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YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS THIS ONE! (no major spoilers, but detailed analysis of the game!),
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This review is from: BEYOND: Two Souls (Video Game)
Quantic Dream currently holds one of the strongest track records of any video game publisher. The product list is short but, my word, does each title deliver. I recall developing an unholy obsession with HEAVY RAIN when it came out. I felt stunned at the storytelling I had experienced and as if I needed any other reason to worship the work of David Cage, once again, I'm won over by BEYOND: TWO SOULS.
MY WORD! Barriers are respectfully taken down with this tale about a girl born with parapsychological talents. To the outside observer she may seem schizophrenic, what with the swearing at air, frantic pacing, and frequent tantrums. But, much is uncovered the further you get into the game. To play BEYOND: TWO SOULS is to experience what it's really like to be an outsider. To witness children condemning your country (due to dishonest CIA assassinations), to live without a job and shelter spending the whole day trying to make just a few dollars. A bedroom full of surveillance cameras, a mind vandalized by government-issued anxiety, rejected by foster parents, haunted by visions, hunted by the police.
The beauty of this story is the attachment you obtain to the main character, played incomparably by Ellen Page. To endure her psi lifestyle through the repeated parental meltdowns, vigorous CIA training, homelessness, the regular harassment of being called a witch, you will eventually succumb to feelings beyond empathy. Your living Jodie's life. You will want the absolute best for her! One theme that recurs is the relationships among family members. How does it feel to be a mutant child surrendered to the government? Or to lose your wife and daughter to a drunk driver? But, through Jodie's never-alone eyes, we survive these situations, and others I won't reveal but are sure to bring on crying. How strong are the bonds of a child and its parents? This theme was explored in HEAVY RAIN but to a different extent. How close are the loved ones in our life to us? After they go are they still as close even if we can't see them? Might begging for a reprieve only hinder them in the afterlife? If there is such a phenomenon how well can technology grasp it?
Jodie is a cowgirl, a black-laced goth, a girl at a party having her first joint and first kiss, a proxy for illustrated-memories, an agent for temporal investigation, a hitch-hiking shaman, a stealthy operative, the kind of strong, sassy heroine more video games deserve, and the majority of the video-gaming market needs (esp. in an age of misrepresented female leads).
The suspense rises, and while the gameplay is never too hard (if I were to list a downside) the diversity, romance, the edgy plot-twists, and espionage make up for it. And reaching the ending to this game is by far the most tear-jerking, existential moment you'll ever have involving your PS3. Utterly beautiful and so full of life in a stagnant age of passionless video-gaming.
Congratulations to David Cage, Ellen Page, Willem Dafoe, and the entire staff at Quantic Dream! This product will be looked back upon as something beyond video-gaming, something beyond art. It was a privilege to experience BEYOND: TWO SOULS~