It’s 3 p.m.! Let The A.V. Club briefly make use of the waning hours of your productivity with some pop culture ephemera pulled from the depths of YouTube.
David Cage’s Detroit: Become Human recently came out, and its blend of filmic game design and ham-fisted writing has been drawing rounds of responses from players. Cage’s games always stir up the take-mill like this. They play out like interactive movies, with massive scripts that accommodate any of the player’s choices—sometimes quite feebly. You can’t lose; death merely results in a different storyline playing out.
The games are also, by and large, utterly humorless little works, tackling the weightiest issues Cage can think up: racism, domestic violence, child abuse, murder, rape, and so on. 2010's Heavy Rain told the story of a father whose son dies, and whose sole living son is then kidnapped by a serial killer. Instead of the endless power fantasies of other games, it let you role-play as ... a grieving father trying to brush his teeth in the morning. You’d shuffle through various locales searching for your son, with button prompts that’d let you direct the course of the conversation. Time hasn’t been particularly kind to the game, but it does linger in the memory, thanks in part to one of the greatest glitches ever captured:
We’re at the climax of the game here, and for some reason it got stuck on a prompt that let the protagonist call out to his son when you hit the X button. Instead of just briefly expressing his grief, though, it lasts for a full five minutes, screaming out his son’s name over and over again, even after being shot. The action moves far away, but he’s still down there screaming for Shaun throughout an entire action scene that doesn’t involve him. By the end of the scene he’s returned, still screaming Shaun as the titular heavy rain falls all around him. The glitch at once punctuates the game’s portentousness and underlines the cinematic qualities that made it compelling in the first place.
At least one person was able to get the glitch to occur again, although it loses something without the grainy hand-held quality of the original:
Here’s hoping Detroit: Become Human houses something so sublimely silly.