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BEYOND: Two Souls
Platform: PlayStation 3|Edition: Standard|Change
Price:$15.88+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on July 11, 2017
I really enjoyed my ~15+ hr playthrough of BEYOND: Two Souls. I have also played Heavy Rain as well, and the controls in BEYOND is _much_ better than Heavy Rain. The camera can still be stiff, but the controls are a lot smoother in here than Heavy Rain. The QTE has been designed to be more ... intuitive, and the cue for it are placed to be more organic than Heavy Rain was. There are no "internal dialogue" or listening to characters' internal thoughts as Heavy Rain had you do in order to give cues to the player to explain what the player has to do. If you stray away from the level too much, the game will redirect you to the correct path.

Story-wise, I felt BEYOND had a better story, especially in its execution, than Heavy Rain primarily due to the fact that you are following just _one_ character, Jodie Holmes versus Heavy Rain's multiple character povs. Genre is more of a supernatural melodrama with plenty of action and suspense. It is very cinematic. It's not to say Heavy Rain's story sucks, but between the two, BEYOND just had better execution of the story in pacing and flow. There's a lot of time skips, and it is told non-linear format. That added another interesting layer where the player had to pay attention to when Jodie was, not just where. Depending on when, it showcased different aspects of Jodie's personality and constantly changed the emotional stakes. As mentioned, BEYOND's story is engrossing with a lot of heart.

There's no aiming per se or any well-known "gameplay"; it's just QTE after QTE. And the controls aren't even that hard. I played on the normal/hard difficulty ("I play games often") and it was easy to understand after a few tutorials. Hardcore gamer or casual, BEYOND: Two Souls can be played by anyone who just want to watch a movie with a controller in hand.

Plus, if you are a huge fan of Ellen Page and/or Willem Dafoe, then you should play this game because they acted the &&&& out of this movie -- I mean game XD
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on March 16, 2015
Add a story if you're a fan of Quantic Dream's work.

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.
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on January 12, 2014
My wife and I finished this game a few days after it came out and I felt like reviewing it 3 months later for some reason (like with Heavy Rain, I played while she watched and pointed out things I missed, helped when I got stuck, etc.), and I thought I'd write a quickie on it. Whereas ANYONE with a PS3 needs to have and play through Heavy Rain - get on that if you haven't - I can't say that everyone person needs Beyond Two Souls or that the game is "for everyone." However, it was very good and worthwhile to play through. The IGN score of 6.5 was, flatly put, wrong, and the seething comments from the majority of the comments on the review's webpage, as well as comments on various YouTube pages I've checked out for the game, prove that the reviewer just didn't get it.

Much like Heavy Rain, this game plays like a movie, only it feels even more like a movie than Heavy Rain. The story is absolutely fantastic and original; I'm sure you know the premise of the heroine being a young woman, Jodie, who has a soul permanently tethered to her, Aiden, that can do everything from murder people, take over enemies briefly to get them to do things against their will, help her open doors and change things around in a computer's database or hard drive, to simply annoy her when she's trying to date a guy or have sex with said guy. Not to sound cliche, but it is so much deeper than all that, the story evolves in a Tarantino-esque fashion of flashbacks between little girl, teenage, and adult (well, as adult at a 24 year old is) Jodie. So there are things as menial as how to dance without looking like a dork at her first boy-girl party and whether to choose to smoke pot, all the way down to (once she's been recruited by the CIA for her abilities) whether to take over the soul of a random enemy in an effort to execute a warlord and thus complete her mission, but with the knowledge that said random enemy will be killed and is the father of an innocent 5 year old boy.

The controls are a bit clumsy, basically just a mix of a failure to master the 3D camera, which is something you'd think would be mastered by now since the advent of Mario 64 on Nintendo 64, as well as annoying quicktime events. However, the lackluster control system can easily be overlooked when you just look at the game and its various backgrounds and characters. An immense amount of detail went into each character, their facial expressions, and the game's locales. When you're trekking through a Siberian snow storm, you actually feel like you're shivering along with Jodie in the -40 degree bitter cold. When she finds out yet another horrifying and painful thing that has happened to her and/or her mother, you actually feel sad. When you see a band of hooligans beat the [...] out of a homeless guy and then attempt to burn down a building that another homeless woman, and her infant baby, are inside, you really do feel insanely angry. It's really something to experience. The voice over actress does a fantastic job, as does Willem Defoe for his character. A+ for acting, music, sound, and graphics as my final PS3 purchase. As for graphics, we all know how good PS4 games look now, imagine how incredible games will look with a years time for developers to work on the kinks and understand truly how to develop for the system
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on November 2, 2015
I haven't finished it yet but I already know what my rating will be. I give it four stars for the aesthetic beauty of the story, characters, soundtrack, and likability of the game overall, but the game does lose one star for me because the gameplay is so limited. It is much more like a movie than a game. The cut scenes are plenty and the gameplay is sparse. However, the cut scenes are beautiful and I don't mind them. I really enjoyed the switch back and forth in time. It helps you to understand the characters better as well as improving the overall story. The voices are great and the visuals are fantastic. I just wish I could feel a little more involved. Lastly, I have to mention that it absolutely irked me at first that I could not turn around 360 in most situations throughout the game. I felt extremely limited. However I was able to look past that and see the game for the amazing story that it is telling. I would recommend giving this a go if you're into the story sides of things or if you look for games that offer an aesthetically pleasing and artful experience.
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on October 22, 2013
I am not what you would call a serious gamer so I think I may have enjoyed this game more than most. But I must say even for me, this game was very short more like a movie than game. You should know that going in.This is not your typical video game. All that being said,It was amazing the graphics,the story and the acting were outstanding. Loved the interaction with Jodi and Aiden. Sometimes I did have problems with the controls on Aiden but as I said, I am not a true gamer so most of you may not have any trouble. The story is where this game shines the most. The life of a girl who has supernatural gifts that lead her from basically being a lab rat to the CIA to Homeless, and more along the way. I played Heavy Rain and this is on par with that but on the down side it really short. So, Would I buy it again, at full price? YES! Because from the opening scene, the story pulled me in. You can tell that everyone involved in Beyond Two Souls wanted this game to be an experience that would touch the player on a personal level and that is what it did for me. I cared. My emotions were involved.For me that is a game worth my money. If you just want blood, killing and fighting, this game is not for you. This was art. Games like this will keep me a Play Station owner and coming back for more.
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on October 23, 2013
I enjoyed Heavy Rain, so I was interested that this was coming out. I decided to try the Demo first, and it was a day one purchase for me. The controls like anything take a little getting used to. Sometimes it's hard to understand what direction they want you to move the controller. Other than that, the Story is GREAT!

They don't tell the story in a traditional way, it kind of jumps around a lot. I just played the first few chapters, but liked it so much decided to write a review now. It's more action oriented unlike Heavy Rain. The game keeps you wondering who Aiden is, and if he's a friend or foe. There are MULTIPLE ways you can play the game. If you mess up a "sequence", it can change the game drastically. So the replay value is high.

For you who thinks this looks like Ellie, don't worry. You won't ever think it's her when you start playing it. The game draws you in so much that you won't want to put it down. If you not sure about this, download the demo. Also, if you do like the game, please support the game by buying it new. This most likely won't get the sales like the big Triple A games. So if your a fan Support it! You won't be disappointed if you love a great story.
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on March 19, 2014
It's less a game and more of an interactive movie, you can't really lose but you can change how the story goes. The graphics are great, the gameplay is fun and the sound is very good.

When I got the game, I popped it in to the PS3 and after an update was at the main menu. I went through the options and stuff, and found out there could be two players. My daughter quickly grabbed a controller and decided to play as the "spirit".

I played as the main character, doing things like walking around and beating people up. She played as the ghost or "spirit" Aiden(?) and could move stuff and do other supernatural things. Basically you switch between the two characters to get things done, CIA spy stuff or teen "Carrie" stuff, or even saving homeless people stuff. She got really mad when I wouldn't do what she wanted me to do, but I told her I play like I want and she plays like she wants.

As Aiden she can be mean and vengeful or helpful and peaceful. Once we finish the game we will have to switch parts, I want to try being a ghost and totally poltergeist that party of rowdy teens!

If there was more gameplay and less interactive movie, I would have given 5 stars. It's major funage, and even better with a friend (or relative). It's mostly like Heavy Rain; press a direction or hit a button fast. Sometimes I didn't know which direction to press in a fight, it was confusing a little, but I couldn't "die" so it was all good (after some practice I got better, but the fight sequences could have been a little more clear).

So if you are looking for a good story (told out of sequence, yeah for nonlinear) and like interactive movies, this is the game for you. And it's cheap.

And buy "Heavy Rain" too! It's also wicked fun, more so with the PS3 Move.
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on July 28, 2014
I like to play games that are more story-driven than the usual FPS's or RPG's, and this game is purely for players who are looking for that experience. Let me get the cons out first -- the 'gaming' challenge is non-existent, and so is replayability. Do not buy this 'game' if you're looking for a traditional shoot-em-up game that studios crank out every year.

'Beyond' is more of a 15-hour animated story where you control the main character. The story, mo-cap and voice acting are all top-notch, although some of the world-building props (trees/scenery) were sub-par. You can tell most of the budget went to accurately capturing Ellen Page's face. The game did get stuck on one scene (second CIA mission) and I had to restart the mission.

The pacing of the game and the timeline jumps are well thought out. Although the post-climactic cut-scenes seemed to be added on haphazardly, the overall story arc was convincing. The identity of Aiden, when it arrives, is not much of a revelation as this has been done before in movies. I'm not a big fan of supernatural stories, hence I found the emotional impact lessened compared to 'The Last of Us', 'Heavy Rain', or even 'Red Dead Redemption'.

Overall, such games need to be encouraged and purchased if only to break the stranglehold of titles with big-men-with-bigger-weapons-shooting-each-other is to be broken. Quantic Dream is one of those studios trying to buck the well-worn trend and I will buy their next title if the experience is similar or better than 'Beyond: Two Souls'.
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on January 26, 2014
I bought this game as a gift for my boyfriend, a lifelong gamer. It could not have been a better purchase!

First, the graphics are fantastic. The close up of Jodi in the startup menu is difficult to distinguish from one in a movie. The game itself is also beautiful, with detailed expressions and environments.

There are also multiple ways to interact with the environment. You can choose to do things that are not directly related to the storyline, such as dancing at a party or talking with quests. This makes the game more realistic and engaging. Part of the fun is figuring out what you're supposed to do to move the story forward.

The story itself is very cinematic and engaging. The nonlinear aspect of it makes it more interesting. And, unlike some stories, everything comes together in the end. All of the choices you made throughout the game lead to one of 20-plus endings. It's amazing.

There's also a 2-player option in which one player controls Jodi, and the other controls Aiden. My boyfriend and I decided to do it this way the second time around, although you have to keep in mind that Aiden is a supporting role in this game.
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on February 9, 2014
I feel it is pretty much as everyone else feels about it so this review won't be long. To make it short and sweet, the movie standpoint and character expressions, movements, facial appearance, etc are truly outstanding and had a lot of time and effort put into them hands. The story line is detailed and easy to follow with a lot of thought and effort put into also. Now the game play it self, not so much. You basically use mostly 4 control buttons for the whole game except for a few parts where you may use more which makes the controlling the character easy and simply. Here's the problem, the game is suppose to be designed for free will play but it's really not. You play Jodie(human character) and Aiden(the entity or ghost that stays and interacts with Jodie whole life). You are pretty much allowed to switch between the two and play with both of them the entire game or play with two players and one be Aiden and the other Jodie. Aiden has many abilities. He can choke, move things, break things, pass through walls, let Jodie see what he sees, possess people, etc. But the game limits when and what abilities he can use. It dictates how far at certain times he is allowed to move away from Jodie, what people he is allowed to possess, what people he is allowed to choke/kill, what wall he can pass through, etc. So this limits the free will concept of the game. Jodie is pretty much cut and dry. She just moves and interacts with Aiden and her surroundings the only problem I had with her is her slow motion scenes. There is one part of the game where they teach how to interact with fighting with Jodie. So when I started seeing this slow motion scenes I always thought it was a fight scene and that you where suppose to move toward the motion(when you have the game this will make better sense) but in fact some of the scenes are dodging scenes where you need to move away from the action. It is a little hard to tell which way they want you to move because so scenes you have to perform both actions and if you mess up it can cost you. Like for instance, a certain amount of hits or dodges can earn you a trophy. Don't get me wrong though, there is some free will involved in the game and certain things you do will effect later events, for instances the game has 24 different endings so that definitely a time killer if really looking for something to do, but I feel its a CONTROLLED FREE WILL game. A little longer than what I wanted to write but I wanted to make sure you understand what you are buying. Some other people wrote a more in def detail description of the game and characters so if you wanted to know more about it, you should probably read theirs. I just tried to give a quick short version and hope it helps.
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