Developer Quantic Dream and their outspoken head David Cage have been working long and hard since the release of their “outside the box” detective-style QTE-laced game Heavy Rain on a brand new adventure that shares a bit of the same design philosophy. Beyond: Two Souls is the culmination of a few years of hard work by the studio and is once again a game that blurs the lines between video games and movies. Just recently the demo released on the PlayStation Network for all to download, so I decided to give it a shot and see what interesting experiences Beyond held, and how actors Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe enhanced the experience and storyline with their talents.
The demo features two sections that are set at different points in the game. The first section is set in a lab and gives you the basic idea behind the controls, and the controls of your spirit counterpart Aiden. Jodie Holmes (Page) is a girl with some interesting abilities. She is able to interface with a ghostly entity she has named Aiden, and Aiden is able to help Jodie by moving or throwing items, opening doors, breaking windows, or even possessing people. The first part of the demo gives you a tutorial in controlling Aiden in which you go through walls and identify cards another woman is holding, and eventually knock over nearly everything in the room. This first section makes it clear that Jodie needs Aiden’s help but is still not fully able to control the actions of the entity.
The second section of the demo (which you see in the video) is further in and takes place when Jodie is on the run. For some reason the police are looking to capture Jodie, so you must use her and Aiden together to manipulate the environment and people to get away from the captors. The gameplay takes full precedence in this section showing off the QTE (quick time event) heavy actions you must perform as Aiden to manipulate people and objects to help save Jodie. Even as Jodie you use QTEs to dodge obstacles when running through the woods and climbing rocks. The interesting experience comes into play when Jodie is seemingly trapped, and Beyond turns into a puzzle game where you must move the correct things and posses the correct people with Aiden to help Jodie escape.
I came away from the Beyond: Two Souls demo with a much better appreciation of what the game is, and was more excited than when I went in. The game comes out in an odd time right before the launch of the next-gen systems and I can’t help but wish this could have made it as a launch game, but regardless it’s a very interesting experience as Heavy Rain was before it. If you enjoyed Heavy Rain and are into solid stories with well-known actors and interesting gameplay be sure to check out the Beyond demo up now on PSN!
Beyond Two Souls Announcement Trailer
Beyond Two Souls E3 Gameplay
Beyond Two Souls Demo Gameplay