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!

Why should you get a PS3 in 2017?

Just last week I bought a used Sony Playstation 3 on eBay. Some of you might be wondering why I got this video game console now, when the new generation has already been available for quite some time now. There are a couple of reasons.

The main reason is that the PS3 is much more affordable now than it was years ago. You can easily buy a used one for less than 100€ including controllers and perhaps even a few games. And even though it’s already about a decade old, a lot of games still look great.

The PS3 has had a slew of exclusive titles you were always interested in, but because you never got one, you weren’t able to play them? Now’s your chance! Especially the highly popular PS3-exclusives are now available for a couple of Euros. I got games like Heavy Rain, The Last of Us, etc. for under 5€ each. In general used games are extremely cheap. The PS3 is still new enough and it sold extremely well during its lifetime, so that the games are not extremely rare. Chances are good that you can get a handful of games for the price of one new PS4 game. This might eventually change in the coming years, so now it’s a great time to start collecting PS3 games.

I especially like that the PS3 is easily upgraded. Yesterday I replaced the 80GB hard drive by a 1 TB one and the whole process took me less than half an hour (including formatting and installing the latest software update). And if you don’t own a BluRay player yet, a PS3 gets even more interesting compared to other consoles of its generation.

As a plus you also get a console which plays all your venerable Playstation 1 games. Yes, every PS3 is PS1 compatible, even though they dropped PS2 compatibilty eventually.

Currently the PS3 is still somewhat supported by Sony. You can still get system updates from their website (even though this update is a couple of years old) and there are still many PS3 titles available in the Playstation Store. But of course we don’t know how long this support will last. So starting your collection now seems quite reasonable.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Please share your comments below!