretty accurate one at that. Again, this doesn't mean that people can't enjoy something if it is objectively poor quality. On that note, if I was somehow the best writer I don't think the world would eat out of my hand. People can't fully enjoy and appreciate something they can't understand. Just look at modern examples. People think that Interstellar is a movie about humans needing to escape Earth to survive extinction. The average person (or at least many) watching Hannibal (TV series) thinks that Hannibal and Will Graham are gay lovers. Many people say that the writing of Better Call Saul is worse than Breaking Bad, even though it's far more refined and polished than Breaking Bad, even if a viewer may enjoy Breaking Bad more. In general, things that are "the best" don't get the most attention or make the highest profits.

Anways, thank you for the extensive reply. It's the kind I was looking for. I'll try to play the game when I get a chance for the good parts that people say there are.

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#35 Posted by Humanity (18495 posts) -

The more I see of this game the more I’m starting to feel a disconnect with the commentary surrounding it. The constant snark and eye rolls seem weirdly out of place for a game that seems to be actually pretty well made. From why I’ve seen it handles the “difficult” subject matter on par with how most games handle it. Most criticisms seem to be nitpicking on the highest order.

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#36 Posted by Mysour (48 posts) -

Thank you for your gracious and non-defensive response to my sharpness. You're reasonable and affable. I admire that and am less frustrated now with similar responses from the community thanks to you.

I actually played 'Heavy Rain' for the first time right before 'Detroit' came out and I thought it I might face genre fatigue, but really the opposite was true. There's something really intriguing about this kind of involved interactive storytelling that kept me engaged and immersed in the world. Interactive drama is a unique medium that seems to suffer from very specific problems across its entire ilk. Quantic Dream, Telltale, Bethesda, and Bioware have all been facing similar issues when it comes to telling stories where making choices can change outcomes. I definitely think that games like this could benefit from a full team of talented writers, but I suppose it's not a hard and fast rule. 'Detroit' appears to just have David Cage, while Telltale and Bioware games have multiple writers. Mass Effect 2 is one of my all time favorite games because it has actually gameplay as well as a compelling interactive story, and I think it's the best example of how this genre can be done right. Quantic Dream and Telltale could learn from classic Bioware, but overall I'd say 'Detroit' does fine doing its own thing. It's entertainment value was validated overall for me. I was worthy of my time and money. It wasn't flawless, and I wish it was better in a few areas.

Some of my problems with 'Detroit':

a. A lack of worldbuilding content. I wish I could explore the world with more writing via background conversations, conversations with NPCs, newspaper clippings, police files, journal entries, android memories, etc. The game has most of these things, but I think it's super minimal. The Mass Effect games are really fleshed out through these kinds of things and I could explore it all to as great an extent as I wanted, but 'Detroit' really limits this potential. Some parts of the game seemed more full than others in that respect, but others felt super empty and lacking. Having a codex or some sort of reference database would have been super appropriate, especially for Connor. Many times through the game I wish I could have talked to certain characters, and other characters more fully, and examined details more fully and talk to characters about those details. I'm sure for pacing and other reasons they decided not to do that (also, it doesn't seem to be part of their modus operandi), but I felt the world building was incomplete because of it. Game of Thrones is a great series because you can continually glean new information about the world every time you reread it. There's so much lore to it that it feels like a fully realized world. 'Detroit' squeezes by with limited info sprinkles, but I think it suffers for it.

b. Going off of my first point, during certain conversations I would only be given so much time or opportunities to ask questions and explore dialogue options. Most of the time I could explore a couple of dialogue options before the game would force the story along to the next part. It may be argued that a more realistic experience would be similar, but it was very unsatisfying for my interviews to be cut short and instead broke my immersion.

c. A bunch of times I was distraught because I found I had decided things without really knowing what my options were or that I was supposed to even make a choice. These kinds of games encourage multiple play throughs because of branching paths, and maybe it's the authentic choice-making experience, but I think these games can entertain gamer playstyles better.

d. There are multiple examples of careless writing. I'm thinking of one offender near the end of the game where I instantly thought of glaring solution to a situation and it wasn't ever presented. I know there are others, but I think these are a result of David Cage doing most of it himself. I think he could have used more people to challenge and edit his ideas.

I think 'Detroit' is a fantastic step forward for Quantic Dream, and I definitely think it's worth a play. Maybe wait until it's cheaper and give it a go. I just played 'Heavy Rain' nearly a decade after its release, and even having the reveal of that game spoiled for me, I enjoyed the ride nonetheless. I think trophies were the one thing I really struggled with that game because they were influencing how I made my decisions. I rather ignored them for 'Detroit' because of that. I'd say the writing quality is actually kind of similar, so if you don't like the writing in QD games so far, maybe you won't like this one?

I'd recommend the game, but to revisit the original points:

3. I'll admit I'm not an authority and can't empathize from personal experience, but from that position it presents itself as a very relatable and engaging situation. A lot of stories have fictional and uncommon situations but they're still relatable and engaging.

4. People have fragile egos and body images, but I don't think the path to strength is to destroy images of perfection and accept unhealthy lifestyles for the sake of satisfying the status quo. I'd say it's mostly porn, not standards of beauty, are what's ultimately responsible for objectification. Standards for beauty are prevalent in the natural world, and media does create a disconnect between appearance and personality as you suggest, but that's where we need to educate one another on the distinctions. It makes sense to me in the discussion of androids that we would create them in the likeness of our ideal beauty because that's what we wish we were not who we are. It'd be unbelievable if the game featured androids that looked like everyday folks unless that was a recognizable theme in the game (I don't think it is). It's unreasonable to expect the game to weave those threads when it's basically one guy with other goals in his writing.

6. I think perfect writing, though unobtainable, would be able to gain complete success. Perfect writing, I think, would appeal to most people with universal themes, relatable depth, undeniable truth, and unprecedented creativity (real inventiveness is super unlikely). It's conceptually possible though improbable and tangential to the conversation. Heh.

I think writing can be judged objectively, but very minimally so. Most of the time it's subjectively judged. In 'Heavy Rain' when Ethan is calling out for his sons, I wouldn't say it's bad writing so much as annoying if you spam the 'x' button and/or in the actor's inflection. Yet I've seen people attack this as "bad" writing which is puzzling to me. A father would most certainly call out his son's name in those situations. A subjective opinion doesn't make some objectively bad. Objectively bad writing would be based rather on its grammar, structure, and spelling. From there it's debatable. Someone might think the flow is bad and another someone might think the flow is good. Who is right? I don't think there is really a way to say definitively what is objectively good or bad for certain aspects of creative endeavors. It's hard to put into words, but I can agree with you in a sense. There are things that are convincingly bad...such as 'Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5' and those instances are hard to account for in my argument. But hey, maybe it comes down to the semantics of the quantifiers. What does 'good' mean and what does 'bad' mean? I think bad and good are almost too definitive to be fully functional descriptions of impermanent things.

Anyway, you're a chill dude. I'm looking forward to a response from you.

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#37 Edited by OpusOfTheMagnum (647 posts) -

We’re you ever in an abusive household? I saw that a lot when that sequence was first shown and it was frustrating to see so many people so certainly make the statement that “that isn’t what DV is like.” It was pretty damn close for me. Do you have the context to make such a definitive statement?

And as for you being frustrated at what you view as going outside of the confines of the discussion, I think it’s valid to point out one trailer isn’t enough to make a decision for a lot of people and there is more to it. I really disliked the BFV trailer. Still excited to see what else the game has to offer.

I felt like it was somewhat flawed but not for lack of hitting a lot of notes based on my personal experience in an abusive household as a kid.

I think the race issue stuff was handled like crap, written poorly, etc. but what I’ve seen of the DV portion was pretty well done in my opinion.

I feel like you’re looking for something that addresses the world more like Dream Daddy did to an extent with your view of “negative” stereotypes and more serious subjects, but maybe I’m not quite getting what you are going for.

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#38 Posted by BioStormX (64 posts) -

People hated the writing in Heavy Rain, I enjoyed the game.

People hated the writing in Beyond Two Souls, I enjoyed the game.

People hate the writing in Detroit, so I'm just guessing I will enjoy this game.

I mean, I guess I never played Omikron...

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#39 Posted by BoOzak (2494 posts) -
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#40 Posted by mpmp (16 posts) -

@mysour: :)

Mass Effect 2 did have a nice balance of elements to make it a great game. Most of my nitpicking comes from wanting experiences like this and for experiences to push the boundaries. We just get so few, for one reason or another. As you said, the team could benefit from more writers. QD is a large, well-funded studio, so it's a bit frustrating that they won't dish out a bit more money to cover that deficit and that's largely where the disappointment comes from. I wouldn't be as critical of a studio without the means. Sometimes it's not about being open to the experience (as you mentioned earlier). It's kind of like watching cartoons. Most people enjoyed cartoons as a kid, but as an adult it's not nearly as enjoyable, if at all. It's just too simple, to sum it up. Adult experiences are no different. Eventually a certain level of "entertainment" just becomes dull as a result of its simplicity. In this sense it's "lower level" or "lower quality" (the dullness is a result of progression and not over-consumption). I'm not saying that this is what this game would be for me, I'm just addressing an earlier point you made. For a studio pushing the bounds in many ways for its genre, it would be nice if they would have a more complete writing team (as it's a game revolving around the writing) to fill in the gaps that you and others have mentioned. But this seems to be it's biggest title to date, so hopefully going forward they'll make that investment.

4. I wasn't necessarily talking about standards of beauty. I don't disagree with standards of beauty and I do agree that we shouldn't pander to unhealthy lifestyles. I was more referring to the monotone depiction of women in media, particularly in games. Just look at games all around you. There are often many male characters, some sexy, some grungy, all generally interesting. Women are often just the "sexy" type. As an example, look up the Overwatch character list and look at the pictures where they are all posed together. On top of the muscular, sexy Hanzo, you have awesome, varied characters like Roadhog, Torbjorn, etc. Look at the women in contrast. They are essentially the same - certainly not nearly as polarized as the male cast. I don't mean to make it seem like I'm targetting Detroit specifically for this and it's unfair to do so, it's just that when I saw Detroit, it reminded me of Cyberpunk's sexy assassin droid and how it's a shame that in media we have rough males filling those roles (I think of Terminator off the top of my head), while women are still, generally, sexy. Anyways, on a broader scale beyond androids, this sort of depiction is harmful for both men and women. Women feel pressure to fill a certain image (as you said porn is a big offender of this, too), while men are viewed as less sexy than women, when they have the capability to be just as sexy as any woman. You may not have experienced this or seen it around you, but I see that people generally accept poor male appearance as normal, while calling men who put effort to look good and dress well (like attractive women tend to do) gay. Again, not an absolute truth, but definitely something that is pretty consistently observable in our society. We would benefit from breaking this both socially and in terms of getting more interesting characters in our games/media.

6. I agree with your prerequisites for perfect writing. There is the issue of how to attain things like universal themes, relatable depth, and undeniable truth. Complexity and nuance create a more believable, immersive story as our real life is very complex and nuanced. However, the more complex and nuanced something is, the fewer people will understand what is actually going on, even if they can understand the base words. Think of a childhood story you had that told a morale (like The Boy Who Cried Wolf). It's an easy to understand story and the moral of the story is clear to just about anyone who reads it. However, due to the lack of complexity and nuance, it's not believable. You get the moral, but are left with "Why should I actually believe that moral, based on the reading?" Now if you took that moral and applied it to a story that is more relatable to real life and you teach that moral through the events a person may actually experience, you create a stronger immersion and sense of realism. However, this makes it more difficult to read and understand. To give an example. I mentioned Interstellar earlier. Many people think that movie is about humans needing to leave Earth to evade extinction. But it's not. It's a movie about love told in the context of humans needing to leave Earth. It's a simple message, wrapped in a more elaborate package to make it resonate stronger with the people who can understand. You may argue that this is part of good writing (making it understandable by more people), but then I would argue to refer to your point about standards of beauty. If "the best" writers pander downwards to simplify their writing and make it universally understandable, we lose their exploration of what is possible to achieve with nuance in writing and how that nuance can lead to a message being more strongly received. You mentioned Game of Thrones. Compare the books to the show. The books have a lot of nuance that the show doesn't or can't capture, so the scenes are less telling than they are in the books. Look at the length of the books though. I doubt the average person will get through all of the books, let alone catch the majority of the nuance. This is kind of what I mean by objectively judging writing. One can enjoy something that's at a low level, just like one can hate something that's at a high level (if it's not their preference or if they're not at the skill to understand it). And there's nothing wrong with that. Preference/enjoyment of something, to me, is different than the objective skilled involved in that something. People often enjoy something and by extension say that it's "good" as a way to express their pleasure. So I do agree we generally lack the quantifiers/vocabulary to differentiate between the two.

That's what I've got. I'm sure I missed some ideas in my haste to write everything down.

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#41 Posted by StubertStanley (7 posts) -

I know it was mentioned a few times through this thread that David Cage was the Lead Writer for Detroit, but that wasn't the case for this game. I am not sure when Adam Williams was brought on, but he acted as Lead Writer from all that I could tell.

Just thought I would throw that little tidbit of info into this whole thing. I included a link to an interview with him if anyone is interested.

https://www.vg247.com/2018/04/23/detroit-become-human-lead-writer-quit-tv/

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#42 Edited by thegame983 (58 posts) -

@mpmp said:

'What is with the design of the robot? Subservient role, must be an attractive woman. Another cliche design. Male robots in media are cool as shit, while female robots are always the same sexy body type and way too often in some serving role. Would be cool to see this emotional, nurturing role be a male to contrast the emotionally unstable dad and larger perception of men/masculinity in general, while breaking the constant representation of women in such roles. Two birds with one stone.'

Because nobody outside of some vocal people online care one bit about identity politics. In fact, they find it nauseating.

Also in a future where a large corporation produces life like, synthetic robots/ androids I guarantee you that the androids, male or female, will be attractive. For marketing purposes if nothing else.

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#43 Posted by soulcake (2561 posts) -

You can ask yourself the Question would you buy a Obese Android?

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#44 Posted by AcidBrandon18 (1377 posts) -

@humanity said:

The more I see of this game the more I’m starting to feel a disconnect with the commentary surrounding it. The constant snark and eye rolls seem weirdly out of place for a game that seems to be actually pretty well made. From why I’ve seen it handles the “difficult” subject matter on par with how most games handle it. Most criticisms seem to be nitpicking on the highest order.

People just can't handle the fact Quantic Dream produced a solid video game. Hating on David Cage is what the "Cool" kids do.

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#45 Posted by mpmp (16 posts) -

@thegame983: It's not really about identity politics. Just how psychology works. What we see in the world around us (such as media) affects the way we think, whether we want it to or not and whether we are conscious of it or not. You can disagree, but it's not a matter of opinion. No one lives in a vacuum. Different people are affected to different degrees, but everyone is. So if you are releasing something to the world, that opens you up to criticism and rightfully so. That's how things change. I may be wrong about this specific game, but that's not the point here. Things we see and value are different than they were 10, 20, 30 years ago. Part of that is people bitching about shit they don't like and why they don't like it. That's not nauseating, that's life.

If you are talking about our actual future, I doubt we will have humanoid robots at all (except maybe sex robots). For both marketing and technical purposes, a robot would be designed for the task it's supposed to be doing. Form follows functions. Humans are ill-equipped for many tasks, that's why they build things, so why would we design our robots that are supposed to be doing things for us as humans? The automation that we already have today isn't humanoid and probably never will be because that's just inefficient, even for care-taking.

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#46 Posted by breq (107 posts) -

Did op just copy/paste a Waypoint article?

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#47 Posted by soulcake (2561 posts) -

@mpmp: Just looking at Japan alone there investment in Robot technology when d skyrocketing 20 years back when they saw the huge gap that was gonna come with caretakers and the profits that could be made in that sector. ( because of more people getting old then there one's being born). As some colleague of mine pointed out once, that if you need caretaking in the future you will be able to pick a human or a robot with the robot being the option for people with less capital. I get your point when it comes to automation humans arn't really made to build car's so a car building robot would likely be way different then a Android.

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#48 Posted by BladedEdge (1310 posts) -

Starting a discussion by declaring any opinion but your own completely invalid, How can you expect to have a conversation?

Yo, I get it, the trailer might be bad, the game might seem horrific. But starting a thread with the title "I think this, how can anyone else think anything different!" is just bad form over-all. Doesn't matter how strongly you feel about a topic. You don't open by rejecting any other reaction being valid in the opening line.

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#49 Posted by mpmp (16 posts) -

@bladededge: What do you mean? I've taken other opinions just fine and I've had discussion just fine in this thread, if you've looked. I've even admitted that it's not the best way to open in a previous comment. It's just what's worked for me before. People tend to go in more detail when emotionally driven.

@soulcake:I agree. I still think that after designs are refined, even care-taking robots won't be humanoid.

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#50 Posted by matiaz_tapia (628 posts) -

I played that scene you mentioned on that trailer. It just makes more sense once you do. That guy is a mess and that story is rough and tense. But they made him feel real somehow.

It is a simple as that. The trailer doesn't have a good written story...because it's a trailer. Your point about it being kind of a cheap tactic is valid ; Your point about already knowing how it is without knowing makes this conversation short. Ending with simple but true platitudes about books, their covers and what we should do about them.

Not that Detroit is any kind of master piece. Good or bad, it did not feel like they where being lazy or careless about it.