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About the product
- Dive into a gripping and unpredictable psychological action thriller starring Academy Award-nominees Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe.
- Control Jodie and an invisible entity through spectacular action sequences and puzzles with unique controls.
- Experience cutting-edge technology from Quantic Dream in one of the best-looking games ever seen on the PlayStation 3.
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From the visionary mind of David Cage, director of the award-winning Heavy Rain™, comes the most powerfully emotional experience on PlayStation 3. A singularly unique psychological action thriller delivered by A-list Hollywood performances, BEYOND: Two Souls™ takes you on a thrilling journey across the globe as you play out the remarkable life of Jodie Holmes.
Born with a connection to a mysterious entity with incredible powers, Jodie was different. In an adventure spanning 15 years of her life, your actions will determine Jodie’s fate as she faces extraordinary challenges, danger, and heartwrenching loss on a journey to discover the truth of who she is. BEYOND promises an emotionally-charged journey unlike any video game before.
Beyond: Two Souls is a single-player Adventure game that utilizes a combination of a superior storytelling and gameplay mechanics, and cutting edge motion capture techniques to present a stunning adventure that is not to be missed. The game is a PlayStation 3 exclusive and features an in-game timeline set across several years of the player character's life and experiences, several possible endings and outcomes, a unique and powerful in-game companion, and in-game contributions by top Hollywood talent.
Harness Your Physic Connection to a World Beyond
From the makers of the award-winning Heavy Rain comes a unique, psychological action thriller. Featuring a brand-new game engine, a compelling, original story, and a topnotch Hollywood cast, including Ellen Page ("Juno," "Whip It," "Inception"), Beyond: Two Souls promises to be one of the most immersive experiences on the PlayStation 3 system.
Live the life of Jodie Holmes, a young woman who possesses extraordinary powers through a psychic link to an invisible entity. Experience the most striking moments of Jodie's life as your actions and decisions determine her fate. As she traverses the globe, Jodie will face incredible challenges against a backdrop of emotionally-charged events never before seen in a video game.
Motion Capture Evolved to Performance Capture
Beyond: Two Souls is created by French game developers, Quantic Dream. Along with their 2010 break out hit, Heavy Rain and other titles, Quantic Dream is also well-known as a provider of motion capture (Mo-Cap) services to the film and video game industries. In Beyond: Two Souls Quantic Dream combines their advanced motion capture techniques, with topnotch Hollywood quality acting talent, transforming motion capture -- long used in video games -- into something quite different - performance capture. The result is a superior storytelling and one of the best looking games yet developed for PS3. Couple this with clever gameplay in which players control both Jodie Holms and the entity that is her constant companion across several years of her life, and you have an innovative video games experience not to be missed.
Key Game Features
- Take full control of Jodie, as well as her mysterious entity companion in spectacular action sequences
- Action set across several years of Jodie's life
- Dive into a gripping and unpredictable action thriller starring Academy Award nominee Ellen Page ("Juno," "Whip It," "Inception") in the lead role
- Experience the new cutting-edge technology from Quantic Dream that creates one of the best-looking games ever seen on the PlayStation 3 system
- Different possible endings and outcomes depending on situations encountered and choices made
The talents of Ellen Page.
Potentially devastating powers.
Enemies large and small.
Beautiful & dramatic presentation.
Top customer reviews
Beyond: Two Souls is the story of Jodie, a girl who since birth has been mentally linked to an unstable, intangible and telekinetic entity called Aiden. Suffering from a lonely childhood she is then studied and recruited as a special agent, using her special ability to do missions no one else can. But when she's forced to do something that hurts her very soul, she abandons and becomes a fugitive.
What to say about this game? First, let's go with the positives. The main draw of this game is, of course, the presence of celebrities Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, both of whom do an amazing work of acting their respective roles, magnified by the amazing motion capture and animation work, making these characters seem really alive.
The visual style of this game is superb. Sometimes the realism achieves impressive levels, and you'd swear this was actually filmed instead of animated (I can already picture some creeps kissing their TVs. Don't do that, it's mentally and physically unhealthy). Of course, the cinematic nature of this particular genre helps this feel like a movie, which was surely the intention. The story has an interesting subtext (more than one), and it's very easy to grasp, so it's nothing that feels unnecessarily complicated.
Unfortunately, that's where the good stuff ends. Not to say the rest is bad, but it's mostly mediocre, which frankly, I think it's worse. Let's start with the control system. As a fan of the developer's previous game in the same genre, Heavy Rain, I was really excited for this one. And, at the beginning I thought it'd be a better experience. Heavy Rain's control system was simple, but sometimes required playing Twister with your fingers. The system is even simpler this time, which is a blessing at first, but ends up making the gameplay feel even more than a collection of Quick Time Events, so this largely escapes the category of "game" and enters "interactive movie" territory.
Second, the story. It's not bad or anything like that, it's just unoriginal and extremely convoluted. In fact, instead of one interactive movie, it feels like several, many of them belonging to a different genre. At a point you're in the middle of a slasher flick, then you're in a war movie, then in a fantasy film, then in a romantic one, then in a family drama, then in a sci-fi adventure, etc, etc, back and forth. This is no error of the developing team either, as they have claimed it was intentional, to make it feel more like real life. Problem is, real life has no narrative, that's why films, games and any other entertainment media are divided into genres.
This problem is exacerbated by the curious decision of presenting the story in chapters out of order. So the game asks us to get emotionally involved with characters we don't yet know much about. I guess it's not really that much of a problem since almost all of the characters are incredibly tired stereotypes. You can easily recognize after just a few words of dialogue in which films you've seen this character already. And it's not just that they're tired, they're unrealistic. Villains who do things just "for the evulz", kids who will act like psychopaths rather than normal bullies, a person who lost her voice in an incident and spends the day staring at the nothingness, etc.
The situations and dialogue suffer from the same problem of excessive familiarity. I'd say that too many times throughout the game you'll feel a strong sense of déjà vu, but a déjà vu implies a possibility, while here is patently obvious that you've already experienced most of this.
The only character that's not technically a stereotype is Jodie, and that's because, unfortunately, she's a Mary Sue. Each and every one of the character's problems are caused by someone else, as she seems incapable of making bad decisions or having defects (save for one incident, that feels too shoehorned due to how different the rest of the game is). If someone is against her, that person is either evil or wrong. If there's a place where people have problems, she will show up out of the blue to solve them. Whenever she does something wrong, it's because she was tricked into doing it. This absolutely robs Jodie of the ability to be sympathetic. It's a testament to how likable Ellen Page is that you don't feel so infuriated that you'll throw the game's disc away in disgust.
Then there's the gameplay. While it seems just the same as it was in Heavy Rain (specially as it uses the same control system), they've stripped away a major part of what made it so good: choice. This game is extremely linear, specially compared to Heavy Rain. Here, almost nothing of importance is left to you. Let me present you three situations in the game: a) you have to get ready for a date; b) you have to socialize with other kids in a birthday; c) you have to kill a warlord.
In (a) you can choose what to cook, what to wear, what music to listen to and wheter to clean the place or not. Most of these decisions have no outcome in your date, as it actually depends on previous and/or later decisions. In (b) you are invited to dance by someone, you can accept or refuse, and all it changes is the dialogue, as you'll end up dancing anyway. In (c) you have no choice. You have to kill the man to advance the story.
So, as you see, you either have total control over small, pointless decisions, or you have the illusion of control even though the outcome doesn't change or you have no control at all, specially in the most important decisions. This might not be a problem with another game in the genre, but when a game pretends so hard choices are important, specially when it comes in the heels of another game which fulfilled that promise, it's a severe step down.
It's really a shame, and I have no doubt that people are giving this game a better score than it deserves (many reviewers here admit as much) due to the fantastic presentation or the star power, but I have to be honest here. This game is good, yeah, but it's not fantastic, not great, not even VERY good. Just good.
I've been a fan of QD for a while. I didn't play their first game on the PS1, but I quite enjoyed Indigo Prophecy, which was a flawed but magnificent monster of a game that started out strong but fell apart in the last third. And of course I loved Heavy Rain. Heavy Rain was actually the first game I played on the PS3, and is probably my favorite overall, or at least in the top 5. You are probably going to see a lot of comparisons to Heavy Rain in my review, as well as in any review of Beyond: Two Souls - and rightfully so since it is a huge step backwards.
B:TS is a quasi-interactive game that focuses on a young lady, a tragic protagonist who has the unique gift/curse of being tethered to a ghost, to which see is psychically and spiritually linked. That tethering allows her to see things no one else can see, and to cajole her ghost to do things that no one else can do.
I say "quasi-interactive" because, while you have the opportunity to make choices, those choices really do not have consequences. Which is what distinguishes this game from Heavy Rain. In Heavy Rain, you played several different characters, and their individual choices could lead to markedly different story outcomes - whether they live or die, whether they save the kidnapped boy or not, whether the bad guy is stopped or lives to kidnap another day. Here, you are only playing one character (two, if you count Aiden). Your choices are limited to whether you go right or go left in a fight, whether you say one thing or another, whether you pick up an object and look at it or not. But there are no lingering differences. You survive no matter what, and the story unfolds in precisely the same manner either way. Even one of the bigger choices of the game, whether you get revenge on a half dozen bullying kids at a birthday party, has no additional impact beyond the end of that scene.
Given that lack of choice, whether one likes the game really turns on whether the story is good. So... is the story good? The answer is... yeah, it's good. Not necessarily good enough to passively watch most of the time, but good. The acting is extraordinary, and here is where I credit Ellen Page, Willem Dafoe, the other actors, and anyone behind the motion capture. They really nail the characters in this game. Page herself delivers what might be the best video game performance I've seen in a video game that was not Last of Us. If it was ever thought that voice and motion capture acting in video games was not an art form, QD puts that to rest right here.
The problem is that the story is not necessarily as immersive as it seems to want to be. The story is presented out of chronological order at different parts of Jodie's life. And by that, I don't mean flashbacks; flashbacks generally involve a sequence of past events running concurrently with the present events. No, B:TS presents the protagonist's life completely out of order. So you may start at the end when Jodie is 32, then jump back to when she is 16, then back to when she is 8, then forward to when she is 12, and so on. The reason for this is apparently to allow the player to feel like Jodie: disconnected from people, always on her own, ill at ease, a stranger in her own life. But the problem is that it serves as a stark reminder that nothing you do in this game affects anything that happens at any other time. Where you will be, and in what condition, when you are an adult is not even slightly modified by the choices you made as a child or teenager or young adult.
Mind you, one can say the same about a number of video games, which is why video games have action, and challenge, and the possibility of death.
And yet, there are moments of near-greatness in this game. For instance, there was one chapter where you find a Navajo ranch and you live with them for a few days. There is a genuinely creepy mystery that only you can solve. The dramatic weight of the story mixed with the solitude of the location and the relative silence of the Navajo family sets an eerie tone. Ironically, the game tends to shine during the chapters that aren't pushing the central plot forward: like at the afore-mentioned birthday party, or where Jodie helps a homeless girl deliver a baby. But during the more integral chapters, like when you are investigating the scene of a botched government experiment, or are evading the feds, the feeling of being on a set, predetermined path is more evident, and thus more frustrating.
This may seem like I'm down on the game. And I guess I am, sorta. The truth is I quite enjoyed it - but I enjoyed it more because it was different from the norm than because of the game's own merits. Most of the time, I just wished I was playing Heavy Rain.