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Beyond: Two Souls

Death And Consequence In Beyond: Two Souls

A couple months ago Quantic Dream released 35 minutes of gameplay video for Beyond: Two Souls. The extended look shows a homeless Jodie, played by Ellen Page, surviving on the streets. More recently, Sony gave us a look at a very different part of her life. During my hands-on time Jodie uses her supernatural abilities as a CIA agent to outwit enemy forces in a developing nation.

At the beginning of the demo Jodie has befriended a young boy from the village that’s home to the violent insurgents. This child somehow helped her through an earlier part of her mission. They part ways with a sincere, sad hug before she returns focus to her assassination mission. 

Guiding Jodie through the arid streets and shanties takes some getting used to. One analog stick controls her movements, and the other controls her actions. For example, players push an analog stick toward a gun if they want to pick it up. The control scheme changes when Jodie taps her spirit ally to possess the people around her. Controlling the ghost feels like guiding a free-floating camera through the game world in first person. NPCs glow with colored auras indicating whether they can be possessed or not. 

In one instance Jodie uses her ethereal partner to possess an enemy general’s henchman. The camera shifts back into third person as I begin controlling the guard. I guide the armed foe into the same room as his superior and watch the ensuing carnage.

Jodie enters the scene of the bloodbath to confirm the kill. A few beats later the boy from earlier enters the room, and the two share a straining, emotional moment as Jodie realizes she’s indirectly murdered his father. I guide Jodie towards the boy as he weeps over his father’s corpse and attempt to console him. He pulls a gun on me, which clicks dry. It’s a heavy moment in a game bound to be packed with them.

The demo concludes with a hairy escape from the warzone. Enemies close in from every corner, a helicopter’s arrival stretches on for an eternity, and Jodie considers a grim alternate exit. 

My time with Beyond: Two Souls was brief, but it triggered my excitement for Quantic Dream’s gripping storytelling. Heavy Rain captivated me so completely that I had to finish the game in one sitting. Moments like the one detailed above make me think Beyond: Two Souls will grab me the same way. It arrives on PlayStation 3 on October 8.

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Comments
  • Wow this is awesome! (depressing too)

  • this game looked way more interesting before all this CIA type stuff. now it looks like a third person action game, and we have plenty of those.
  • QD is doing a great job.

  • This game looks so outstanding, I haven't seen anything quite like it before (obviously).

  • This game is one of 5 reasons to not switch to next gen at launch, and one of the biggest.
  • All of the CIA/military stuff was quite a shock last night. Didn't see that coming!

  • i'll still give it a shot i love ellen too damn much

  • Yeah, this game definitely seemed more interesting back when it looked like it was a realistic supernatural drama: Heavy Rain with a ghost. This CIA stuff is just too generic. I remember even thinking the army and exploding car from the first trailer at last year's E3 was too over-the-top for what I thought Quantic Dream was about. I was hoping for a fresh, new idea, much like Heavy Rain's approach to interactive storytelling. I am very sorry to say that this game has gone from a "must-buy" to "meh" in my book :(
  • Hmm, you know, this actually makes sense story-wise if she sticks with Defoe and the program. I'm hoping we have more branching parallels like this... could finally give it more replayability than the rather limited set of changes in Heavy Rain (outside of the ending, which had like 57 variants).

  • The detailing on the faces on the screenshots are incredible! And this is on the PS3!
  • This game is going to be so, undeniably epic.

  • Wow. I am so surprised how many great PS3 games have been coming out over the past year. Once the PS3 becomes discounted, I might have to get one with all these great games I have been missing. Or maybe they'll make a PS4 release for this next year with DLC included or something...
  • I just realized that Jodie's actor, Ellen Page, is the same as that girl in Inception! I knew she looked familiar...
  • I haven't seen too much gameplay from this title because I want it to remain largely a surprise, but after seeing the newest trailer I am not sure what to expect at all. This game seems to be going in so many different directions, hopefully it still manages to come together nicely in the end.

  • i wish this was for PS4

  • Oh this is a definite.

  • Damn....okay, yeah The Last of Us might have some competition this year.

  • Insane. I want this. Still a lot of good gaming before I move on to the PS4.

  • Well this definitely feels like a very different tone than the last news I heard about this game. But it still looks to be very promising.

  • like

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