Quantic Dream, creators of Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy, take a baseball bat to our hearts and grand slams it out of the park. Beyond: Two Souls is a PS3 exclusive starring Ellen Page, who plays Jodie that has a cursed gift of thanks to her supernatural friend Aiden, and Willem Dafoe, a scientist who specializes in the paranormal. With a game that is jam-packed with emotion, stories, ominous soundtrack, and the perfectly placed thrills, it’s easy to understand why
we’re all hooked on it.
Jodie (Ellen Page) and Nathan (Willem Dafoe) running through an experiment.
Quantic Dream is well known for their incredibly accurate graphics, which makes this game all the more personal. Every pore, snowflake, and texture in fabric is discernible, and quite frankly, it’s really gorgeous to watch. Despite its greatness that myself and my peers rate it, others have their gripes. Although it has the classic Quantic Dream feel and controls, it’s nothing like you’ve ever played before.
A few facts need to be straightened out: Beyond is not a video game, and for those who have played it will understand what that means. This is more of an interactive movie. Here are a few key features to note:
You can’t decide your fate. Yes, QD has taken away the ability to have this game end alternate ways. However, the game leads you to believe that it does due to the amount of options you have with what and who you interact with. You can choose what to wear, what to cook, what to say, etc. There are certain scenes where bad things happen, and you have the choice to take revenge or walk away.
Linear… well… a lot of things. This one is a double-edged feature. This is an interactive movie, after all; the ending will end the way the creators designed it. The sequence of certain scenes will unravel in the same way. When you have control over Jodie or Aiden or any other character, it doesn’t matter what you choose or what you say. That’s also the game’s biggest issue. All that aside, the game makes up for it in many other ways.
Whiplash. Even though the game has so much charm (honestly, it does), it does leave you feeling a bit dazed because it’s not told in chronological order. Jodie tells you this in the beginning, so at least we had fair warning. However, once you finish the game, you can play it in chapter order which will then help you rearrange your thoughts and the story. Maybe you’ll decide a different choice, anywhere ranging from getting revenge to what to wear for your date.
Homeless, hungry, and cold Jodi during her homeless years.
Likable characters. The characters you interact with, I feel, are perfectly executed. Page and Dafoe aside (because honestly, they could never do any wrong), the other main characters each have their own personality, and you see many different sides of them, even if it’s a character you interact with for one chapter. Jodie has just the right amount of sarcasm, wit, charm, and bad-assery that makes her a great lead role. Dafoe woos you with his sincerity and a shocking lack of ulterior motives, which you would expect when dealing with a girl like Jodie.
A great story. While Beyond is practically like Insidious, except without the focus on horror, the game is original. You have a girl whose powers are almost limitless, and somehow Quantic Dream creates a game that is all-encompassing fun, thrills, somewhat comedic, tragic and emotional, and action-packed. The perfectly placed thrills are what makes the game, in my opinion. When you’re dealing with the supernatural, you typically end up with a horror movie, or a comedy like Ghostbusters. If it’s neither one of them, it’ll probably be a flop. Not this time; Quantic Dream really knows what they’re doing.
Overall… It’s a great game and a must play.
Every game has it’s good and bad qualities (except for The Last of Us, which was pure perfection, in this reviewer’s opinion), and gamers will definitely feel hooked and connected to each character on a deep level. You’ll choke, you’ll giggle, you’ll feel content, you’ll be bored sometimes, and you’ll even take a deep breath during the more scary moments; Quantic Dream will cater to all the feels.