The Good, The Bad, The Unforgettable: Beyond: Two Souls

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Before I begin this Sadistic Saturday, I wanted to point out that I do not believe that Beyond: Two Souls was hot garbage and do believe that the game just didn’t turn out to be what was expected.  Quantic Dream has always followed a pretty strict regiment of making their games both hyper realistic and gives players the option to control their destiny.  With Detroit: Become Human coming out, that much is clear.  Beyond: Two Souls stars a young girl named Jodie Holmes, whose appearance is modeled after actress Ellen Page, who has a psychic connection with some kind of spirit named Aiden.  She has been in psychiatric care since she was very young and never had any friends aside from Aiden, as he always seems to interrupt any interactions with anyone who isn’t him.  Since then, she has been left in permanent custody to doctors Nathan Dawkins and Cole Freeman, Willem Dafoe and Kadeem Hardison.

The game utilizes dialogue choices to change the outcome of events as well as many quicktime events to control Aiden and allow him to do certain things.  It follows a convoluted plotline in which Jodie is trained by the CIA to undergo military procedures to other countries, using Aiden to aid her in her missions.  She becomes disgusted with herself after discovering that she killed the kind president of one of the countries that she infiltrated.  She becomes a fugitive and escapes, leading to a series of random encounters with people that take her in such as a group of homeless people and a Native American family.

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The characters are very three dimensional and the voice acting is superb, but the level that Quantic Dream was trying to achieve flew past the storyline and made the game seem a little sub par.  Since Aiden is a very large part of Jodie’s life, he doesn’t allow her to get killed or even injured, making some of the gameplay moments completely useless because you were never punished for any mistakes.  If you missed a quick time event, you were pretty much guaranteed multiple do overs because Aiden wouldn’t allow you to be injured.  This led to a relatively unrewarding experience and made you feel more like a participant than a player.  The only part of the game that really gives you a satisfying lurch forward is when you play as Aiden, an omniscient being that is able to traverse through every room of the area that you are in.

You can see through walls as him and are able to plan out your attacks or movements far before you even make them.  He’s very quick and his movements are only limited to room barriers, meaning that he is able to see far and wide so long as you stay within the confined area.  However, Aiden is mostly only used whenever Jodie needs something and will make note of it through verbal prompts to make Aiden possess someone or do s a certain action. It’s still fun, nonetheless, but it isn’t as rewarding as you may think.

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You end up finding out, after shit hits the fan, that Aiden is your stillborn twin brother whom you’ve had an attachment to since you were both in the womb.  It wasn’t the greatest twist, but it was the one that made the most sense and it allowed for a better look at why this character is the way that he is towards others.  I felt more like I had watched a film than I did having finished a game and that was not the experience that I wanted for the price.  At ten hours, the series of inconsequential choices and poor gameplay mechanics  forced me to feel more relieved that I had finished it over being satisfied.

The game was originally released back in 2013 and was currently remastered for the PS4 with Heavy Rain earlier this year, the better of the PS3 Quantic Dream games.

Check out the launch trailer for the game below:

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