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! Tweet 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.
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
Excerpt: The press sheet for Beyond: Two Souls uses the phrase “emotional” nearly a half-dozen times. Special care was made to painstakingly capture the likenesses and actions of real life actors Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe. There are very few scenes where someone isn’t crying or in some kind of emotional pain. All of this is set on the backdrop of what is supposed to be one of the most heart-wrenching interactive stories ever told in video games.
Pros: A technical marvel, Performances range from good to great, Narrative is fine for a video game…
Cons: …but that’s not enough any more, Player input ultimately doesn’t matter, Uses cheap emotional tricks
Review: Beyond: Two Souls suffers from a personality crisis
8 October 2013
Summary: Beyond can't decide whether it's a thriller, a supernatural horror, a coming-of-age teen drama, or an action movie. It leaps between time periods and genres so wildly, and for so little reason, that it's almost impossible to become invested in the story at all. It's as if writer/director David Cage is trying to make ten films at once, and the result is a confusing jumble of themes and tone.
Pros: Impressive facial animation, Solid performance by Ellen Page
Cons: Clumsy, unnatural dialogue, No sense that you're having any impact on the story