This very patriotic July is seeing one of the biggest narrative driven PS4 games get released for free for PS Plus members. This sci-fi story asks questions about civil rights and the potential of artificial intelligence and has been critically praised for it’s deep story and high-level graphics. Detroit: Become Human is indeed a good game, but it was made by David Cage.
For those unfamiliar, David Cage is a French game designer and writer who founded the studio Quantic Dream back in 1997. He has made several terrible, and I mean terrible, games in the last several years that all had the same goal in mind. Make a video game that plays like a movie. Well, this has been achieved several times with consistently poor results. Let’s take a look at some of Cage’s most high-profile failures in celebration of his 2018 hit.
- Omikron: The Nomad Soul (1999)
This is the game that started it all. Omikron is the beginning of a lot of Cage’s favorite topics. In a 3D future world, the player investigates mysterious homicides that could be connected to either science fiction stuff or angels and demons (depending on the side of the coin that the writer landed on). The game has a few different combat options and body switching gimmicks, but overall fails to live up to the convoluted space, magic, murder, apocalypse conspiracy that it is all supposed to be about. So overall, interesting effort, but keep it away please.
2. Fahrenheit, or Indigo Prophecy (2005)
Another murder mystery for you. The earliest uses of motion capture technology can be traced here, though they look very 2005 in comparison to today, which makes sense I suppose. People in the world are being possessed either by aliens or demons. Sounds familiar? Religious themes and imagery seem to be present in nearly all of Cage’s games though he did state he was an atheist in an interview from 2012. The game climaxes with an endless winter that threatens to overtake the world. The final battle features people floating around and doing mid-air Kung Fu fights like in The Matrix. This is the first of his games that would have multiple endings based on player decisions and would serve as a template for many future branching path narrative titles.
3. Heavy Rain (2010)
Shaun! Shaun!!! Shauuuuuuuun!!!!! Yeah, Heavy Rain was something else. I don’t know if even Grand Theft Auto V has as many useless activities to do as this one does. You have to control the speed that your character shaves, how they turn the knobs on doors, what leg they put into their pants first, it just drags on and on forever. You have to sit and watch your character do meaningless tasks, while yet another murder mystery is going on in the background. The big rush to track down the “Origami Killer” seems to take a backseat to showing you how realistic the PS3 can make chairs in the environment look. And sure, everything does look pretty good, but after I’ve spent two hours brushing my teeth in game, I just can’t be that impressed anymore.
4. Beyond Two Souls (2013)
And now for the most problematic of the game titles. Starring legit Hollywood stars Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, Beyond Two Souls has the most actual gameplay to it. Featuring a “Carrie”esque heroine named Jodie as our lead, you use your psychic link to a supernatural force known as Aiden to discover the secrets behind inter-dimensional demons attempting to invade the living world. This game has a lot of uncomfortable scenes. Too many rape scenes and general male creepiness have been inserted all over for purely dramatic effect. There is always a pretty high chance that whenever you meet a new male character, they will either be a helpful guide or sex crazed stalker. Art is subjective, so maybe some people enjoy this kind of tale, but I didn’t find it worth going back to.
Then there is the ending. Oh, this ending is a trip. The game deals with dark topics like suicide in weird ways. It presents it like a good thing at points and clearly shows that Cage needed an editor to reign him in on some of these themes. But hey, if you have the time, it’s a gorgeous looking game with great voice acting attached to it. Willem Dafoe makes every project worthwhile in my opinion.
That’s the end of my David Cage round up. Once again, if you want to check out Detroit: Become Human it’s available for download free for PS Plus players on PS4. An extra bonus is Heavy Rain as an additional add on. Enjoy that ride. Shauuunn!!! Shaaaauuuuuunnnn!!!!!