Game recommendation: Beyond – Two Souls

One of the games I picked up shortly after getting a PS3 was Beyond: Two Souls. I admit I didn’t actually know much about the game aside from the fact that it had been created by the development team behind Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream.

Heavy Rain is definitely one of must-have titles for the Playstation 3 but IMHO Beyond: Two Souls is better in almost every aspect. When it comes to graphics and sound it’s amazing how awesome games can look on this decade-old machine. Sure, there are next-gen titles with better graphics, but for a PS3 title, Beyond is just gorgeous.

Like Heavy Rain Beyond: Two Souls is more an interactive movie than what I would call a game although Beyond has a lot more “gameplay” than its predecessor. Heavy Rain was basically a long sequence of QTEs, while Beyond feels more like a traditional adventure game. But it’s pretty light on puzzles and if I am not mistaken you can’t really fail. Since I haven’t replayed the game yet, I can’t judge how much the story is influenced by the player’s decisions. But I guess there are only a few branching moments and the rest of the story is built in a way that you have the illusion of choice. But even if that’s the case, it doesn’t make Beyond: Two Souls a less great game.

What makes Beyond such a great experience is a) its story and b) the acting. As I said, it’s more like an interactive movie and I enjoyed the actors performances (Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe are starring) a lot. If someone would turn Beyond into a proper movie I would definitely pay to watch it in the cinema. The focus of the story is Jodie, a young woman who is tied to some kind of spirit called Aiden, who grants her supernatural abilities. She can ask him to perform certain task for her, but he also acts on his own. I don’t want to spoil the story too much, but it’s an exciting ride with exciting combat, drama, government conspiracies, and questions about life, death, and what awaits us after death. The story is told in a non-chronological manner, which can sometimes be a bit confusing, but overall this works pretty well.

By the way, you can also play Beyond as a two-player co-op game. One player controls Jodie, while the other plays Aidan. But I haven’t tried this gamemode yet. As far as I know there is also a version for the PS4 which includes a couple of extras. Regardless which system you own, you should try to track down a copy of Beyond: Two Souls. It’s an impressive game, which tells an intriguing story and features believable characters. Beyond is also one of the few games who managed to have such an impact on me that I found myself close to tears several times during my playthrough. If you enjoy adventure games with mystery themes, you definitely have to play Beyond: Two Souls. You will not be disappointed!

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