Excerpt: Beyond: Two Souls is a game that doesn't quite know what it wants to be. As to be expected of Quantic Dreams, the team behind Heavy Rain, Beyond pushes the boundaries of gaming. David Cage succeeds in directing a cinematic experience that places character and narrative above gameplay. Unfortunately, Cage's writing eventually lets the whole game down, piling on the cliches in the final act of the story.
Summary: Beyond: Two Souls may be hard to wrap your mind around, but is ultimately worth sticking through. It's not a conventional game, making wild swings for the sake of style and storytelling. Some may enjoy the spectacle of it all, but others will be frustrated by the quick-time events and time jumping. No matter where you stand, Beyond: Two Souls is a worthwhile story that ultimately pays off in the end! This product was submitted by the publisher for review.
Excerpt: With Beyond: Two Souls , Quantic Dream has achieved the most realised version of its distinctive form of interactive storytelling yet. This is a vision the French developer has spent the past decade trying to perfect, cutting their teeth on both the deeply flawed Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain in an attempt to bridge the gap between movies and videogames.
Excerpt: David Cage created one of the all-time great PlayStation 3 exclusives with Heavy Rain back in in 2010, so naturally Sony fans would be excited for his next release, Beyond: Two Souls . The game does feature beautiful graphics that most games just can't compare with and a strong narrative that many fans will appreciate, but the heavy emphasis on dialogue and storyline linearity means gamers will take a backseat while the drama of the game unfolds in front of their eyes.
Excerpt: There is a lot to love about Beyond and its weird brand of interactive storytelling, and I appreciate its ambition, but it’s hard to ignore the game’s numerous narrative flaws. The controls, base mechanics and acting are all a step up from the studio’s previous titles, yet the writing and story never quite reach the same heights and often times fall completely flat.
Summary: It's hard to divorce David Cage, the public figure, from the games Quantic Dream makes. He is, after all, a man who put himself in Indigo Prophecy 's tutorial, immortalized as the movie director he's always dreamed of being. The self-styled auteur fiercely believes in being the one man with the one vision, and gladly takes credit for his games' success in doing so.
Conclusion: Scene by scene, Beyond: Two Souls is compelling enough, principally thanks to a remarkable performance from Ellen Page. But never before have I felt like such a passive participant in a video game, my choices and actions merely icing on a dense, multi-layered cake. Playing Beyond is a memorable experience, yes, but a good video game it is not; and while the credits were rolling I admit to thinking I would have been happier to sit back and watch a movie version that was...
Pros: Terrific performance from Page, Beautiful world