The quality of the production in Beyond: Two Souls is immediately apparent, as is Quantic Dream’s intention creating an emotive experience that really grabs you by the throat and draws you into the action. In the section presented to us, lead character Jodie Holmes is in a furious anxiety-ridden chase from the police which sees her frantically scrambling through the woods away from her pursuers with police dogs hot on her heels.
As Jodie bobs and weaves through the forest, the Sony representative shows us how you need to respond to the environment, in typical Heavy Rain style, by responding swiftly to gestures that makes her duck under branches, jump over fallen logs and avoid obstacles that would otherwise see her caught by the chasing pack.
The facial expressions of Jodie, who shows real fear and anxiety throughout the five minute chase scene, further compounds Quantic Dream’s expertise in the field of facial animation and you can’t help but feel anxious too. The combination of dramatic camera angles, excellent shadow and lighting techniques and immersive and dramatic audio make it an incredibly exciting chase.
The wood clears and Jodie wades through water (requiring the tapping of the L1 and R1 buttons simultaneously). It’s predictable that the path through the woods and the subsequent climb that Jodie has to make to the roadside and safety is a linear progression, but the cinematic quality of the production and the way that Jodie animates so realistically just totally sucks you into the experience.
The chase isn’t over and the action takes a surprising twist. Jodie reaches the roadside where there’s a police convoy waiting. An officer has a strange glow around him which allows her to totally possess him and take control of his actions. The Sony rep is in complete control of the guard, sending him to the Police vehicle using telekinesis to make him start the car and drive off.
Even in this short section of gameplay, Beyond: Two Souls is showing incredible potential and, along with The Last of Us, is one of the best looking, cinematic experiences on the show floor at E3. If Quantic can switch the gameplay up a little too and not make it all about following prompts on screen, then we’re all in for a big treat in Q4.