Beyond: Two Souls review (PS3)

MightyNoX | 316d ago | User review
Reviewing: Beyond: Two Souls
We Go Beyond Two Souls
David Cage is a polarizing figure. Depending on who'd you ask, he's either a hack who couldn't make into the movie industry or a pioneer of the storytelling medium. Personally, I'm ambivalent towards Mr. Cage. I find his ideas to be sound in theory but their execution almost always falls flat.
Take, for example, Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy. The opening sequence is quite possibly the greatest story-hook in the videogaming medium. You have just regained conciousness after brutally killing someone. Do you make a run for it? Do you calmly sit down and then leave? Do you meticilosuly clean after yourself before paying heed to tip the waitress? What. Do. you. Do?

Then, of course, The Orange Clan and The Purple Clan happened and proverbial excrement hit the actual rotary.

Cage is a good source of ideas. He probably goes around all day and blurts out random things like "A game where you play as a serial killer!" or "A game where you play a dad trying to save his son." They're all sound ideas in the conception stage, but let David actually hammer out the details and it all falls apart in the third act. There lies an interesting parallel to George Lucas. Both are dreamers capable of blurting out enticing ideas in one sentence but are in need of realists to work out the chinks in the plot, otherwise we end up bending backwards to fill in the plot-holes.

Anyway, Beyond: Two Souls, is the latest Cinematic Experience from David Cage. I say 'Cinematic Experience' because, truly, that is the only way to describe. They are not games, there is no particular 'Goal' for you to accomplish. Can a book be described as a game? No, your job is to merely flip the pages till you reach the conclusion, your skill being entirely superflous to the whole experience. This is why Cage's games are not 'Games', your skill and abilities are not needed. The story goes on regardless of your actions. Just sit back and shut up, you're in it for the ride.

Beyond: Two Souls stars Ellen Paige as Jodie Holmes, a girl mysteriously linked to an entity named 'Aiden'. Jodie begins the game being hunted by the government and the narrative takes you through various stages of her life to uncover her mysterious past and discover Aiden's nature.

Here is my problem with the narrative. The story itself is servicble but the narrative is disjointed. Rather than going to the beginning of Jodie's life and watch her grow up, you are instead sent to various points of her life without a logical segway. For example, one stage has you taking Jodie to a birthday party and the one after that sends you to Somalia for a secret mission. There is no 'Oh, this cake reminds me of that one birthday party I went to so I'd better flashback' hook, the story just jumps to a random part of her life in no particular order. (Note: There is a reason for the time jumps but I found it weak.)

The back cover claims that we're going to journey with Jodie through her life and I thought that meant watching her grow up and become attached to her. In that regard, the game failed. This is a stranger whom I've already seen the end of her story and I already know my actions do not matter from the get-go. I didn't bother making Jodie kiss a boy because I know she'll never see him again. I've known people who couldn't let go of Shepard having known him/her for three games and yet, with Jodie, I was never able to emotionally connect.

In conclusion, this is the shallowest of David Cage's projects. The story has zero tension, preditcable plot-twists and laughable stakes compared to his previous iterations yet, in an odd twist of fate, is the tightest experience yet.

Should you buy this game? It's not exactly a $60 worthy experience. Should you rent it? Definitely.
Ups
Beautiful
Fun experimenting with Aiden
Willem Dafoe (Shut up)
Downs
Broken Narrative
Sets itself up for a sequel it didn't earn
Ellen Paige screaming 'Aiden' every five minutes
Score
9.0
Graphics Beautiful, that's all that needs to be said.
8.0
Sound I'm no audiophile and a game to be really exceptional for me to take heed of the sound coming out of my speakers. Beyond has managed to make me take notice a couple of times so I'll give it props for knowing how and when to set the mood.
7.5
Gameplay The gameplay, if you can call it that, is faster paced than Heavy Run. You'll never be forced to press and hold over 8 buttons. Jodie's fight sequences involve you pressing the right analogue stick in the direction of her body. A hit or miss mechanic, for sure, but it won't frustrate you.
6.5
Fun factor If you've experienced a David Cage project, you've probably seen it all. Rarely do you feel having an impact on Jodie's life and the story never pays off because it's too busy setting itself up for a sequel about half-way... Heck, I guarantee you that you've probably sussed out Aiden's identiy.
0.0
Online There is a feature that allows a couch partner to play co-op with you but I have not tried it.
7.5
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
black0o  +   315d ago
good read (Y)
MightyNoX  +   315d ago
Aww, thanks!
Valenka  +   315d ago
With all due respect, this review is as lacking as you imply the game in question to be and if I may be so bold to say, judging on your comments, you haven't played the game yourself.

Your introductory paragraphs serve no indication as to what your point is; you vaguely reference previous QD games, but in no context or reflection to the standpoint you're making. In short, the opening paragraphs were rather pointless. The remaining three paragraphs of your review vaguely described Beyond.

Your only point in this review was criticising the narrative without a rhyme or reason. "It's broken." It's not broken. It's just not chronological. That doesn't make it broken - it makes it different.

"For example, one stage has you taking Jodie to a birthday party and the one after that sends you to Somalia for a secret mission."

WRONG.
The chapter that takes place in Somalia is not until much later in the game. There's a rhyme and rhythm to the non-chronological progression, and your incorrect information is going to mislead the readers of this review.

There IS tension and there are only a small handful of predictable plot-twists because we're so desensitised to suspenseful situations that we can pretty much figure out what will happen next.

Your review was nothing more than "I don't like the narrative and here is ONE, solitary, irrelevant reason why," filled with grammar and spelling errors and lacking tremendously in quality, and quite frankly, I have no idea how it was approved.

No offence to you, whatsoever. I respect your opinion completely, but this review is simply poorly constructed and written and I sincerely hope no one bases their decision on experiencing the game because of this review.

I'm sorry, but it doesn't do yourself nor the game any justice at all. For Christ's sake, look at GoldenRimz review of the game ( http://n4g.com/channel/beyo... ) which had a LOWER score than what you've given, yet still provided MUCH more information and detail about the experience.
#2 (Edited 315d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(8) | Report | Reply
StraightPath  +   303d ago
71% metacritic game bombed and is not worthwhile. Rental is a generous option.
CDzNutts  +   314d ago
Umm...hey Reviewer...

You do know that if you are PLAYING something, it's called a game. The GOAL of which, is different in each game, and in this one, would be to complete it.

Check the dictionary...I promise. :-)
WitWolfy  +   314d ago
I finished it.. I liked it.. But will I give it a second run through??? Meh.. Probably not...
#4 (Edited 314d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply

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Beyond: Two Souls

Average Score 7.7 Reviews(307)
Release Dates
PS3 Release Dates
AU 11 October 2013
EU 11 October 2013
US 08 October 2013
PS4 Release Dates
Xbox 360 Release Dates