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.
In terms of gameplay, Beyond isn’t always as impressive as its production and storyline, with the highlights coming from the faster-paced action sequences and controlling Aiden rather than the slower-paced scenes or moments when you’ll be plodding along with Jodie in monotonous daily-life tasks. Just like Cage’s previous games, Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy, Beyond requires players to interact constantly with everything around them. It’s much more subtle this time, compared to Heavy Rain, but you’ll still be performing gestures for every little action, from picking up a cup to turning the page of a book.
Mostly, the interactions, which involve moving the right analog stick in a direction prompted onscreen, serve to draw you into the game world--in fact, you can’t keep your eyes off the screen due to the amount of interactions you’ll need to perform. Largely, this does ensure that you’re totally engrossed in the game, but there are moments when I saw no point at all in carrying out mundane actions, such as having to make dinner by performing the actions for chopping ingredients and adding spices.
Though it does seem there’s been some padding out done to perhaps flesh out the campaign's length, many of the slower-paced sequences are necessary for character building and it’s the conversations you have rather than the actions you perform that make them so engrossing. Nevertheless, I found myself wanting to be involved in more of the action scenes, which have been produced incredibly well. Jodie’s C.I.A missions, the frenetic and fast-paced escape scenes and engaging close-quarter fights against enemies prove to be the highlights thanks to a mixture of impressive production values and meaningful interactions, such as having to dodge, punch, deliver a blow or leap out of the way of an obstacle by making a split-second decision with your right analog stick. If you play Beyond on the easiest difficulty setting, prompts appear on-screen so you know exactly which way to move the stick, but ramp the difficulty up and decisions are in your hands, which makes for a very realistic, immersive experience.