“Beyond: Two Souls” The Greatest Movie I’ve Ever Played
This has been a fantastic year for gamers! I have played through a lot of amazing games this year including: BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Grand Theft Auto V and most recently, Beyond: Two Souls.
Beyond: Two Souls is about our protagonist, Jodie (Ellen Page) and an entity named Aiden that is connected to her. Aiden is a faceless, voiceless spirit that has been with Jodie since she was little. No one besides Jodie can see or communicate with Aiden which makes her stand out amongst everyone else. Because of this ability, an organization called the Department of Paranormal Activity (DPA) is extremely interested in Jodie. Two doctors at this facility, Nathan Dawkings (Willem Dafoe) & Cole Freeman (Kadeem Hardison) help Jodie to fully realize the potential she has, and how to deal with being different than everyone else.
The game jumps around through three specific times in our character’s life; child, teenager, and adult. The story is told out of order. So you may play a chapter with Jodie as an adult, and the next chapter will be her as an eight-year old child, and so on. This helps keep the game more mysterious, just to later smack you with hard details.
The gameplay in Beyond: Two Souls is much like “Heavy Rain,” this games unrelated predecessor also made by Quantic Dream. I must warn you though, this game plays out more like a movie than it does a game. It grabs your attention, and doesn’t let go till the end! There’s no challenge to this game, nor is there a game over screen. Because of these unique characteristics it adds to the immersive gameplay. A child could probably easily play through this game, though because of the mature rating and content, I don’t recommend that at all. The controls are very basic. You control Jodie, who can interact with several things in her environment. For example, she can open doors, and examine items. All of which are activated by moving the right control stick to a white dot near an object. There are also many scenes that play out like QTE’s (Quick Time Events) where you move your right control stick up, down, left or right in order to punch, kick or dodge obstacles. If you screw up, don’t worry, it doesn’t ever seem to matter. You can also switch to Aiden who can float around (keeping in the proximity of Jodie) and help Jodie by distracting a person in a poltergeist style fashion. You do this by tapping on an object allowing Jodie to sneak past someone, pushing buttons to open doors, or breaking through a damaged wall. Aiden is also capable of possession, healing and creating a force field around Jodie.
I’ve always liked Ellen Page as an actress in movies, but in my opinion, this is her best performance. Willem Dafoe also gives a spectacular performance, and the chemistry between him and Page works perfectly. This is possibly the prettiest game on the PS3. I feel bad for non-gamers as they will likely never experience this cinematic masterpiece. Unless they watched someone play through it (which would probably be almost as enjoyable.) This game is a emotional roller-coaster of a ride. Never has a game plucked at my heartstrings like someone plucking a guitar during a heavy metal solo. This is a beautiful game with realistic environments and life-like characters thanks to the motion-capture done by the actors themselves. The length of the game is around 10 hours. The multiple endings add to the re-playability, all of which, are worth checking out. Also some nice bonuses you can unlock by collecting hidden items with Aiden that are scattered throughout the world; like the two captivating shorts “Kara” and “The Dark Sorcerer” both of which are written and directed by the genius David Cage.
This game might not be for everyone, but I highly recommend it. Whether you have to buy it, rent it, or borrow it, it’s a game that everyone with a PS3 should experience! This is easily one of the best stories I have ever had the pleasure of being told. Head over to the PSN store and check out the free demo for yourself.
OVERALL RATING 9.5 out of 10