Beyond: Two Souls preview - four hours with a serious contender for Game Of The Year
- Posted September 10th, 2013 at 11:00 EDT by Steven Williamson
Without giving too much away, the first four hours of the game introduces you to Jodie’s character as well as another major figure in the game, Nathan Dawkins, a government scientist who becomes a father figure to Jodie after working closely with her and her special abilities. We see a young Jodie locked away in a paranormal department of a government testing facility where they are assessing her supernatural abilities. We then move forward to an Embassy ball where Jodie needs to use her powers to bypass security and grab some secretive documents hidden behind an oil painting. We then rewind backwards and witness her training to become part of the CIA before getting thrown back even further to her teenage years where she attends a birthday party that soon turns sour.
We learn about Jodie’s personality, a little about what motivates her and see increasingly just how powerful Aiden can be. It’s really clever how the narrative switches between points in Jodie’s life and slowly starts to piece things together. The fact that you never know what to expect and what part of Jodie’s journey you’ll be thrust into next certainly keeps you on tenterhooks and excited to find out more. At this stage however you’re still left with far more questions than answers, but come the end of the preview there’s signs that Aiden isn’t the only entity in Jodie’s world. I’m now left desperate to discover more about what happens when the game launches in October.
Beyond isn’t all about the narrative either as gameplay is also living up to the storyline so far. The star of the game is the co-operative mechanic which requires players to control both Jodie and Aiden for various means. You literally play as two players, controlling Jodie for the most part and then turning to Aiden whenever she needs help. Aiden manifests itself as a black mass tethered constantly to Jodie by an energy chord. Switching to Aiden allows you to explore outside of the physical body moving high and low accessing otherwise unreachable areas, moving through walls to listen in on conversations, tipping over chairs like a mischievous poltergeist and possessing people like a demon. Initially, it's a very strange dynamic to work with, but as things progress and you also start to explore Aiden’s own personality it becomes a lot of fun.