Beyond My Expectations- The Last Great Original IP on PS3 - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
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Beyond My Expectations- The Last Great Original IP on PS3

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First off I will say I did not think this game would be under such heavy criticism for it "polarizing" the gaming community. I personally did not go in depth in any particular review from publications but took a quick glance at what some of the major sites rated the game at. I didn't actually read what was good or bad about the game as I am a big advocate of making your own decision about purchasing or not purchasing a game. After playing a good amount of this game (I do not read guides or FAQs on my first play through so I am not sure where exactly I am in relation to the story but I assume I am nearing the end), (edit) passing the game I will say I have enjoyed the experience immensely. In short, I am happy and pleased with my purchase. That being said I can understand how this game may not be everyone's cup of tea, so to speak. Then again, games like Grand Theft Auto may not appeal to everyone. Games like Call of Duty, The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy, Company of Heroes, Minecraft, Assassins Creed, hell you get the idea. Many of these games have been commercially and/or critically successful games and yet they are not all loved by every single critic or player. There are a myriad of game genres and thousands of games for gamers to choose from so all you can do is be open to what's out there and choose what you think is good or bad. Yes, the experience can be different if you're a kid and your parents make your gaming choices for you but if you're an adult I am a huge believer that you can make your choice. I would never argue if someone disliked a game. Personal opinion is a great thing and I'm here to give my own on this game.
Anyway so goes my rant and now I'll go to my review of the game.
Gameplay- I will say right off this is where I can see the game losing a lot of people. In short, if you played and enjoyed Heavy Rain, Quantic Dreams last game, you will have no problem and feel right at home with Beyond. Though some changes have been made in interactions, namely getting rid of a lot of indicators for a simplistic "dot" system, the general movement scheme feels like Heavy Rain, for better or worse. I liked how the system changed and to me it felt very natural doing a lot of the actions simply because they were always in relation to what Jodie was trying to do. That being said it was not perfect. I sometimes found myself struggling with the camera movement which, although it is nice being able to move it more independently, sometimes prevented me from seeing the action I was actually hoping to do. Gripes aside, like I said earlier players of Heavy Rain shouldn't have a problem adapting to this method.
9/10
Graphics- As expected, some of the most realistic faces and models ever seen. I showed my wife this and she said if they put this much production in models why not just make a live action movie game. I kind of agree but of course there are reasons why models are better than trying to get an actor to do all the animations. Anyway that aside the graphics are outstanding. In terms of what I have seen on the PS3 it’s hard to find another realistic game (as opposed to fantasy/comic based games like Final Fantasy), perhaps The Last of Us, that gives such emotions to the characters while keeping the models so lifelike.
9.75/10
Sound- It was interesting hearing (and basically seeing) Ellen Page do this kind of work. I'm far from a big fan but I am familiar with some of her work but I will say she did a great job in her videogame debut. She gave Jodie a good range of emotions considering Page had to act out a variety of times of her life, particularly her teen angst and angry adult years. I am a Willem Dafoe fan and thought he did great as a father-like figure for Jodie and let's face it, when you're in The Hunter you're already kind of a bad ass anyway. Haha. No seriously he was great and the sound overall well done and the effects were not too shabby as well. Lastly, the soundtrack itself is amazing. I am trying to find out how to get a hold of a copy of one but can't seem to find it. A fantastic mix of eerie slow paced and dramatic pieces make this another great soundtrack (See also The Last of Us, Journey).
9/10
Story- Typically my substitute to what others may call entertainment or such I always like to rate how the story went. Again I can see how this could upset some people but for me I really enjoyed how Quantic Dream went outside of the ordinary and gave us a fictional story that was still very grounded thanks in no small part from the excellent acting and storytelling of the characters. QD has always given very character-driven stories and Beyond is no exception. I will not spoil anything but I will say the story kept me constantly engaged often playing several chapters at a time always telling myself "I gotta stop but it’s so interesting!" Overall very enjoyable and an experience I won't forget.
9.25/10
Final words- I am calling this the last great game of the PS3. When I say that I do so because most other games coming out (or already out) are sequels to previously established franchises (Batman, GTA, etc). I always give original IPs huge props especially when they come out during the end of a consoles life. If it wasn't for a "little" game called The Last of Us I could have easily called this game the best original IP I've played but it will have to settle for second. Like I ranted on before QD isn't forcing anyone to buy their game and we all have options for other games. For me and my nearly 30 years of gaming experience I will say I enjoyed this game a lot. If you like story driven characters and interesting plots I highly recommend it. If you like bunny fufu shooting from the hip FPS you'll probably hate it.
Although this game will likely be overlooked because of either A)Mixed reviews and/or B)The release of the PS4, I truly hope it is received in a positive light by players who really take the time to appreciate it for what it is. Beyond: Two Souls is a fantastic piece of art and a magnificent game all around.
Overall- 9.5/10

EDIT 10/15: I have since passed the game and will make a quick side note on that. I will say if you played Heavy Rain you will no doubt see similarities in how your actions effect the outcome of the end. I felt the decisions you make can drive you to one ending as opposed to another depending on what has happened (again trying to keep this spoiler free). In any case, great ending to an epic journey.

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