Fall 2013GamesNutshell Review

Beyond Two Souls

by Oliver Layco

Beyond Two Souls is the much hyped follow up title to Quantic Dream’s excellent effort Heavy Rain. While Heavy Rain was astonishing in its execution of a game consisting entirely of Quick Time Events (QTE), that is a heavy part where Beyond falls short. So much rides on the QTE’s and how the players choice will affect the story; yet in Beyond the choices I made didn’t feel like it made any significant impact. While in all games the story is pretty much going to happen the way the developers intended, with a game that relies solely on QTE’s it failed to really make me feel involved like Heavy Rain did. As for the pacing of the story, it had its great moments but for me it was bogged down by painfully slow moments that made no sense to include for me. Also, I can see why the story jumped from different moments in Jodie’s life but some of the jumps in time didn’t appear to have a connection. If it played out chronologically, I may have enjoyed it more and felt more attached during the ending. While there are many negatives, there were some high points that I really liked. Visually, it is one of the best looking games I’ve seen this generation. Specifically, I really liked the facial animation and just their overall work on the characters. As for the characters themselves, they were acted out perfectly by Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe. Actually pretty much the entire cast fit the roles given to them, but it was just the story that dragged it down for me. The idea that entities could be attached to people and there’s a threat of their whole world merging with ours is good on paper. But it was just the execution of it that failed for me. By the end of this story, I really wanted to pull for Jodie but I just found myself wanting to finish just to see the ending. While there are multiple endings like there were in Heavy Rain, I probably won’t play through this again to see them. I can see why people would like Beyond Two Souls, but I couldn’t ignore the fact that it felt like 80% cutscene and 20% player interaction.

Nutshell Reviews6 out of 10 Bigbluebullfrog Leaps!

Nutshell Reviews is a collection of very short reviews of the most significant movies, books, music, and video games, from both the present day and days gone passed.

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