Beyond Two Souls is the first video game to feature Hollywood actress Ellen Page, although many have assumed she was also in Sony’s recent summer smash hit, The Last Of Us.
Yes, the lead character was called Ellie and she looked like a younger version of Ellen Page, but she was actually portrayed by Ashley Johnson
About Beyond Two Souls and this centres around a young woman, Jodie Holmes (Page), who has supernatural powers and a link to an entity named Aiden. This is something she was born with, but from a young age she ends up in the hands of the government so they can perform tests on her. Clearly no life for a child, let alone a young adult, but when you’re special it seems you’ve got no choice.
Tasked with testing her is Dr Nathan Dawkins, portrayed by Willem Dafoe – one of the best actors around, and who commented in his Metro 60-second interview that working on this game was a great new experience for him, partly because the format meant they could get through recording far more pages of scripts in a day than the average Hollywood movie because no-one had to physically get a set built right or lit right, or for them to be standing in the right place.
Beyond Two Souls – Complete Walkthrough (720p HD)
Beyond Two Souls gives you options along the way about how a conversation can go, but in the grand scheme of things, for the most part, it doesn’t affect anything important. Later on, different scenes will play depending on your selections giving it some replay value, but one thing that is very annoying about the game, is that some levels, such as Homeless (No.9) and Navajo (No.13) go on for anywhere between just under an hour, and a good 75 minutes. Yet, you can’t break off mid-level and come back to it. Surely, these should’ve been chaptered in some way so you could come back to it at a later point? I remember Assassin’s Creed: Revelations had something like this which allowed it. Given that some of these levels in BTS come straight after levels which have lasted just a few minutes, it makes it feel very uneven.
While it’s worth trying something different once in a while, if I wasn’t playing with Ellen Page, it might not be as interesting. It does seem to have a certain charm, though, as it plays out like a cross between an interactive movie experience and a bit like a modern-day Dragon’s Lair, putting the joypad in certain directions or pressing buttons to get somewhere.
Overall, though, it’s not a gameplay style I’d like to see encouraged because gameplay styles are quickly copied – how many games were based on the original Tomb Raider engine, for example – and not all of them are going to have the backing of an interesting storyline and great actors in the lead roles. So, a lot of them will end up feeling like one big training level – like the early parts of this game – when I’d much rather just get stuck into the game proper. In fact, a good example of this sort of game which can NOT be recommended is last year’s Resident Evil 6.
Go to page 2 for the next part of my review.
Beyond Two Souls Walkthrough: Part 01 – The Experiment (720p HD)
All that said, if you persevere with it, this is a game which grows on you – not least as the relationship does between Jodie and Nathan – and which caused me to stick with it until the very end – and there’s not many games that do that for me. Clearly, the early reviews which came out – and which slammed it for it not having much to do under the player’s control – did not give it the time required to get into this. Metro gave it 2/5, for example. Shame on them.
After the monumental The Last Of Us, which is going to take some beating as my Game Of The Year, due to it being an incredible experience from start to finish, Beyond Two Souls also attracted me because it has two outstanding guest stars in the two main roles, and two stars who embody their characters and make you feel for their plight in the way the whole thing is constructed. It’s quite an eye-opener if you follow them on their full journey.
That said, even though it’s easier for them both to read their lines, they both prove that they haven’t been brought on just for their star status – they both lend their gravitas to the game and provide a richly rewarding experience that’s all the better for their inclusion.
Beyond Two Souls Walkthrough: Part 02 – The Embassy (720p HD)
A quick note about other key elements – the graphics are fine, but I’ve downrated them slightly because it’s not like they have to DO an awful lot because the game is mostly like a movie, as compared to most other games which are have to react to your movements; and soundwise, the audio is just superb in DTS 5.1.
Note that when I recorded the gaming footage, for the first few levels as I got into the game, the recording used was from my second run through of the level. Once I got into it, and the levels got longer and I didn’t really want to play a level a second time, I just gave them the once-through and edited out and long scenes of faffing about. This means there are ‘warts and all’ errors popping up, though, as I take a wrong turn from time to time.
Each time, I used the PS3 joypad, but for the recording of Level 3: The Party, I used the mobile ‘Beyond’ app on my Android for the first – and only – time. It was very difficult to get the hang of. Rather then record it again using the joypad, I left it in so you can see how it’s not easy to use.
Note that the Special Edition features:
- Premium steel book
- Exclusive extra game scene
- Game soundtrack
- Dynamic themes
- Avatar pack
- Making Of Featurettes
Beyond Two Souls Walkthrough: Part 03 – The Party (720p HD)
- Publisher: Sony
- Standard Price: £39.99 (PS3)
- Players: 1
- HDTV options: 720p
- PAL; Region 2
- Languages: English
- Subtitles: English
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.
| 1 | 2 |