Beyond: Two Souls (PlayStation 3)
Quantic Dream returns with another psychological thriller
- Interesting premise for the story
- Great production values and actor performances
- Interactivity is somewhat minimal overall
- Some of the dialogue could have been a little less cliché
Beyond: Two Souls is an ambitious title that pushes the boundaries of interactive entertainment, to the point where the narrative overshadows the actual gameplay.
Price$ 89.00 (AUD)
French developer Quantic Dream has made a name for itself pushing the boundaries of interactive fiction in titles such as 2005’s Fahrenheit, and, more recently, 2010’s Heavy Rain. The latter was particularly noteworthy for its high production values. This year’s Beyond: Two Souls brings even higher production values, thanks to the inclusion of established Hollywood talent.
Ghost in the girl
The narrative of Beyond: Two Souls focuses around Jodie Holmes, a girl with a unique psychic ability. This ability manifests itself as a psychic link to an invisible spirit called Aiden. This ghostly entity has followed Jodie all her life and is prone to all sorts of behaviour, though it also follows her commands. Government researcher Nathan Dawkens has spent his time studying Jodie’s condition, as well taking care of her at the same time.
Hollywood actress Ellen Page, who has appeared in movies such as Juno and Super, lends her likeness and voice for Jodie, while Willem Dafoe, who starred in Spider-Man and Auto Focus, does the same for Nathan. It’s not often a video game packs high calibre talent such as this, and the motion capture done by Page and Dafoe also helps to make their in-game performances more believable. Combined with the high production vales already displayed with Heavy Rain, you have the most atmospheric game since 2011’s L.A. Noire.
Entertainment over interactivity
Like Heavy Rain before it, Beyond: Two Souls can be classified more or less as an interactive movie. The focus is entirely on the story and interactivity is relegated to second place. That’s not to say that there is no interactivity at all, it’s just a simpler form of interactivity compared to that of other modern games. The appeal of the game essentially lies in Page’s story, which switches regularly from her experiences during childhood to her adventures as a young adult.
Most of the time, you’ll find yourself absorbing the in-game dialogue and then choosing responses from a list of available options. The most interactive sequences in the game are the ones where you investigate environments with Jodie and Aiden, as you have full control of either character during this segment. The heavy narrative focus also means that there is a fair share of quick time events, which relegates you to pushing buttons according to on-screen prompts.
In many ways, Beyond: Two Souls wants to show the industry and players that games don’t have to be about the technology, but more about the narrative. This approach may not appeal to everyone, but it will provide several hours of memorable fiction for those who give it a chance.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 2 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 3 Parrot Mambo Drone review
- 4 Evapolar USB air conditioner review
- 5 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
Latest News Articles
- This week in games: Diablo 4 whispers, Civilization VI launch
- The Nintendo Switch is a radical mash-up of consoles and gaming handhelds
- Tobii's new eye tracker adds head tracking with an emphasis on PC games
- Halo Wars 2 hands-on preview: Blitz mode's thrilling twists could trigger an RTS revival
- The Xbox One's first email app is here, and it's not Outlook
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- TV buying guide: What to look for when buying a TV in 2016
- Best iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus plans: Optus vs Telstra vs Vodafone vs Virgin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSenior Consultant Commercial PricingVIC
- CCNetwork Designer/ConsultantVIC
- CCContract Systems Analyst (SQL/Web) 161027/SA/842Asia
- CCSAP GRC consultant with ABAP experience . Canberra LocationNSW
- CCTest Lead with HP ALMACT
- CCJava Developer - CQ5VIC
- CCData ScientistVIC
- CCInfrastructure & Security Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCSenior Java Analyst Programmer - Front Office TradingNSW
- CCContract IT Assistant (System Backup Operation) 161014/ITA/523Asia
- CCAcquisition Marketing Executive - B2BNSW
- PTService Management AnalystSA
- FTSalesforce Subject Matter ExpertNSW
- CCContract Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 161018/P/911Asia
- CCSolution DesignerVIC
- FTProduct ManagerVIC
- CCICT Project Reporting Planning CoordinatorNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle/SQL) 161018/AP/812Asia
- FTSenior Architect | Perl | Linux |MySQL | Infrastructure | TelecomNSW
- FTJava Script, Frontend Developer- DynamoDB or MongoDBNSW
- CCJunior Programmer (Application Dev. & Mgt.) 161017/JP/221Asia
- CCSAS DI DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Test AnalystQLD
- CCContract Computer Operator (UNIX/Windows-based) 161014/CO/vmtAsia
- CCNetwork AdministratorVIC