Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two Souls has a lot of potential. Featuring Academy Award nominees Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, and stellar facial animation, the game is promising to blur the line between cinematic storytelling and gameplay like its predecessor, Heavy Rain.
Beyond: Two Souls grabbed my attention when it was revealed at E3 last year. The gameplay trailer boasted jaw dropping animations and looked more like an interactive film than anything else. Like Heavy Rain before it, Beyond looks set to tell an intense story. Check out the E3 2012 trailer below.
Beyond: Two Souls looks to be the spiritual successor to Heavy Rain and I enjoyed Heavy Rain immensely. The game had moments that had my heart racing, told a decent (although depressing) tale and, overall, had me impressed with what games can do with regards to telling a story. I’m a sucker for thriller movies and Heavy Rain drew me into the world and didn’t let go until the mystery was solved. However, one thing about Heavy Rain bothered me constantly and that was the accents. The game had awful voice acting at times. The main character, Ethan Mars, had accents that would switch from mediocre American, French and even a little bit Irish at times.
To put it frankly, the accents were not consistent. When you want to tell a good story with games, you need great voice acting to secure the tone of the situation. With Beyond, professional actors are here to tell the story and they are 100% serious about this job. From watching the behind-the-scenes video below, there’s no phoning it in with Willem Dafoe. He’s a great actor who knows how to show emotion with his powerful voice. Dafoe knows how to set a scene and to bring that level of acting to a videogame is exciting. Yet there’s pressure on Quantic Dream to deliver a good story to match the quality of the good actors who are performing in it. Let’s hope they can deliver.
In terms of gameplay, Beyond uses a new feature that is similar to the gameplay of Ghost Trick. The main character Jodie can use a supernatural power to interact with specific objects in the environment. In the gameplay video below, Jodie uses her powers to open the security shutters on a supermarket and disable the camera. On top of this, the game utilises hand-to-hand combat when faced against enemies.
Like I said, Beyond has a lot of potential. With the makers of Heavy Rain behind the game and A-list actors like Willem Dafoe and Ellen Page providing the main roles, the game looks set to tell an emotional and dark tale of what happens after death. The game releases for Playstation 3 on October 8th in North America, October 9th in Australia and October 11th in Europe.