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  1. Game: Beyond: Two Souls Age Rating: 16+ Genre: Interactive Drama, QTE(quick time events) Developer: Quantic Dream Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Game Director: David Cage Lead story writer: David Cage Played on: Playstation 3 Overview Beyond: Two Souls lets you live and experience the story of Jodie Holmes, a girl who has been linked with an entity named Aiden since the very first moment she was born. The game follows her life over a span of 15 years and lets us experience all the choices she made and the consequences she faced. STORYLINE AND CHARACTERIZATION Quantic Dream has created a reputation for itself with games like Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain. And Beyond Two Souls does a 100% job in keeping up with this reputation. Quantic Dream has always aimed at marrying gameplay with cinematic storytelling and with Beyond, it has reached a new peak. Storytelling isn’t about telling a simple story in a complicated way, but rather its the art of narrating a complicated story in a simple, elegant and beautiful way. And David Cage seems to be a master of storytelling. The story of Beyond: Two Souls is unique; its the story of a girl, Jodie Holmes, linked with an entity named Aiden, since her birth. Stories like this always risk getting too un-familiar with gamers but the story is narrated in such a smooth way that you ease into the flow without any hesitation. The storyline takes place over a span of 15 years, showing different phases of Jodie’s life which helps the player get more familiar with the character, understand her and see through her eyes. You watch her grow in front of your eyes, see her make choices and face the consequences. The storyline is vastly branched and hence every choice that you make as Jodie plays a crucial role in deciding the fate of Jodie. With almost 25 different endings, the importance of the choices you make is further amplified. And the amazing performances put forth by the star studded cast which included the likes of Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe help breathe new life into the characters. The performances by the cast are very strong; seeing them flinch and smile, cry and sulk, tear and stutter is simple wonderful. The amazing graphics further help the game to directly connect to the gamer. Coming to the characterization, the characterization in this game is very strong and detailed. Jodi Holmes is just the type of female protagonist the gaming world needed right now; strong, independent and non-stereotypical. Her personality is very defined. Not only Jodie, but each and every character has been designed carefully with a lot of detail and depth which is another plus side of this game; the side characters hold their own and aren’t over-shadowed by the dominating presence of such a strong lead character, which has been seen in many recent games like GTA V and The Last Of Us where gamers failed to appreciate the presence of the side characters due to such towering lead characters. Overall, Beyond delivers a story of a kind in a spectacular manner with characters that live and breath. GAMEPLAY Given the genre, the gameplay options are limited. Beyond: Two Souls is a heavy narrative and hence depends only on the choices that Jodie has to make. Hence the scope of gameplay variety is restricted but Quantic Dream has done a good job in making best out of literally nothing. THE GOOD QTE doesn’t always sound fun but Beyond uses QTE as its basic gameplay element and yet makes it interesting as there is a lot of variety to it. The game has a lot of gameplay than expected and the developers made sure that it doesn’t get too repetitive by allowing the player to play both as Jodie and Aiden. Further, Beyond can be played by two players, each controlling Jodie and Aiden respectively which gives a whole new split screen experience. Also, Quantic Dream found a perfect way of merging fight sequences with QTE in a spectacular and refreshing way. The game is fast paced for most of the time and it keeps you on the edge of your seat, with your fingers hovering over the buttons, waiting for the on-screen prompts to appear. Overall, the gameplay elements are very satisfying and QTE has never been more fun. Another good thing about this game is there is n ‘death’. As in you don’t die and re spawn if you don’t succeed in a mission. Instead not doing something right will affect your storyline and might result in missing whole chunks of the game. As there is no ‘death state’ , the story goes on in one way or another keeping the experience intact and immersive. THE BAD During the night sequences, the lighting doesn’t seem good enough; you can hardly see whats going on. The camera is very restricted which is frustrating at times. Also, character movement seems quite restricted and kind of breaks the immersion. The fight sequences and the slow mo sequences are cleverly designed but are really hard to get a hang of. Another low point was that, Beyond is game which plays along according to the choices you make; hence the curiosity of ‘what would happen if I had done that?’ is always there. But unfortunately, the chapters are quite long and the idea of playing through it all again ( with absolutely no chance of skipping the cutscenes) just to see a different consequence which doesn’t last more than a few minutes is very tiring and not attractive. And although Beyond boasts of a high replay value with almost as many as 25 different endings, it is not practically possible to actually play through all of them. The game is rather long and there are only a few key choices that actually affect the ending in a major way; hence the re runs end up being repetitive and boring except for a few changes here and there. It seemed like a cheap way to force the gamers to spend more time on the game than needed. To sum it up, Beyond does have a high replay value but its not appealing. GRAPHICS AND ENVIRONMENTS Beyond: Two Souls is a masterpiece, when it comes to graphics. The graphics in this game is ‘beyond’ description. The amount of detail in the characters or the environments is mind blowing and is reason enough for buying this game. Each and every freckle, every smile and every muscle twitch is shown in a very realistic, organic and detailed way. The graphics in this game do a really great job of further pushing the power of the narrative. In short words, these graphics are a treat to the eyes. The environments too, have been very carefully designed and are interactive to a very good extent. The game takes place in different locations and each environment has been perfectly designed not only to look natural and organic but also to reflect the mood of the game. MUSIC The music isn’t that great but it is isn’t boring either. You can sit through it without having to stuff you ears with cotton. FINAL VERDICT Beyond: Two Souls is an amazing game with mind blowing graphics and a very appealing and convincing storyline. The chance to decide the fate of the character through the choices we make further increases the importance of the narrative. However, the highly publicized replay value of this game is rather un-feasible which is a very big letdown given the expectations from the game. Also, the small technical inconveniences mentioned, like the cameras and character movement could have been very easily rectified. The game is highly recommended for gamers who like story driven/ narrative based games. Afterall, Beyond is more of a narrative media than a game. It is also a treat for all the ‘high quality graphics’ enthusiasts. But, gamers who enjoy the gameplay aspects of any game might not find it playable. The only reason it is a 7 and not a 9, is bcoz Beyond had a lot of replay value in it, with so many different consequences and different endings, yet it fails to entice the gamer to come back for a re run, given its quite-a-big gameplay length and repetitive gameplay elements. MY SCORE: 7/10
  2. So I have for quite some time wanted to voice my thoughts about Beyond: Two Souls, but the usual places Im at often can be very hostile and I dont want to deal with disrespectful people like those. So I've decided to say my thoughts here in hope that this is a much more friendly community. Now I want that everyone who decide to say their thoughts/opinions here will be respectful. I dont want any flame wars or anything like that. We may have different opinions, but we all should respect them still. First of all I want to say what I think about the "Its not a game, its a movie" comment that so many are using. I think that its wrong. When you hit the play button on a movie and you walked out of the room or even the whole building you're in the movie would still continue on just as it would, the story would move on to the next part. If you were to press play and then walk away from the tv in Beyond: Two Souls it would grind to a complete stop, you are the essential part for it to proceed to the next partm you're needed. When someone say its so linear that it just aswell could be a movie, then I want you to look at Call of Duty: Ghost. The only option you have is who to shoot when and how, and often even that is taken out of your hands. It often say who to kill, how to kill, and when to kill. When you played through the Singleplayer once, you have no reason to do it again. It wont change, in Beyond: Two Souls the core elements of the story wont change, but there are variables that you can change, you CAN do some things differently which will give an slightly different result. I will also say on that same area that it does the same as Telltale's Walking Dead game. When it comes to the end, your choices wont have changed it, it will be the same for whoever plays it in what way. There is only one ending, in Beyond: Two Souls you have the option to choose what ending you want, but they wont be different from playthrough to playthrough. Some complain about the lack of a "Game Over" possibility, but I feel it would have broken the immersion (Unsure about the spelling). The thing that I see as this game's gift, may also be seen as it curse. It so different from typical games today. When you say game I think Call of Duty and Battlefield and Witcher and Chivalry and Walking Dead. and because it does fit with typical games today it gets seen as a non-game. I found it to be very similar to The Walking Dead to be honest, only major noticeable differance between those games was that The Walking Dead had free aim sections, unlike Beyond: Two Souls who had predetermined guys to shoot in what order and in what fashion and that there is a "Game Over" possibility and in Beyond: Two Souls, as I said earlier, it doesnt. Many complain that the story doesnt make sense and is confusing. Those who say this havent finished the game, or havent been paying enough attention to the game, possible because they decided to make fun of the game while playing, I dont know, seen parts of a playthrough where someone does that. In what game are you told EVERTHING there is to tell from the start? No game does it, by telling you something but keeping some parts out for later, they keep you playing to get all the pieces. The more you play, the more of the story you learn. Some people hate the game becuase they didnt have a good time playing it. In some cases, the had no chance. Very often people make up their mind about games before they have played it, already decided if the game is good or bad, on a subconscious level. Who made the game, what game have they made in the past, what kinda reputation does the developers have, what do OTHER people say about the game? These are some factors that influence that subconscious decision. Publishers and developers try to influence this with trailers and teasers, try to give you a subconscious positive opinion about the game. This makes it hard for someone to say that they experianced a game in a neutral position. There I think I've said what I had to say about the game. Im sorry for any misspelling. Im Norwegian, we're special I hope that if you have anything you like to say that you say it in a respectful and mature manner. And please, if you have anything to say, say it. Edit: I saw this video by Extra Creditz and I thought it would be best to add the video rather trying to explain everything word by word myself.