Beyond Two Souls Game
Beyond Two Souls
This is one of the hardest games to rate and condense into a purely numerical value. The problem is that this game takes what made the old game great and brings it to another level/genre where the game is now almost an interactive movie. In an attempt to make the player experience feelings that they do not usually obtain from the action games with mindless brutality first and storyline as an afterthought. The problem is that with taking this motion picture/game genre to extremes as they did it leaves the participant in a very passive experience which makes the journey of the story and character not as rewarding as it should be.
David Cage comes across in his latest incarnation as a film director trapped in a game creators body.The feeling you get in this game is that the developers and story creators have really been let loose to think up whatever they want on this one. Contrary to the game which we all loved (Heavy Rain) this new direction that has been taken means that there are a lot of inconstancies that occur within the story. The only constant that can be found is the games main character Jodie Holmes who was voice by Ellen page she seems to be a bright beacon in a world of darkness in the games many short comings.
The story of Jodie comes in the usual game structure of chapters, but they are all out of chronological order which means you will be jumping back and forth through her life. With the game jumping from one time of Jodie’s Life to the other the plot can sometimes get confusing especially when you include the ghost presence which she carries with her. This ghost called Aiden can also be controlled in some cases but this seems like another unnecessary input into the game.
The Games Problem
The main problem I had with the story-line jumping around different stages of Jodie’s Life was that I felt I always behind trying to catch up to what was happening.The other problem which also shows up in this type of storytelling is that a lot of scenes that are supposed to be emotional and connecting for the player are shown too early before you can fully comprehend the gravity of the scene.
After going through the whole campaign I still felt that the plot would still feel wrong even if told in order witch could be the reason why Quantic Dream Decided to mask this with the Pulp Fiction-like time line method. A couple of great games have come out of this developer from the prequel (Heavy Rain) and one of my all time great games Fahrenheit. If you have played them don’t expect anything different in terms of the story-line. The story takes you through many genres in an entangled journey of action, drama, sci-fi and horror.
Thoughts from the creator
Cage reiterated that the decision to take the player through this maze of genres was one that he did deliberately. He did this because he thought that this would better reflect the real life of such a character. Unfortunately there is a reason why some of these things are not done by other developers, and trying to experiment with this multi-genre does not pay well for Quantic Dream.
There are some moments at which the whole game comes together and these moments are just enough that it compels you to keep playing the game. This usually happens when the action dies down and the game comes down to earth. These moments however are few and far between for me it to affect all of the game.
In these down to earth moments I was really sold by Ellen Page’s performance as it makes you build a connection with Jodie. Ellen Page’s competency becomes almost a saving grace for the game as she delivers a performance that does not miss a beat. Ellen navigates all of the story’s twist and turns with the professionalism and familiarity that you may expect but it really helps to make the game. For all the criticism that might befall Cage’s directing and storytelling methods I feel some credit must be given to Both him and Willem Dafoe who help to complete the trio that made this game give me a great feeling in the end.
Whats missing in the game
So what missing do you say, the problem is not so much the story but the actual game-play that is built in within the story. One of the problems for me is that the control scheme has been revamped. This means many of the quick time events are gone and they have been replaced with mostly using the right thumb stick for controlling actions that happen in the game.
This means you can interact with anything in the world which has white dot by using the right thumb stick. The Quick time events still occur but very rarely now compared to the previous game. Although they still have moments of high tension they are not as frequent as before which is a shame.
Using the ghostly figure of Aiden is not too much of a problem and can be done by pressing the triangle buttonThere are an array of things that you can do in this mode including kill enemies and pass through walls and ceilings which can be very entertaining and useful. Although this seemed like a great addition to the game using Aiden did not feel like it was by my own intuition it always felt as is it was always hinted to me which took some of the freedom away of using him.
A lot of voiced prompts will tell you when to use Aiden and when it is more likely that you will not succeed without him. This to me was too obvious ruining the overall gameplay of Beyond Two Souls.The problems that occur with the gameplay are quite a few but one of the main problems is the combat during the game. The new scheme of using the right stick is emphasized even more here and time will slow down as you have fights with people. The problem is you have to move the right stick the same as her body and you will find yourself misreading what movement needs to be made plenty of times.
Although we all this is a game the lack of consequence in losing fight is very displeasing the fact you can get shot stabbed and generally come out fine on the other side really shows that the developers were aiming for a certain outcome regardless of the players input
Unlike the previous game where you can choose if a character lives or dies in the end , in Beyond Two Souls your choices are very limted. Ofcourse you can still make decisions but these decisions unlike Heavy rain have been dulled down to what can only be described as an after thought.
Although you can argue that with only one main character developers did not have much in the way of leeway to what they can let you choose. It also pays to remember that this games predecessor was main built on the fact that you could make life altering decisions in a story that was both compelling and interactive.
It can also be stated that there is not much in terms of exploration although this is not unusual, it does feel like another barrier into the game which hinders you instead of gently leading you through the story as it should. The graphics however are stunning from the vast desert plains to the techno filled research bases there is a lot of detail which has been put into this game.
The Ultimate Score
Through the campaign it can be argued that the story is entwining enough to play through. This is by no small part due to a performance by a great actress Ellen Page but this does not take away from the linear feel of the game. You never really feel as if you have an effect in the game but more like a person sitting in a chair watching events unfold.
© 2014 nooch01