Beyond: Two Souls is the latest creation by infamous game/”movie” director and writer David Cage. It stars Ellen Page as the protagonist Jodie Holmes, who maintains a metaphysical/psychic link with a supernatural entity called Aiden. This presence helps Jodie throughout the game to possess bodies, interact with objects and anything that helps Jodie progress throughout the game.
IGN got an advanced preview of a scene from Beyond: Two Souls gameplay, but decided to show two videos. They both take place during the scene, “Hunted.” The reason for two videos being that they consist of different forking paths in the game’s story, as missteps or advantageous maneuvers will result in completely different results.
Because the videos are both lengthy, I will recap some of the interesting developments in each game path. Warning: The following videos and summary text contain story elements, dialogue and gameplay spoilers from Beyond: Two Souls.
The first video showcases a successful Jodie scenario. She escapes the police on a train, using Aiden to unlock train doors and protect Jodie from oncoming bullets and fall damage when jumping off the train. Jodie then runs through the forest to avoid her ongoing pursuers. Police canines intervene with her escape, resulting in some unfortunate self-defense dog attacks. It’s really heartbreaking to hear the dogs wimper as the player uses a tree branch to fend off the attackers.
Eventually Jodie comes across a police roadblock, in which Aiden uses his powers to possess a policeman in order to create a diversion. Beyond: Two Souls seems to give the player multiple options in how to use the supernatural abilities of Aiden, feeding off the creativity of the player as well as the game’s creators. Jodie then makes her daring escape on a motorcycle, blasting through a SWAT barricade and taking her attackers head on outside a town movie theatre.
The second video features intended failure of the player to allow viewers to understand the depth of the game mechanics. Instead of escaping police capture on the train, Jodie is kidnapped when failing to exit through a bathroom door in time. David Cage has recently said of story-driven games that, “‘game over’ is a state of failure more for the game designer than from the player,” and in Beyond: Two Souls failure results in a different branch of the story. Jodie is arrested and kept in a sleeper cot on the train in handcuffs. The player then can use Aiden to possess a guard and force him to help Jodie escape the train that way.
There isn’t much difference in most of the remaining video up until the end. As Jodie meets a SWAT barricade and drives head on with her motorcycle, Aiden fails to put up a psychic force field (yes, exactly how it sounds) and Jodie is apprehended in a SWAT vehicle. She then can use Aiden again to possess a guard and control him to shoot the driver of the vehicle, allowing Jodie and a notable antagonist to escape with their lives. Both scenarios end with Jodie telling the sole survivor to, “Tell them to leave me the f— alone. Because next time; I’ll kill everyone.”
Even if you chose to read the summary, I implore you to check out the gameplay videos to better gauge how the game operates for yourself. While there are a great deal of fans who liked Heavy Rain and want to see what’s next out of David Cage and of developers Quantic Dream, there are some ongoing criticisms of story and dialogue execution that may remain from previous titles.
Beyond: Two Souls will be released exclusively on the PlayStation 3 on October 8th.