developer: Quantic Dream
publisher : Sony Interactive Entertainment
Game mode: single player
As defined by its creators, Beyond: Two Souls is an interactive drama for PS3 and PS4. The game follows the story of Jodie Holmes, gifted with an ability to contact with the other world. Players observe a 15-year fragment of her life and try to discover the truth about what lies “beyond” this world.
Quantic Dream Studio is well-known for ambitious projects such as Indigo Prophecy (or Fahrenheit) and Heavy Rain. French developer is particularly fond of dark adventure games, with a large dose of paranormal elements, which often force players to make very complex moral choices. The same is true for Beyond: Two Souls.
The game spans over 15 in-game years telling the story of Jodie Holmes, impersonated and voiced by Ellen Page (an actress nominated for an Oscar for her role in Juno). Since early childhood the main character has been aware of things invisible to others - from her birth she is linked with Aiden, a mysterious entity who has penetrated into our world. Aiden turns out to be not only a burden, causing others to treat Jodie as a freak. The mysterious being is also the key to finding an answer to the perennial question of what lies on “the other side”. The main character’s mentor and tutor is Professor Nathan Dawkins (Willem Dafoe) who tries to help the girl understand the reality around her and explore the world from where Aiden came.
In terms of gameplay, Beyond: Two Souls for PS3 and PS4 is described by the game developers as an “interactive drama”, which emphasizes the focus that has been put on the story, its closeness to a movie, as well as in-game moral choices. Still, there are some original solutions in terms of the controls. The player controls both Jodie and Aiden (in pre-arranged moments). Due to the script’s structure, the main character cannot die - when a player has troubles with performing required sequences of buttons on the pad, the game automatically performs some tasks for him. This solution makes the game accessible for those who have no experience with video games.
As in the case of their previous products, Quantic Dreams Studio took a good care of meticulously executed audio-visual binding. Beyond: Two Souls stands out with its photo-realistic graphics, including animations created using motion-capture technique, as well as excellent audio.