From the makers of Heavy Rain, Quantic Dreams presents… Beyond Two Souls.
Having not played Heavy Rain, I didn’t really know much about what I was getting into when I managed to get yet another, exclusive hands on the game play at a special GAME Lock-In. Licking the icing on the cake, after pre-ordering the game in store, I was rewarded an early access to the demo which is released on PSN October 1st (US) and 2nd (Europe). On both occasions, there were different parts of the game to be played so I got a very good look at what’s in store for the 11th October.
A quick over view of the game, Beyond Two Souls is an interactive drama/thriller/action-adventure based video game with psychological and spiritual elements. It explores the notion of what happens after death. Main Character Jodie Holmes (Ellen Page) is played through around 15 years of her life from the age of 8 to 23 and she goes on an adventure to discover the real meaning of Aiden, the entity that’s been with her through out her whole life (who is also a playable character).
Compared to Grand Theft Auto V’s astounding budget of $200+m, Beyond’s budget only rolled in at $20m but one thing is for sure, the visuals are amazing. They are actually better than Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. This is due to the fact that the characters in the game are actually based off of the actors themselves. Ellen Page, Willem Defo and Eric Winter all play characters that look exactly like themselves. It’s quite like a film, whereas TLOU are made up characters so kudos for their creativity. But Beyond is definitely the future of gaming, especially with the technology used to create the game. The actors actually acted out everything… EVERYTHING. The stunts, the emotions, the dialogue etc is all done by themselves using a motion capture suit. The way the characters look is amazing in its self. The proportions, the facial expressions, hair movements and clothe movements are so realistic. There’s an amazing part you play with Jodie (Page) on a train and the way her shirt sways in the wind and follows her body movements whilst running and stumbling in the wind and rain on top of the train literally memorised me. It’s these little things that sets Beyond apart from other video games. The environment and personalisation of each character is fantastic. It’s a really great addition to the game to feel that realism.
Having the entity Aiden opens up the 2 player functionality to the game. He’s playable using the Dualshock 3 controller but also can be played using an app on your smart phone or tablet. As a character, Aiden’s movement is very free flowing, which is great because it replicates and reminds you that he is a sprit. He is a really great character to play with because of his recklessness. Controlling other people, destroying things, getting angry but also being a huge help to Jodie is basically what Aiden does.
The game is heavily based on decision making. Every decision has a different reaction, so there will be many ways to play the game and not one straight forward route. For those who have played Heavy Rain will already know of this (Heavy Rain had like 12 endings). You literally can make your own decisions, from the simplest of things like opening a can of beer to whether of not you want to wake Jodie up. It’s possible for Jodie to die in 10 minutes of the game if you wanted, but other than that, the game play racks up to about 30 hours. If you leave Jodie idle for a few minutes, something will happen, that’s just how the game works. So beware if you have to get up, press pause, don’t leave it in game mode.
Control wise, the controls are a little different to your usual set, however they are easy to get used to and work really well. There’s also a bit of the SIXAXIS used, so be prepared to be shaking that controller with your life and flashing it up in the air for Jodie to jump in certain dangerous positions.
From what was played, it’s definitely in the running for Game of The Year alongside TLOU and possibly GTA V. If you haven’t played Heavy Rain, no problem, this will definitely be a new experience and is already dubbed to be the next step up from Heavy Rain.
Beyond Two Souls is out next month, 11th Oct.