Beyond: Two Souls Demo Impressions

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If you are a fan of Heavy Rain, then this is one title you do not absolutely want to miss under any circumstances. I, for one, am a huge fan of Quantic Dream’s work, and I truly enjoyed the suspense-thriller of Heavy Rain that David Cage created. The art, style, deliverance of dialogue, showing emotions just using facial expressions as well as the narrative and the twists included.

Beyond: Two Souls is another interactive drama-action title developed by Quantic Dream, which features psychological, spiritual and thriller elements and will be exclusive to the PlayStation 3 System.

From all the demos and gameplay already shown, it is already shaping up to be a masterpiece born with the worlds of the movies and the gameplay, feedback, control and deliverance of games colliding together.

The game follows the story of Jodie Holmes (Likeness/Portrayal/Voice by Ellen Page), the players will be able to control her through 15 years of her life (ages 8 through 23) on a journey to discover the true meaning of the entity Aiden who has been linked to her throughout her life.

Luckily I got my hands on the Early Access Demo that was being handed out by GameStop on their Facebook page.

The demo itself is of 3GB in size, one would assume that it’s too big of a size for a demo and would go on to assume that most of that size is just for the Game Engine. That’s what I also thought but I was amazed once I ventured into the demo itself.

The demo is lengthy, it has two playable sections: The Experiment and Hunted.

The Experiment explores a young  Jodie Holmes who goes through a psychic experiment which is led by Nathan Hawkins (Likeness/Portrayal/Voice by Willem Dafoe).

Hunted explores the gameplay of a teen Jodie Holmes on the lam from the police. This section of the gameplay was previously shown at E3 2012.

Willem Dafoe

The gameplay and controls are a step up from Heavy Rain, although Beyond: Two Souls is also a QTE game, it now has a new gameplay mechanic which extensively uses the Right-analog stick of the Dualshock 3. This mechanic is a seamless integration into the world, the prompts to use the Right-analog stick are not shown on screen as to which direction should the stick be pushed, but it uses a slow-mo technique which also saturates the screen.

The player must then use their own sense along with the sense of direction Jodie is facing to push the stick that way in order to achieve the desired results. QTEs also pop up now and then to help progress the story and to let you interact with objects, sequences and such.

Both sections also let you control the supernatural entity named “Aiden” who can pass through walls, stir things up, throw things, possess human beings or kill them among other things. The controls were simple enough to move with Aiden followed by a few prompts to interact with stuff (throwing stuff and such). You’ll see a blue dot on the screen to show that you are near a thing to interact with it. You can then lock on to it by holding down the L1 button on the Dualshock 3 and then proceeding to follow the prompt to use both analog sticks to perform the action. Aiden is Jodie

The graphics are a complete upgrade from Heavy Rain, along with the top-notch voice acting and facial expressions conveying emotions, most of the time I forgot that I was really playing a video game. The best part of playing the demo was you can nearly go through many of the objects in the world using Aiden. For example, there was this SWAT team member sitting inside a truck, I could go inside the truck and see the whole inside of it and find what I would generally find inside a truck. It is that much open and the controls are not as frustrating as Heavy Rain’s controls would sometimes get.

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The demo was just a taste of what’s to come. The original game has more areas to explore, more puzzles to solve, deserts to see and more police to evade.

Beyond: Two Souls gets released on October 8th for North American, October 11th for Europe and October 17th for Japan.

Ali Moin

"There's always a website. There's always a writer. There's always a story" Follow him on Twitter and Google+