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
Not that you'll actually need much drawing in because graphically this is one of the most impressive looking games I've ever played. Facial animations are incredible. The emotional content of character’s words are reflected in a bead of sweat tricking down a forehead, the raising of an eyebrow or an infinite number of subtle gestures. But what Beyond does so much better than any other game is create eyes that appear almost human. When you stare into Jodie’s eyes you can almost feel the pain, loneliness and sadness she feels. You feel sincerity from characters, their fear, their anxiety and their anger all through their eyes and tiny facial movements. What Cage has done here is somehow take the famous proverb “eyes are the windows to the souls” and apply it into a videogame context to inject real emotion to his characters.
The Last Of Us was a stunning-looking game filled with fine detail in its scenery and impressive set-pieces, but Beyond: Two Souls edges it in terms of realism. There’s a scene where you need to work your way through a fiery building and you can almost feel the heat from the flickering flames due to the way its been designed to mimic a real-looking blaze. The attention to detail is phenomenal. It’s in the way that the rain pours and trickles down a window pane or the movement of the trees and leaves as Jodie runs through a forest. The game feels alive as do its characters and I don't think I moved my eyes from the screen once during the playthrough.
Cut-scenes merge seamlessly into gameplay and it’s often impossible to tell the difference between the two. I’ve (Jodie) stood there motionless for a few sections before moving because I’ve assumed that I must still be in a cut-scene. Not so…it feels surreal to walk around with this level of detail, kind of like an out-of-body experience. Throughout my hands-on preview of Beyond I’ve shook my head at times and talked to myself out loud uttering phrases like “Look at this” and “You’ve got to be kidding” as the graphics really have blown me away.
Visually, Beyond: Two Souls is set to be the most immersive game of this generation but it’s not just about the freakishly-realistic eyes and painstaking attention to detail. The storyline already has me hooked, the characters have drawn me in thanks to some great voice-acting and a strong script, while the first four hours have already showed me enough gameplay to convince me that the PS3 has landed yet another very special game. A few hours in and I’m already its biggest fan.
Beyond: Two Souls is a PlayStation 3 exclusive and due for release on October 8 in North America and October 11 in Europe.----