Beyond Two Souls Review: Is it more than just fancy polish?
Welcome back and happy Friday dear readers. I wanted to get this review up and running because Pokemon X and Y will be launching tomorrow morning, and that review is going to take me some time. Quantic Dream has been known for their unique approach to video games, making it more of an interactive movie experience. They are best known for previous titles like Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain. Now they have released their newest title, Beyond Two Souls. This title has been highly anticipated since Heavy Rain was a huge hit. Does this newest title live up to the reputation of previous games?
Graphics: To say that Beyond Two Souls’ graphics are amazing is an understatement. Quantic Dream achieves graphical perfection in this interactive cinematic game. The character models and animations are beautifully executed, and the locations that are explored through Jodie’s eyes are lush and quite beautiful to see. When you take control of Jodie’s spiritual companion Aiden, you see a different perspective that is again beautifully executed. Quantic Dreams even went as far as to model the characters after the actors who played them. This is something that is rarely seen in video games, and Quantic Dream should be highly commended for it. Score: 10/10
Sound: Lorne Balfe along with Hans Zimmer bring a fantastic soundtrack that draws you into the game. From intense action sequences, to even a simple dating scenario, Balfe and Zimmer bring forth a fitting musical score that fits every situation perfectly. Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe give fantastic performances. Score: 10/10
Gameplay: The gameplay of Beyond Two Souls can be described as a “love it or hate it” situation. You are more or less a companion that watches Jodie’s life unfold from childhood to adulthood. During action sequences you make decisions throughout the scenarios that dictate what Jodie will do, or whether or not an action she performs will be successful. For example, in a fight scenario Jodie picks up a pipe and swings at a foe. You must press the right analog stick based on Jodie’s body movement and where she is going to swing from. Therefore, if she is swinging to the right, you press the analog stick to the right. This applies to even mundane activities such as cooking dinner and eating. It is a mechanic that is unique and may not appeal to gamers that are well adjusted to intense action and nonstop button mashing. You will also assume the role of Aiden, Jodie’s spiritual companion and assist Jodie in both mundane and intense situations. You utilize Aiden to make objects move or break to impress or scare other people depending on your situation. In intense situations Aiden uses his abilities to choke enemies, or possess them in order to kill others. This is a unique approach to gaming which can be fun, but at times it can be tedious.
The areas in Beyond Two Souls are so gorgeous, and it is a huge shame that the game is linear, and exploring locations is scripted and severely limited. It’s a downer, but still a joy to look at. Unfortunately, the story in Beyond Two Souls tends to jump around far too much, which results in a person asking questions of how Jodie landed in the situations that you find yourself in. There are also points in the action sequences that can be very cumbersome. Jodie’s body movement is fairly easy to understand at first, but as the game advances her body movement becomes a bit too difficult to read, which results in making a wrong choice. This wasn’t a big deal, but other gamers out there may find this very frustrating. Score: 7.5/10
Beyond Two Souls is as I said earlier a “love it or hate it” title. Fans of Heavy Rain may not be as impressed by Beyond Two Souls and it’s shortcomings. However, the characters are deep, the story although fragmented is very well told, and it is an experience that every gamer should have just once.
Final Score: 8/10
Thanks for reading everyone! Be sure to follow my blog and tell your friends. Tune in next week when I give my full review of Pokemon X.