Detroit: Become Human is a game published last year by Quantic Dream, a studio known for interesting productions of storytelling and narration. The game is set in Detroit in the near future. A city that once declared bankruptcy is now a modern and thriving metropolis.

It is the reason people also hate them – the androids are taking their jobs.

In this world people use androids for various purposes, mainly working – they are personal servants, fitness trainers, even strippers in night clubs and prostitutes. It is the reason people also hate them – the androids are taking their jobs. Unemployment is rising and lots of protests against them are being organised throughout the city. In such an environment the player takes control over three androids where each has its own story and soundtrack composed by a different composer. The studio hired Nima Fakhrara (Resident Evil Revelations 2, 1979 Revolution: Black Friday), Philip Sheppard (Kitty Nigiri) and John Paesano (Mass Effect Andromeda).

Kara Soundtrack – Philip Sheppard

Kara was bought by a single father, a drug addict, for cleaning, cooking and taking care ofhis daughter. Soon we find out that both her and the girl are in terrible danger. They will have to run and hide and Kara will save the little one’s life multiple times and protect her. These events will give rise to the very firm bond that will develop between them.

Philip Sheppard’s OST contains captivating lyrical compositions for strings with the leading motif in cello with a bit of electronics and piano. It perfectly illustrates the protagonist’s emotions, the fragility and sensitivity of her and the girl, as well as the state of hounding and danger. Trust and love emerges between them, which is greatly represented by such tracks as Little One, What is a Mother or By the River. Kara Main Theme then captivates and engrosses the listener at the same time. Writing this track, the composer was inspired by flames and their certain rhythm. The theme was awarded the G.A.N.G. Award in the Best original instrumental category. There are also interesting themes of escape and fight, such as Run with Me, Zlatko, Confrontation or dissonant Dark Night as well as the moving, tense No Man Has Borders. Kara’s story is the most emotional among all three in my opinion, and so is the accompanying soundtrack.

Philip Sheppard’s OST contains captivating lyrical compositions for strings with the leading motif in cello with a bit of electronics and piano.

Markus Soundtrack – John Paesano

Markus is sensitive and obedient. He takes care of his owner, a rich elderly man, an artist who treats him like a son. Due to some unfortunate circumstances he is left alone and joins the android resistance which members want to fight with humans for their rights. They start to trust Markus very quickly and see him as a leader so he will have to decide whether to resolve the conflict in a non-violent way or to enter the warpath with mankind.

This score is a well made combination of piano, synthesizers, orchestra and choir.

This inner struggle is a wide area of work for a composer. John Paesano’s score is on the one hand a melancholic piano Markus Main Theme and on the other hand a dynamic, orchestral The Horrors of War. It reveals the sensitive nature of the protagonist yet makes the player fight. As the composer says, Markus gives hope to the others, hence the “hymn-like” structure of most of the compositions. The dangerous line of excessive pathos has not been crossed however. This score is a well made combination of piano, synthesizers, orchestra and choir. The orchestral parts are very rhythmical and correspond well with the dynamics of the gameplay. We Are People and the final This is the End are a beautiful and moving testament of the fight for freedom and dignity. There is also no shortage of appealing tracks in terms of structure and sound, such as The Junkyard or It’s Time We Send a Message.

Connor Soundtrack – Nima Fakhrara

Connor is a detective android used by the police to track the disobedient androids, called deviants. Deviants may start to develop intensive human emotions like anger or fear when they malfunction or are under high level of stress. In this state, they can even commit a murder. This is when Connor steps into action, often as a negotiator or investigating the crime scene. He is highly devoted to his job, conscientious and subordinate. He gets his job done without blinking an eye. He seems to be the most “robotic” among the three protagonists, and he will have to decide whether to act as the program tells him or to be more like the deviants.

Nima Fakhrara illustrated Connor’s character with a gripping, experimental score. Besides a whole range of analog synthesizers there are strings such as electric string quartett unplugged as well as custom made instruments and the ones built by the composer himself. Connor Main Theme and similar Hostage are very ear-catching. Dynamic, fast paced They All Look the Same and Now with the aforementioned string quartett, dark, with a sharp Moog motif Interrogation, unsettling Kamski are the most intriguing parts of this soundtrack. As the composer claims during working on this OST he imagined how an android would make music, and as this android starts understanding different things what would be incorporated within the music. It really fits the synthetic and sharp character of this score as well and shows Connor’s attitude during his slowly developing awareness of becoming more human and less machine-like.

Nima Fakhrara illustrated Connor’s character with a gripping, experimental score.

Detroit: Become Human OST is a soundtrack which fits the game perfectly and accompanies the in-game stories very well. All of the three scores, though different, are very complementary. Congratulations to the audio team for their idea of the separate soundtracks made by different composers. Although this OST is not particularly innovative, the final effect is very promising.

Executive Editor

Izabela Besztocha

Independent games enthusiast, mainly horror games, paying close attention to sound design. Dreaming of becoming a sound designer. Dissonance, distortion and other unpleasant sounds is what she enjoys to listen to most.