Beyond: Two Souls review: an interactive experience you won't want to miss
- Posted October 8th, 2013 at 11:00 EDT by Steven Williamson
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Beyond: Two Souls is so unique, powerful and engaging that it's easy to forgive some of its gameplay flaws. Quite simply, a stunning production.
- Visually it's in a different league to many games on PS3. Stunning facial animation and locations.
- Great characters, great plot, excellent twists and a fitting conclusion.
- The action sequences are superb and switching between Jodie and Aiden delivers a unique mechanic.
- Some interactions are over excessive and gameplay plods along on occasions
- The action sequences are so good, we would have liked to have seen more.
Jodie meets many people who have a great impact on her life, yet all is not always what it seems in this story of friendship, hardship, love and betrayal. The fact that you never really know what’s going to happen next, or where Cage is going to take you, makes it a fascinating journey that benefits greatly from some excellent twists and a satisfying climax. Playing the story out of sequence also serves to add to the experience, leaving you wondering and second-guessing as to how the relationship with Aiden is going to progress. Though relationships are built throughout Jodie’s life with various people, the most intriguing one is the bond with her supernatural entity. Aiden is possessive, scary and loving. He shields and protects her, yet you always get the feeling that he’s capable of something more sinister and could turn on Jodie at any second. The love/hate relationship that Jodie has with Aiden is what really draws you in, and right up to the conclusion, you still have no idea how things are going to pan out between them.
It helps immensely that actress Ellen Page does an incredible job playing Jodie and puts real emotion into the role. When she cries, you can almost feel her pain, when she talks, you can’t help but listen intently, and when she runs, you feel her fear. Other characters, such as Nathan Dawkins (Willem Dafoe) and Ryan Clayton (Eric Winter), also play important roles and across the board the voice acting is superb. Indeed, Beyond is a stunning production throughout with great audio work that helps to create tension or set the scene for some of the more tender moments. Graphically, well, you really do have to see it to believe it.
The Last Of Us took graphics to a new level on PS3, but Beyond pushes the power of the PS3 even further: to the point where it’s impossible to tell what’s a cutscene and what’s in-game. The transition between the two is seamless and Cage has created a dreamy-looking game that has left me wondering just what his team could achieve on the next-generation of consoles if this is what they can do on PS3. Eyes have soul, subtle expressions say a thousand words, and weather systems and effects such as fire, water and smoke are incredibly realistic. The locations too are rendered in such detail that it all plays out like one huge interactive cutscene. Beyond is a cinematic showcase of Quantic Dream’s incredibly talented team.