So I just finished this game for the first time, and I loved it. But there were a few passages that I would classify as bad writing, and the plot twist regarding Alice IMHO is one of these.
So, before the attack on Jericho, we learn that Alice is indeed an android, since we see another android of the same model, and Luther confirms it. This wasn't completely unexpected, since there were many clues throughout Kara's path. But it was very unlikely given Todd's attitude.
I browsed through the Detroit wiki to learn some more info about this issue, but I still think it doesn't make a lot of sense.
First of all, it makes sense that Todd's wife would bring their daughter along with her (since who would leave a child alone with Todd honestly?). What doesn't make sense is Todd buying a child android to replace his daughter. He's poor, and Alice's model doesn't provide any practical aid. Its purpose is just to satisfy the emotional needs of the owner. Emotional needs that Todd clearly doesn't have. He doesn't play with his "daughter", doesn't speak to her besides yelling on her in frustration, and is constantly annoyed by her presence. Todd buying Kara makes slightly more sense, since he's the kind of person to pay for someone cleaning his shit even though he can't afford it. Plus I guess it was implied that Kara's model could serve as a sex android. So yeah, totally a Todd thing. But Alice? No, I really don't get it.
Todd also doesn't seem aware that Alice is, well… not his daughter. It is implied that he's so hard on Red Ice that he started believing she was. But this kinda feels like a blatant exploit to cover a poorly written plot twist. No way he wouldn't remember it in his moments of lucidity.
So let's summarize. Todd is jobless and full of debts, and yet for some reason he's living with two androids, both of which he hates. And while one serves a purpose to him, the other has literally none. The situation would suddently make more sense if Alice was human, and Todd went out of his way to buy Kara in order to have someone tending to his daughter, something he didn't want to do himself. Even tough he despise his daughter, he can't toss her on the street, because unlike androids, humans have rights. Which seems to be the initial idea of the writers. Then they decided to make her android, but didn't want to change the family environment in Todd's house to make it fit this fact. At least this is the feeling I'm getting from these inconsistencies in the writing.
Besides the unlikeliness of Todd's behaviour, I'm not sure what this "android Alice" plot point adds to the story. The moral is simple: it shouldn't make a difference to you whether she's human or syntetic. But that's kinda the moral of the whole game, acknowledging that androids are no less people than humans. Was there really the need to further reinforce the concept with this Alice subplot? Which also carries the subtle implication that the relationship between the two is just a result of their program, since Alice is programmed to love her parents, and Kara is programmed to care for children. An implication that honestly annoys me, since I loved their arc and relationship, and that kinda turns it less genuine.
Anyway, I did not explore every ramification, so it's more than likely that I missed something important. But otherwise, this goes in the evergrowing folder of unnecessary plot twists.
I'm curious to hear your thoughts about this matter.
- I think Kara’s story could have been more gripping if Quantic made a couple changes.
- The game finally came out on Steam. Just finished it. Amazing game! 8/10 Here is what I didn’t like about it.
- Some thoughts after first play-through, good and bad
More about Detroit Become HumanPost: "About Todd and Alice..?" specifically for the game Detroit Become Human. Other useful information about this game:
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