Beyond: Two Souls – Spooked or Hooked? | Gamerillaz

Beyond: Two Souls – Spooked or Hooked?

Beyond: Two Souls – Spooked or Hooked?
 

Beyond: Two Souls is the latest interactive adventure from French developer Quantic Dream. Like Heavy Rain before it, Beyond: Two Souls puts the emphasis on story-telling and high production values. Is this the next evolution of movies and gaming or is this a story that would have been better left untold?

Sometimes you’ve just got to take time out from the ghostly entity that lives in your head and check yourself out in the mirror

I’ve been playing the game for about three hours now and so far I’ve found it to be something of a mixed bag. On the positive side of things you have stunning HD visuals, powerful performances from a cast that stars Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, a moving soundtrack and a story that is genuinely engrossing. Page plays a girl named Jodie Holmes who has a psychic link to a strange entity named Aiden. Its not immediately obvious as to who or what Aiden is but one thing is for sure, he’s not to be trifled with. The story is told through a non-linear timeline à la Pulp Fiction or 21 Grams and from early in the game you’ll quickly establish that Jodie’s connection with Aiden will take her from being a scared and isolated child to working for the C.I.A and eventually finding herself as a dangerous fugitive on the run. Dafoe takes on the role of Doctor Nathan Dawkins at the Department of Paranormal Activity, a man who is studying Jodie from an early age while at the same time assuming a sort of father figure role. So far the story has my complete attention and I’m enjoying the shifting timeline as more and more details surrounding the mystery of Aiden and the life of Jodie begin to emerge.

Jodie’s a nice girl but she’s not afraid to kick a policeman in the head whilst atop a moving train

On the flip side of all of this comes the gameplay. While playing as Jodie you’ll find that the gameplay has not evolved much beyond what was established in Heavy Rain. You can navigate the world, albeit somewhat slowly and awkwardly, using the left analog stick and everything else comes in the form of some flavour of quick time event. However, there have been improvements made in the areas of combat and world exploration. Still, more often than not, you can’t help but feel as though you’re simply going through the motions. The action shifts up a gear when you switch to controlling Aiden. As Aiden you’ll pass through walls to reach new places, interfere with objects in true poltergeist fashion and even strangle enemies to death with your invisible clutches. Its a different and original take on things and Quantic Dream have devised some clever situations where you’ll need Jodie and Aiden to work together in order to survive.

The Green Goblin takes on a more compassionate role in Beyond: Two Souls

The biggest problem I’ve faced with Beyond: Two Souls so far is that I don’t quite feel as though I’m a part of this story. Sure I’m given control of Jodie and Aiden but I can’t see how my actions influence the overall outcome of a particular scene. At times it feels as though you’re just given a checklist of objects to interact with and you simply need to cross each one off the list until you’ve found the right one that will trigger the next cut scene. It can almost break the immersion at times as you wander around a room doing random things and ignoring the presence of other characters who may have just asked you a direct question.

Jodie spends a few years being a freaky child before growing up to be Ellen Page

Still when Beyond: Two Souls gets its right things really do come alive on screen. The last two scenes I played were truly riveting and I can’t help but feel that I haven’t yet seen the best that this game has to offer. If you enjoyed Heavy Rain or just feel like trying something different then I would recommend this game to you. On the other hand if you’re just looking for minute-to-minute gameplay thrills you might be better off taking another joyride around Los Santos and shooting hookers in the boob.

 

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