Beyond: Two Souls Review

Well game season is officially on, and one of the earliest titles leading the pack is none other than David Cage’s, Beyond: Two Souls. Both Ellen Page and William Dafoe star as the leading protagonists in this paranormal tale of awesomeness. Of course I was looking forward to this title, I mean David Cage has given us Heavy Rain early this generation and at some point or another Ellen Page would run around in her underpants. But let’s be honest; Heavy Rain wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and Cage’s work is more comparable to an interactive move rather than a video game. But with such a saturated market, having such a means of entertainment is a much deserved break from repetition. So rather than giving a crap about the early mixed reviews , I just gave it a shot and hoped NOT to see William Dafoe’s dangling ball sack in slow mo again.

Audio and Video: I have yet to complain about any Sony title when it comes to Audio. I mean they seem to be the only people actually giving a crap about the surround experience and overall sound quality which is as import as visuals in creating a perfect feel to a game. Voice acting is amazing, the surround effects are superb, and Sound effects are as realistic as can be. Match these great qualities with impeccable visuals; you get an immersive experience for all the senses. The sheer detail of the game and the high quality of the textures is borderline insane. There were actually instances in the game where I couldn’t tell if what I’m watching is gameplay or a cut scene. The lighting is fantastic and the environments are rendered beautifully. When it comes to aesthetics, this title simply displays the power of the Playstation 3 in its final days leading to retirement.

Gameplay: So here is where the praising stops. Gameplay is very similar to Heavy Rain, although you have a new secondary control scheme you use when playing as Aiden. You get to walk freely when playing as Jodie, but actions are done using quick time controls only when promted. When playing through Aiden on the other hand you have a set of items in the environment you can interact with, and you basically use the analogue sticks and shoulder button almost all the time. As some of you might know you have the option to play this game using a standard PS3 controller, or an iphone (thanks to some sort of medieval sorcery). After playing the game with a PS3 controller you can immediately feel that the game wasn’t really designed to be played using the standard controller. The controls of the game and quick time controls have been aimed for the iphone users, and simply ported to be used with a conventional analogue input. Quick time movement and combat all require a swiping movement, which is fantastic for any touch input device, but extremely bad and fastidious when using an analogue stick. In most occasions during the game, the pacing is simply ruined thanks to this flawed design which is a bloody pity.

Personal Experience: Well just like most of the reviews, I had mixed feelings about the game. Yes the visuals, the narration, the story, and the sound are spectacular, but by the beard of Zeus’ the controls simply don’t work. I really felt like I was using the wrong tool to play the game, just like trying to hammer a nail using a double sided dildo. But if I have to be brutally honest and place the dildo aside, I still had a great deal of fun even though there is this huge dent in the gameplay experience. The fantastic story line and narration really immersed me in Jodie’s world, and I was simply astounded by the awesome ending. It takes great writing skills to get me to place the controller on the table and leave me speechless just staring at the end credits.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Written By Matthew C.