BEYOND: Two’s Holes

Beyond: Two Souls

Not sure but maybe this game made Ellen Page a little more likable, not much mind you – just a little.

Jodie Holmes has been linked to an entity since her birth. This entity is a constant companion which she can neither escape or control. Struggling with her gift, her parents leave her in the hands of a government agency. Even this agency has to let her go when the CIA comes calling and takes her into their program. Jodie finds herself conflicted with her own gift and curse as well as the people trying to use her for it.

Quantic Dream’s commercial successor to Heavy Rain attempts to carry a heavy torch with limited success. If you played Heavy Rain you will recognize a lot of the game play style and story roll out. Motion based controls are mixed with button mashing and combinations. Interestingly and annoyingly you also have to make use of the six-axis motions controls during the game, something that few games actually use. Where the game fails is in the most important venue, the story and characters. This game is too slow and confusing in developing both the characters and story. I don’t care for non-linear presentations in movies and I like them even less in video games. If you can’t develop something by being straight forward then maybe it is something that just doesn’t work. This is the issue I faced in BEYOND: Two Souls. As much as I got engrossed by the characters in Heavy Rain, I fought to feel the same for the characters in BEYOND. The non-linear story made it hard to accept much less emphasis with the characters plight at any point.

This game, much like The Last of Us, pushed the dramatic and technical limits of the PlayStation 3 console. The graphics were superb and borderline on those of a ‘next-gen’ console. Which only makes me wonder that if had this game been pushed back a few month would all of the rendering and controls issues been resolved. Again, this game shared a folly that the drama did not ring true and felt distant. I really wanted to feel for Jodie in the game but just couldn’t. Like Heavy Rain, I probably won’t play this game again. Unlike Heavy Rain, I won’t play it again just because there is nothing to compel me to do so. I won’t play Heavy Rain again because I found it too emotionally exhausting on one play through to make a second play through viable.

It took me a two day rental to get through this game. Thankfully, ReBox sent me a code for one of those days. There was a price drop to about $36 but it has floated back to $60 at GameStop and $38 at Amazon. Overall, I enjoyed this game but recommend you wait until the price drops to $20 or less, just like I waited for Heavy Rain to be appropriately priced.

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