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Detroit: Become Human is a different kind of tech showcase

As big budget triple-A games fixate increasingly on delivering larger, more complex open worlds, we’re left wondering – what if all that power was concentrated instead into smaller scale environments with a focus on extreme detail? That’s exactly the approach we see with Detroit: Become Human, with developer Quantic Dream delivering its best game yet – and a polished, intricate presentation quite unlike anything else seen on the market today.

Detroit is built on the latest iteration of Quantic Dream’s in-house engine, and it’s the first original PlayStation 4 title released by the studio. However, its concept is rooted in a 2012 technical demo presented at GDC known as “Kara”, which was designed for PlayStation 3. This demo serves as a teaser for what would become Detroit, while acting as a reference point of sorts for how the technology would evolve over the coming years. It still looks good but the final game is a significant leap beyond that initial demo.

At its core, Detroit shines brightly on both the PlayStation 4 Pro and the original PlayStation 4 console. When using a Pro, Detroit makes use of checkerboard rendering to reach a 2160p pixel count, but many of its post-processing effects are rendered at lower resolutions to save on performance. On the base system, Detroit instead offers a full 1080p image. Both versions make use of an extremely high quality eight-tap temporal anti-aliasing solution, in order to eliminate edge shimmer and in-surface aliasing – Quantic Dream reckons the fidelity holds up against 8x MSAA. It requires just over 1ms of processing time from the game’s 33ms per-frame render budget, making it an effective and fast solution.

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