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Beyond: Two Souls Preview

Anthony_Severino By:
GENRE Action 
DEVELOPER Quantic Dream 
M Contains Blood, Intense Violence, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs and Alcohol

What do these ratings mean?

Here comes the rain again.

Like Heavy Rain before it, Beyond: Two Souls is a psychological thriller not belonging to any specific genre but the unbounded form of narrative. It’s a more artistic form of a video game, telling a personal tale about Jodie Holmes and her supernatural companion and their struggles over the course of 20 years.

Jodie, played expertly by actress Ellen Page (Juno, Inception), at a young age discovers her connection with Aiden, a glowing entity that can be caring and playful but also mischievous and ferociously dangerous. Although the game is organic, often changing where the experience focuses, the theme throughout is about death and what lies beyond in the “other side”.

Ellie’s on the run, but it’s not revealed just why the police are looking for her, or why they're in an all-out, take-no-prisoners manhunt. She’s just a young girl, yet officers shoot to kill her without provocation. Jodie’s attempt at escape leads her to the roof of a moving train at high speeds, in the midst of a torrential downpour. Police give chase, so she’s forced to make the terrifying decision of jumping from the train. [Are the police an hallucination? ~Ed. Nick]

The canine unit quickly approaches as she scurries through the rain-soaked forest, as she slips in mud and hurdles downed logs and other obstacles by the way of quick-time events, much like Heavy Rain's. After beating off the bloodthirsty hounds with an nearby stone, she has no choice but to scale the wet, rocky mountainside to hide. But the summit isn’t the safe haven she hopes. Again, cops are waiting for her.

David Cage stops to explain that had Jodie been captured, the game doesn’t end, and only the storyline arc changes. A new scene would have her escaping from prison. But since she hastn' been caught, it’s time to see what playing as Aiden is like. Being a spirit, he floats about using the PS3 controller’s SIXAXIS motion controls, drifting about like a petal in thatgamecompany’s flower. Aiden can interact with different parts of the environment, and even possess other humans depending on the glow of their aura.

This is when all hell breaks loose. Aiden is angered, and eventually uses the SWAT team’s own helicopter against them, crashing it, and subsequently exploding, murdering, and burning everyone who stands in Jodie’s way.

But that’s only one outcome of many, again akin to Heavy Rain. David Cage follows the same philosophy with Beyond: Two Souls, preferring everyone to experience the game for the first time in one playthrough, even if certain stages are met with failure, forming his or her unique story. Whether you liked Heavy Rain or not, this is one to watch when it release some time in 2013.

More GR previews for this game:
Beyond: Two Souls preview posted on 05/29/13.

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