I have always held Dave Cage in high regard. He, Kojima, and perhaps Levine are the only game developers I would call auteurs. Their creations lean heavily into cinema, and it is clear that their mandate is to make a “playable movie” where the player’s choices are very difficult and have real impact on the game world. Prior to finishing this playthrough of Detroit I had only beaten Heavy Rain, but that had been enough to cement my admiration for Cage.
It took me so long to see the credits roll on this one because I had started a run with my wife making the decisions. Life had gotten in the way somewhere around chapter five, and then actual years passed. I recently asked her if she cared about “that android game” and she said she could not remember ever playing it, so I resumed the game alone. It took two sessions of perhaps six hours total to clear the remainder of the game. I ended up with what I assume is the worst of all possible endings, but it was an emotional rollercoaster. It is rare that any media makes me feel anything beyond mild amusement, and Cage managed to push a lot of my buttons. The subject matter was thoughtfully explored, and the potential to achieve drastically different outcomes makes this a strong candidate for multiple future plays.
The game is available as a part of PlayStation Plus, and if you have the service it is absolutely worth trying. The only complaint I have is that there was noticeable stuttering and loss of framerate, even on the PlayStation 5, during the big Jericho chapter. Otherwise, Detroit is a stunningly beautiful and masterfully acted piece of video game history.