on October 14, 2013
So, you liked Heavy Rain?
You loved the story and the gameplay, right?
You thought that even the simple tasks like changing the diaper was fun, right?
Here's the thing about Beyond: Two Souls. The gameplay feels like a step backwards. You interact less so that the game can look more cinematic (that's the official excuse, more or less). For me, not only is there less for the player to do (there aren't even as many action scenes), but also, the new gameplay controls don't seem challenging. And that's just Jodie's controls. Aiden's have to be better, right? Well, they're definitely not more exciting than hers. Sure, they're definitely unique, but the problem I have with his controls is that it feels more limited than it should be. During the big stealth level, the game pretty much tells you exactly which enemies to take out and in what way. Aiden can choke or possess enemies, but instead of letting the player strategize which enemies to choke, which to possess, and which to leave alone, the game only gives you one way to interact with each enemy. If he is glowing red, you can choke him, but you cannot possess him. It gets silly when you see a lone enemy, but you can't choke him, or when you see a group of enemies, but you can't possess one to shoot the rest.
But, now that I have my gameplay rant out of the way, let me explain to you why I still rate this game highly and why I will still praise it:
1) The story and the acting are great.
2) The graphics are great and it is very cinematic.
3) While player decisions aren't as complex as you would hope, I was still quite impressed by the way the various endings are handled.
4) The game is accessible to those that don't play video games through either the easiest difficulty and a PS3 controller OR through a smartphone/tablet app that serves as a controller for those that are more used to casual, touch-screen gaming.
5) A local two-player co-operative mode is available.
So, why is my rating so high? I love good stories. I am a movie junkie. The only thing I like more is sharing my favorite stories with others. This game is perfect for that. After your first-run through (or during it), you can play it again with a friend or a family member or a significant other and experience their journey with them, even if they don't usually play video games. You can help them make decisions or let them choose everything on their own.
So, in conclusion, if you love experiencing and sharing stories, this game is probably for you. If you need to be first-person shooting Nazi-zombies or drive-by shooting hookers in order to be entertained or if you disliked Heavy Rain, stay far, far away. If you liked Heavy Rain, prepare to be slightly disappointed. In the end, just know that this game isn't for everyone, but, I will always consider it to be a cinematic masterpiece.
on October 13, 2013
I'm shocked at many of the negative reviews for the video game Beyond Two Souls. It's obvious that those who would criticize it don't understand that video games aren't just about shooting at bad guys and looting bodies. Games can be so much more than that. They can, in fact, be art. And Beyond Two Souls is a perfect example of that.
Beyond Two Souls tells the story of a girl named Jodie, who has a special gift. She's tied to an entity from the spirit realm that gives her special abilities. There are those who want to help her learn to use her abilities and there are those who would exploit them. Jodie must navigate a world where she learns who she can trust and who she needs to be wary of.
But Beyond Two Souls is so much more than that. This game has more story than most Hollywood blockbuster films. In its 10 or so hours of play time, you will find yourself not wanting to sleep so that you can keep playing to find out what happens next. Using an unconventional storytelling technique, the game is divided up into chapters. Each chapter covers a certain event in Jodie's life. The chapters aren't put together in a linear fashion, but are given to the player as puzzle pieces. You might learn something about Jodie's childhood, but then you'll experience her later adult years, followed by her teen years. These puzzle pieces create a whole story that is not only compelling, but downright beautiful.
Yeah, I'll admit it. This game made me cry - several times. That's how good it is. But it's so much more than story. The gameplay itself is an interactive experience unlike anything I've played before. It doesn't require standard gaming technique, but you do need to be quick with the controller to carry out certain actions that will affect how each chapter, and the game itself, plays out. There are often multiple choices available and each determines the path that Jodie's life takes. The overall effect is one that immerses you in the game unlike anything you've experienced before.
A lot of this has to do with the fine voice acting. Obviously, putting Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe behind the voices of the two main characters is going to guarantee excellent acting, but even the secondary characters feel real and natural. Add to that some of the most beautiful graphics you've ever seen in a game (seriously, you can see each freckle on Jodie's face), and this game feels more real than anything you might find on television.
To those critics who just didn't get this game, I have to ask: what is wrong with you? After all, the video game industry keeps arguing that video games can be artistic. With the arrival of Beyond Two Souls, we have just that: a wonderful piece of art that brings about complex emotions as well as any painting, book or film.
on October 11, 2013
David Cage and the fine folk at Quantic Dream have become known for creating unique and different games (and yes, they're games), however some people tend to love them and other people find it their mission in life to hate them. Whichever side of the fence you're on, it's undeniable that they offer something different from the status quo, and variety's never a bad thing, especially when it's this good.
Beyond, much like Quantic Dream's past games Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain, is a very cinematic game that marries both cinematics and gameplay so that the two aren't disjointed but interwoven. While you often have free control of the character, this isn't merely a quick-time event game like some claim, however they are an important aspect to the game. But I'm fine that this isn't a game like most games where you see an amazing cutscene that builds up the characters and shows the more mundane, perhaps emotional, moments in a character's life, while the actual gameplay sections interspersed between the cutscenes have you shooting guns and whatnot. Quantic Dream games have the player doing exciting things but also more mundane things that build the characters and makes you care for them since you're an active participant.
As for the graphics, they're the best this generation. There are a few texture oddities and whatnot, but it's overall the most impressive game I've seen this generation. The character models and animations are absolutely best in class. Some of the subtle animations of the characters make them feel like real human beings and not merely video game characters. Ellen Page and everyone else involved gave great performances.
Beyond: Two Souls is an emotional journey where you get to truly experience the roller coaster ride and not just watch it play out. If there's one game you play to finish out this console generation, please make it this one.
Beyond Two Souls is the latest work of Quantic Dream, who make the curious decision to place story, environments, and characters beyond gameplay upgrades. You play a duo of a little girl and her pet poltergeist soul-bound hanger on as you work through her life of being experimented on and the happy trails that follow. Or maybe you're trained by the CIA for "perfectly normal" work.
Gameplay is awesome with Aiden, the poltergeist. You don't have much beyond scouting and knocking things over, but you'll be surprised how absorbing that can be, and how difficult it is to keep in mind when you're fleeing police or are wracking your brain about a piece of info you need. What makes it awesome is there is real choice. You can even be a brat in the tutorial level and the game will just move on rather than go "you must prove that you're paying attention." Combat is a bit frustrating even though its simple. You tap in a particular direction or manipulate the controller itself. Whats annoying is you are supposed to gage which motion is being made while its happening. Is that straight kick to the groin a right motion, or technically up? And when you make a wrong choice, it doesn't give much in the way of notice what should have been correct. Balancing this is at least you have to slipup several times to really be punished.
Voices and environments are wonderful if a tad narrow in scope. Some stages flee like a set of canal locks, but while you're drifting along the current stretch, its awesome to stop and smell the roses. Characters have full side conversations and don't stop to bask in you PC glow when you get close enough to hear what they're talking about.
Nits are few and far between with one exception. While the super simple interface is nice, its so simple that its sometime a trial to find the white dot that you actually can interact with on that white door. You have to be standing in the right spot and push in the right direction, though this doesn't happen nearly as often during crucial moments, just during exploration. Other than that limited and still workable flaw, this is a highly polished, basically flawless diamond.
Update: I tend not to play the entire story start to finish before writing a review, but the ending for this was so hollow it lost two stars just for it. Its not as bad as ME3, but the final run up is remeniscent of Quantic Dreams massive story failure with Indigo Prophecy. The end doesn't tie in with the rest of the story well, the premise is really destroyed by trying to explain it, which just opens up massive amounts of plot holes. The main villian shows up in a total of 3 scenes, and you don't even realize he was supposed to be the villian until moments before he dies, and on and on. Its obvious that they intended to include 10-20 hours more story, because there's just so, so much that's not explained, but its slapped in your face to the point that it still demands an explanation. Trying not to provide spoilers, but when you finally learn how Jodie got her powers you're just like "What?.... That happens all the time!" QD had a massive hit with Heavy Rain, but nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of certain victory with this.
on October 15, 2013
When I see a 5 star game getting 1 star reviews, I know something is def wrong. Well, don't take my word for it, take it for the word on people who have BOUGHT the game and played it. I've never seen this kind of greatness in a video game in a long time.Heavy Rain fans, rejoice. Beyond Two Souls is here! Quantic Dream, oh how I love thee. All I can say is wow. I was on the fence about this game with the negative activity I've seen on the web on how "it's an interactive movie" . So that's a bad thing? lol. About 2 hours in the game last night and I was instantly sucked into it's glories. I can't say enough about the graphics. Is this next gen already? LOL! I was seriously floored and I was imagining what these studs are going to make for the Ps4 one day. My wife was glancing up at it while I was playing and she was like, "oh my". I think I said the same about Heavy Rain at the time, but this is really one PUURRRRRTY Game. Storyline, fabulous. Characters, fabulous. The abilities you learn is very addicting especially the times when you can just raise Caine! I love it how it gives you the option to be a crazed out nutcase or a nice girl with good intentions. haha. I didn't want to put it down but I had to turn in for the night. I can't believe any self righteous gamer out there would have anything bad to say about this game. Perhaps the lack of apparent interaction at times when it's telling such an awesome story is a turn off for some people, but I just was enjoying the ride. I think I might be enjoying it more than Last of Us at the moment. And that is one of my GOTY potentials. If you're on the fence, do not even think about it. Turn out the lights, crank it up, and get yourself some Beyond Two Souls immediately! And please, ignore the 1 star reviews. Anyone who gives a game of this greatness 1 star hasn't truly played it or has something against Sony making awesome exclusives. I call it jealousy. :)
on October 10, 2013
The so called experts and reviewers who gave this game anything less than top marks are the very same people who go see movies expecting to be disappointed and no matter how brilliant the film is, they only look for and talk about the flaws. So when trolls, whether on Amazon or (fill in the gameing website or magazine) say they don't like the controls, or this or that, pay them no mind, because they have lost sight of what makes this the most unique and innovative game created in many years. Beyond: Two Souls is the most amazing example of story telling ever displayed in a video game. Personally, I've been waiting a long time for a game developer to come along that is more interested in telling a good story than anything else. I know I'm not the only one either. I feel like there is so much opportunity to take gaming in this direction and satisfy a huge void that exists in the industry today. To me, the story is the most important and enjoyable part of the game. Don't get me wrong, I like pushing buttons too, but without good visuals and a belivable narative, it just seems like a waste of time. Not to belabor the point, but when I played Metal Gear Solid 4 GOTP, I would get sad when the 30 minute cut scenes ended because they were rich and deep and really developed and made you care for the characters.
Why do people start, but not finish so many games? Because they don't care about what happens next, or said another way, they get bored. I can assure you, that will not happen here. The story is for a mature audience. More because of the subject matter than because of violence and language. Children's minds aren't developed enough yet to comprehend many of the themes and emotions this game delivers. So parents, don't buy this for your 12 year old, it wasn't made for them, it was made for you.
I think I will buy two copies of this game just to support QD in hopes they continue to make and release content of this caliber. I sincerely encourage you if you have any capacity to think and feel to pick up this game and not think twice. Focus on and surrender to the story and you will not be disappointed.
on October 10, 2013
Fantastic! Graphics were great, playthrough was fun and interactive. it felt more like a story you were apart of as opposed to a game. The story developed non-linearly and very well done. I just beat it and can't wait to play through it again to get all of the other endings.
on October 8, 2013
Beyond: Two Souls is difficult to place. I am told it is a game, something that I play to derive enjoyment out of bashing buttons and defeating the enemy. But what I got was something entirely different. It tells the story of a strange young girl, Jodie, and her connection to a mysterious creature she calls Aiden. We are invited to try and solve the mystery of Jodie by experiencing a lifetime of memories. Told in Tarantino order, the game jumps about with little explanation, leaving us to try and piece together an arcing story to Jodie. In this way we are offered mystery upon mystery which unfolds into a satisfying whole as the game progresses.
But the term game is perhaps misleading, and already plenty of negative reviews are flooding in. Many are crying foul about a game that doesn't allow you to indulge your destructive tendencies at every corner. I suggest that these reviewers have missed the point of Beyond: Two Souls. Make no mistake, this is not a sandbox game. You are not granted the freedom to run around areas, to explore as you wish. You are gently guided along the story David Cage has set before us. Choices exist, but are meant to colour your experience rather than shape it. What kind of character Jodie displays is shaped by the player, but you find yourself carried along by the story.
The controls can be frustrating at times, due to sometimes enclosed areas, but Quantic Dream should be lauded for attempting to guide rather than show. Players are encouraged to show initiative, figure out what should be done and where and at what time. You are not spoon-fed the game, though it seems to be difficult to 'lose'. But this is a minor criticism of what is quite simply one of the greatest experiences I have ever enjoyed. Quite possibly Game of the Year.
on October 12, 2013
After all of the mixed reviews, I was skeptical going into Beyond Two Souls. I'm glad I don't just listen to critics reviews. If a game interests me, I'm going to try it out. I just beat the game last night, and I found it thoroughly enjoyable. I'm having trouble understanding why Beyond is getting mixed reviews and Heavy Rain was critically acclaimed. The basic concept is the same. Beyond is an interactive story which is every bit as good as Heavy Rain.
I imagine many found the game's story a bit too science fiction for their liking. For me, it was awesome. The story is told out of order, similar to LOST's timeline with flashback and flash-forwards. While this storytelling technique may make it seem Beyond's narrative is unfocused at first, as you progress through the game, all the little story threads tie together. It's a beautiful game from start to finish, and I have to recommend it for anyone interested in a compelling and emotional story.
on October 11, 2013
I liked heavy rain but I loved beyond 2 souls. If I had to find a negative one thing I would have to say that I didn't like how the story jumps from child to teenager back to child it's all over the place but even that can't ruin the amazing experience I had with the game