Beyond: Two Souls
Beyond: Two Souls, is brought to you by Quantic Dream. Quantic Dream is the studio responsible for Indigo Prophecy and Heavy rain. Beyond: Two Souls is a bit more like an interactive movie than a game, so much so that Quantic Dream hired A-List actors, Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe to play the main characters Jodie and Nathan.
You play the game as Jodie (Ellen Page) and her invisible but oh-so-real-entity friend, Aiden. When you play as Aiden you protect and guide Jodie through her youth all the way through her early adulthood. Playing as Aiden is a lot less exciting than it sounds; you basically just float around and knock into things, occasionally breaking doors or choking unsuspecting victims. However, most of the game you play as Jodie as she tries to find out what her life means, why she is linked to an Aiden, and where Aiden came from.
As the game begins, Jodie is picked up by a cop and is reflects on what she is and what she has done. While doing so, she starts to see bits and pieces of her life. This leads you to realize that the entire story line is more scrambled than Reservoir Dogs. At times the story can be absolutely captivating, but the majority of the time you will completely lose interest in what is happening. Too often, the game doesn’t seem to know what genre it actually wants to be: trying to tie in horror to love stories, drama, action, and even adventure, which in turn leaves the gamer extremely confused. At some points the game will feel as if it is taking forever to load, only to have you play through a two minute scene that makes no sense at the point you are seeing it (due to the scrambled time line) and then you will once again be sitting at another load screen.
On top of everything else, when the game comes to an end, you feel like nothing you did in the game had any consequence and that the ending would be the same no matter what. Mix that with how short the game is (8-10 hours) and you have a recipe for disaster since there is no point in re-playing the game to get a different outcome!
There were a few things that did save the game though. Beyond: Two Souls has absolutely amazing graphics. At times, it feels like you are actually watching a movie in the theaters. The motion capture of the actors is amazing, even facial expressions are perfected. Also, the acting in the game is phenomenal; the raw emotion you feel through Jodie (Ellen Page) is almost enough to keep you interested in the game. The last saving grace would be that the “game” handles a lot better than Heavy Rain did and you never find yourself confused as to what button to press (Press X to Jason!).
A Gamer’s Opinion:
I am no stranger to movie styled games. I have played Heavy Rain, The Walking Dead by Telltale Games, and even Dragon’s Lair but Beyond: Two Souls just felt like it was lacking when compared to these titles. While I would say that Beyond: Two Souls was executed in a much better way than Heavy Rain, I truly believe that Heavy Rain’s story was more involved and actually kept you guessing the entire game. Also The Walking Dead’s story constantly has you holding your breath and wondering what will happen next, there doesn’t seem to be any of that suspense in Beyond: Two Souls.
I enjoyed this “game” as an experience, as it never fully felt like a game. Beyond: Two Souls held my interest at enough points throughout the story enough times for me to actually want to play through it. Once at the end of the game however, I found myself wondering if any of the choices I made throughout the 8 hour game actually mattered. If I were to buy the game again I would wait until it was extremely discounted or buy a used copy since there is not much re-play value and it is a very short game for what it is.
- Great acting by Dafoe and Page
- The graphics are beautiful
- Short (only about 8 hours long)
- Not much of a game, more like a movie with little interaction
- The story line is all over the place
- Input on game doesn’t seem to change outcomes