Beyond Two Souls Review

For all its promises of representing a change from the usual (supposed) shoot-bang zeitgeist, Beyond is just as nonsensical as any Call of Duty. It's a thriller without any intrigue, a character study bereft of character, and a game short of actual gameplay.

In fairness to David Cage, his decision to build a game around the life of a troubled young woman is a brave one, and Ellen Page's performance is good. But on the whole the scenarios he presents us with are so contrived, so boring, as to render all interest in what happens to Jodie – and the malevolent spirit that she is connected to – utterly dull.

Heavy Rain had problems, but its central conundrum was enough to pull users through the experience. Beyond has no such draw: there's no mystery to Jodie and Aiden's relationship, nor is there to her power: everyone seems to know about it. The motivations of your supporting characters - CIA spooks, shifty scientists - are telegraphed too early to surprise or excite.

So too with the decision to hop back and forth between different stages of Jodie's life: with no character building or conspiracy to work out, they become pace-sagging vignettes, exposition masquerading as interactivity. This is mostly due to gameplay being so uninvolved: you're oftentimes just guiding Jodie to the end of a 'scene' – by, say, opening doors, or rolling over in your bed – rather than making informed, influential choices. Combined, it makes flashing back a chore: you're not learning much, and you're actually doing even less.

The narrative's problems feed into the mechanics. Aiden's powers – and how they're exerted – are woefully inconsistent with the story, and the game is utterly straightforward in its moment-to-moment interaction with the player. Which would be fine if the game's narrative hooked you in. But it doesn't. There are bright moments, but when a game sells itself on a story, said story better be good. This one isn't, and anyone expecting Heavy Rain 2 is going to be sorely disappointed.

Completed the story in 12 hours.

4 / 10

  • Excellent visuals.
  • Some good scenarios.
  • Terribly clichéd.
  • Doesn't feel like you're really participating in the story.

Click above for enlarged Beyond: Two Souls Screenshots

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User Comments

psyrakan's Avatar

psyrakan

that review bs game it's at least 7.5/10 for me its one of the best game ever not for everyone i have to admit but on my book it's 8/10 it's a game for those you like Heavy Rain, the walking Dead serie or back then Indigo prophecy gaming style (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfnoeCt897Y )
Posted 15:24 on 23 December 2013
Ecosse's Avatar

Ecosse@ EhteshamShahzad

And why is that a bad thing?

I'm quite happy to have an "interactive drama" as long as the story is good enough.

I quite liked Heavy Rain, but I'm glad I got it second hand, I think this might be the same kinda thing for me, wait till it's dropped in price/get a 2nd hand copy.
Posted 16:36 on 18 October 2013
RazorGecko's Avatar

RazorGecko

I think that it is worth playing too, especially if you liked heavy rain.
Posted 15:49 on 18 October 2013
EhteshamShahzad's Avatar

EhteshamShahzad

I am not even sure if this is a video game =/
Posted 12:52 on 17 October 2013
dudester's Avatar

dudester

I have played through it and my scale its never a 4/10 game. I really enjoyed it although there are a few things which are not quite right. I think it really depends what you go in looking for. I was pleased with what I experienced I wanted something along the lines of heavy rain and twd and that's exactly what I got.
Posted 22:09 on 14 October 2013
tvr77's Avatar

tvr77

I won myself a LE media kit copy of this from the Playstaion blog, i just hope i like it now, i loved Heavy Rain so i think i should find some enjoyment in this too.
Posted 21:44 on 14 October 2013
Cindybot's Avatar

Cindybot

I cant understand how this people rate this bad an amazing videogame, I think everyone is different and not everyone will enjoy a game the same way, many gamers rather playing violent and shooting games, other horror games and other tihs artistic pieces, you cannot say this is a bad game, Beyond is the kind of games you have to own, those little jewels you cannot let go...
Posted 23:35 on 09 October 2013
HardlyHardy's Avatar

HardlyHardy

Ive been reading the reviews that gave the game the highest score and it just sounds like a bunch of pretentious bollucks. Its seems like they all reviewed the game by watching someone else play it, so its even less interactivce than it is. Every review with a high rating just tosses aside the GAMEplay as if it wasnt important. Which youd think it would be given the fact its a videoGAME.
Posted 13:25 on 09 October 2013
BombaLuigi's Avatar

BombaLuigi

This Game gets very diffrent Scores, so I wonder how I will think of it. I have it already, but I need to finish Windwaker before I start something new.
Posted 09:37 on 09 October 2013
Armbreakfire's Avatar

Armbreakfire

Played about 7 hours of the game today and it was about as good as I expected. I am REALLY enjoying the game! The gameplay is lacking a bit, but the story, characters, and graphics more than make up for it. Jodie/Aiden are interesting characters to play as. If you are going to play this game though, you need to know what you're getting into. It's an interactive drama along the lines of Heavy Rain. Decision making and QTEs. If your looking for a game to test your skills, look somewhere else.
Posted 06:52 on 09 October 2013
Catterick's Avatar

Catterick

What's the hair-tech like?
Posted 01:30 on 09 October 2013
KamSage's Avatar

KamSage

@IronMit
On top of yellowsapphire's comment, the review for a game likely wouldn't be out at the time of the review embargo being lifted, since reviewers almost always get one review copy. Sharing that around the office would mean probably getting it a week later. Early reviews help us, the gamer, to decide whether the game is up there as something we want to buy.
And (love the guys, but just stating fact) you can go to other sites and get other reviews by other people. No review is ever going to be your exact experience with a game, it's just an opinion after all, but usually from multiple reviews you can see similar goods and bads about the game.
And Burns is usually very critical of games, which isn't a bad thing because you know exactly all problems. I would maybe like a 'Full price/bargain bin/avoid' verdict, because some reviews do say a games bad, but in podcasts some reviewers will say it's still worth a go or such, so yeah, always room to improve.
Posted 21:27 on 08 October 2013
yellowsapphire's Avatar

yellowsapphire

It's got teh wimminz in, what more narrative structure do you want? Teh wimminz!!

Apologies for the flippancy/Pandora's Box. It saddens me, as I had high hopes for this!

(Re: IronMitt, different reviewers have different opinions. It's nice to see a score that's not full marks/fence sitting. I'd imagine having other team members' scores would undermine the original review somewhat!)
Posted 20:11 on 08 October 2013
HardlyHardy's Avatar

HardlyHardy

I really hoped I was going to be wrong about this one, after seeing multiple trailers, behind the scene footage, interviews, etc. and having played the demo, my image of this game was begining to blur. I thought it was going to be a bad game in the end and it seems like Im right.... and that makes me sad.
Posted 20:05 on 08 October 2013
CaptainMellow's Avatar

CaptainMellow

well the Beyond demo was awful, so i didn't expect much from this game,
Posted 20:01 on 08 October 2013

Game Stats

Beyond: Two Souls
4
Out of 10
Beyond: Two Souls
  • Excellent visuals.
  • Some good scenarios.
  • Terribly clichéd.
  • Doesn't feel like you're really participating in the story.
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 11/10/2013
Platform: PS3
Developer: Quantic Dream
Publisher: SCEE
Genre: Adventure
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 1,048
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